Growing a business in a rapidly changing
• Why It Matters
• Whether building a business or just keeping an old one going.
• Marketing 101
• Wrapping your head around the big picture.
• The Creative Conundrum
• How to know what is good when you aren‟t sure you know what is
• New World Media
• From Facebook to Twitter through Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat
and the Web.
A Business Fundamental
What one thing must any
business do to survive?
An All Too Common Mistake
72% of all small businesses fail in their first two years.
Because they have a “Field of Dreams” mentality about
They think, „If You Build It, They Will Come” is an axiom.
The problem is that it isn‟t an axiom. It‟s just an easy way to
go out of business.
Now Wait Just a Doggone Minute!
You May Think…
„I‟m not going to start a
business, I‟m going to work
for someone who is already
in business, so I don‟t need
to know this.‟
You May Want to Rethink…
• We never really know which
direction our career will take us
and the world is changing fast.
• Understanding the key
principles of company growth
and effective use of today‟s
media creates a solid
foundation no matter where
you end up.
• Otherwise.. For God‟s sake, go
• Dr. Farwell, Asked me to come and talk about Websites.
• That‟s a little like me coming to you and saying …
• “Gee, I have this pain running down the side of my leg. Will you fix
my leg for me?”
• You‟re thinking – “Well, I‟m not sure the problem is your leg. It could
be your back, your leg or your brain.”
• So we‟re going to talk about a little more than just
WHY YOU SEE SO MUCH
Because most of the time the sole focus of the
marketing exercise is the creative, and most people
design creative that appeals to them instead of to their
British fashion designer
Harvey Nichols thought
this graphic campaign
illustrated the models‟
excitement in wearing
his new styles.
Marketing Your Business
• Keeping it basic…
• There are four
to marketing your
1. Identify Your
2. Determine Their
3. Create Your
4. Make Your Message
Identify Your Customer
• Any marketing
exercise starts with
one basic step.
• Who are we talking to?
In your business…
• Who is your customer?
• What are the
characteristics of the
customer you want?
• Are you defining a
It‟s actually a harder question than you might think!
NEEDLE SCRATCHING ON
RECORD SOUND ….
It is very important that you take time to write some of
these things down as you go through the process.
Otherwise in critical moments you will forget critical
A Valid Customer
• Is the customer you‟re describing…
• Can you effectively name who they are in a way that is very clear?
• Can you create a “Tommy Bahama?”
• Is there a place where your customer is likely to see your message?
• And just as importantly, where will they NOT see your message?
• Able to pay?
• You‟d think this would be self explanatory but it isn‟t.
• As an important safety tip, it is important to have customers who can pay.
• Do they have an identifiable need for your product or service?
Know Your Customer‟s Need
• You‟re thinking… We‟re physical therapists, their need is
to get better.
• And that‟s partially true, but it isn‟t the whole story.
• The complication is that there are actually a LOT of
The Key is to Stand Out
And this requires a broader understanding of their need.
• “Fix them” by reducing their pain or getting their joints to
work again or better is their primary need.
• Most patients will believe (rightly or wrongly) that most physical
therapists can “fix them.”
• So what is their secondary need?
• Timeliness: “We Get You In And Out On Time.”
• Friendliness: “We have the most understanding therapists in LA”
• Specialty: “ .. You give it a shot …
• Access… “We have the most convenient parking lot to door access
in Los Angeles!”
IN A CROWDED
Standing out may mean that you emphasize
those secondary or even tertiary needs above
“We take care of all of your Medicare billing for you and you will
never see a bill.”
WHAT ADS HAVE YOU
That emphasize the secondary or terciary benefit?
Create Your Message
• Don‟t Get Too Cute!
• If your message is that you are knee experts just say, “We
• Saying, “Are you Kneedy? Do your Knees Kneed a Break? Let
Us Knead Your Knees,” may sound mildly cute (or rather
bizarre), but it it unlikely to hit home to a person with so many
• Make sure you use a voice that your customer will appreciate.
• Is your customer a young professional?
• Then use short sentences and get to the point.
• Is your customer a senior?
• Then use sentences with enough clarity to make your message clear.
Senior CitizenYoung Professional
More Than One Kind of Customer
Ease of Access
Web Based Aids
Prioritize Messaging with Highest Overlap
Uh … Whoops!
A Billboard from
Encinitas California was
Surprisingly, it was
coopted for many other
purposes on twitter and
other social media.
Make Your Message Heard
• Doctor Recommendation
• Two Martini Lunch
• Phone Book
• In Doctor‟s Office
• Recommendation from a
• But probably not the “sit on
your face” one.
• Doctor Recommendation
• One Martini Lunch?
• Google Search
• Keep an eye on your reviews
• Takeaway in Doctor‟s
• Steers patient to site
In the marketing world, creative is a noun.
A GREAT WAY TO KNOW
YOU‟RE OFF TO A GOOD
Does the marketing exercise start by identifying the
customer or debating this sort of odd color of orange?
Jim‟s Approach to Building Creative
• Step One: I hire creative agencies.
• Because I want a broader perspective than I will get from freelance.
• I can do it myself, but any agency will do better work than me.
• My time is worth more than I spend. (on an hourly basis).
• I hire agencies that ask me good questions.
• I don‟t hire agencies that blow smoke.
• Step Two: I give clear direction for finite projects.
• I tell the agency what I want in terms of material, etc., (output) and I
tell them how I will measure success.
• Step Three: I evaluate creative with a methodical
• Because it is too easy to get caught up in “I like this,” “I don‟t like
Jim‟s Creative Evaluation Approach
Does the piece
say what you
want it to say?
Does the piece
message in a
way that makes
the priority clear?
Does the piece
use a visual style
that will appeal
to my customer?
I have to force myself to use this approach every time…
After the Break.
Websites and New Media
Why Social Matters
How to Make the Web Work For You
Leave it to the French.
The ad looks just fine.
Creepy Naked Dude in
Building a Great Website
• A great website is engaging.
• It fights off the tyranny of the back button
• By making sure the primary message comes through immediately.
• A great website requires no operational thought.
• It is easy to navigate
• And easy to find the information you seek
• A great website is “responsive.”
• It displays readily on whatever device someone chooses to use.
• A great website is well constructed.
• It is built to be indexed by search engines.
• Its images are optimized for rapid display.
• Its navigation works equally well on mobile or desktop.
Content Is King
• Search mechanics have
• Google no longer ranks on
Keywords or Metatags
• These components are used to find
content but not to rank results.
• Search ranks on content
relevant to the search.
• What? You didn‟t know this?
• Blogs are extremely powerful.
• Images are powerful, so long as
they are “searchable.”
• A Blog Needn‟t “Blog.”
• Short, easy to read articles
• “Cup-of-Coffee Reads”
• Steps, Interactive Exercises and
• Every post should include key
• Physical Therapy, not PT.
Blog Posts Should be “Shared” on Personal and Business Social Media
Content is words and pictures, not tags or labels.
How Social Works
The average college graduate has 850 “friends.”
The Web Isn‟t Just a Site Anymore
• Any promotional strategy must include applicable social media
• Facebook. Ubiquitous Reach
• People come to Facebook to Socialize
• Twitter. A quick, simple message
• A daily health thought?
• Pinterest. Used more by women than men
• A back exercise Pin board?
• Instagram. Connected to (Owned by) Facebook
• Gives an image of the Doctors‟ and Therapists‟ humanity.
Making the Web Work for You
• All channels are interconnected.
And the most effective strategies use this as an advantage.
The “Other” Side of Social
• Customer reviews have become the bane of many small
• “When I left XXX physical therapy I was in more pain than when I
• The key is to understand that these things are going to
• Monitor.. Have someone check every morning.
• Respond… “please call us as soon as possible.”
• Overwhelm… Get happy customers to write reviews.
• “Write a review, next visit we‟ll waive your copay.”
• You don‟t need to “join” Yelp to manage reviews
• And joining won‟t make you more likely to be seen.
Beware Snakeoil Hucksters
• Small businesses have always been the target of scam
• Fire inspections…
• These days, sadly, the biggest challenges are advertising
• “I can get you on the front page of Google.”
• Use the “mandatory 24 hour cooling off” rule.
• Use common sense.
• If it sounds too good to be true … “________________.”
• It all starts with the message.
• Who‟s the target customer?
• Who are you talking to?
• What is the best thing to say to them?
• What is the best way to say it?
• Remember the rules for a good website.
• The message is clear.
• It works.
• It‟s social.
• Don‟t get lost in the creative.
• You don‟t want to make my “bad ads” examples.
• When you‟re ready, hire an expert.
• Because you don‟t think it‟s a good idea for me to do therapy on me.
It‟s an honor to be here today with you all …
Or at least …. With most of you.