What Is Your Narrative?

By Kelly Baltzell

Our business narrative is consciously or unconsciously created and reinforced on a daily basis. What is a narrative?

According to Merriam-Webster it is:

Narrative: a way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values 

For example, a situation might be curbside care. As a business, you have a protocol for how you want curbside care to unfold once the patient arrives at your hospital. However, the pet owner also has an interpretation of your narrative based on the lens they see the world through, as well as what they absorbed and understood[BA1]  in previous interactions with your hospital.

Did you ever play the game “telephone” as a child? The game is played with a group of kids sitting in a circle, and the child who starts whispers some words in the kid’s ear to their left. That kid repeats to the child on their left and so forth, until it gets back to the kid who started it. That individual tells the group the message they heard last and their original message. Typically, there is quite a bit of drift in the message as it passes through.

Pet parents play an adult version of this game by catching only bits and pieces of a message (scanning versus fully reading an email, etc.) and filling in the blanks with their own concepts. People s bombarded with narratives day in and day out. Your messages to pet parents are mixed in with other storylines like:

  • Holiday promotions at favorite stores
  • Politics
  • Messages from favorite brands
  • Ever-changing pandemic messaging
  • Work messages and demands
  • Dynamics within families and households
  • Agendas on social media
  • Personal fears and internal messages

There are many more, but the point is that an animal hospital’s narrative is one of many—and maybe not that important in the hierarchy of messages an individual absorbs. Which bring us to the question of: “What is your narrative at the practice?”

To be heard and digested above the fray, it helps to have a very concise marketing message that can be utilized everywhere in your business’s marketing. Remember, people are stressed out and their ability to absorb information is curtailed, so a unified message will help them remember.

Think of the big brands that you use. They have one or two messages that are promoted multiple places, from the side of a bus, to a billboard, to online—same images, same words, etc.  We absorb their narrative messages because they are repeated over and over and over again. [BA2]  Focusing down to a razor’s edge on a message will pay off.

If you want help creating a narrative for your practice and applying it everywhere a pet owner could see you, give us a call. Beyond Indigo is here to help you and your business through these changing times. Our full-service marketing packages make it easy for you to maintain a relationship with your current clients and reach out to new clients so you can grow. They adjust as your goals shift, which allows you to see results and not to-do lists. We are here to help whether you are open, reopening, or adjusting to the new normal. Call (877) 244-9322 ext. 100, or go to https://www.beyondindigopets.com/contact/

Plus, I have a daily Facebook Live show at noon Central for 15 minutes. We already have over 100+shows which you can view on YouTube. Featured, are hospitals, industry experts, and Beyond Indigo team members. The focus is content that applies to hospitals at the moment to help them adapt to the changes occurring. To see the current week's schedule, go to beyondindigopets.com and look halfway down.


About the Author

Kelly Baltzell

President and CEO
Beyond Indigo
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