If you look at the 35-year career of Don Taylor of D.R. Taylor amp; Associates, it looks like one transition after another. A closer look tells a different story, one of a consistent career where Taylor has left his footprint on employers and clients by staying open to insights, creating new opportunities, applying fresh strategies and always making things better than they were before. His approach to business has allowed him to survive the tough times, and many clients today seek his services to help them do the same.
“I didn’t go to MBA school, but give me a reasonable budget, and I have always been successful,” says Taylor. A self-taught man, he got his start in business as a 5th grader working for Bruner Hardware Store in Hope, Indiana. Before school, he would prepare the store for receiving customers, stoking the furnace on cold days. After school he waited on customers, and he values most the chance he had to interact with different personalities, moods and temperaments-how to read people and what makes them buy.
He started his adult career in radio and began leaving his footprint by creating new opportunities for his employer and its advertisers. He transitioned a local FM station into the first country music station in Southern Indiana, before “country was cool.” WKKG was born and still reigns today as the top country station.
Always a friend to small business, and seeing the need and seizing the opportunity, he launched Retail Management, Inc. Using his knowledge of advertising from radio, his new company consulted with small businesses to compete with big business through effective use of their advertising dollars. By 1975, he was opening new doors for himself by establishing his current company D.R. Taylor amp; Associates (www.drtaylorassociates.com) and expanding his ability to help his clients compete, grow and prosper through innovative marketing, advertising and public relations. Based in Columbus, Indiana this venture brought Taylor opportunities to work with Fortune 500 companies on advertising and trade shows.
In the 1980s, he was a pioneer in health care marketing. In particular, he was at the forefront of dental marketing, winning national recognition. He introduced the concept of educational marketing, an approach that attracts clients and increases revenues for a dentist by educating them on the need for dental care, advances in the dentistry field and the like. The approach is still widely used today.
Taking educational marketing a step further, he has helped create referral networks between health care services providers, turning ‘competition’ into ‘cooperation’-all to benefit the patient. These referral networks start with the providers educating each other about their services/products, a process which leads to referrals to one another. His first client for this type of marketing was a pain management clinic for whom D.R. Taylor amp; Associates created a referral network of general practitioners, chiropractors, and surgeons. Within three months, the clinic enjoyed a substantial increase in new business.
Don’s latest innovation is the formation of the Community Health Education Services Alliance, expanding the educational marketing approach to a broader scale and capitalizing on his years of trade show success. CHESA will sponsor health care fairs and promote them to the public, and its members can participate to promote their individual businesses. CHESA’s will function as an information resource to the public through its many contributions by CHESA member practitioners.
“Today’s customers are bombarded with information, which changes their mindset and changes how to reach them. Our approach at D.R. Taylor amp; Associates is all about finding innovative and proven ways to break through the clutter, get our client’s message to the target audience and motivate the customer,” says Taylor. Just as he has chosen to stay open and respond to changes, he preaches the same flexibility and optimism to his clients as he helps them continually rejuvenate and reinvent their businesses in what he calls a reactionary economy.
If you called D.R. Taylor amp; Associates today and asked Don for a consultation, he would tell you, “We’ve been here before and helped so many businesses before-this is a cycle, and this is how you get through it. It’s a purging season, but this will pass. The key is applying a persistent and consistent process of asking what is your business and what does it look like today, and then responding quickly to changes.”