Marketing 101: A walk in the dog park
Opening a new practice takes logistics, business and capital knowledge. It also requires great marketing. Most new practices start out with little or no client base, unless of course the owner has purchased an existing business. In Denver, Colorado, there seems to be a veterinary practice on every block, so the question is: How do I get new clients without spending a fortune on advertising?
I spoke with one veterinary team that had a great idea: They went out and met potential clients at area dog parks. These parks tend to be teeming with local regulars and, more important for those starting a practice, “newbies”—dog owners that have recently moved into the area. Newbies come to dog parks to meet other owners, find out about local restaurants and events and get advice about veterinary services.
The veterinary team I spoke with explained that “Meeting owners and their dogs at these parks gave us a unique opportunity [and]…We were able to form friendships and relationships in a more relaxed environment.” To potential clients, the fact that a veterinarian would take the time and effort to come visit in this manner says a lot about what he or she will be like in a work environment. The team explained, “The total cost was a cup of coffee and an hour at the end of the day.” This seems like a great way to market your practice, reach out in a personal way and meet new clients.
Posted by Thomas Stevens, Manager, Veterinary Outreach on March 28, 2011.
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