A common frustration amongst dentists is how they feel like they don’t get the credit they deserve in their market. “There is this other dentist in town that seems to get all of the new patients and online praise, yet I am a way better dentist than them.”
Why is that?
Many variables go into how consumers position a dental practice in their mind. Dentists often feel that because they went to a better school, have better equipment, and/or have better advanced training, that consumers will automatically view them as the more desirable dental practice to visit. They might… IF the practice tells their story in the right way.
Unfortunately, too many dentists believe that being a superior clinician is more than enough to convince consumers to choose them. It’s not. Just like you could have the most mesmerizing idea for an epic story ever created, but unless you communicate that story in the right way, it will die in obscurity.
Your dental practice marketing is HOW you share your story in your community. Your logo, website, brochures, phone scripts, etc all work together to tell your practice’s story. KNOW THIS- People assume the quality of your marketing reflects the quality of your dentistry. So even if you are the best dentist in your state, if you push out terrible-to-mediocre marketing materials, consumers will assume you provide terrible-to-mediocre dentistry.
How Can I Effectively Share My Story with My Market?
Now you’re asking the right question! The most effective dental marketing campaign for your practice can only be built when you start back at your beginnings. At a high level, here are the steps to follow:
- YOUR MISSION. YOUR VISION. YOUR VALUES. Self-assess and thoroughly explore these concepts until you are able to identify and document your practice’s culture. Once you have written your Mission, Vision, and Values, you have a powerful “culture charter.” This culture charter informs all of your practice decisions because it defines WHY you do what you do (your mission), WHAT you want to accomplish (your vision), and HOW you are going to achieve it (your values).
- YOUR PATIENT EXPERIENCE (PX) You now have a tool to guide the creation of a wonderful patient experience. Every interaction with you, your team, and your practice should reflect a thoughtful adherence to your culture. In fact, your PX is the physical manifestation of your culture. Your culture should also determine who you hire and fire. Hiring people that are a culture fit and then training them well on your systems is how to build momentum toward crafting your ideal culture.
- YOUR BRAND. Your brand is people’s opinions and feelings about your practice built by their experiences with it. BrandING is therefore giving your market those experiences. Every touchpoint your current or potential patient was with your practice is building your brand. Make sure it’s the brand you want and that it matches how YOU see yourself (or want to see yourself). Now, your logo is not your brand, but it is the face of your brand. Which is why it is SO IMPORTANT to get it right! It should perfectly reflect your story and do it in the best light possible.
Here are a few great examples of practices refining the face they present to their market. As you look at the before and after examples, notice how much more compelling the new logos are and much better they communicate the practice’s story. Notice also the shift in assumptions you make about the practices from a consumer perspective.
Learn more about our dental branding service.
Your culture, PX, and brand are the foundation of your marketing. If you have those things nailed down, your practice can still do well even with less-than-ideal marketing efforts. If you don’t have a good culture, no amount of advertising is going to fix that. Marketing dollars will be wasted on patients that bleed right through your practice. Once you have alignment with your culture, PX, and brand, you can ramp up your advertising efforts and reap consistent, sustainable results.
If you would like more guidance on building your culture charter and then choosing and selecting appropriate marketing tactics for your practice, check out The Book on Dental Marketing.