Is the veterinary industry recession-proof?
Our Founder and CEO gave his perspective in a recent LinkedIn thread that posed this question.
Of course, no one can predict the future, as Barbara mentioned; however, in my opinion, the #veterinary industry will have to embrace modern technology solutions for #vetmed practices to maintain or exceed the profitability levels enjoyed before the pandemic. Yes, staff salaries are up, and staffing is in short supply resulting in highly stressed operations. This is the new norm, and we’re not going back anytime soon, or maybe never at all.
This is where technology investments can make a difference for the veterinary owner-operator.
Small private practices CAN COMPETE and THRIVE against the bigger corporations and conglomerates, but they will need to find partners who can guide them through this journey and stop thinking they can do it on their own or with their current office staff. Investments in the following are critical for the independent veterinary practices to win in the coming years:
– Revamping their website to be more than an online brochure by introducing self-service tools for the modern consumer that continues to be dumbfounded by this industry’s lack of digital know-how. For years the modern consumer has been using SMS Text messaging, live chats, and completing online forms from their mobile devices versus static outdated online PDFs. The modern consumer is very comfortable making online appointments through mobile responsive websites. Yet the veterinary industry has fallen behind, and operator owners are not paying attention to how the modern consumer has changed.
– Reaching current and new customers where they are online through social media and Google Ads. It’s NOT just about posting dog and cat pictures; it’s about geo-targeting local consumers who own a pet (or more) and showing them an Instagram or Facebook (yes, Facebook) advertisement that prompts them to a dedicated campaign landing page for new customers on the animal clinic’s website. The corporates are doing this all day long and slowly nipping at the heels of the small veterinary owner practitioner.
– Email marketing is not dead and should be used to prospect for new business and build loyalty to ensure current customers don’t jump ship to the corporate animal hospitals that ARE leveraging online mobile tools. Drip email campaigns can work 24/7/365 and help to maintain customer relationships on autopilot.
– Managing the animal clinic’s online reputation is vital, yet we continually see missed opportunities to make things right with honest, unemotional business responses to negative customer reviews. Or just as bad, no response at all. Multiple research sources state that 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product. Also, 84% of customers now trust online reviews as much as recommendations from their peers. Clearly, the veterinary industry is missing in action. Staffing issues and veterinary owner practitioners not understanding the power of consumer reviews are the core of these issues.
I could go on and on, and as you can tell, I’m very passionate about helping small, independent veterinary practices clobber the corporates. Yes, even with their deep private equity funding, the corporates are missing many shots on goal, and for the smart veterinarian owner operator, this presents huge opportunities.
About the VET Marketing Agency (VMA)
The VET Marketing Agency (VMA) is a premier provider of digital marketing and social media engagement services to the veterinary animal hospital industry. We offer veterinarians ways to grow their businesses through strategic consultation and a suite of a-la-carte digital marketing services.
VMA services include veterinary custom website design, veterinary search engine optimization, veterinary paid advertising programs, social media marketing, engagement services for animal hospitals, and 24/7 reputation management services for veterinarians.
We are a family-owned business located in New Jersey, and unlike our competitors, we exclusively support the veterinary industry. The VMA is a certified Google Partner and a member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), and also a member of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association (IVPA).