At Palo Alto Software we have sometimes used the root canal analogy to describe a business plan. It is something you need, but that few people look forward to doing. One of the principles of developing Business Plan Pro was to help people get over their fear of writing a business plan by providing a tool that makes it much easier to complete a successful plan. However, this presents a dilemma in marketing: How do you effectively get your message across to your customers if you sell a product or service that people inherently put off buying?
A local urology institute faced this dilemma with one their services: the vasectomy. This procedure might, in fact, be an even better example of the root canal analogy than even the root canal! But, back to the story. This doctor's office found a way to reach out to its highly defined market via a commercial that aired during an afternoon sports radio talk show. This week it promoted that the first 24 men to call and sign up for a vasectomy on the day before the NCAA basketball tournament will get free pizzas delivered on game day, an upgrade to the "premier" procedure service, and...ah yes....a free bag of peas. Love it or hate it - the promotion worked. I spoke with the doctor's office this afternoon and they have already filled all 24 spots.
If your product or service has somewhat of the root canal factor attached to it, there are ways to draw in your customer base. Knowing who your customers are and what messages resonate with them can be paramount. In this case, sports and a little humor went a long way in getting a group of people to do something they have been putting off. So while 24 men are enjoying their pizzas, the urology office will be counting their extra $15,000 in revenue.
Beth Anne Whalen
Director of Marketing