Eyecare Business: Marketing and Strategy. Gary L. Moss, Peter G. Shaw-McMinn. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001. Pages: 336. Price: $45.00. ISBN 0-7506-7238-2.
Mark R. Wright , Professional VisionCare, Inc. , Westerville, Ohio
The new book by Moss and Shaw-McMinn gives business world answers to the questions that should be raised in every practicing doctor’s mind. They translate business principles from the world of MBAs into real-world application for eye care practices.
The title suggests that the book is just about marketing; however, it goes far beyond that topic. The premise of this book is that everything we do in the office from our mission statement to how we price our contact lenses comes under the umbrella of marketing. In this book, even the sale of our practice involves marketing.
Each chapter in this book builds on the preceding chapter as the authors guide the reader through the maze of marketing strategies. The format of the book is to give the reader the background business knowledge needed, then, at the end of each chapter, practical exercises to put what you’ve learned into direct application.
In chapter one, the point is made that “without a marketing strategy, a practice basically is in a commoditylike business, where the only basis for choice is price, resulting in the default strategy of becoming the low-cost provider.” To fix this problem, Moss and Shaw-McMinn help the reader develop a strategy, position the practice, create an image through differentiation, and develop a marketing plan.
Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going in life, you’re liable to wind up someplace else.” Moss and Shaw-McMinn take Yogi’s advice and direct you in writing a practice mission statement, creating practice goals and objectives, as well as showing you how your practice goals reflect your personal and career goals.
Moss and Shaw-McMinn give practical answers to questions such as
- How will the 1/3 of the U.S. population who were born between 1946 and 1964 affect your market opportunities over the next decade?
- In your practice, where can you gain a competitive advantage by having a first-mover opportunity?
- How will your practice be impacted if you focus on the “eyeglass” business rather than the “vision correction” business?
- Do you know the buying preferences of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y?
- What is the desired sequence of actions you must perform to achieve satisfied patients?
- How can service blueprinting be used to detect, prevent, and remediate service encounter weaknesses?
- How much should you budget for promotions?
- How can you create a strong brand identity and practice image to increase patient loyalty?
- What is the proper ratio of full-time employees to provider?
- What percentage should staff wages be of gross collections?
- Where do you go for advice on how to use Internet search engines to find quality information about best practices?
Moss and Shaw-McMinn report that user traffic on the Internet doubles every 4 months, and Internet content grows by 300,000 pages per week. They guide the reader through new electronic marketing technology by dissecting topics such as Internet marketing, e-commerce, development stages of an eye care website, database marketing, things to avoid while using the Internet, and recent advances.
This book brings the science of business into the practical everyday life of the eye care practice. It is a very helpful book that should be on the shelf of every practicing doctor.