A dental marketing plan will keep you on the straightest path to greater success with video.
What is Marketing?
Very simply, marketing is doing whatever needs to be done so that the right people find you, choose you and ultimately refer you.
Promotion is only a small part of a well designed marketing plan. In fact, these days, it is a very small part, and in some cases, not a part at all.
A well designed marketing plan starts with you. It is your skills, credentials, experience, ability to serve your patients, and ability to lead your team.
The rest of your marketing plan is determined by your goals, your patients, the competition and the resources you want to commit to attracting the kind of patients you want to serve.
What outcomes should you expect from your dental marketing plan?
Whether you are fresh out of school, or you are an experienced dental professional, a specialist or a general practitioner, starting a practice from scratch, or buying an existing practice, in order for your practice to thrive, people have to:
- Know who you are
- Like and trust you enough to choose you
- Refer you
The hard part is designing a marketing system, or plan, to help you achieve all three of these critical outcomes.
Why is marketing harder today than ever before?
Dentists, like every other small business owner, are confronted with two major challenges when faced with the need to market their practice.
- Problem One – The Fight for Attention We live in a very distracted society, with a flow of information that is unprecedented in our history. People are really good at blocking out unnecessary information and honing in on only that information which serves a purpose.
- Problem Two – Easy to Choose Your Competition The availability of information however, has also made it easier for people to make choices. They can read peoples testimonials, and experience a practice before ever becoming a patient. They can search for dental services online, and come up with a list of practitioners to choose from.
Your job is to make sure you cut through the noise with a message that the people you want to work with find useful enough to pay attention to, ensuring that you are on their list.
The first step to solving the two problems above is to create and execute a well designed marketing plan.
How do you create a dental marketing plan?
Whether you want to do your own marketing, or retain the services of a dental marketing consultant, the steps should be the same.
- Step 1 – Define Your Goals and Ideal Patient You have skills that define the services you provide. The community you serve has people who need your services. The key is to clearly define your goals and the type of practice you want to have. Then you need to pick the types of people you want to serve, and make sure they are likely to help you reach your goals. Some patients are more profitable, and stress free, than others. You certainly want to be sure you build a practice around the people who don’t give you grief, and allow you to practice good dentistry for a profit.
- Step 2 – Differentiate Your Practice to Develop Your Core Message Differentiation is critical to developing your core message. Your core message is used to develop your brand. Your brand is important for attracting your ideal patient. Differentiation can be based on the local community you serve. It can also be based on the services you provide or even something like providing dental services to a particular religious group or group of hobbyists.
- Step 3 – Define the Tactics Needed to Get Found, Chosen and Referred Step 3 is often mistakenly done prior to completing steps 1 and 2, leading to unpredictable results, and a lot of wasted time and money. If you have completed steps 1 and 2, you can confidently determine the tactics you will use to get people to know you choose you and refer you. Tactics will include things like designing a website, creating an advertising plan, writing a blog, creating a referral system andyes, using video content to educate, inform and promote.
- Step 4 – Execute the Plan A plan is only as useful as the ability to execute it. You and your staff will have to be on the same page, each knowing their part in executing the plan you have created. Execution is critical and should not be considered the sole responsibility of the dentist. The entire team needs to be included to optimize results.
- Step 5 – Measure, Adjust and Repeat Marketing is a funny thing in that not everything you do will work. Everything needs to be measured against your overall objectives and adjusted for better results, or repeated for consistent results.
With a well designed marketing plan, you will be much more effective in your choice of marketing tactics.Two things are likely to occur: