I attended a one-day seminar today in Orange County California that was related to the chiropractic profession and the practice of chiropractic in the Orange County area of southern California.

The event was great, except for a brief presentation given by company looking for chiropractors to invest in an online and cable media advertising campaign that is intended to promote chiropractors in the area as “wellness practitioners.”

I don’t know if Orange County chiropractors have grown use to this sort of activity but this is not the first time that I’ve been in the area and witnessed such a sales presentation to a group. Several years ago I remember attending a well-respected chiropractic philosophy event (one I had attended for years) at a hotel just off of Bristol Street in Newport Beach, in which a chiropractor invited an outside “business partner” to discuss amazing opportunities for chiropractors and individuals in the group by way of the Internet.

The presenters talked of fancy cars, huge earnings, great wealth, and all the other crap we hear at multi-level marketing pyramid scheme seminars. It was rather actually sickening to see the group that had worked for so many years to bring individuals together discussing chiropractic philosophy be torn apart in one evening. The chiropractic group folded soon after that night, after hosts convinced many of the attendees to “invest” in their Internet marketing scheme. The Internet related company operated for at least a year before federal charges were filed and an investigation was conducted by the Federal Trade Commission.

Just two years ago a group came on strong in Orange County promising to deliver chiropractors new patients by way of the Internet. The plan was to have doctors purchase the ZIP code for their area and then they would be marketed on the company’s web site as the specialist in their Orange County ZIP code. From what I’ve heard from chiropractors in the area, some were paying over $2000 per year to secure their ZIP code position. Understand, securing one’s ZIP code page on one web site on the Internet is like guaranteeing someone placement for a grain of sand on California’s beaches. You may have a page on someone’s web site, but that doesn’t mean anyone is ever going to discover you there. What is stopping a million other companies from launching similar web sites, with similar pages, and similar content, and then giving those ZIP code pages to other doctors in the area, until everyone has a page somewhere on the Internet with their name along with the ZIP code for their office?

Unfortunately, in hopes of attracting a few new patients, I’ve seen chiropractors choose those models several times during the past few years, all of which ended in failure.

That is not to say that marketing on the internet is not a good idea. No, I am all for that. It’s the way these groups have been going about it that continues to result in failed endeavors.

There was also a company recently marketing to chiropractors in the Orange County area with promises of telephone calls from potential patients being routed into a select network of chiropractic offices in the area. I don’t have much background on the company, whether they were going to do television advertising, cable TV spots, local billboards, contextual advertising on the Internet, or some other form of marketing, all I know is that the deals fell through in the chiropractors that invested in the plan were left with no new patients and no money.

We’ll be watching the Orange County chiropractic community closely during 2007 to see how things turn out in this latest marketing campaign. This current company is hoping to collect $50,000 per month from a group of Orange County chiropractic offices for their efforts. That’s enough of my ranting for the day, time to get back to business.