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Transitions MAP can help new ODs scout practice locations

April 25, 2012

By Peter Kehoe, O.D.

Whether you are opening a new practice, moving to a new area or taking a fresh look at your marketing efforts, one of your first steps should be to identify who your current – and potential – patients are in terms of vision needs and behaviors. Once you understand which patient groups are prominent in your area, you can get the most of your outreach efforts by focusing on “high value” patients – or those patients with greatest eye care and eyewear needs.

Recognizing that demographics like ethnicity, age and lifestyle, all influence the amount and type of vision products and services patients need, Transitions Optical has launched a new, interactive Transitions MAP (Market Area Profile) program to assist eye care professionals in the promotion of their practice by identifying the key patient segments in their geographic areas.

Available free of charge through the Transitions Optical trade portal (http://trade.transitions.com), the Transitions MAP program provides detailed information about each target audience, and suggests marketing tactics to help reach them. It also offers insight into who might be competing for their business.
New practitioners who are attempting to identify potential practice locations may find the Transitions MAP particularly valuable.

Using it, new practitioners can find areas that may be underserved with respect to eye and vision care, areas in which there may be unmet demand for specific types of eye or vision care, or areas that may offer significant potential for practice growth.

Navigating through the program is simple. Visitors must first enter the ZIP code where their practice is located (or where they would like to locate), which generates an interactive market area map that outlines the geographic vicinity in which most of the practice’s current patients and potential new patients likely reside (i.e. the “trade area”). The remainder of the information provided is based on this area; however, ZIP codes outside of it can be viewed if the user wishes to expand their target area.

Users can access detailed descriptions of consumer segments on their market area by target audience, which include information on demographic characteristics. Examples include active seniors and families with children that typically have higher eye care needs.

Recognizing where these target audiences are concentrated within surrounding ZIP codes can help practices to develop communication programs that increase patient loyalty or generate new business by targeting your marketing/ advertising to the areas of most impact.

Data can also be obtained on the average amount spent on eyewear by ZIP code. High-value customers residing in these areas represent more revenue potential because they come from households with a large number of family members, who regularly purchase multiple pairs of frames and lenses or who are more likely to consider premium brands of frames and lenses. Practices are more likely to reach these customers if they consider the characteristics and needs of individual target audiences.

Finally, information about the competitive landscape of the trade area helps practices to fine tune marketing tactics to stand out from the competition.

(Dr. Kehoe is the Professional Development adviser for Transitions Optical, Inc., and practices in Galesburg, Ill.)

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