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This Week’s Question:
What’s better: Branding or Direct Response? (Part 3 of 3)
I have been told for years (granted, it was usually by advertising sales people) that I need to brand myself with “name recognition” ads that get my name out there so the community knows I exist. I think it works because my patients often tell me they see me in the magazines or on TV.
Then you and others say I should skip branding and go straight for direct-response marketing; however, I think that could hurt my brand.
So, what’s the answer?
Hello Dr. F,
So the question becomes, do you invest your advertising and marketing budget to increase your “name recognition and branding” or to “get your phone to ring”?
To help answer the question, “Branding vs. Direct Response”, I turned to legendary advertising expert David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather Ad Agency in New York.
Everyone who studies marketing studies Ogilvy, since he was the Father of Advertising and is famous for creating mega brands such as Rolls-Royce, Shell, and Dove:
The advertising guru himself answers the question between general advertising and direct response advertising in this short video below:
Key points he makes:
– You cannot measure results of general advertising but you can with direct response
– General advertising is about creativity, originality, and entertainment but not about results
– “Mr. Branding” himself, David Ogilvy, started his advertising agency empire by mailing letters to prospective clients using direct-response copy!
So, again, what’s better?
How about a hybrid of both? The reality is you want to have a blend of branding to attract your “preferred” patients, so you detract the patients you’re NOT interested in catering to, and use direct response copywriting techniques in your marketing so you can measure your return on investment.
I say investment with purpose. When you invest in promotion, it should pay for itself and then some. Promotion should always be an investment….NOT AN EXPENSE. When you get that, you get the art of promotion AND branding.
So back to the hybrid of promoting your cosmetic practice. Instead of seeing it as either branding or direct response, look at how to make the two work in synergy to attract patients to you.
Use direct response marketing and branding to attract your “preferred” prospective patients to you and then you use Brand Loyalty to keep them returning.
Here is an example of a direct-response piece. It’s a 2-page letter with a compelling headline, lots of benefit-laden copy, testimonials, social proof, compelling offer and expiration date.
Then build Brand Loyalty by keeping in touch throughout the year with heart-felt communications such as these:
Mom’s Day Birthday Holidays
Here is the main point:
It’s not one or the other, but one feeding the other that works best.
Want to Test Your Own “Brand”?
Want to see how your brand holds up with your patients first before you spend tens of thousands of dollars testing it on strangers?
Test your very own Direct Response Marketing Piece that is fully tracked and guaranteed to DOUBLE your investment.
She is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on cash practice building and trains staff to be converting rock stars.