I saw a product demo video on Instagram last week for a caulking tool. (I have a couple of small home improvement projects going on, and I’m sure Instagram knows that, so they show me relevant content).
The tool looked useful in the video demo, so naturally… clicked over to Amazon to see if I could find a better and/or more affordable version of said tool.
And wouldn’t you know, Amazon had a dozen different versions of this tool available. In fact Amazon lets me click on one, read about it, then shows similar versions without me even asking.
I bought one of the more expensive ones because it has the best reviews (lesson in there for you) and was available via Prime shipping.
And voila! There’s a real-life example of a brand getting “Amazon’d.”
Let’s talk about what it means to get Amazon’d and why this presents a significant challenge for brands in the marketplace (possibly not yours…)
Oh, Amazon. They pioneered it all in the retail ecom space. Free, fast delivery… order anything you want… one-click checkout… 3rd party sellers on their platform… the whole shebang.
Amazon created The Hub for retail purchases. And then they trained us on how to use it.
“If I need a thing, go to Amazon and see what they offer.” Just like in my example – I saw a specific brand of a tool, went to Amazon, and looked at the entire category of said tool. Then bought what I needed (which was NOT the brand I originally saw).
How well has Amazon trained us? There’ve been times I’ve tried finding a product on Amazon, and if it’s backordered or they don’t have what they want… I’ll just wait and look again some other time.
I simply forget that there are other retailers out there who MIGHT have what I need and MIGHT be able to get it to me quickly and MIGHT do it at an affordable price.
Ridiculous, right? But I’ve talked to friends about this… and I’m not the only one who does it.
And if the thing I want IS on Amazon – I’m looking at all the different products available, reading the reviews, and seeing what looks best to me. Often times, I don’t purchase the original brand I was looking for.
Here’s why I’m talking about this: because “getting Amazon’d” goes beyond retail. It happens to elective practices too. Although it’s not on Amazon… it’s on Google.
How it happens…
A prospective patient hears about your practice – through an ad, word of mouth, etc. And so they Google you.
When this happens, the prospect sees 2 important pieces of info:
1. Your Google reviews.
2. Recommendations for your competitors (either through Google Ads your competition is running, or through the small “also searched for” box at the bottom of your Google business listing.)
In this scenario, someone has gone from being exposed to just your brand, to other brands in the same category. (seeing the Amazon similarities yet?)
Let’s look at another common situation. Maybe the prospect hears one of your ads, but he couldn’t remember your name, or how to spell it, or your exact web address.
“What was that place called?” So they Google “LASIK Dallas” to try to find you.
What do they discover?
- A list of practices in Google AdWords (ads at the top of a search page)
- A list of practices in Google “Map Pack”
- A list of practices in the organic listings that show under the map.
Again, someone has tried to seek you out, and through that effort found you and all your competitors.
Key to Remember: In the modern marketing landscape, your efforts to promote your practice often result in prospects looking at multiple practices within your specialty.
You’ve heard “A rising tide floats all boats.” To an extent, that’s true. The more marketing dollars are spent in a category, the more general awareness around that category (which is a good thing).
But specifically, the rising tide is floating a few boats disproportionately more than the others. The boats that get the most lift? The ones with the most 5-star Google reviews.
Someone searches for you and finds a competing practice with twice the 5-star reviews that you have? Guess who’s most likely getting the first phone call.
Said another way… when this happens, you’ve just advertised for your competition. The guy down the street is benefiting from your hard-earned marketing dollars and efforts.
You got Amazon’d. Because your prospects do what these massive tech companies like Amazon and Google have trained us to do – they go to The Hub, see a number of possible solutions to their problem, and chose what they perceive to be the best option (often this is the one with the most and best reviews).
Now let’s talk good news…
The inverse is also true. When you have twice as many 5-star reviews as anyone else in town, your competition markets for you.
People search for them and find YOU. Other practices promote YOU, and they don’t even know it.
And the premium price you charge for your surgeries? Well of course you’re premium, look at the results you provide. Anyone can see the results right there in your Google reviews (which are so much better than every other practice’s). Makes sense why you’re priced higher than the rest of these places, as good as y’all are…
If you’ve heard of the 80/20 principle, remember it’s universal. 20% of the practices enjoy 80% of the new patient gains.
Are you marketing for you competition, or are they marketing for you? The simple way to tell: Google “<YOUR CATEGORY> <YOUR CITY>” and see who has the most 5-star Google reviews. Also see where you’re showing up in the results relative to your competition.
If it’s a competitor, you have work to do.
And if it’s you… well, you still have work to do.
The work: Get the most Google ratings and reviews. Wanna be the 20% getting 80% of the results?
Start getting reviews today and do not let off the gas. Make your competition market for you. Amazon those fools.
– Troy “Recovering Amazon Addict” Cole
PS – I’ve been better about diversifying my retail purchases beyond Amazon. I made a conscious decision to shop from more independent retailers and locally when possible. Sure I spend a little more sometimes, but to me it’s worth it to support independent businesses and my local economy. 👍🏻