Marketing Optometry with Fresh Concepts

Pages from the True Stories marketing booklet.

Two new marketing tools have been created for ASCO this year: a printed booklet and a redesigned Web site. The new materials were developed as part of an effort to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of the Doctor of Optometry applicant.

The colorful and engaging True Stories booklet conveys to prospective students true stories about how optometrists improve the lives of real people — significantly and immediately — through the gift of sight. The True Stories concept was developed from comprehensive research: an environmental competitive market scan, a historical applicant trend analysis, and an assessment of the marketing materials of the schools and colleges of optometry. Based on this research as well as interviews across the schools, ASCO and the American Optometric Association (AOA), a comprehensive communication survey was conducted to position the profession with the intended target audience.

The True Stories booklet is formatted to have two distinct sections, inspiration and information. The first section showcases inspirational true stories, such as “Today I kept a survivor’s hope from dimming” and “Today I made sure a working man would keep working.” The intent is to emotionally engage readers in these warm, human interest stories while making them aware of the wide-ranging roles and responsibilities of optometrists. The second section of the booklet contains an informational narrative that educates the reader on the rewards and benefits of a career in optometry, outlines the educational requirements of the profession, and provides contact information for all 21 schools and colleges of optometry. The project began in September 2011 in partnership with the AOA. For copies of the booklet, contact Paige Pence, ASCO Director of Student and Residency Affairs, at ppence@opted.org.

The home page of the redesigned ASCO Web site. ASCO: Association

The home page of the redesigned ASCO Web site. ASCO: Association

As with the booklet, the redesign of the Web site is in line with the overarching objectives of the association’s long-term marketing goals, which include promoting the Doctor of Optometry program to a broad range of audiences, increasing awareness and understanding of the profession, and ASCO, and increasing the number, quality, and diversity of applicants to the schools and colleges. Primary objectives were to provide all potential users with the information they need in an easy-to-use and efficient platform and to put a contemporary, professional and humanistic healthcare face on the profession. In addition to a more modern, clean and dynamic design, many other objectives are incorporated into the site, such as reflecting diversity and communicating that Doctors of Optometry improve the lives of real people. The new Web site also takes into account that in today’s digital environment an online presence must be easily adaptable for use on not only desktop computers but also laptops, smartphones and tablets.