Emotions are powerful marketers

January 1, 2012

Emotions play a key role in successfully marketing your practice.

Key Points

Franklin Lakes, NJ-Emotions play a key role in successfully marketing your practice, according to Gary Gerber, OD, founder and president, The Power Practice, Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Many optometrists know that it's better to sell the benefits of the product- what it will do for the patient-rather than the features of the product itself. To take that concept to the next level, Dr. Gerber advised targeting your marketing to appeal to patients' emotions.

Dr. Gerber's advice may evoke a little bit of the television drama "Mad Men," which takes place at an ad agency in the 1960s.

As an example of marketing to emotions, he pointed out that, for many years, ads for LASIK correction successfully capitalized on emotional appeals. "The ads didn't talk about vision correction. They showed people rock climbing and white water rafting," Dr. Gerber said. "We need to sell the lifestyle that our products can provide."

When a mother brings in a teenager who would like to switch from glasses to contact lenses, the appeal is to the mother.

"We tell the mother how contact lenses can help bring shy kids out of their shells, make them more outgoing and confident," Dr. Gerber said. "What mother doesn't want her child to reach his or her full potential? We're selling something that's well above and beyond contact lenses and vision. We're selling a life-changing event."

Dr. Gerber said the ability to sell emotional appeals stems from having a good positioning statement, a good definition of your services, and a clear idea of how your practice is different from others in your area.

"Many optometric practices direct their marketing and advertising inward," he said.

"They talk about their doctors, their years of experience, the brands they carry, and so on. They fail to identify their 'unique selling proposition,' and convey that to patients. You don't have to give patients a reason to visit an optometrist, you have to give them a reason to visit you."