By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
It’s one of the oldest tools in advertising in America. The various forms of a coupon and coupon offers are well-established and often-used tools in chiropractic marketing and other healthcare products and services. Over time, they’ve moved from print ads and free standing inserts to also include distribution via email and taking a bit of real estate on the practice website.
Generally, a good coupon—with a compelling offer—has been effective in chiropractic practices, as well as for vision care, optometrists, wellness centers, and other healthcare marketing including hospital programs and events.
While most of those marketing approaches are still viable (when they’re done right), the more recent iteration is as a digital coupon—a format that some research tells us is increasingly popular in the retail sector. One report has it that digital coupons grew 60 percent (overall) during the first nine months of 2010, although the health care portion was down over the prior year.
Now we’re finding that some doctors are experimenting with social media—where the digital coupon and healthcare offers are targeted to individuals using social websites such as Groupon, Foursquare, Scoutmob, and LivingSocial. Each of these online social connections have their own way of working, but they all provide some form of coupon-like offer.
As an illustration, Groupon—one of the better know names since it’s been around for a couple years—is a subscription-based system. Daily emails alert subscribers to special offers available in the users area.
About 15 percent of the Groupon deals nationwide are for health care services, a company spokesperson said. “In the past year,” according to a published item last week, “Groupon has offered a growing number of deals for eye exams, teeth-cleaning and whitening, electrolysis and chiropractic services.”
The coupon, now in a digital and social format, has adapted with media changes. It’s an old concept that’s proven effective over the years. For chiropractic marketing and advertising, what’s old is now new again.