Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

 
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This Vet Has More Going Than A Dog's Life

A veterinarian in New Zealand is doing some new and marvelous things

First, there's Steve Mirams's business card. Dig this title: Veterinary Surgeon / Marketing Manager. Marketing Manager! I know some people doctors who could learn from this philosophy. What a great idea.

Let's continue with Steve's business card. It actually tells what he does: Hospital facilities / house calls / pet sitting. How novel. Looking through my own card file I find scores with no ID what-so-ever about what these people do. You know what Steve does when you see his card.

Steve has also redesigned his letterhead / envelope to create some brand awareness. And has a "logo": ALLVET ... because it refers to "ALL VETerinary Services". From normal and expected veterinary practice and services to pet sitting and even veterinary marketing.

As Steve says, the new name, ALLVET, also gets him listed at the front of the Yellow Pages directory ... which isn't all bad.

Consider pet sitting

The world is traveling. More and more people are going more and more places. Frequently without their pets. This is always a problem (here I speak from experience, as we have two small cats at Rockingham Ranch in Roll, Arizona ... and it is ALWAYS a problem when both Nancy and I are away on business or for pleasure, at the same time).

Well, Steve has an answer: Call him and he'll arrange for someone to take care of your pet while you're away. Pet sitting services are common in some parts of the world ... not so in New Zealand. So again, Steve is blazing the way.

Steve is excited about many things new. Pet sitting leads to franchising ... which he feels is one direction this new concept may go. Another is "systems". Systems? Yes, systems ... i.e., the way you run a vetrinary business.

This idea sprung from some reading of Michael Gerber ... who talks about the fact that everything is, or can become, a "Systemise the Routine, Humanise the Exception" approach to business.

Steve reports he is writing everything down. Every contact with every client for every/any reason. Actual patient care techniques and decisions. Follow-up with everyone / about anything / at all times. Results of this effort to make the business run better are already being felt.

This is another "idea" which Steve feels he can franchise. Which is probably so, as systems are needed to run any business successfully. More so for consumer oriented contact companies, like a vet service.

Veterinary services are also highly emotional ... after all pets are really "children" to their owners. And there is nothing more precious than their children. Emotion sells well in the marketplace - Steve will do well selling his system to other vets.

Now to today. And a recent direct mail letter promotion. The first thing I noticed about the letter is that it is loooong. A very personal four-page letter, targeted to owners whose pets were eight years old and up.

Let me quote from the second paragraph in this most interesting letter:

"When I was 15 our family dog died of heart disease. He was only 8. The shock of his death had an enormous effect on our family. I couldn't understand how a dog that age, who appeared healthy, could die so suddenly."

Yes, Steve wrote and signed this letter. This paragraph is very personal and very believable.

Look at these results (NZ$)

Total number of packages sent: .............. 1,120
Cost of mailout: ........................... $1,120
Number of responses: ........................... 78
Cost per response: ......................... $14.35

Total income generated:
Evaluations: .............................. $17,160
Follow up work: ............................ $2,440
(Dentals, vaccinations, etc)

Intangible increase: ....................... $5,000
(Cinic busier due to contact)
       
Total: .................................... $24,600
Return on investment: ........................ 2000%
Response rate: ................................ 6.9%
         

Now let me quote from a letter to me from Steve ... telling me about his vet practice:

"The thing that was(is) interesting was that the practice as a whole was busier over the time of the promotion, indicating that just being in contact with clients encourages them to come in with their pets."

Bulls-eye!

Steve has got it right. There is lots of talk these days about Loyalty (being faithful is a good description of loyalty ... being faithful to a product/service), and Frequency (frequency is how often you buy/use a particular product/ service). Which there should be - lots of talk - because repeat business is where most of us make it.

And yes!, Steve does have it right. He goes to his audience of customers and prospects time and time again. With new services (first it was Homecall, now it is Pet Sitting). He is on the radio with a talk-back show answering questions and helping people with basic pet needs. He is in the press with his news. And he is in the mail box with direct mail about ALLVET Services.

Steve wants to make sure it continues to get it right. He is going back to school to earn an MBA. And although he is not yet into the second year, he already knows what his thesis will be about: Franchising. With a concentration on International Business.

Certainly makes sense to me.

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