Advertising is the impersonal approach to promoting your business.
What do you do for dental marketing? Do you have a brand? Website? Social networking? Blog?
Marketing is a developed, well implemented plan that brings your business together with patients for the benefit of both parties.
How’s All That Workin’ for Ya?
The reason good marketing ideas fail is because they aren’t completely thought through before implementation. First of all, marketing your dental practice is a much better investment than advertising your practice. Think of it this way, advertising is one component of great marketing. But before you begin planning any marketing campaign, whether online, in print, or with events, consider these important factors:
Your Target Audience
If you’re a family dentist, studies show that you should focus on women with your marketing. Women usually decide who the family dentist will be, and they often send the kids in first as guinea pigs. Sad, but true. If you want to do more cosmetics, implants, or full-mouth restoration, you’ll need to focus on patients who can afford and complete their treatment plans. Then, obviously, pediatric dentists must focus on parents (moms) and kids; other specialists should go for a more business-to-business marketing strategy by approaching referring doctors.
The Cases You Want
If you don’t like full mouth, don’t appeal to that target audience. If you don’t like treating kids, shy away from “family” dentistry and, instead, focus on “comprehensive restorative” or “general” dentistry. This is very important! Which profitable cases do you enjoy doing? Those are the cases you want. And you can have them!
Standing Out in the Crowd
Whatever you do, other people are doing it, too. Your brand, advertising, and marketing must stand out. Practicality balanced with creativity are the perfect formula for making an impact on your target audience.
The Best, Most Affordable Way to Reach Your Target Audience for the Cases You Want
It all comes back to money. You’re in the business to make money. Until you’ve tried a few different marketing ideas, you may not know which are the most profitable. However, keeping overhead low and starting small, then evaluating the results, is always a best practice.
One Campaign at a Time
Don’t do everything at once, because you won’t be able to accurately evaluate results. One step at a time should be the rule.
Again, until you’re seasoned, setting realistic goals may be difficult. Alas, you have to start somewhere. Without goals, you won’t have anything to shoot for. Set some reasonable goals for the number of new patients you want to gain and the percent of profit you would like to see based on the investment.
And after the campaign, don’t forget to finish the job. You need to know what really works, not what appeared to work. By following through to the end, you can find ways to improve next time. Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Don’t fall into this trap. Too many people do it!
ROI stands for return on investment. To find out if your dental advertising or marketing efforts were a good investment, consider these questions regarding the return:
- How much did you spend on the campaign? (Don’t forget to include man hours.)
- How much did money you make as a direct result?
- What’s the total dollar amount you gained from the campaign? (Subtract expense from total profit.)
- What’s the total increase in patient numbers since the campaign?
- How many of those patients did you bill insurance for?
- After one year, how many of the new patients have returned for checkups and hygiene?
If this article has you overwhelmed, take a breath. We’re here to help. With Modern Dental Practice Marketing, you’ll have no worries.
Our dental marketing experts will assess your past and current marketing efforts, help you set reasonable goals, and oversee your entire dental marketing campaign—branding, direct mail, website, social networking, blog, collateral, and even events. In this economy, you need an affordable way to increase your patient base and bring in the cases you want.
We’re affordable. The analysis and consultation are free. You can’t lose. Give us a call today at 972-781-8861 or email [email protected]. We’re in the business to make dentists smile!