Identify your target and be consistent with the message you communicate.
Dentists, maybe more than other small businesses, are assaulted from literally every angle with creative ways to market a dental practice. Dental marketing, however, requires a few simple steps to be conducted before an effective marketing plan can be created.
STEP 1 – Determine what your goals are.
This really shouldn’t be news to you. If you are a dentist, there is a good chance you are goal oriented.
Goals are what you use to make sure that every minute of every day is spent doing things that matter most to achieving your goals.
Additionally, goals are going to provide a financial benchmark you will use to determine how comprehensive your marketing strategy should be.
STEP 2 – Determine the type of patient you need to attract to help you reach your goals.
You provide a variety of services. You specialize in a number of areas. You may have several office locations. You have a certain number of operatories in each location. You have the ability to have one or several hygienists (if you are a general dentist of course).
Each and every variable that will contribute to or mitigate your ability to generate revenue will ultiimately force you to consider what type of patient is going to be the most profitable patient.
You don’t produce a product. Therefore, your ability to produce revenue is restricted by your availability or the availability of your associates. That said, to maximize your potential to earn what you need to achieve your goals, you need to consider who your most profitable patient is going to be.
If you are small and have little chance of producing volume, than you need to shoot for high yield cases.
If you have the ability, either through an extensive associate network or multiple offices, to produce in volume, than attracting a low yield high volume patient base might make sense.
Knowing who you want to attract will help you focus your efforts by delivering the right message on the right channel at the right time.
Step 3 – Design a marketing plan that will help you reach and attract the right patient base
In dentistry and business in general it is way to common to listen to a service provider or solution sales rep tell you that their offering is the silver bullet turnkey solution to all your marketing problems.
An effective marketing strategy is going to take into consideration your goals and your target audience, and will require:
- A variety of tactics
- Consistency in your message
- Constant revisions and adjustments
There is absolutely no one approach to marketing a dental practice that will work for all. Your goals and your target audience will require you to design a custom plan built for your own needs.
As an example, you might hear that a radio commercial is a waste of money. Really? What if the audience you are trying to reach listens to a particular station. You might hear that a blog is the way to go. Really? What if your target audience doesn’t read blogs?
My point is simply this, sit down and examine what you are trying to achieve. Figure out who you are trying to reach. Then determine where they are hanging out. From there you can create a killer marketing plan that is sure to produce results.