2001-Thu Mar 23 02:18:55 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
I’m always surprised to see how far some veterinarians are willing to go to sell themselves to the public. It’s no longer enough to slap up a shingle, do a great job and reap the benefits of hard-earned goodwill through earnest referrals.
Nowadays, vets not only feel compelled to advertise guerrilla style and gain social media savvy, but they’re also offering coupons. Two spays for the price of one on Wednesdays, anyone?
Tacky, right? But it works. Some vets have joined the ranks of thousands of companies nationwide by tapping Groupon and Living Social to help sell their services. I know this because I read Veterinary Economics, which recently ran an article on Groupon for veterinarians. Here’s how it worked for one hospital:
The Deal: $22 for one grooming session ($50 value), $40 for a six-week obedience class ($85 value) or $40 for five days of doggie daycare (up to an $85 value)
The practice sold 171 packages during the promotion, which ended in February. The veterinarian got the idea from talking to her hairdresser, who sold 750 Groupons in a single day. It costs nothing to offer a deal on Groupon, and businesses receive roughly half the proceeds from each Groupon sold. For vet practices, the real benefit comes from the new clients a practice can gain from the promotion.
Sure I think it's tacky for an animal hospital to sell services like this — even if, in this case, the services weren't medical. But it isn't just that the practice is distasteful to me, it is because there are better ways to find a vet. I've gone to great lengths to explain the importance of finding the right vet through prudent research and referrals, so the notion that a fellow professional could undermine this by offering a coupon to draw in clients just rubs me the wrong way.
And this goes for all kinds of advertising in medicine — bodacious plastic surgery ads (you know the ones), hospital fliers sporting hot surgeons in scrubs, ginormous Lasik billboards, etc. Since I’m fundamentally opposed to selecting a medical professional based on advertising, you can understand why I can’t condone the Grouponization of my profession.
Is that old-fashioned of me? Idealistic? Pollyannaish?
Perhaps all of the above. As a veterinarian with an MBA in marketing, I understand the drive, the need, to advertise. Yes, it works — but it also makes mad men of us all.
To read more opinion pieces on Vetstreet, click here.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.