Article Date: 8/1/2007

Sometimes, It's in the Execution
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Sometimes, It's in the Execution

Great marketing strategies need great tactics. And great tactics need details.

FROM THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jim Thomas

Editor Jennifer Kirby found out firsthand the difference between a great marketing idea and a well-executed plan.

Jen learned she could increase the value of her residence by improving its curb appeal. So she dragged her husband down to Home Deport with the intention of creating a beautiful garden in front of her home.

When the couple got to the store, they were overwhelmed by the aisles and aisles of choices, so they decided on the obvious: purchase a shovel, a small bag of fertilizer and the prettiest-looking flowers. In a short time, their modest investment in a garden would yield a more valuable property. Well, that was the plan.

For the non-green thumbs, we'll fast forward three months. Despite constant watering, the plants are on life-support. It turns out that the area in which she planted gets very little sun. Additionally, local rabbits consider her flowers five-star cuisine.

Jen says she wishes she had done her research and followed the necessary steps to planting prior to parting with her hard-earned dollars.

The best-laid plans …

In optometric practices, great ideas can be foiled through a hasty or ill-planned execution. This is especially true in marketing. After attending a contact-lens seminar, which urged doctors educate patients as to why fitting fees were necessary, an attendee told me, "That approach doesn't work."

"You tried it?" I asked.

"I have my marketing piece right here," he replied.

From his briefcase, he took out a sheet of paper with a bold headline that read, "SORRY. WE NOW CHARGE FEES." The text below it was just as subtle and patient friendly.

"You won't believe how many patients this has cost me," he said.

I think we can guess. While this example is extreme, I'd argue that we can all improve as marketers, especially if we define marketing as everything a practice does to acquire patients and maintain a productive relationship with them. From advertising to patient care to billing to staff interaction, we have the opportunity to improve hundreds of processes.

Becoming a marketer

Because marketing isn't second nature to most of us, we can all use some help with the specifics. Our cover article on marketing (page 28), written by the now marketing-savvy Jen, not only provides the logical steps to success, but offers practical tips — the details — that can make the difference between the success or failure of any marketing strategy. Here's to the successes. OM

OPTOMETRIC Management
www.optometric.com

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jim Thomas
MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Boyles
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jennifer Kirby
SPECIAL PROJECTS
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Virginia Pickles
SENIOR EDITOR Judith Springer Riddle
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Angela Jackson
OPTOMETRY
CHIEF OPTOMETRIC EDITOR Walter D. West, O.D., F.A.A.O.
CLINICAL DIRECTOR James Thimons, O.D., F.A.A.O.
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT EDITOR Richard S. Kattouf, O.D., D.O.S.
CONSULTING EDITOR Jack Runninger, O.D., F.A.A.O.
PHARMACEUTICAL EDITOR Bobby Christensen, O.D., F.A.A.O.
CE COORDINATOR Neil A. Pence, O.D., F.A.A.O.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Marilee Blackwell, M.B.A., Gary Gerber, O.D., Jerry Hayes, O.D., Richard Hom, O.D., F.A.A.O., Sheldon Kreda, O.D., F.A.A.O., Bob Levoy, O.D., Gregg Ossip, O.D., Jay D. Petersma, O.D., Eric Schmidt, O.D., Jerry Sherman, O.D., Donna Suter, Gil Weber, M.B.A.
EDITORIAL BOARD
Edward S. Bennett, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O
Irving Bennett, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Ernest Bowling, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.
Norma Bowyer, O.D., M.P.H., M.S., F.A.A.O.
Charlotte Burns, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.
Shelley Cutler, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Robert L. Davis, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Eric D. Donnenfeld, M.D.
Elmer Eger, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Neil B. Gailmard, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
Alan Glazier, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Deepak Gupta, O.D.
Andrew Gurwood, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Terry Hawks, O.D.
Janice M. Jurkus, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
Paul Karpecki, O.D.
Kelly Kerksick, O.D.
John Lahr, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Bob Levoy, O.D.
R. Whitman Lord, O.D.
Carla Mack, O.D.
Dominick Maino, O.D., M.Ed., F.A.A.O.
Pamela Miller, O.D., J.D., F.A.A.O.
Soct Morris, O.D.
Gary Oliver, O.D.
Robert E. Prouty, O.D.
Frank Puzio, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Kim Reed, O.D.
Rhonda Robinson, O.D.
Bruce Rosenthal, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Julie Ryan, O.D., M.S.Ed., F.A.A.O.
David B. Seibel, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Leo Semes, O.D.
Donald R. Smith, O.D.
Rene Soltis
Gale Stoner
Loretta Szczotka, O.D., M.S.

The opinions expressed in Optometric Management are those of its contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Optometric Management staff or its publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group.
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Optometric Management, Issue: August 2007