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How Veterinary Practices Can Benefit From “Digital Narcissism”

May 4, 2016

Two recent articles captured my attention the other day. One was written by Marshall here at Pet Cause Media and (using some cute cats to prove his point) talks about how important it is to differentiate.  The other was from AdAge and talks about how “Digital Darwinism Has Created a Market of Digital Narcissists“.  Both articles had a similar message:  Make sure your target audience notices you and wants to engage with you – even though that’s harder than ever to do!  I began to contemplate how veterinary practices should apply this lesson.


Technology For the Sake of Technology


A common mistake for many businesses, veterinary-related or not, is to jump on the bandwagon when new technology is available. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: if you can’t articulate (and, ideally, quantify) the business benefit you’ll get from implementing new tech, then don’t do it.


“Digital Darwinism” is defined as, “…the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt.” Businesses who don’t keep up won’t survive. But “keeping up” is a slippery slope and needs to be accomplished deliberately and productively.


Pet Owners Are Not All Created Equal – Or Are They?


A key premise behind the concept of “Digital Narcissism” is that the focus of consumers (well, actually, of people in general) is on themselves, fueled by the free and abundant availability of information at their fingertips. Pet owners certainly have myriad preferences — cat/dog; large/small; old/young; medicine/natural remedies; the list goes on endlessly. Yet there are only two drivers behind every single Share/Post/Tweet/Pin/etc.: esteem and belonging.  Consequently, every single pet owner is created equal in that their digital life revolves primarily – sometimes exclusively – around themselves.


The challenge for veterinary businesses, as well as for any pet industry stakeholder, is to enable each individual pet owner to materially activate based on his/her list of preferences while still catering to the individuality of the person. Brian Solis has a really good article about how to approach this:

About Pet Cause Media


Headquartered in Central Massachusetts, Pet Cause Media is the national leader for improving veterinary practice outcomes using data. Smart Outcomes™ is a portfolio of integrated client outreach technologies for veterinary offices that focus on just-in-time messaging. Veterinary staff are made aware of products, procedures and best practices to discuss with management, trainers and product reps. Pet owners, while in a “pet frame of mind”, are presented with contextually-relevant information to discuss with veterinary staff. Benefits include increased compliance, improved pet health outcomes, and elevated practice revenues. Visit for more details. Follow Pet Cause Media on Facebook and Twitter.

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