Houston Marketing Council Makes Key Changes for 2013

Doctors of the Houston Marketing Council,

I felt compelled to write in light of some key changes that are going to occur with our 2013 HMC Advertising Budget. I first want to say that all members of the Houston Marketing Council Executive Committee strive to make sure your marketing dollars are put to good use in order to keep the TSO brand relevant in a sea of advertising noise.

I receive a daily blog from Seth Godin and a short blog hit the mark. Let me give it to you as it was written: “The goal of marketing interaction isn’t to close the sale, any more than the goal of a first date is to get married. No the opportunity is to move forward, to earn attention and trust and curiosity and conversation,” Seth Godin. With that being said, we cannot expect any of our marketing to close the sale and put patients in your exam chair. We just want people to be curious and get their attention when they think about anything they need for their vision.

The last HMC Executive Committee meeting focused on where to spend our money in 2013. We have repeatedly heard the comments that many do not support the RodeoHouston™ and Astros campaigns. Keep in mind that the decisions to support these campaigns were made with the marketing research that both organizations aligned with our caring message and our desire to give back to the community. We can argue pros and cons, but in reality if you and your office are not engaged in the effort, the results are fair at best. We have seen many of your staff very enthusiastic about the incentives HMC has offered to help change selling habits. Even though these too have their pros and cons, we have seen significant changes in staff attitudes in selling products that increase production and/or decrease your cost of goods.

So after lengthy discussion, it was decided that we shift the majority of our budget to increase our brand message through the use of billboards and increase awareness throughout the greater Houston area. This change will increase exposure for the TSO brand by five times with only a two times increase in dollars spent.

In addition, we will continue to fund staff incentive programs to reinforce and change selling habits, which will improve all of our bottom lines. And don’t forget that we also have money set aside in the yearly budget for you to use for programs that can help you promote your office in your local market area. If you want details or need some help as to what others in the system are doing, contact Rod Windham or John Marvin for advice. I hope you have a successful and prosperous 2013.

Keep in touch,

Roland Montemayor, O.D.