Article Date: 5/1/2013

Take a "Measured" Approach to Your Marketing Efforts

Take a “Measured” Approach to Your Marketing Efforts

Consider this seven-step approach to measuring the effectiveness of your practice’s marketing programs.



OD1: Hey, Mike. How ya been? How’s biz?

OD2: Great to see you, Joe. I’m great. Biz is awesome. We are so busy.

OD1: Great to hear. What’s your secret?

OD2: Oh, you know, we are just lucky I guess. We just ran an ad on Facebook, which seemed to have worked well.

I guess.” “I think.” “It seems.” A few very common phrases related to an independent eyecare provider’s marketing methods.

Why are many of us unsure of what marketing works, how well it works and whether it’s worth it? The answers lie with measuring the results. Once we assign values to the outcomes, we understand the effectiveness of our marketing efforts. We can then choose to do more of what is effective and continue to build on our success. Similarly, if we know what doesn’t work, we can adjust and move on. defines marketing as “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” As a practice owner, that definition’s scope includes recruitment and retention of patients and the sales of products and services to them. Regardless of the medium, marketing can be tracked, and outcomes can be measured. The formula is standard. You simply create a way to track, and then measure the results. The measuring tool may vary, but this concept remains the same.

The marketing framework

The common measuring tools in your marketing tool kit are inventory databases, spreadsheets, promo codes and a social media ad manager. Here’s a marketing framework that has proven effective for many of your peers:

1. Establish a goal for your marketing campaign. That is, what are you trying to achieve?

2. Define the key performance indicator (KPI). This is the value you want to measure.

3. Establish your pre-campaign baseline, or, where your campaign currently is, in terms of the measurements.

4. Create your campaign. This is where you design a detailed plan.

5. Monitor, track, measure, and calculate the results. Here, you open your marketing toolbox and pull out your measurement tools.

6. Compare results with your baseline.

7. Determine the return on investment (ROI). ROI (%) = Net profit/Investment × 100.

Now, let’s take a detailed look at three examples.

Example 1: Internal sales

One example of a marketing program is the sale of an extended frame warranty (EFW). The details of this marketing campaign are simple. You have given your opticians a new sale script on how to sell the warranty, and you then track the effectiveness of this script. No associated costs are involved with this campaign. You have not invested in any in-office materials, nor advertised it on any platform. It’s a verbal exchange between your sales person and the consumer, using your script.

First, define the goal as an increase in sales of the EFW by 10% (1). You will measure the amount of EFW sold (2). If you wanted to be even more precise in measuring the effectiveness of the new sales script, adjust your KPI to the percentage of EFW sold vs. the total of all frames sold.

Regardless of the medium, marketing can be tracked, and outcomes can be measured.

Next, let’s assume the product code in your EHR inventory is PSEEFW. Also, let’s assume a sales report on that code reveals that last month, 10 were sold. So 10 is your pre-campaign baseline (3). To achieve the 10% increase, you must sell 11 this month. Next, implement the new script with the sales team (4). Then, track results. You can have your EHR do this, but a reliable tool to track data has and always will be a spreadsheet (5).

At the month’s end, run a sales report on the product code PSEEFW, and you find that 15 were sold. You are excited to find five more EFW were sold this month, a 50% increase (6). The ROI on something that costs nothing is 100% (7). For most offices that have steady sales month to month, this is useful data, and we can clearly see that the new sales script was effective. You now have the data to back up continuing to utilize the sales script.

Example 2: Coupons, promos, deals

For this example, let’s use a “Back To School” campaign, which offers a deal on children’s glasses. For these campaigns, I like to see how much revenue is generated, with a goal of $5,000 (1). Our KPI is the total spend of the person who redeems the promotion (2). As this is a new campaign, our baseline is 0 (3). This campaign consists of utilizing printed postcard flyers distributed to parents. We design, print and distribute the ad. Here are the details of one such campaign: 1,000 postcard flyers designed in-house and printed by a professional printer ($100), plus professional, strategic hand-to-hand delivery of the flyers to parents costs roughly ($175). All the flyers are given to parents through the course of one school week (4).

We begin tracking the results immediately and monitor them for one month.

In the previous example, we utilized our electronic inventory to generate a product code, but let’s demonstrate how to track and measure this promotion for those of you who do not have that capability. The simple solution is to create a spreadsheet with two columns: patient name and amount spent. When a redemption occurs, fill in the details on the spreadsheet (5).

For this example, let’s assume that we garnered 22 redemptions for a total revenue of $5,500. We have no previous results to compare with (6). But we can calculate our ROI. If we are the average net 30% office, the net profit of $5,500 is $3,850. Our investment was $275. Calculating our ROI, (3850/275) × 100, we arrive at 1,400% (7). It’s a super effective campaign. We should do more.

To take this campaign online, simply post the flyer on your practice website and/or Facebook page, and ask parents to print a copy, and bring it to their child’s office visit. An alternative: Include a promo code on the ad where parents simply mention the code to redeem the promotion.

Example 3: Digital media

I’m pleased to see so many optometric offices embrace social media and know that large numbers of you are using a Facebook page to build your business. However, I don’t see many using Facebook’s robust Ads Manager. In this last example, you will see that it is possible to determine the worth of your FB marketing.

You run an ad on Facebook. Your goal is to get one person to read the ad and make an appointment (1). It’s important to think how much that one appointment is worth to you. Using close-to-mean numbers from the Key Metrics: Assessing Optometric Practice Performance: 2012 Edition, from Alcon and Essilor’s Management & Business Academy, we deduce that this one patient is worth roughly $100 in net profit. So let’s set our budget at $100, and determine whether we get one new patient.

We have to assume our ad is direct enough so that only people who are intent on making an appointment are going to click it. In other words, we have to equate a click to an appointment. Because of FB privacy policy, there is no easy way to know the identity of the person who clicks the ad, which makes directly tracking conversion to the appointment impossible. We are measuring sales conversion, which means our KPI is a click on our ad (2). This is a new ad program, so there isn’t a previous baseline (3).

The specifics of the ad are to target people in our zip code who are not already patients, which you can accomplish by utilizing the custom audience feature (4). The ad will run continuously until our investment of $100 is used up. We set the ad to “auto maximize” clicks. Using the FB ads manager, we track the results through a nine-day period. We know that 56 people clicked the ad, which states a very strong call to action: “Click to book an appointment now.” (5). No previous data existed for comparison to baseline (6).

To calculate ROI, we assume those 56 clicks converted into 56 appointments who became patients worth a net of $100 each, resulting in a net profit of $5,600. Our investment was $100. The calculated ROI is (5600/100) × 100, an impressive 5,600%. Ok, I hear you. Not all 56 became patients. If only 10% of those who clicked actually ended up in the exam chair, you still have six new patients worth a net of $600, an ROI of 600% (7). This certainly blows away our goal and leaves us knowing we should definitely pursue advertising on FB.

Tracking success

Tracking provides you with the data you need to determine what marketing vehicles are working. Use this information to help evaluate your marketing efforts and where you should spend your marketing dollars. Through time, by tracking your marketing, you will be able to create the most cost-effective marketing campaigns and, ultimately, get the best results. OM


Dr. Bazan is in private practice at Vision Source Park Slope Eye. He is a co-founder of Peripheral Vision, a social media group for optometrists. To join, visit Please send comments and questions to, or send comments to optomet

Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: May 2013, page(s): 40 42 43