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The Flywheel Theory of Practice Marketing For Chiropractic Practice Marketing and Health Businesses

flywheel theory of practice marketing

More marketing for less effort in your chiropractic practice

There is good marketing, better marketing, and best marketing.

There is only one kind of bad practice marketing.

That is … NO marketing.

Unfortunately, “no marketing” is too common. The typical scenario in many chiropractic and health offices is this: “Numbers are down. Let’s do some marketing.” After a great effort and expense is made, the numbers go up. Then what happens?

Everyone becomes so busy that there is no time for marketing, and marketing gets tossed aside like an old pair of worn socks.

This contributes to the Practice Roller Coaster. First, there is some marketing. Then there isn’t. Then there is, then there isn’t. Up and down.

Good marketing requires regular attention and action. Like making a cake or cooking a steak, you must pay attention and make adjustments. You can’t turn on the oven, then turn it off to watch your cable program, then turn on the oven again.


Remember those merry-go-rounds on playgrounds? Everyone would get on, and one person would push. With the same amount of force applied consistently, the wheel’s speed would increase. Just using an even push, the wheel moved faster and faster until kids started screaming and falling off. Great fun!

What would have happened if the person pushed the wheel a few times and then let it stop? Then pushed it and got it going again. And then let it stop.

All the momentum that accumulated would disappear. Then, getting it going again would require more force. What a waste of energy! And how exhausting to start it up again!

Of course, once it is moving, it doesn’t take much to keep it going or even get it to move faster just by steadily applying force.

Effective chiropractic and practice marketing is just the same. The merry-go-round is like a flywheel. A flywheel is a “mechanical device designed to store angular kinetic energy in a rotating mass.” (Wikipedia) It is used in various engines and has several uses, but primarily, it keeps the momentum, or the energy, going.

Jim Collins refers to the Flywheel effect in his book, Good to Great. “Each turn of the flywheel builds upon work done earlier, compounding your investment of effort.”


  1. Make a list. With your team, make a list of key marketing activities that you have done that have worked. Keep it simple.

  2. Marketing assistant. Then, assign someone to keep track of these activities. They assume the role of marketing assistant. 1-2 hours per week. They essentially are project managers who ensure all marketing actions occur.

  3. Keep to a schedule. The time allotted to do the marketing must be maintained and not get hijacked by “urgencies.” The temptation will be there. Whatever time is scheduled, don’t allow this position to collapse into other departments.

  4. Monthly review and push. Every month, you can assess what actions seem to be working. Don’t be too eager to discontinue a procedure -- some marketing takes time. Gradually, you can add more activities that are working. Keep pushing the flywheel!

We plan on offering a course on the Marketing Manager System for your marketing assistant later this year to help you achieve your practice goals.


From Jim Collins: “Good to great comes about by a cumulative process—step by step, action by action, decision by decision, turn by turn of the flywheel—that adds up to sustained and spectacular results.”

Keeping the momentum going,


(c) 2024 Edward Petty


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