What is dental marketing? Do you need to market your practice? Does dental marketing even matter?
Oftentimes, dentists will proudly tell me that they don’t do any marketing in their practice and that they don’t need to market because they’re still growing with new patients each month. Others invest quite a bit of money to attract new patients to their practice. And some, tell me they need to start marketing because their office isn’t growing as they need it to.
It’s clear to me that people define what marketing is and why they would need it or not need it in different ways – in fact, here are a few dictionary definitions of marketing that I found:
“the act or process of buying and selling in a market.”
“The strategic functions involved in identifying and appealing to particular groups of consumers, often including activities such as advertising, branding, pricing, and sales.”
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as, “the activity, set of instructions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
From these definitions, we can see that marketing your practice involves so much more than just spending money on advertising. And the offices that tell me they have never done any marketing have been marketing their practice without even realizing it was marketing that they were doing to retain their patients and attract new patients. Why do I say this?
Everything that you do, everything that the patient (and potential patient) sees, hears & feels is a form of marketing. Everything you do or don’t do, matters.
Marketing your dental practice is like planting seeds. Some seeds sprout right away, others may take a while. You may have written some seeds off as a loss and when you least expect it, there it sprouts and produces beautiful results. And some may sprout where you don’t even remember planting.
” If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not. Speak then to me.”~ William Shakespeare
What are your marketing seeds? Marketing Seeds Include (but are not limited to):
- Current Patients/Referrals
- Social Media Platforms
- Google My Business
- Online Reviews
- Direct Mail
- Patient Appreciation Gifts
- Staying in Touch with your Patients
- The Patient Experience
- Digital Marketing (Website, SEO, Emails, Mobile Devices, Google, Etc.)
- Your Brand / Culture
- Community/Charity Involvement
- Local Business Partnerships
- You and Your Team
- Office Appearance (Inside and Outside)
- Office Systems and Protocols
Take some time today and think about what you are sowing & producing.
Look at your practice through the eyes of your patients and potential patients.
Look closely at yourself, your team, the exterior, and interior of your building, all office systems, your lab, sterilization procedures, website & social media sites, marketing materials, marketing programs and the patient experience. Weeds can sneak in very easily if you don’t work to prevent them or if you ignore them when they are small.
Be wary of these two especially dangerous weeds: Poor telephone call systems and poor team member attitudes. See How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone & Happy Team
Examine your referral sources & patient retention numbers, this will be a key indicator as to the quality & quantity of the seeds you and your team are planting.
Friends, Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month? To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities. I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me.
Who is referring the new patients and who isn’t? And why? Are you known as the go-to dental expert in the community? If not, why?
Do you provide your patients with a consistent & quality experience over the telephone? What about during & after their visit? Are you exceeding their expectations?
Are you and your team members involved in the community? Are you tracking, acknowledging, and rewarding those that refer to you?
Again, everything matters!
Don’t give up and please, don’t ignore any of the areas we’ve talked about – you might not see results right away but seeds are being planted, impressions are being made. You never know where and when they will take root and bloom!
Bring in some fresh eyes if you need to, ones that will see, hear & feel what you are missing, and ones that will give you the push and help to get rid of any weeds and plant seeds of greatness daily & consistently!
Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When considering your office needs and marketing plans, remember to…
- Know Your Target Audience
- Set Goals
- Create a monthly marketing calendar
- Track all your marketing efforts. What’s working? What needs improvement? What needs to be eliminated?
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Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty (Dental Coach)