In addition, bovine practitioners have an opportunity to link the value of a herd health wellness plan to the consumer’s desire for the highest quality product their clients can produce. Those bovine veterinarians who move to the front in this arena (as well as many others non-medical arenas which can help their clients improve their productivity – animal identification, biosecurity, animal welfare, just to name a few – will help their clients become more profitable with a more stable consumer market for their products. Thus, it’s incumbent upon bovine practitioners to begin incorporating proactive client communications programs into their practice to keep their clients fully informed of the latest data in both the scientific areas as well as the consumer trends area.

Today, more than 80% of all U.S. citizens have access to either broadband Internet or a smartphone with Internet connectivity; and many have both. Bovine practitioners can capitalize on this very efficient method to communicate more often and more effectively with clients and producers in their communities. Our experience over the past 5+ years working with practices to help them develop such proactive client communication and practice marketing programs has produced the following key findings:

1. Practices with the higher percentage of e-mails of clients and a planned client communication and practice marketing program have higher compliance rates, and continue to grow practice revenue even in difficult economic times as compared to practices which do not record client e-mail addresses and do not have nor implement a planned communication and marketing plan.

2. Practices that utilize multiple avenues and multiple periods of client communication  and practice marketing have higher compliance and practice growth than practices which utilize fewer, i.e., monthly or more often client communications (website, email, mobile phone text, direct mail newsletters, and direct mail postcard promotions) vs. only 1 or 2 postcards or printed newsletters once or twice a year (or no proactive communication).

These NAHMS “non-compliance” data indicate that in every cattle production community, there is tremendous potential for improving animal welfare, improving overall food quality, improving the economic return of beef and dairy producers, and establishing/growing vibrant bovine practices. All of which could be very beneficial to the local community, the food-consuming public, bovine veterinary medicine, and the animal husbandry profession.

Who better to lead the drive to improve compliance with proper herd health recommendations than the bovine practitioner? Bovine practitioners have an opportunity to initiate a new “service” in their practice – client communications. An investment in bringing this new service to their clients (as well as potential new clients in their communities) can bring a multifold return to their practice, their clients, and the communities they serve.

Jay R. Brown, DVM, MS, is founder and president of Vetgate Global (www.vetgateglobal.com).

 

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