Enjoy one more guest post from Dr. Aaron Collins!
A few weeks ago, I observed a Facebook War (you know the ones – we get very bold and have really polar stances on even the tiniest issue only because we don’t have to watch the other person’s face when we are mean to them) ensuing over a TV commercial that a chiropractic college aired in their community. This university has a great chiropractic program, but also offers several other programs of study. What people were fighting about was that nowhere in the 30 second ad did you see anything about chiropractic. People were really upset; whether they were defending the commercial or attacking it.
This made me zoom out and think about how healthcare is marketed. I started paying more attention to billboards and commercials. I realized that none of the advertisement I was catching really told you about the place paying for the ad. For instance, two of my local hospitals have simultaneously launched campaigns revolving around “Getting Outside.” They are beautiful ads – trees, mountains, people in really sweet hiking clothes … I LOVE getting outside! But I’ve been to both of these hospitals and these billboards and commercials bear no resemblance to what those places are about. The people responsible for marketing these facilities are smart. They know that if they put up pictures of really unhappy people using scalpels or needles on other really unhappy people, this probably won’t inspire anyone to choose them over the other place.
I think that in chiropractic we have been trying to employ the same strategy. People think chiropractic is weird, so we do a talk about How Blueberries are Good For You at a local company (people LOVE blueberries!) and then at the end of the talk ask them to come to our office for an evaluation. We write all our blog posts about Interval Training, Ketogenic Diets, Meditation, etc. because all of those things are both important and HOT right now and make it more likely that people will check out our office. We go to a health fair and and just pass out free coffee mugs with the name of our office on them because people around here drink a lot of coffee. I know we do this because I’ve done ALL of those things and the reason I did them is because when I opened my practice I just looked at what all the other chiropractors were doing to market themselves. Maybe that’s how we got to here – we watched what medicine does to try and sell more medicine, and we just started doing that in chiropractic.
That’s a hard game to win. You’re trying to sell something very different than they are. They are trying to sell the public on the idea that we need a lot of medicine for the rest of our lives and the more of it they can invent, the better it is for us. We are broken, so they had to invent some very innovative, man-made chemistry to save us. We are very lucky they did. Otherwise, we would all be forced to live our lives as these genetic disasters.
You are trying to sell people on the idea that they were born to be healthy. That they already have the greatest pharmacy that will ever exist inside of them. That their genes are programmed to help them thrive in their environment. That you live your whole life through this beautiful nervous system and if something happens to inhibit that you don’t have to ignore it, drug it down, or cut it out. You can have that interference itself removed and have your body repair and regulate itself once again.
It’s a very attractive idea. And its actually very “HOT” right now. The adjustment itself is a very beautiful thing. Look at the photos that Hannah has on ChiroCulture’s website. Almost none of those pictures were staged. The photographer snapped photos while people got adjusted. I’m in some of those pictures and I’ll tell you something: I’m an overweight, balding man who isn’t very good at picking out his own clothes in the morning and a picture of me adjusting someone still looks pretty awesome!
If we are going to stand out in telling our communities what we are about, why not just really show them. They already think it’s weird, but that’s a HUGE advantage! Once they see how beautiful it is, it’s going to look so much less scary than they have been thinking it is for the last 20 years. Let’s not shy away from our bread and butter. Let someone capture how incredible the chiropractic adjustment is in your office and then show that to your town via your website, your print materials, your videos, etc. Or better yet, come to Chirofest next month and come to Chiroculture’s booth to see how Hannah has already done so much of the work for us. It will save you time and money.
Stop trying to be more like “healthcare.” You are never going to fit in there. You’re different and that’s a GOOD thing. Show people just how different you are.