I was at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Chicago in February and was talking with one of my fans and he said he liked the column I wrote about the bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ in the Sept. 15, 2009 issue of O&P Business News.
What he liked best of all was the way I had related Todd’s – the bed and breakfast owner’s – use of marketing to O&P. Then I said what I say all the time. “Marketing is marketing.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a bed and breakfast or a dry cleaner or … a church. The same tools are available to all of us. How we use them is what sets us apart.
Create and communicate
The Center for Church Communication, “a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the church matter,” operates a blog all about motivating the church to market more effectively.
According to the American Marketing Association, by its definition, “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.”
If you are not creating, communicating and delivering that value to your customers, your marketing is ineffective.
If your marketing is ineffective, it will have a direct impact on your business. How can it not? If you are not creating, communicating and delivering value and managing relationships in ways that benefit your organization, it will have a negative impact on your bottom line and future of your business.
There are some important things that business owners can take for granted so I want to dispel a few myths for you:
- Just because you are in business, does not mean people should conduct business with you;
- Just because you have been around for a long time, does not mean people should conduct business with you;
- Just because your way is better than everyone else’s way, does not mean people should conduct business with you; and
- Just because you think you have a great referral source, does not mean people should do business with you.
You need to communicate the reason people should conduct business with you. Do not rely on others to spread the good word or on your years of service and a positive reputation to act like a magnet to potential clients.
The Center for Church Communication knows that being “in business” does not entitle you to business. You’ve got to work for it – and by work for it I mean create, communicate and deliver a valuable message and equally valuable service.
O&P businesses are in competition with other O&P businesses. They are selling O&P devices and services. Whichever business – whether a church or O&P company – is able to differentiate themselves by choosing and utilizing the appropriate marketing message and tactics, will be the one to thrive.
For more information:
- Mansfield, E. Get personal. O&P Business News. 2009; 18(18):46-47.