“Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.”
It’s a truism that’s quipped by business people around the world and a favorite motto here at the Scheduling Institute… But how exactly does it apply to your marketing?
Every day, fliers and postcards pour into your mailbox. They’re screaming their messages at you—“Eat our food!” “Shop here!” “Buy me!” If you’re like most of us, these pieces are instantly labeled as spam and chucked into the trash.
But what if we told you that you are throwing away one of your most valuable—and FREE—marketing resources?
Think about it this way. Each large company—let’s say McDonalds— that regularly send ads to your mailbox has a fulltime marketing director. We 100% guarantee it. That means that these ads were created by highly skilled and creative individuals whose pay (probably) depends upon their success! Each ad that you toss into the trash is, in essence, a marketing gold mine—chock full of crucial marketing basics and psychological “pushes”. These big companies have been testing and tweaking their advertisements to find out what works for ages—which means you don’t have to do all the work! It’s already been done for you!
Imagine that you had hired a “marketing research assistant” to find all of the BEST marketing tactics available, and they just put a huge pile of information and samples on your desk. You wouldn’t throw it all in the garbage… Would you?!?
“Don’t reinvent the wheel.”
Instead of tossing your junk mail, start a collection of all of your favorite pieces to use for inspiration. We like to call this a “swipe file” because you are “swiping” whatever happens to strike your fancy. Even the most creative marketers in the world use other marketers’ pieces for inspiration, and often it’s a good place to start when you’re looking at a blank page! You can keep your marketing swipes in a binder, a folder, or on a giant bulletin board, like we do at the Scheduling Institute Headquarters.
This massive collection of ads is constantly growing and evolving… Just like the market! Remember, a swiped ad that is valuable this year might be much less relevant next year (–although the basic elements of a good piece remain the same!) That’s why you have to keep up with the ever-shifting trends and interests of the consumer—in your case, a potential patient.
So the next time you open up your mailbox or your email inbox, instead of heaving a sigh at the number of ads, whisper a quick “thank you” to the corporations that are spending their money to send YOU free marketing inspiration! 😉
Scheduling Institute Marketing Team