Team Work Makes the Veterinary Marketing Dream Work
By Brandi Dupre, Director of Operations
By definition, to market something is to get people interested in it. If you think about it that way, it becomes apparent that, while the marketing team may handle the most obvious day to day marketing, everyone who plays a role in your customer’s journey also plays a role in marketing - even if their role isn’t so obvious. By encouraging your team’s participation in marketing, you will be able to leverage your entire team’s strengths and existing client relationships to improve your clients’ experience and relationship with your practice.
The Benefits of Team Involvement
Your clients choose you because your team has collectively cultivated great experiences and trusting relationships with them. Each and every time your team builds upon that connection, there is an opportunity to use that experience to nurture relationships with your other clients and prospective clients.
As a practice owner or marketer, you are surely aware that those moments are happening but you can’t always be there to capture them all. Even if you were, each member of your team has their own unique perspective and contribution to client and patient relationships. By more deliberately involving your team in marketing, you will empower them, help them understand your business goals, and identify opportunities to participate in achieving those goals.
Every marketer knows that content is the lifeblood of marketing. There are many different types of content, including videos, photos, and articles, all of which play an important role in your customer journey and should be optimized for the various digital platforms where they are shared. Having your team involved in content creation will help you keep up with the ever-growing demands of how much content is needed to maintain a consistent presence.
Your clients have built relationships with your practice because of the people who work there. People like to connect with real people - and the digital space is no different. The more often your clients can associate a piece of content with a real name, especially a name they know, the more those bonds will solidify.
Brand consistency is important, but being consistent doesn’t mean that you can’t also have diversity in your content. In fact, to the point above about relationships being paramount, your clients will appreciate the unique perspectives of your team.
The opportunity for development is consistently ranked as a top factor in employee engagement. When your team is invited to participate in marketing efforts, they will deepen their knowledge in subjects they are interested in, hone their current skills, and also potentially tap into new interests and strengths.
Options for Contributions
Marketing isn't just one thing. Rather than suggest or ask for help with "marketing" as a whole, think about individual tasks where different members of your staff can shine.
They may be veterinarians, receptionists, technicians, assistants, kennel attendants, or practice managers in their "day jobs," but they may have talents and interests that make them perfect for:
- Photos & Video - Anyone who has an interest in photography can participate in taking photos and short videos of procedures, patients, staff, and general “behind the scenes” moments that your clients will gobble up. A common hesitation we hear is that no one on the team is a professional photographer. Assure your team that they need not be a professional. In fact, many studies have proven that candid, imperfect media garners more trust and engagement than produced media.
- Blogs & Interviews - Everyone on your team has unique interests and passions. Find out what those are and if they would be willing to write an article or do an informal video interview. Keep in mind that, while your team are experts in their roles, they may have reservations about making their content into something “marketable.” Sometimes offering prompts and guidelines can help to frame their thoughts into something that works as marketing material.
- Social Media - Even if you already have a good handle on your social media, you may have someone within the practice who can complement what you’re already doing. With the most popular social platforms ever-evolving, there are always fun new ways to engage with your online communities.
- Website Updates - Your website is a significant piece of your digital marketing and there are a variety of things that require ongoing oversight. If you have a team member that is experienced with or interested in managing websites or blogs, they could contribute to posting and editing website content such as blogs, service pages, and media.
- Events - Local events are a huge opportunity for your practice to build location relationships, yet they are often far underutilized because of the planning and logistics. Try building a small committee of a few team members who can work on things they enjoy or have experience in.
Plenty of other opportunities exist for your team to get involved. Always be on the lookout for ways that you can match up gaps in your current strategy with your team’s strengths.
Who Should Participate?
In our experience, most people only shy away from marketing because they haven’t found a way to participate that taps into their natural strengths and motivations.
Virtually everyone on your team can contribute, and most people will likely be more open to it once they’ve had some time to get comfortable with the idea and figure out where they are most useful. Be wary of mandates though. They may work for getting the job done in the short-term, but they are not a sustainable means for inspiring your team to do their best work. Instead, try asking around to find out what motivates the individuals on your team and how their personal goals may intersect with opportunities to contribute.
Tips for Involving Your Team
Build it into the Culture
Marketing must be ingrained in your practice’s culture, as great marketing can’t be done in isolation by a single person or department. Not everyone on the team needs to be a marketing expert, but everyone should have an awareness of what is happening, how they can contribute, and how their contributions are making a difference. We suggest dedicating some time to discussing marketing during your staff meetings to review goals, track progress, and celebrate even the smallest of victories.
Encourage Progress over Perfection
Give people the space for mistakes and time for growing their skills. Some of your team may jump right in and surprise you by their effortless abilities. Others may require a little coaching and time to hone their skills. Assume that not all content will be usable, but the more people you have contributing, the more usable content you’ll have.
Keep it Collaborative
Everyone craves autonomy and it is especially important during times of change or when giving someone new responsibilities. Encourage your team to provide continuous feedback on how things are working for them and what opportunities there may be for making improvements or adjustments. The more you involve your team in making decisions, especially ones that impact them personally, the more likely they are to be excited about them.
It can also help to collaborate with some marketing experts outside of your practice. Curious about what GeniusVets can help you accomplish for your independent veterinary practice? Just reach out - we’re happy to explore how we can team up!