Determining what you should spend on your dental marketing budget can be like trying to navigate a very complex maze.
It doesn’t really have to be that complicated. In essence, your dental marketing budget will largely depend on your goals.
What Are Your Goals?
Before you consider what you need to be spending on marketing, you need to understand what your goals are. How big do you want or need your practice to be? What type of patient do you want to attract? How many of that type of patient do you need to acquire to grow to the size desired?
Once you have determined how big you want to be and how many patients you need to acquire, you also need to understand how big of an audience you need to inform in order to meet your goals.
How Big Does Your Audience Need to Be?
Marketing strategy is often defined by the ways you promote your practice in order to acquire patients. You will often hear or read that a comprehensive marketing strategy will include:
- Website Marketing
- Print Materials
- Newspaper/ Local Journals
- Email Marketing
- Radio Commercials
- TV Commercials
- Patient Testimonials
- Social Media
Each of these marketing “tactics” really represents the ability to reach a specific audience that you should consider a source for new patients. So how does this help you determine how much you should spend on marketing?
How Many Patients Will Come from Each Source?
Once you have an idea of type and volume of patients you need to acquire, you can start to determine how much you should be spending on marketing by analyzing the number of patients each source has the potential to deliver and how much it will cost to reach the source.
Note that each of the sources on their own will require you to determine how much to budget to make that source productive.
Let’s say for example that you need to acquire 5 patients a month. If you live in an area where there is a high volume of internet searches for your services, then you may only need to design and execute an effective internet marketing plan without spending on other sources.
If however, you live in an area where there is a low volume of internet searches for your services, then you may need to expand the area you market to, thereby increasing the amount of time or money you spend on internet marketing. You may also need to start communicating to an additional source.
Where Are My Future Patients Hanging Out?
Where are your future patients most likely to find out about your practice? If your source is an internet audience, then focus on internet marketing. If your source is a radio listening audience, then you might want to consider a carefully crafted radio message.
How much you spend messaging each audience source will depend on your goals and the size of the source. If you think radio advertising would reach your target audience, you have to determine how many patients you want to attract from a radio campaign. You will also have to determine how often your commercial needs to be heard in order to reach the right number of people.
Every marketing channel comes with it’s own audience. An analysis of your patient acquisition goals combined with an examination of your source audiences will help you determine both the nature of your marketing strategy and the total amount you need to spend on your marketing plan.
If you have questions about how to establish your marketing budget, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.