Advertisers wasted $5.8 billion last year on digital ads that were viewed by bots and fake accounts. According to the Association of National Advertisers and fraud-detection company White Ops Inc., “Ad-fraud schemes have quickly risen and been much more difficult to measure.”
No kidding. If ad fraud was easy to measure, we advertisers would fix it quickly. But it’s not, and here we are, wasting $5.8 billion (with a B) each year on fake ads. This kind of makes “fake news” seem not all that bad. At least you can see fake news. Fake ads go nowhere, to walls of phones in China, called click farms (see photo below) that visit your site and click your ads but without human accounts attached to them.
Advertising platforms get rich. You get screwed.
This brings me, quickly, to one big, hairy obstacle in your business. Whether it’s marketing, managing your employees, running your clinic, overseeing your retirement accounts, etc.:
can only measure what you can see.
If you don’t understand how the money is made in an investment opportunity (i.e., if you can’t see it) don’t invest. If you can’t oversee your employees taking cash across the counter, then don’t take cash. If you can’t accurately predict and then count how many appointments a certain case type will require for your associates to treat in your clinics, then don’t have associates or don’t treat those cases. If you can’t count the number of people who received your advertising campaign and then measure how many raised their hand and came to your office as a result of your marketing, then don’t do it.
This all sounds simple in theory but, as the $5.8 billion in waste last year illustrate, very difficult in application. You can start by insisting everyone around you count. If your web design firm can’t show you how many unique visitors you had last month, how long they stayed on your site, which ones clicked where and how many of those clicks resulted in webform submissions or phone calls to your business, then fire that firm and call my friends at Jimmy Marketing.
I just did a webinar with Jimmy Nicholas a few weeks ago where you learned how I generated 15 new case starts in two days and 9 of those came from Google. I updated his team this week to show that it wasn’t a fluke, as we just did 10 case starts last Wednesday and six of them were from Google.
Jimmy and his team are the only firm on the planet that help audiologists and hearing specialists control and count what we can see. If we can’t see it and we can’t count it, we don’t do it. We want results we can take to the bank. Everyone else in digital advertising is lying to you and it’s costing the economy billions.
I find it highly enlightening and hilarious that Google had two full-page ads as a centerfold in the main section of the New York Times last weekend. Couldn’t Google just run more Google ads to tell us how great their platform is?
Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle didn’t write an eBook or a blog post or a series of Tweets or Google hangouts to share their message. They didn’t use Instagram or SnapChat. They killed a bunch of trees and spilled a ton of ink, then they glued all the pages together into a book-book and shipped it all over the world via carbon-spewing trucks, planes, trains and ships.
Because the executives at Google like to count. They wouldn’t be caught dead wasting $5.8 billion of their own precious Silicon Valley dollars on stuff that doesn’t work, but they are more than happy to oblige if you’d like to behave poorly and waste your own dollars on their platform.
Pay attention to the irony in all of this. It’s so thick you can cut it with a knife. And, for the love of all things good, just because everyone else is wasting money online doesn’t mean you have to.
Get in touch with Jimmy or get to one of my masterminds as a “fly on the wall” where we can teach you how we count and how we’re quickly doubling and tripling the size of most hearing and audiology practices very quickly.
We’ll show you how to count and control what you can see. Everything else is a mirage.
Join me and Jimmy Nicholas in Boston on Saturday, November 16, 2019 for a small-group mastermind where I will show you all of the latest consumer marketing funnels and online ads that can help you double or triple your new patient numbers this year. Seating is limited.
Adam Phillips is a brilliant writer, psychologist and regular contributor to The London Review of Books. The closest I can come to the kind of people who think at this level, is that they let me subscribe to The London Review of Books. Barely.
Although I don’t agree with Phillips on a lot of issues, I take particular delight in his assessment of couples who come to him with a desire to change something about their partner. He says, “It is not unusual for each member of a couple to know exactly what is missing in their partner; and to know, by the same token, how their lives would be different, that is, so much better, if their partner would change in particular ways.”
I see this with clients and the relationship they have with their businesses. They live as if they know more about the experiences they haven’t had, than they do about the experiences they have had.
They speak in great detail and with great longing about more new patients, employees who perform better, patients and colleagues that respect their work; how life would be easier and how it would make them happier. And yet, when I ask about the existing data in the practice, they can’t provide it. Think about that for a moment.
Smart doctors sit across the table from me and pay me tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege to do so and for my assistance in helping them achieve what they want to achieve, but they are completely disconnected from the reality of the situation, while simultaneously recounting to me in vivid detail all the benefits and pleasure they will derive from something that has not yet happened and might never happen.
Listen. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward. We can’t help ourselves. Simply realize that when you do, something in the present moment is always being overridden.
Make your list tonight. Where in your practice and in your personal life are you overriding something important in the present, so that you can day dream about what might happen in the future? Freud might label many of the things on your list as “repression,” or the burying in oneself of what one prefers not to know or feel.
In 2013, when I met my current business coaches, I knew I needed to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t rely on the industry insiders to grow my specialty practice. Yet, it had taken me nearly three years to come to that realization.
I was burying in myself the fact that I wasn’t the best at positioning, marketing, managing a business. I just wanted to be in charge. My coaches told me there was a simple solution: to get out of business and go work for someone who knew how to do the things that really mattered. Wow. That stung but he was absolutely right.
Some doctors are pissed off at the fact that their future hasn’t arrived by now, but I think they deserve everything in their lives, both good and bad. Harsh but true.
A powerful solution is to bridge the gap between what you’re looking forward to and what you’re burying in yourself that needs to be known and felt.
Get to work.
Most small business owners have scores of reports they check each month to help them manage their money. Expenses and revenue are tracked meticulously. Budgets are set and regularly reviewed before new investments are made in technology or human capital.
Even the average business owner has some idea of their production, collections and expenses this week or this month and how they compare to the same period last year or last month. The more engaged business owner receives these reports daily or even twice a day, like I do. Yet, almost no small business owner manages their time with the same care and consistency. Time in most businesses goes largely unmanaged.
Think about the number of phone calls, text messages, emails, meetings and unscheduled interruptions throughout your day. Very few doctors have grasped the huge amount of waste they allow into their day because they have failed to set clear rules on how they govern their time.
Leaders at The Disney Institute state it very simply: if you want better results, raise your expectations. Is there a clear understanding in your business about how you and your employees are to spend their time?
Do you allow your team to squander away your scarcest resource through ineffective use of email, unproductive meetings and constant interruptions? What would your practice look like if you could spend more time with patients and less time on activities that do not produce results? What would your overhead look like if you took time management as seriously as financial management?
A recent report from researchers at Bain & Company looked at the time management of 17 of the world’s top companies. What they found should not be surprising. Companies are drowning in digital communication. Leaders deal with hundreds of emails per day and spend way too much time in meetings. There is not enough formal control and employees are awash in dysfunctional meetings. There are few consequences for wasting time, less work is getting done and these firms are not as productive as they could be.
Your first job as the leader in your organization is to set the focus for the coming year. Steve Jobs was known for taking his top 100 leaders off-site each year to focus on the company’s 10 priorities in the coming year. After intense competition amongst the leaders to get their priorities on the board, Jobs would take a marker and cross out the bottom seven. “We can only do three,” he would announce. Jobs would not allow Apple to waste time on things he knew the company shouldn’t be doing. This allowed the firm to innovate much faster than their competitors.
Before your next meeting, ask how you can standardize the data you need in order to quickly set strategy and review performance. Do not allow new meeting time to show up on your calendar. Focus your team so they know the rhythm of the company is set and that they will be forced to operate within it, producing results and reducing wasted time. It’s possible but it takes discipline and your effort and attention in this area of your practice will produce big dividends. No amount of skill or money can buy you 25 hour days. If you want to beat the competition, start making the most of this precious resource.
One of the most difficult tasks I face as a coach and consultant is helping doctors better understand what it is they want and who they want to become. It’s also the most rewarding part of my job. Erich Fromm said, “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become who he potentially is.”
I’ve spent private coaching days with hundreds and hundreds of doctors and small business owners from all walks of life. Often, these clients walk out of the room with an entirely different mindset and clarity of thought, able to implement new strategies with renewed energy and enthusiasm. They leave with a vivid image of what they want to achieve in life. Sometimes, however, doctors struggle to “give birth” to themselves. They can’t see their own potential.
I’ve been doing this long enough to understand the difference between the doctors who quickly double or triple the size of their practice, those who expand confidently and open new locations, hire more doctors, see a bigger vision for their world and achieve goal after goal and those who are stuck. Would you like to know the secret?
The doctors and clients who are able to achieve so much more than their counterparts in much less time are all very realistic about who they are, where their strengths lie and are completely honest with themselves about what that means in terms of chasing down their goals. They understand other people and human behavior not because they are more gifted, more charismatic, better leaders or recipients of good luck, but because they have taken the time to get acquainted with themselves.
They are able to work backwards from their goals and list 50 ways their own biases, tendencies and weaknesses will get in the way. Then, they never go there. They go around.
By knowing yourself, you can do the same. Spend some time this week somewhere quiet. Go for a hike early in the morning. Sit and watch the sun come up and ask yourself these two questions. “Who am I and what do I want to do with the rest of my life.”
The smartest and most successful people on the planet have extremely clear answers to these two questions. Everyone else cannot know and understand others, cannot leverage and organize human capital to achieve big things and will never understand why because they don’t understand themselves.
You’ve probably heard me repeat the following proverb many times: “To a man with only a hammer, every problem tends to look pretty much like a nail.”
Unfortunately, hearing care is a narrow professional doctrine and liable to suffer from man-with-hammer thinking. I’ve witnessed this in my own practices and in those of the practices I coach.
The most-successful hearing care professionals study broadly outside our own narrow doctrine. It’s one of many reasons I went on to get my MBA and have condensed and distilled the most critical lessons for my clients in my monthly training program called Loud and Clear Marketing Program.
There are two reasons why doctors don’t study the big, useful concepts from other disciplines:
- They don’t think they have the time.
- They have a perceived need to stay within the narrow discipline, studying more and more audiology.
If the only problems and challenges in your practice are audiology in nature, then by all means, carry one tool. Hammer it out. However, if you desire to solve broadscale problems that require synthesis and collaboration between the disciplines of psychology, accounting, leadership, law and marketing, you really have no excuse. You must exit the narrow doctrine.
Your education and knowledge must be wide enough to cover practically everything useful in running a successful practice, not just that which is required to be a successful hearing specialist.
You must be able to think forward and in reverse… so that you can focus not only on your goals and objectives (i.e., what you want to happen) but also when to avoid problems (i.e., the things you don’t want to happen).
You must operate with a handful of simple but powerful litmus tests or checklists so that your mind is trained to run through many scenarios and observe current events in the economy and within your own market as either related or unrelated to causes in many disciplines.
You must hone your skills and knowledge, ever-sharpening your ability to avoid stalls in growth and atrophy in your enthusiasm, curiosity and dedication to making big things happen.
In your quest to solve bigger problems and achieve sustainable growth, take solemn account of your tool bag. What is missing? What needs added and what should be removed?