Scottsdale Ranch Animal Hospital (SRAH) is a well-established veterinary clinic co-owned by Dr. John Nick and Dr. Richard Stolper that is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. The hospital’s mission is to provide, “the highest quality medical, surgical, educational, boarding and grooming services available. We strive for the highest level of integrity and compassion in our interaction with our patients and their human pets” (“Welcome to Scottsdale Ranch Animal Hospital”).
The purpose of this report is to analyze the current market position of Scottsdale Ranch Animal Hospital, and make appropriate marketing recommendations and strategies for implementation. Managerial goals include increasing customer retention and growing its customer base in order to generate new revenue.
The analysis conducted includes reviewing the external environment, internal environment, and market opportunities. Notable industry and environmental trends include: laws regarding bans on the sale of commercially bred pets, an overall increase in national pet spending, declining feline veterinary visits over the last few years, a cultural trend emphasizing spending on luxury pet goods and services, and a significant level of local competition that has similar service offerings.
Notable internal strengths include: the prime geographical location of SRAH in a pet-friendly and wealthy community, multiple service offerings available, the quality of veterinary staff, a loyal clientele, and a “blank slate” in terms of marketing. However, internal weaknesses include: outdated equipment and technology, a lack of marketing efforts and a weak online presence, poor management, human resource issues and little employee accountability, and poor financial conditions as a result of high levels of debt between the practice and building.
Partway through this project, SRAH decided to sell its practice to PetVet Care Centers, a company specialized in acquiring animal hospitals in order to grow a national veterinary network. PetVet took over ownership in March of 2014, and has already begun to address the critical managerial and financial problems at SRAH. Thus, the following recommendations are made to the new owners specifically regarding building an integrated marketing campaign. The limitation, however, is that PetVet’s marketing budget is unknown at the time of this report.
Based on SRAH’s precarious position in the marketplace, it is recommended that the practice focus on client retention, capturing first time visits by creating a strong online presence, and capturing first time visits by targeting new customer segments. Client retention strategies are as follows:
• Push email sign ups for online Pet Portal. Goal is to improve the percentage of clients signed up from 36% to 43% by the end of the 2014 fiscal year (approximately 450 new sign ups).
• Specifically create policies regarding behavior in employee-client interactions.
• Include a summary sheet detailing services received and veterinarian recommendations to be given with discharge paperwork.
• Implement callbacks within 24 hours of a patient surgery to be performed by vet techs
• Create specialized goodie bags for surgeries or boarding stay. Example would be a boarding goodie bag that contains treats, toys, and a personalized “thank you for staying with us” card.
• Bundling services to create preventative care packages. Canine Junior and Senior Wellness packages could result in additional $31,000+ in revenue each year.
Strategies centered on capturing first time visits through creating a strong online presence include:
• Hiring CyberMark for its regional SEO services to improve SRAH’s ranking in search engine results.
• Switching to a new website producer to allow for greater flexibility and autonomy in managing SRAH’s website. It is suggested that PetVet consider IDEXX or CyberMark for this service.
Lastly, strategies centered on capturing first time visits by targeting new customer segments are as follow:
• Purchasing a direct mail list from DirectMailTools.com, that specifies Scottsdale homeowners or renters, who own a cat or dog, and have lived in their place of residency for less than a year.
• Consider converting breed specific groups as a long-term goal, though no immediate action is suggested.