Podcast Transcription from Find Your Voice, Season 1, Episode 5
What’s up tribe? It's Michael Fleming; how in the world are you doing? I am doing amazing. I actually just got back from a long Labor Day weekend. I was up in Victoria, British Columbia for one of my best friend's weddings. I actually got to participate in that a little bit as well, but I think that's going to be in a different blog so I can share that in a little more detail, but it was awesome!
I hope you had an amazing Labor Day weekend as well. I’m such a slacker. Today is Wednesday already, I've already had a full day of work, but am just getting back into the swing of things. Long overdue to create this podcast, but I actually struggled a little bit trying to figure out what topic I was going to talk to you about today because I've got so much to cover with you over these next few days, and over next few months.
I'm not sure if you know, but I wrote a book! So, now my job is to make sure I'm going a little more detail as far as the content in that book. But also sharing like the day to day details as far as what's relevant or what's fresh in today's market as well. Because there's a lot of different groups that we're involved in, whether it's Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups, other industry groups, that are constantly coming out with new content and new topics, and so trying to stay relevant with that as well. So today's topic, I wanted to talk about a high level, we could call it ROI or your return on investment, but digging down a little bit deeper, I really want to title this one, focusing on what matters or measuring what matters.
And where this was born is, we've got quite a few clients that we work with obviously in the dental world that do a lot of marketing with us. And there's not a ton of variation in the mix of media that these clients are doing, for example. But on the back end when they're measuring the return on investment, I'm shocked at how many different variations there are of how they're measuring or what they're measuring and when they're measuring that. So, go into a little more detail about this because the core of what we want to make sure that you as the practice manager or practice owner, I need to make sure that you understand that the foundation is your website, and obviously that kind of encompasses the digital aspects. So whether that's your search engine optimization, your Google My Business, your local search, that can all kind of fall under your website.
And obviously if someone's in the trade, they would disagree with that because it gets deep pretty quick. And I acknowledge that, but I see the digital presence, or your website presence versus your more traditional media of say, direct mail. Obviously, if you have done any work with Innovate Dental Marketing in the past or are familiar with us, we do a ton of direct mail because we really appreciate the kinesthetic approach and how much it actually compliments your digital presence as well. And so the approach that we have is the kinesthetic touch or that direct response marketing from your direct mail, for example, is really trying to capture a consumer en-route during their day to day life during their mail sort, They're touching it even if they're recycling. That's, that's kind of the joke is even if they recycle your piece, they're still interacting with it as opposed to your digital approach is a little more proactive and less reactive where it's kind of replaced the Yellow Pages, for example.
So rewind 15 years, looking at what a mainstay Yellow Pages used to have in the dental marketing world. When we first started this business 14 years ago, I would say 100% of our clients that we were working with had some type of Yellow Page presence. So whether that was just a smaller ad or we had some clients that were spending $12,000 a month for full page ads in the Yellow Pages. And this was in Portland, Oregon, so definitely a second-tier secondary market. I can only imagine what those same size ads would be in a New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston market. If they were paying $12,000 in Portland, I might bet that they could be charging double that in New York City. But anyway, fast forward to today. The Yellow Pages, what that represented at that time was access to information.
And so back in the day, when we didn't have the internet or it wasn't as profound or as easy to access as it is today, the Yellow Pages was super relevant because when you were looking for access to information, so for example, “ouch, I've got a tooth that hurts”, I can pick up the Yellow Pages and find myself a dentist. As the consumer, I can find a resource that could help me fix that problem. Fast forward to today, again with that access to quick and easy information, so whether it's my mobile device, my desktop, my laptop, my iPad, if I have a tooth that's hurting, I can now jump online. And so that's kind of the logic that we use, that the online presence has really taken over what the Yellow Pages used to be.
And so as a consumer, when I'm searching information, I am more likely to go and seek that online as opposed to the kinesthetic approach or the direct response approach where I'm just having to flip through and as I'm going through “bill, bill, check, oh, here's a direct response postcard for dentistry.” And it might just hit a consumer at that point where it's like, “oh my gosh, I haven't been to the dentist in six months” or, I'm new to the area and I haven't got a dentist yet. Or “oh my gosh, you know, Ricky and Jamie haven't been to the dentist in nine months and I'm due”. And it creates that trigger of like, this is my reminder that I need to take action and take action now until they pick up the phone. And again, that's why they call it direct response media, Is that it's meant to capture a consumer when they're not expecting that information. Yet It's relevant information because again, that's the sweet irony of what we're providing here, is that 100% of the population needs our services, or your services as the dentist, but 0% of them want you. I cover that quite a bit like, I beat that dead horse in the book quite a bit. And that's really the difference of what we're doing here is we're not marketing anything that someone wants, but we are marketing something that everybody needs.
So we have to be able to put it in chunks in various spots
so that when that consumer is ready to consume that data, it's accessible. And
that's why we're really big proponents of having mixed media as opposed to just
an online presence, or just a direct mail presence, or just an out-of-home
presence, or just a referral based presence. You know, you know what I'm
saying? It's gotta be a little bit of all of that so that we can really open
our net as wide as possible so that we can craft our message around how that
consumer wants to consume it. And so it's more pleasurable to them cause
they're choosing to consume it their
way. Not our way.
Back to what we're talking about, that ROI, that return on
investment measurement. There's so many different ways to market. There's so
many different media in which to market that message. How we come back and close
the loop and measure whether or not that message was effective, is measuring
our return on investment or ROI. And back to the beginning of my story, there
are so many different ways to measure ROI. So many of those metrics are trivial
or at least in my opinion, trivial. And I'll go into a little more detail on
that because at the end of the day, what we're trying to do is generate one
thing and one thing only. As a business owner righ? Now, obviously we're trying
to generate happy patients. We're trying to generate healthy smiles, we're
trying to generate healthy lifestyles for our consumers, but at the end of the
day, for us to be able to do that, we need to generate one thing at the end of
that transaction, and what that one thing is, is cash.
And so the reason I say that, is that everything we do is
revolved around cash. So when I come to you as a marketer, so for example, if
you were to hire, Innovate Dental Marketing, my company, to help you with your
dental marketing needs, the exchange of value in that transaction would be
cash. You know, if you were to do 5,000 postcards to your closest residents
within that area, the exchange of value would be the $2,200 or whatever that
is, depending on the size of the card that you're doing. But the exchange value
would be cash. And then what would happen is, from those 5,000 pieces, you're
going to get 20 new patients, and the exchange of value from that is cash
because you're going to have that first hygiene appointment, and there's going
to be an exchange of cash at that point. There might be some smaller procedures,
or some x-rays or a deeper clean, or whatever that is. But then from that
hygiene visit, you're going to get a treatment plan,
So from that treatment plan, there's an opportunity for cash. And then we look out a month or we look out three months or we look out six months or 12 months at the end of that cycle. And at the end, what we're looking to measure is the amount of cash generated from that patient, and so the reason we keep that focused on cash is because it gives us a good idea of dollars in versus dollars out. And so that's kind of planting the seed for how we proposed measurement and I'll tell you the life cycle of how we have learned that.
Because a lot of people that we work with are either, well, a lot of people that we work with aren't even measuring it all. And that obviously is a problem or an area of opportunity because it's really hard to get an idea as to whether or not your marketing or marketing messages working if you're not measuring the response. And so that is traditionally a situation where if no one is measuring what kind of response that they're getting, regardless of the metrics, and I'm going to introduce some of these other metrics as well, if they're not measuring, there's no benchmark as to how that campaign is doing or how that marketing piece is doing. So that's going to be the first step, is measured something. And we'll kind of go through the various metrics that we can be measuring as well. But start with measuring something and then at that point that helps you have better conversations and it helps you forecast better.
Because if you're mailing out a direct mail piece, for example, and you get 20 calls, you spent $2,000 a or you've got 20 new patients and you spent $2,000 that's going to be a cost per acquisition of ten dollars0 ten dollars0 x 20 patients is going to be $2,000, That's how I got that math right there. And obviously, this is highlights of the book, Dental Marketing: Find Your Voice. If I'm going too fast here or you need to sink your teeth into it a little bit more, pick up a copy of the book. If you've got Kindle Unlimited, it's free. Just go get it for free and jump right to the ROI section. And you can kind of sink your teeth in a little bit deeper on this. But hang there with me. I think I'm going to answer all of your questions by the end of this podcast.
But so that's the cost per acquisition. And other metrics that can be measured could be like a cost per call. If you're looking at digital marketing, you've got that cost per click if it's a paid advertisement, Or you've gotten that acquisition cost. You know, there's so many different metrics that you can be measuring and especially when it starts getting into digital as well. I'll dive into that pool a little bit more as well because that's one of the stories that led me to this podcast, to this episode. We were sitting down with one of our clients that is a mid-size dental service organization. So, think 15 to 20 practices. And we were talking with them about their digital marketing and how are they measuring success and how is it doing?
And because they have one company that's doing their digital piece and they have us, Innovate Dental Marketing, that's handling all of their direct response or direct mail media. And we are very good about asking questions and closing the loop on that ROI. So again, we'll get new patient reports, we'll get call reports, we'll try and close that loop for them to come back with various metrics. So whether that metric is a cost per acquisition, which I had talked about before, if you're getting 20 new patients and had spent $2,000 to get those 20 patients, you were looking at cost per acquisition of ten dollars0per, and again that becomes like a benchmark metric. But what we're also looking at doing is we're looking at measuring the dollars of production that are generated from that. When we started talking with them about the similar measurement of, “this is obviously how we measure our direct response for you, how are you measuring your digital response?”
“You know that company that you work with, how are they doing?” And the client had mentioned that they had measured on conversion rates and so we were like, “wow, that's an interesting metric”. They had said that they are up to an 18% conversion rate, and we're like, “wow that sounds amazing and that's great”. And of course not knowing what their benchmarks had been or having any historicals, 18% sounds like 22% sounds like 14%, it's great. Compared to what though, Is that improvement is it decline, what is it trending? You know, 18% can be awesome if you're trending from 12%, but it could be awful if it used to be at 32%. And so looking at your historicals really helps paint a picture for what really is, to be able to tell whether or not that that's a successful number.
And long story short, when we were talking about this conversion rate, there was two big holes or two big gaps that we discovered was A) there was no tribal knowledge of what used to be. So as to whether or not that was a good number or not, what the client was telling us, well based on what our vendor’s telling us, 18% is a healthy conversion rate, and that's awesome. Okay, so that's great. But what does that mean to you? And what we were trying to do was, you know, so 80% conversion rate is fantastic, but what does that mean for cost per acquisition? Or how much are you paying to get that conversion? Or at the end of the day, how much cash is that generating for your practice? And for all three of those questions, the answers were “well, I'm not sure where we're not measuring that”.
And of course we backed off and we didn't put any pressure on that because these metrics… I definitely don't want to start a scare our clients away from starting to measure. So we want to encourage whatever they're measuring, so it helps us have better, more healthy conversations, more complete conversations so that we can truly work in the direction that our client is looking to work towards. So we kind of backed off a little bit, but I thought that was so interesting because at the end of the day, all of these different metrics and all of these different things that we're measuring, the one thing that we're really, that's most important of all of these metrics is the amount of revenue that's being generated. And so, that might be a little bit of a culture shift for some of you that are listening because I would imagine most of you are not measuring cash right now.
I think there's a lot of other metrics that are being measured and that's honestly why I'm adding this episode of the podcast, because you're not alone. There's a ton of people that are measuring metrics, but none of them, or a very minute amount, are measuring the amount of cash. And the reason for that is that on the front end, they don't have a lot of access to the cash to begin with. And so what I mean by that, and one of the struggles that we have, is oftentimes marketing falls under a budget. Your resources as a marketer fall under a budget, and that budget is created by your finance department and your finance department is definitely different than your marketing department. And in fact, your finance department has a different mindset than the marketing department. It's different behavior styles, it's different goals, and it's different ideals.
And so when you've got that budget being set by the finance
department and you finally get that cash as the marketer, and this analogy also
holds true if you are a single practice owner. You've got your accountant that helps you manage
your books and you know you've got to do marketing, and so that accountant will
help you, give you an industry average of, “let's do 6% on marketing”, or whatever
that is. And then you dole that out and then it's done. You get your 6% for
your marketing or your 3% for your marketing or whatever that metric is, and
then you march to that and then it's done. But unfortunately, what winds up
happening is the marketing goes out and no one's measuring. But “hey, we've done
diligence because we did our 3% or 6%, and we did what we were supposed to do. We
implemented that, let's go home, we're all good”.
But what's not happening is any measurement to see what success is happening. And where I'm going with this is that we've got a machine and this is going to be its own podcast, but we had a recent meeting where we were sitting down with the client, it's a DSL out of the Midwest, I think 25 to 30 locations did a direct mail project with us, they do an amazing job of tracking. So we had access to call counts, we had access to their backend metrics as far as, number of patients that they acquired, they had their transactions broken out by the initial visit, they had it broken out to first month, and then we had access to their total potential treatment plans.
And so long story short, what we found was that for every dollar this client was spending with us within the first month, they were getting $3 back. So instantly just from their first visit, they were not only covering, but they were tripling their money. They were recovering their money plus doubling two times that three dollars for every dollar. So it was this machine that you put one dollar in, you get $3 out, just the first month. After the treatment plans regenerated, there’s another additional $7 that were there on the treatment plan. So that if that person had completed all of their treatment plans, there would have been 10 total dollars generated from the one dollar spent. Does that make sense? I hope I said that right.
So if I, Michael Fleming, went into a dental practice… so I get this direct mail piece, I go in, I go for my initial planning, I give them my money for whatever procedures I have done. But then from the treatment plans, when I execute on all of those treatment plans, I'm giving that dentist, whether that's me or my insurance, ten dollars for the dollar that they spent to acquire me. And so what that means is like if it spent ten dollars0, if it costs ten dollars to acquire me, they're getting 10 times that back, they're getting one dollar,000 back on average. And so we got this story that, that basically we have built this machine that you put a dollar in it, you get ten dollars back. And so that was kind of the story. It's like if I could build a machine that you put one dollar in and you got ten dollars back, would you be interested in that? And what are you going to say? Of course you're going to say yes! But what's funny is here in the real world, a lot of that comes back to where the money's coming from.
And so you've got this marketing piece, this marketing group that has struck gold, but then what happens is they're limited to two future resources because of the resources or the process that they go through to gather more resources, if that makes sense. So what winds up happening is they have the success, we are high fiving, we are freaking out and going, “oh my gosh, this is really an incredible opportunity that we are able to have this machine where you put one dollar in and you get ten dollars out”. But what winds up happening is there's no more resources to put into that machine. So for example, make a car analogy, If we had this opportunity to drive as far as we wanted, or we had this opportunity to take this road trip and we had this opportunity then if you were able to go 25 miles… let’s stretch out a little bit, 40 miles on a gallon of gas. When you got to the end of that 40 miles, you could get another gallon for free. And so this is a crazy analogy, so just hang in there with me.
But basically the analogy would be if you are able to stretch out on, say, a vehicle that would normally get like 32 miles per gallon, but if you could really stretch it out and make it to that 40 miles a gallon whether that was that you have to drive slower, or use less air conditioning, or whatever that is to really eat that out and you got to that 40 mile mark, then you could get another free gallon of gas. You know, that would be a machine that could be self-sustaining. And you're like, “oh my gosh, all of a sudden it's a no brainer”, and all you have to do is make little adjustments to how you normally drive to be able to make it work so that you could continue to have this free gas.
Well, what's happening here is we've got this machine where you've got to put in a dollar and get ten dollars out. The right answer is that if you have this machine… so imagine this as a machine in Las Vegas, like a slot machine for example, and it's like, hey, I found this machine over at the Bellagio. You put a dollar in and you get ten dollars out. How much money would you bring to that machine? As much as you possibly could, I mean, if you were guaranteed ten dollars for every one dollar you put in, how much would you bring the Vegas? How much would you bring to that machine if it was guaranteed that you're going to get that, wouldn't you empty out your bank account? Wouldn't you go borrow money? Wouldn't you find money to go? Wouldn't you scrape up ten dollars, a hundred thousand dollars a million dollars, whatever that is, the most resources you had if you were guaranteed to get ten dollars back? But what's happening here is in the dental world is we get this machine, but the left hand is not talking to the right.
And so you've got the finance department that is controlling the funds over the finance mindset where there's a budget versus the marketing arm that has found a home run, but now they're shackled and don't have the ability to go and get more resources. And so you find this machine that provides you ten dollars for every one dollar back and it's like, “holy smokes, we should be throwing more gas on this fire. We should be cramming this as full as possible to really maximize the number of new patients out of here and really get cash flowing”. But then the restriction is, you get no more resources to be able to throw money into that machine.
And so I think that's very interesting, and you've gotten this bottleneck or this disconnect between accounting and mindset. And I think part of that reason, and again, why I'm encouraging this in this podcast, are trying to change the metrics that are being measured, is that when you're sitting around the boardroom table or you're sitting around your break room table, whatever that is, depending on the scale of your organization, you've got the accounting mindset, you've got the marketing mindset. The marketing mindset at this point right now when they're sitting down, so say it's the larger organization, you've got the CEO, you've got the CFO, you've got the chief marketing officer, the CMO, everyone's sitting around, and the CEO is kind of talking about, you know, vision and what we're doing. And, and you've got the accountant and accounting, the CFO is talking about how to fund that, and then the CMO’s talking about, “here's how I can generate more top line revenue for you guys to manage and for you to fund your, your vision”.
And, but what winds up happening is that CMO starts talking about success and what success looks like is once they start saying, “hey, you know, we preach, we killed it in August, we had an 18% conversion rate on our digital interactions”, and the CFO and the CEO looked at each other and they were like, “oh, that was awesome. What does that mean?” Well, we got an 18% conversion rate. That's up from 17% so what that means is we're going to be getting new patients. And they're like, that's fantastic! But at the end of the day, where the disconnect lies, is what does that mean for cash and cash flow? What does that mean? And so that requires more information or requires more looking. And oftentimes that goes back to, if you want to find out about that, you're probably going back to finance.
And finance is probably too busy because they've already got 100 other reports that they're pulling from their system right now as well. And so it kind of loses momentum, it loses steam. There's a little enthusiasm and there's the nod of like, hey, that's great. The needle’s heading in the right direction, we love that and that's what we want to be seeing. But at the end of the day, how do you budget towards that? As opposed to if we start moving towards a culture where we are measuring the dollars of production upfront, everyone speaks cash. And that's kind of the language that I use with my clients that I use with my employees that I use with everyone that I'm interacting with is that I'm not paying my mortgage in conversion rate. I'm not paying my mortgage and cost per acquisition. I'm not paying my mortgage in any other ROI metric other than cash. At the end of the day when I go to the store, I need cash to buy food, I need cash to pay my mortgage, I need cash to get clothes on my kids' backs. I need cash to pay my car payment.
And so that's where I'm going with this podcast is really to start encouraging you, the marketer, to start speaking a different language because the benefit of that language change, or learning the second language is that it starts you to connect. It creates that opportunity for you to connect with the finance department or the CEO or even your accountant, if it's a one-off practice. It helps you become a little more agile and it helps you keep your finger on the pulse of what the consequences of your action are.
So that when you do stumble upon this opportunity where you find this machine that's generating ten dollars for every one dollar you put in, you have the ability to then go in to your sponsor's office and say, “hey, I'm getting ten dollars back or eight dollars back”, or whatever that metric is, “for every dollar that I'm spending, I have finally found a media that is killing it for me. I need more money.” You're going to be speaking their language and then it creates this opportunity for everyone to be working off the same metric, and everyone's now measuring the same thing. And again, it all comes full circle because what happens is you as the marketing manager, or you as the practice owner, oftentimes is, with increased production or increased. If you're nailing your metrics, that often means a bonus, right? And you're not getting paid your bonus in an increased acquisition percentage, or a cost per acquisition. What you're getting paid is cash.
And so again, your homework from today's podcast is to
really go back and figure out, okay, what metrics or what tools do I have
access to, where I can start measuring cash? And so whether that's, from your
Mac office system, we've gotten this new set of patients that are coming in,
how can I pull financials from what they have done? And start with historicals.
Look at, August for example. I'm recording this in September, so it's September
for us, the beginning of the month, you should have numbers back from August.
Now look at the number of new patients that you acquired in August. And here's
another one, if you're not attracting the number of new patients that you have
and you don't have access to that, that's going to be your first hallmark. How
do we start tracking that?
And then once we find that, how do we start linking revenue to those patients? And so, of the 20 new patients that we gained in August, how much money did they spend on their first visit? Next, how much did they spend in their first month? Total, because again, you've got that full month report. And then finally what we're looking to do is also look at the production number or the treatment plan, the potential production number that is generated from that to see total opportunity. But then as you start to collect this, the other metric that we want to start measuring is the 12 month mark as well to see what was actually collected, because oftentimes what you'll see is if you've got ten dollars of potential production, you might be only landing seven or eight of that.
And that becomes an opportunity for coaching, and talking with your office manager or your hygienists, assistants that are there to be suggesting, “oh, I noticed on your treatment plan that, you know, you need this procedure. Do you have that scheduled yet or would you be interested in scheduling that?”. Or maybe it becomes an opportunity for end of year, end of quarter, if you've got metrics that you're looking to boost where if you get that done by X period of time, we'll give you a 10% cash discount or whatever. That exchange of value is to get them to spend, or to take action on that treatment plan. Does that make sense? And I'm not saying throw everything else out the window because if you've been measuring, cost per acquisition, cost per click, the acquisition, whatever those are, continue to do those because obviously, those metrics have been serving you well up to this point.
And so continue to use those because that is what you've been doing. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water here, but what I want to do is as add a new type of bathwater to this so that the baby's better moisturized, I dunno. But at the end of the day, we're looking to generate cash, we need to be measuring cash. And what you're going to wind up seeing is that once you start measuring cash, you're going to have a better understanding of how much cash it takes to generate that cash, but it also helps you have better conversations with those that control your budget. Because again, your budget comes down to cash. And once you've got that cash aspect to your measurement, you're able to go back and have a higher level conversation. Because I guarantee you when you go in to an accounting mindset person and you tell them, I found a machine that will give us ten dollars for every dollar you put in and it's guaranteed, they're going to be on it faster than you are. In fact, they might try and take credit for it, haha. But does that make sense?
Because it's a number, it's a metric that they're familiar with, it's a metric that they're comfortable with, they are very familiar with that. And at the end of the day, that is what they are tasked to manage for the overall company, is cash. Does that make sense? And so cash flow is king in all of our businesses, regardless of what business that we're in. But obviously with dentistry, cash is king and cash needs to be flowing and there's nothing better that a finance or accounting person wants to hear, is that if I can put out one dollar in resources yet received ten dollars back in benefit, that's incredibly sustainable. And it's incredibly great for cashflow, and that's what they like to hear. And so what you'll start to see is better communication between yourself and that financing aspect, and it creates that opportunity to scale so that you can really start to make progress on what you're trying to do. Which at the end of the day, is trying to get more new patients into chairs, into the hygiene chair so that you can get more treatment plans generated so that we have more production to keep our employees busy. And that's our goal as marketers in a dental world, is to maximize new patients, maximize production, and maximize cash flow. That's what we're trying to do, and we're all on the same page and there's no doubt about that.
But I think the disconnect that I'm seeing is that there's just a lot of people that are trying to generate more cash flow, but they're not measuring it by cash, if that makes sense. Cash becomes the unintended consequence. If they're measuring cost per acquisition, they're like, “yes, my number is up and this is awesome”. And the unintended consequence is more cash, but I have no direct access to that cash and I'm not measuring that as of right now. And I think there needs to be the culture shift, start measuring the cash and you'll have a better understanding of what that return on investment is. So don't replace what you're measuring. Again, like I said, don't throw that baby out with the bath water or whatever you've been doing, continue to do it. Because that will be an interesting metric as well, is you can now see the effect, the cash effect, of what those numbers have met.
And so when I go back to that, that story of the person who was talking about the conversion percentage, this would be a great way for someone who's currently measuring that conversion percentage once they start measuring cash, what does that equal? And I think what you'll start to find, and that's a whole different podcast that I'll talk about in great depth in the future, maybe it'll be tomorrow's, I'm not sure. No, I can tell you with great certainty it's not, I'm already got these mapped out. I've got some great topics, but, a patient does not equal a patient, does not equal a patient. What I mean by that is that when you're generally a new patient from a direct mail or direct response piece, that patient is going to be valued differently than a patient that you picked up off a Facebook display ad, or a Google display ad.
So because it's different demographics, there's different needs. and so, and I'll go into great detail on that, but a patient does not equal the patient does not equal the patient. You know, there's certain patients that are incredibly healthy and the treatment plans generated are going to be minimal because they're still healthy. But then there's other demographics where they're going to have much more of a need and/or much easier access to cash to be able to fulfill that need. And so, we'll go into greater detail on that. But again, once we start attaching cash to the current metrics that you're doing, I think you're gonna start to get what we're looking at from all of this. If we were to boil it down to one word, it would be clarity. We're just looking to seek clarity so that whenever we take action, we have a plan for what that return on investment or what that response is going to be.
For every action, there's a reaction. We want to be able to have a good, clear plan so that every time we take an action, we have a great understanding or a great plan, or great anticipation for what that reaction is going to be, we, I call it the consequence. We all have consequences and a bad thing, there's good consequences as well. Oftentimes, I'm walking down the hall and I smile and that consequence is that someone's going to smile back at me. And so that's an example of a good consequence. But what we're trying to avoid is the unintended consequences. We embarked with high hopes and great expectations and the consequences are sometimes, unintended and unforeseen because we didn't have a complete picture. So this really helps us start to have a better focus and a better idea of what we're looking at doing.
So that's kinda the sum of what I was looking at talking about is change what you're measuring. If you're not measuring anything, start measuring something and if that's going to be coming out of the gate, start measuring cash. But for those of you that are measuring something, I really encourage you to go back and see what metrics you currently have that are already attached to cash. But I have a feeling that the majority of what you're measuring is attached to some other sort of metric that isn't attached to cash. Now, I would encourage you to go back, dig up some new reports, look at those new patient reports, look at the revenue that's generated and start to attach cash. Cause what I think you're going to start seeing is, if you're tracking digital versus direct marketing versus referral for example, just kinda those three buckets, I would even encourage you to dig deep and see what is that return on investment.
You're going to see a different number from the digital, you're going to see a different number from your direct response, and you're going to see a different number from your referral base patients. And I'm not saying one is any better than the other because at the end of the day you need all three. I don't ever want you to think that I'm saying, “hey, you know you need to start doing more direct mail and les digital or you need to start doing more referral and less direct mail”, whatever, you need to do all three. And what I'm trying to get you and your culture, your mindset, if you will, is that once we figure out that magic recipe of the ten to one or the five to one or the fifteen to one whatever that metric is, and we're like, “oh my gosh, this is great”.
That's when we want to have the resources to be able to pour gas on this thing and go as fast, as furious as possible so that we capitalize on this success while it exists. Because everything's ever changing. For those of you that have been advertising on Google Ad Words for example, or Facebook advertising or whatever that is, there's been so many different changes in landscape that it's great for now, but there's no guarantee that it's going to be great two months from now, three months from now, six months from now, a year from now. So we need to really capitalize on the opportunity that sits in front of us right now so that if and when there are any changes, we've already maximized that and we'll be able to be nimble to move on and find that next opportunity. And test and test and test until we find the other opportunity that provides that machine of five dollars back every dollar or ten dollars back for every dollar. And so, that's going to be the big opportunity for us is, is maximize what you've got and then take advantage of that right now.
So I hope that you've enjoyed this. I'm eager for any feedback that you've got on this. I'm really anxious to see how you currently are measuring your return on investment. What metrics are you using? And especially if you're also attaching cash to that, because that's the big thing that I'm looking at right now because I'm always looking to see how other people are doing it as well. Cause I'm big on sharing that tribal knowledge. Nothing that I'm talking about or teaching you is profound, but where the magic lies is the application of that. And so learning how people are implementing that and applying that to their real world practice. That is really where the magic resides and the more stories that we've got and the more tribal knowledge that we are collecting from people like yourself, the more that we can share with each other and really grow this industry together.
So I hope you've enjoyed that, I really look forward to your feedback and I can't wait to see what kind of techniques that you're using. And maybe we get you on the podcast so that you can share this as well. I'm always open for that as well. If you've got some metrics or you've got some key points, some “ah has”, some discoveries that you've got, I would love to have you on this podcast to share some of the metrics that you are using that you found great success with. Because I'm always looking to build and add value for other people as well so that we can collectively grow as a unit.
I hope you're well. I hope you have an amazing day and take
care of yourself. Talk to you tomorrow!