At my Toronto marketing firm, I have gone through the process of honing in a value-driven and sustainable practice strategy for Accountants, Interior Designers, Architects, Engineers, Dentists, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Chiropractors and other Complementary and Alternative Medical practitioners.
I have found that it is not uncommon for professionals to convince themselves that their valued point of difference is either the same as what many of their competitors are claiming and/or not compelling enough to drive action.
Here are a few tips on how to create a value-driven and sustainable professional practice:
- Market research. Market research is key to this process. Small to mid-sized practices often work with the assumption that market research is for large corporations with big marketing budgets. However, there are many cost-effective ways to utilize market research that would help to hone in a value-driven and sustainable strategy. This market research effort should be overseen by a professional marketer who knows how to phrase questions in a manner that will generate truthful replies. It should also extend to a formal review of your competition.
- Introspective strategic planning exercises facilitated by an objective and qualified consultant who brings a fresh perspective and ensures that the process is honest. Strategic planning exercises are an opportunity to take a closer look at core strengths, past successes, challenges, trends in the marketplace, potential obstacles, opportunities and threats (including those that are beyond your control) and uncover the very root of an authentic and valued point of difference.
- Knowing what a value-driven and sustainable strategy is not. A strategy that is too vague, hard to believe, complex or untrue won’t work. Developing an authentic and valued point of difference involves acceptance of an element of risk. If you try to avoid all risk (and many professionals fall into this trap) by claiming that your services help everyone in your market or by communicating a long list of benefits, you will have a hard time convincing anyone that your services are designed to meet their specific needs better than your competitors do.
As you consider how to create a value-driven and sustainable strategy for your practice, it may be helpful to review the following examples that have relevance to the professional health care and building sectors:
Real Estate Industry – value-driven and sustainable strategy example #1:
Pain – People want to sell their house fast without losing money on the deal.
Unique Selling Proposition – “Our 20 Step Marketing System Will Sell Your House In Less Than 45 Days At Full Market Value”
Dental Industry – value-driven and sustainable strategy example #2:
Pain – Many people don’t like to go to the dentist because of the pain and long wait.
Unique Selling Proposition – “We guarantee that you will have a comfortable experience and never have to wait more than 15 minutes” or you will receive a free exam.”
Cold Medicine Industry – value-driven and sustainable strategy example #3:
Pain – You are sick, feel terrible, and can’t sleep.
Unique Selling Proposition – “The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine.” (Nyquil)
Photo credit (top): victor_nuno