newspaper ad says, Our restaurant has something for everyone.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, kids menu, creative appetizers,
tantalizing entrees and wonderful desserts. If you're hungry, we
have something for you. We also do banquets and catering, have a
great take-out menu and offer free delivery.
The ad on
the next page has a photo of a piece of chocolate cake and says,
Just Desserts. If you only wanted dessert, which restaurant would
an old saying in marketing that says, You can be all things to
everyone, but you'll go out of business trying.
consider the practice that puts forth this sentiment, Our practice
specializes in all types of contact lenses, including bifocals,
astigmatism, continuous wear, daily wear, colored, gas permeable and
contact lenses for kids. It probably wouldn't surprise you that a
prospective patient could read this and think, Oh really? You
specialize in all of those?
prospective presbyopic contact lens patient would probably gravitate
more toward a message that espouses, You're not getting older, you
need contact lenses for your shorter arms. And our office has the
latest technology to measure your arms. While the attempt at humor
may or may not appeal to the prospect, the message is more targeted
to the exact needs of a presbyope. The prospect reads the two
messages and thinks, Yes, the first guy says he specializes in
bifocals, but that's all the second one
does. And, he seems to understand my particular problem better.
of sharply focused marketing sounds good and perhaps obvious until
you do the reality check math and discover that trying to build a
practice and survive on nothing but presbyopic patients probably
isn't a good idea. And I'd agree. However, sticking to one theme and
changing the products offered within that theme is an effective
Writing Your Story
you went with the original presbyopic message and now wanted to talk
about your abilities to fit astigmatic patients. A good technique
would be to keep the same graphical elements (layout, colors, fonts,
size) that you used in the presbyopic ad but to change the copy.
Perhaps, We have years of experience with footballs, spoons and
eggs. So fitting your astigmatism with contact lenses should be a
piece of cake. As above, this message lets prospective patients know
that you intimately understand their unique circumstances. Once
again it sets your practice apart from the do-it-all marketing that
is common and not credible to patients. The benefit of this
continuing theme is that the previous ads add credibility to the
successive ones. While they deal with two different modalities, if
run repetitively the prospect now starts to put the pieces of your
works best when you view it as story telling. A story can be one
paragraph or can happen over volumes of books or movie sequels.
Regardless of the length, it's one story. Star Wars isn't about the
Wild West and The Godfather doesn't have Disney characters. One
common element is thread through all of the movies. You can run a
series of ads, letters, phone messages or e-mails that tell a
similar common story. And if you really do fit nearly every type of
lens, you can change the lenses and the supporting characters in
each chapter or successive communication.
way, a relatively small niche, like a contact lens practice, can be
un-niched and unleashed to blossom into a productive and sustainable