With local competition and so many different ways to market an optometrist practice online, it’s no longer the case that you can sit back and wait for clients to come to you. If you’re not on social media, sending regular newsletters, and keeping your online presence looking vibrant and up to the minute, then you’re likely missing out on potential clients. This leaves you with a sizable marketing to-do list on top of everything else you need to do to keep your practice running.
But there is an answer that can not only take a lot of those items off your to-do list, but can even take quite a lot of your marketing tasks off your plate, while still bringing in potential leads.
We’re talking, of course, about marketing automation for optometrists, where marketing software can replace many of the repetitive tasks involved in ensuring your optometry practice has a good flow of potential customers.
But what is marketing automation? How can you use it, and what can it do? We’re going to explore the benefits of marketing automation and show you why it could be the best investment you ever make in your business.
What is marketing automation?
“Marketing automation is a technology that aids businesses in creating stronger consumer engagement campaigns by removing tedious activities and allowing the marketing staff to concentrate on more important factors. In addition to other things, the technology makes it easier to manage lead generation and customer lifecycle marketing.” – from Mordor Intelligence’s Marketing Automation Software Market – Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2023 – 2028) report.
“Early adopters of sales automation consistently report increases in customer-facing time, higher customer satisfaction, efficiency improvements of 10 to 15 percent, and sales uplift potential of up to 10 percent.” – from McKinsey’s Sales Automation: The key to boosting revenue and reducing costs.
Very few businesses can claim to have operated in peak economic conditions over the last few years. The pandemic made things very hard for some businesses, but also contributed to more people moving to buying online and expecting a higher degree of customer experience and customer service, along with personalization.
People now expect more in their online interactions with businesses. They want to be able to get their questions answered quickly, whether they’re calling to speak to someone during opening hours or messaging on social media at 2 a.m. They expect a smooth customer experience and to be able to buy what they want when they want it.
Add in the usual trials and tribulations of running an optometry practice, including managing staff and trying to keep up with ever-changing marketing demands and it’s no wonder some business owners are feeling overwhelmed.
However, from what Mordor Intelligence and McKinsey have to say, it’s clear that businesses that focus on implementing marketing automation are finding things much easier, with higher sales numbers, greater customer satisfaction, and increasing efficiency.
The proof of marketing automation is clearly in the pudding.
Benefits of marketing automation
Just from what we’ve covered in the previous section, it seems certain that there are many benefits to using marketing automation. Below, we’re focusing on just five benefits, but why not take a look at software such as Surefire Local’s marketing platform and see how you can apply what it does to your business? We’re sure you’ll come up with many more benefits of marketing automation for optometrists.
1) Improved efficiency
We’ve talked about some of what marketing automation can do for you. It can help you send and schedule your emails and social posts ahead of time, leaving you the space to plan ahead and to work on other things to move your business forward. Marketing automation can also work for other parts of your marketing too, such as lead generation, producing quality reports, and analyzing your data.
One thing you need to do before you set up marketing automation is to review your processes before you set up any automations. Instead of moving them as they are, take the time to check whether you can improve your processes and make them more efficient. If you can, then adding automation on top should increase your efficiency even more.
Another bonus of introducing marketing automation is that, once it’s set up and running well, you’ve reduced the possibility of human error creeping in.
Finally, if you use the right platform for your marketing, you’ll only have one login to access all the data and perform all the tasks you need. Instead of having to login into and learn multiple different pieces of software, your team can find everything in one place.
2) Enhanced targeting and personalization
With marketing automation, you get highly detailed analysis of your data which gives you a far better understanding of your audience, who they are, and what they want. You can easily see what’s working and what’s not, tailoring your content far better to reach people when you can guide them further through your sales funnel.
With segmentation of your newsletter subscribers, you can also provide more tailored offers. You can send emails about contact lens offers only to people who either already buy them or who have shown an interest in them. You can automate reminders for people who need their regular eye exams. You can send offers only to people who need bifocal lenses. Whatever you want to do and however you want to segment your list, you can reach people in a way that’s much better for you and for them. Providing such tailored and personalized content makes customers feel like you really know them and care about them and they’re far more likely to stick with you than even think about looking at the competition.
Again, this makes your marketing far more targeted and efficient, which can save you a great deal of time. You can then use that time to aim for a better work-life balance or to plan and execute more advanced marketing campaigns and allow your team’s creativity to shine. The point is, it’s up to you. Once you’ve freed up that time, you get to choose what you do with it instead of constantly feeling like you’re playing catch up.
3) Better measurement and analytics
One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is that the software can provide a full overview of your marketing. The software analyzes your data for you and can provide you with the detail you need to see exactly what’s working and what you need to either quit or improve.
You can see data on individual marketing campaigns, check out how your paid ads are performing, see your email statistics, or get an overview of the whole marketing mix. Running reports is a breeze with everything on one platform and everyone that needs it has access to the data to help them make the right decisions based on facts, not guesswork.
With accurate data in hand, you can then continuously improve your marketing, bringing it nearer and nearer to what your potential clients want to hear. Not only do you potentially reduce what you spend because you’re no longer wasting dollars on things that don’t work, but you also provide a far better customer experience too.
4) Greater reach and visibility
With such useful data and analytics available, you’ll easily be able to see where your audience hangs out and what content they prefer to see. You’ll know for certain that you’re posting on the right social platforms and providing the right content in the formats your audience prefers.
The more you do all of that, the more your audience will naturally grow. Word of mouth will increase your audience and, therefore, your reach and visibility. And better use of SEO and highly targeted content that your audience loves will add to this growth.
It’s all about continuing to use the data you have to constantly refine and improve your marketing in every area, including your website, newsletters, paid ads, lead generation, business directories, and more. Every improvement you make in each area of your marketing should have a positive knock-on effect on the whole of your marketing efforts.
5) Improved integration and collaboration
It should be clear how much you can improve your marketing across each platform by using the right software and having the right data. But that’s not the only benefit of marketing automation.
So often, it’s the case that Sales and Marketing treat each other as rivals, rather than part of the same team. Using separate pieces of software that don’t talk to each can add to that feeling of separation and that can hurt any business badly.
What you need is for each department to realize that they’re just different sides of the same coin and to understand each other and work well together. Marketing automation with the right software can help here too. With both Sales and Marketing using the same platform, they both have access to the full picture and can easily see what they both contribute to the marketing whole.
It’s then far easier to get your people to work together and to share ideas that benefit your company and your clients.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Surefire Local’s business intelligence marketing software helps you manage your most important online marketing activities all from one platform. You don’t have to learn multiple pieces of software or switch back and forth between platforms to get the full picture of what’s happening with your marketing. Everything is right there at your fingertips, and the software comes at a fraction of the cost of other tools or agencies.
You can manage your reviews, including requesting, following up, and replying to them, managing your paid ads, creating and automating your email campaigns, post and schedule social media, and so much more with our richly featured online marketing platform.
And when you want reports to give you the full overview of your marketing or a close-up view of just part of it, our software’s got you covered. You can analyze your data to discover exactly what is going well with your marketing and learn what you need to do to continually improve your results.Why not book a demo of our professional marketing software today?