What is return on investment on marketing? Although this seems like a simple question with an expected simple answer. The question itself is a erroneous. For example, if the ROI of marketing is 0% would you stop marketing, halt patient communication, shut down the website, and remove the signage from the front door? No, because not everything has a direct return on investment. The issue also lies with the definition of marketing and how it is being used.
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as follows: “marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large” (American Marketing Association, 2017).
How do I measure my return on investment?
The best way to measure the return on investment on marketing is to break down what you are measuring. Let’s take two distinct examples: Store signage and Google Search Ads.
The store signage is a must have. It has multiple purposes: to get the attention of the visitors in the area and for the patients to know where the clinic is located. How do you measure the ease of wayfinding for patients to a dollar value? For example, if you had no signage and it takes the patients 10 minutes to find you, what is the cost of the 10 minutes of inconvenience? Does the poor experience lead to the patient not visiting the clinic again or they are simply dissatisfied but will return? That is incredibly hard to measure with no cost or reward benefit attached. However, improving ease of access and wayfinding so that patients know where to go and be at all times improves the patient experience. It leads to less decision making on their part, fewer questions, and helps them feel part of the space that they are in. Furthermore, an increase in patient experience leads to more appointments, increases patient’s willingness to try different services, increases the willingness to provide referrals, and the willingness to submit Google reviews. So, what is your ROI from signage? Even if you were to compute it, it wouldn’t change the action or behavior. It is not relevant. In summary: the answer is that items with multiple purposes are best left unmeasured. Items that fall in “need to have” and “important to have” often don’t have a valuable dollar value return that can be meaningfully used.
What if your clinic had to make a decision on a $10,000 exterior sign or a $5,000 exterior sign? Which investment will yield a better ROI? The decision-making criterion for this problem requires a cost/benefit analysis or a pro/con analysis. But at the end of the day, the $10,000 exterior sign will not be the reason patients choose to stay with the clinic.
In summary, marketing it too general a term to associate an ROI with. The key is to be specific.
Google Search Ads
Google Search Ads are easier to measure and calculate ROI on. Google Search ads have 2 costs associated with them. The development cost and the cost per click. If the development cost per month is $800, the cost per click is $5.00, and your ad gets 200 clicks in a month that led to 30 new patients that month then the return on investment is simply:
Investment per month: ($800 + (200x $5.00)) = $1,800
Revenue: (30 x ($100 new patient assessment price) = $3,000
Customer acquisition cost: $60
However, an average patient comes in for more treatments per year then simply the first appointment. If on average a patient at your clinic comes in for 5 appointments. Then your ROI will be much different. See an example below:
Investment per month: ($800 + (200x $5.00)) = $1,800
Revenue: (30 x ($500 Customer Yearly Revenue Value) = $15,000
Measure marketing campaigns
As illustrated above, marketing campaigns, especially digital campaigns are much easier to measure, influence, and adjust. They are simple to calculate ROI on and advertising spent can be adjusted to the dollar.
However, print campaigns such as direct mail and neighborhood mail are also measurable. They just require the right metrics and measurement tools built into them at the time of execution.
Campaigns that assist and support
Certain campaigns are meant to build the brand over the long term and often don’t have an immediate ROI or return. For example, display advertising and YouTube Advertising may assist traffic to the website or the lead generation page, but they don’t directly lead to a sale because the individuals may not have a need at that time. However, those are measurable and trackable.
Broad based advertising has a return in the future. Marketing campaigns that build a brand, for example, community sponsorships, social media followers and review numbers all add to the brand’s value in the future.
Website ROI in healthcare
Websites also are multipurpose. They are there for the following purposes:
1. Contact Information
2. Listing of practitioners and services
3. List of insurance companies covered
4. Brochure of offerings
5. Online Booking
6. Form downloads and critical notices
7. General communication
8. And lead conversion.
Each website has a conversion metric which measures the conversion rate of the website. For example, if 1,000 new visitors came to the website, this looks at how many of them booked an appointment online, filled out a contact form online or called to book an appointment.
Therefore, it is valid and relevant to measure the ROI of the website based on the conversion rate of the website. However, it is not the a direct measurement as the website has multiple purposes for which there is no ROI as per above. For example, what is the ROI for having the list of insurance companies covered?
How much should I invest into a website for best results?
It depends on the function and related marketing requirements that determine how much to invest into the website. If you are located in a small town of 50,000 individuals perhaps a smaller investment will be adequate. However, if you are working to sell products online, provide virtual programs, courses and market outside of your town then a bigger investment will be more fruitful in the long-run.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
Our recommendations are based on research, experience, and your unique needs. As a result, we are poised to only make adequate recommendations that will best achieve your goals. We are in it for the long-run and are fiscally conservative in our recommendations.
Clarity and transparency
We understand the layers that make marketing effective. The target audience, the brand, the media, and the messaging. We take this knowledge and create monthly deliverables to execute for your clinic. We also update you and consistently uphold our communication so you know exactly what we completed, what we will do next month, and the results associated with all of them. For example, if our goal were to complete 15 social media posts, two email campaigns, and one Google My Business Post you’ll see that those were completed in our monthly detailed reporting that we provide on each item executed.
Security & standards
At Panel, we use password locks and database vaults for your security. We do not execute any campaigns or communication without your written approval and we have several internal quality checks to ensure that when we communicate, we are representing your brand at the highest standards. Additionally, we are versed in the CASL law and the Canadian governing associations, both provincially and federally, for health. Furthermore, we adhere to the laws set by Advertising Standards of Canada
Quality over quantity
At Panel we don’t work with every clinic. Instead, we work with a select group to ensure they are successful. We ensure quality through the experience and acumen of our team. We also maintain a high standard of deliverables with our quality checks and process. Consequentially, if you are successful in the long run, then we will be too. Find out more about our commitment to quality on the About Us page
A process that works
We believe that process is the foundation to success. Our process includes rigorous planning, insightful research, and strategic execution. We work with you as little or as much as you want, either way, we promise to never leave you out of the conversation. To learn more about our process head to the About Us page.
A team that cares
We are a team of passionate and research-driven healthcare marketers with the collective ambition to strengthen your clinic’s marketing. We are also healthcare patients that have experienced the time and effort healthcare professionals place into their patient’s wellbeing. At Panel, we aim to extend your clinic’s marketing the same amount of care. Our team is comprised of experts who understand the multi-faceted and fast-paced world of healthcare marketing which is why we have been able to help clinics across Canada grow their patient base and market share.