It’s been a long and tedious process, but the Board of Directors has approved the 2% TSO Brand License, effective January 1, 2015. It took a little longer than anticipated but it was for good reason. The Advertising/Marketing Committee worked and volunteered numerous hours through meetings, conference calls and lots of research in making our final recommendation to the Board of Directors. I sincerely want to thank all committee members who worked toward reaching this important decision.
So now the question is what’s next? The way I see it, our work has really just begun. Let’s take a moment to talk about what has passed and how it will change the rules and ways we advertise.
Let’s first talk about how the new 2% brand license is being used. In late 2013, a number of doctors from the network attended a leadership conference and shared ideas about where we needed the most help in our practices. I think it’s no surprise that office staff and training without a doubt are some of our biggest challenges. So the idea was that all offices would pay a brand license that would fund the staff needed to help us better manage our offices and help us to run them more efficiently. We wanted our TSO network to use best practices to develop systems that would separate us from our competition. Many felt that for us to create the best patient experience, we needed staff who were well trained and knowledgeable about product and sales. Ann Deen at one time was our one woman TSO trainer. (To this day, I’m not sure how Ann kept so calm given the task she oversaw.) So the direction that TSO network doctors chose at that meeting was to create an infrastructure to support the level of training needed in all offices. Your contribution of 2% is being used to fund that support staff. In addition, your 2% pays for your TSO web page, all TSO consumer/patient research, and production costs of advertising and marketing to create ads for our system and individual offices. It helps offset the cost of many items in our TSO eStore as well as our Optician Boot Camps. It’s a brand license, not an advertising contribution.
So what about advertising and marketing? Will we and can we still advertise as a group? Do we need to spend 3% or can we spend less? Or more? I’ll tell you what Dr. Jon House said and I paraphrase: