2023 is a pivotal year for Audiology Marketers, Practice Owners, and Hearing Clinics around the country. As you all know, the Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2022 has created more unique challenges & competition for your business. The media didn’t really do you many favors with headlines like “Finally, Hearing Aids Are Affordable and Easier to Get”
…or the actual press release from the Whitehouse titled “Cheaper Hearing Aids Now in Stores Thanks to Biden-Harris Administration Competition Agenda.” This has put many private practice owners and audiology professionals that heavily rely on prescription hearing aid sales in a very challenging position.
In addition, the steady rise in inflation over the last 18 months is making this narrative even trickier. The rising costs for everyday necessities makes the idea of purchasing a high-ticket item, like hearing aids, even more daunting to someone experiencing hearing challenges. So, it’s not too surprising that many people are procrastinating booking an appointment with a professional to get a hearing evaluation. Or maybe they’ll just purchase the one-size-fits-all $800 over-the-counter option that popped up on Google Shopping Ads, and they don’t even need to leave their couch!
With these external factors in mind, how should you approach your marketing and advertising to help your practice overcome these challenges and keep your appointment book full?
In this economic climate, it is very easy to say “let’s pause our advertising or slash our marketing budget to save some money when incoming revenue is down.” Marketing always seems like the first budget to get cut when times are tough. I would argue that this is actually the BEST time to be advertising your business. There is an old adage that says “When times are good, you SHOULD advertise. When times are bad, you MUST advertise.”
There are multiple reasons to continue advertising during an economic downturn:
- When your practice stops advertising, you’ll lose the traction, top-of-mind awareness, and brand recall that you have worked so hard to establish over the previous years. As a result, you’ll likely see a decrease in market share as well. In addition, the recovery will require a lot more time and money than you think.
- Your ads will be more impactful. This is an opportunity to cut through the clutter and stand out more easily while others in your industry are pumping the brakes on their ad spends.
- You portray the image of stability and credibility with your target audience. Your patients and future patients will notice. You’re staying in front of them and positioning your brand as a financially viable business in the community.
- A massive opportunity to gain market share. While you keep your foot on the gas, many of your competitors will cut their marketing. This gives you the chance to capture more market share and position your clinic as one of the leaders in your marketplace. Ultimately, this sets your business up for long term success!
With all that being said, this is not the time to recklessly spend your marketing budget, and throw stuff on the wall to see what sticks. However, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate your existing marketing plan. Here are some helpful tips:
- Dig deep into your analytics.
- Revisit your marketing channels.
- Cut out the waste, and feed into what’s performing the best.
- Develop your patient persona(s) to fine tune your targeting & messaging.
- Diversify your messaging to match where your audience is in your sales funnel.
- Give your creative an overhaul and fresh look. Stand out from your competitors and please scrap the generic stock images of elderly people walking on the beach. 😁
- Be mindful of who you are talking to and the economic climate.
- A/B test everything.
- Be extra strategic.
I hope that you found this information valuable and thought-provoking!
For Questions, Inquiries, or Complimentary Audiology Marketing Strategy Consultations please contact:
Healthcare Marketing Specialist
Phone: (248) 217-1864