Product, sounds simple right. You have a product or service and you need somebody to purchase it. But it’s not quite that easy. You have a product and you need people to purchase it, yes, however, you need to make sure the product you’re offering is what your target audience is wanting. Product will encompass everything you offer; this will include your brand, services, and packaging. Download our four p’s of marketing worksheet to help you answer questions surrounding developing your marketing plan.

We’ll begin by asking open-ended questions. What's the biggest problem your product or services can solve? The reason for asking this question is to know what your patients are going to expect out of your product. Now you may be thinking, this is an easy one. The biggest problem our patients face is not seeing clearly and we can solve that with a number of options. Well, you’re not wrong, but dig deeper here. Imagine only seeing people with poor vision and providing them glasses, there is an entire audience you aren’t reaching, not to mention the ethical line you’re riding by not educating patients on the importance of annual exams regardless of their clear vision. I encourage you to list all of the problems your patients have and how your product can solve them. You should list problems such as annual exams, disliking glasses, myopia, surgeries you perform, and etc. Also ask yourself what sets you apart from your competition. In the brand awareness course, we discussed both you and your competitor trying to reach the same new patients. What is your competition doing right? What is setting you apart from your competition and driving your potential patients to choose you? Be sure that you are using this in your marketing message to create recognition with new patients. Think about why your patient would come to you. Knowing why they come to you can help you determine the products you should be offering. Which leads us to our next question, how can you make your products better? Utilize your frame tracker to see which frames are moving throughout your optical. Evaluate your frame choices. What are patients saying about their contact lenses? Are they happy with the options provided? Are you losing patients to another provider for services you aren’t offering? Are you getting new patients from other providers due to them not providing services that you offer? Use this information to improve your product. Finally, think about what you don’t like with your competitors. This will give you an opportunity to use their short-comings to your advantage. Odds are, if there is something you don’t like about them, your new patients probably don’t like it either. While it’s important while you’re answering these questions and developing your plan for product, that you’re also taking into consideration what your patients are saying. Listen to what they say, pay attention to why they are in your practice and what they are purchasing from you.

Once you’ve had a chance to answer all of the questions, begin reflecting and answering these follow-up questions. Are you offering the right products for your target audience? Are you satisfying the needs of your patients?

Having confidence in the products and services your practice offers allows you to move into the next category of your marketing mix and continue to build the framework needed for an effective strategy.