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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 65, February 2012

mivision Issue 65, February 2012

Business has changed. They said it would, and it has, but not in the way most expected. For the past few years those with the biggest market share and others hoping to knock them off have waged a marketing and communications war. Although the intensity might wane, it’s not going to end soon.

In a risk-averse market, to be the “most trusted” and “most recognised” is very valuable – particularly as online retailers increasingly add to the competition with promises of more choices, lower prices and, to top it off, home delivery.

But, as business consultant Mark Overton says, traditional independent businesses can help themselves with cost-effective marketing and public relations. You don’t need a massive bank balance to be heard; you just need to be savvy.

Mark and I grabbed a coffee a few weeks back and discussed what optoms can do to find their own voice and reach more customers. He said, “If you can look after your local patch, that’s probably enough to sure up your success – you only have to be better than the guy at the other end of the shopping centre”.

We think the challenge this year is threefold:

  1. Understand what you do for your customers will win or lose you the game.
  2. Know the ‘Vision’ for your business and stick to it, then work hard to create that real competitive advantage.
  3. Develop and implement a practical plan that communicates your advantage to your market.

The big guys have deep pockets to invest in massive national campaigns. They’re not only out to create awareness and rattle each-other, they also want to rattle you! Don’t be consumed by it. Focus on your local community with service and communication, and they’ll promote your business for you.

Local direct marketing, backed up by exceptional service, can work wonders. Yes, it takes constant effort, but really, it’s essential – we’re in a competitive market and it’s only going to get tougher. Change is inevitable. If you don’t make a decision to change, you’ll either be forced to, or you’ll become irrelevant, then extinct.

It’s an issue we look at in ‘Shifting Scripts’, our lead article in this edition of mivision. As customers increasingly request their scripts so they can shop online or at a discount retailer, your service and the way you communicate could determine your success.

This issue we travel to Malawi in Africa, where that country’s first optometrists will graduate from the local university this year. As you read this story, I’ll be working with Optometry Giving Sight in East Timor observing Dr. Nitin Verma, Dr. Andreas Kreis and the rest of the incredible East Timor Eye Program team provide primary eye care services and train local staff. I look forward to reporting on this work in our March issue.

Our CPD articles look at the latest research to make a difference to global eye care and we discuss how communicating clearly and appropriately with contact lens patients can significantly increase compliance, reduce practice time and increase profits.

It’s all here – and much more – in our first edition of mivision for 2012.


Mark Cushway


minews: All the latest news from February 2012

mistory: Shifting Scripts: It’s easy to understand how an independent optometrist could become bitter and twisted about the industry they operate in and the public they serve. Read more…

mifeature: An Eye for Art: Throughout the ages, eyes have caught the imagination of artists who have attempted to depict their extraordinary beauty, power and emotion. Read more…

mifeature: Lessons from Malawi: If someone had asked me three years ago, what it meant to be an optometrist, my response might have been seen as somewhat ‘myopic’. Read more…

mioptometry:Optometry Reports February 2012: Comment from Australian and New Zealand

miview: Superficiality or Substance: Too often we judge a person by the city they hail from or a city by the attractions it promotes. Read more…

mieyecare: The Art of Compliance: Communicating with your patients can improve compliance when it comes to wearing contact lenses. Read more (CPD article)

mieyecare: Academy of What? Advanced clinical skills workshops, disease grand rounds, leadership skills, new friends, new places… all of this, and more. Read more…

miophthalmology: RANZCO Embraces Future of Challenges: the latest breakthroughs in blindness prevention and eye health were revealed at the Annual Scientific Congress of RANZCO. Read more…

mifashion: Salomon: By Athletes, For Athletes: Next month (March), some of the best skiers and snowboarders on the planet will battle it out at the 2012 Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships in Taos. Read more…

mifashion: Serious Frames for the Urban Professional: a more relaxed dress code in today’s office environment is the freedom it has given people to express themselves through their eyewear. Read more…

mifashion news: All the latest fashion news from February 2012. Read more…

mibusiness: It’s all very well measuring your team’s performance – but what about your own?: It’s all very well measuring your team’s performance – but what about your own? Read more..

miproducts: All the latest products from February 2012

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