Now, be a good student and write ‘em on your forehead so you don’t forget.
A Dentist invested $5,500 in a new website, $2,500 in a practice brochure and $8,000 in a mailing campaign, only to see little or no lasting impact on their revenues. Then he threw his hands up in the air and said, “well, marketing must be a waste of time and money… it doesn’t work.” Though we applaud the dentist for his dental marketing attempts, there are some major things he should keep in mind when approaching dental marketing.
To oversimplify things we’ve developed the 3 C’s of dental marketing. These are obviously not meant to be exhaustive, just a quick perspective check and reminder list for you wonderful people out there the rest of us like to call dentists.
COMMITMENT (1st C)
Our dentist in the above example showed some commitment by choosing to invest in high quality marketing materials. Understandably, dentists feel they need to pinch pennies when it comes to dental marketing. No surprise here, you get what you pay for. If you are truly committed to quality dentistry, do you buy the crappiest (cheapest) drill you can find, hoping to get the same results you would with a high-quality drill? That’s about how much sense it makes to buy the cheapest website you can and hope it will bring the same quantity and caliber of patients that a well put together, quality website will. You are going to have to come to terms with the fact that effectively marketing your dental practice requires a substantial investment. Not that long ago, dental coaches recommended you invest 3-5% of your practice’s annual revenue in your dental marketing efforts. Recently, a dental coach this author knows said that percentage is now 4-10%. If your dental practice pulls down $750,000 a year, what are you thinking if you only invest $6,000 (<1%) haphazardly every year on your marketing? Of course you're not getting the results you would like to see from your dental marketing! If a patient comes to you complaining about their $300 overseas crowns that keep breaking or falling out, what would you say? You have got to be committed to effective dental marketing and that commitment is manifested by putting your money where you mouth is and working with a quality dental marketing firm that will deliver quality strategy, materials and execution.
CONSISTENCY (2nd C)
Back to our our example dentist in the first paragraph. -He invested $5,500 in a quality website (which is a reasonable price) but there is something important his dental marketing investment decision left out… SEO. With how competitive the online space has become for dentists, buying a website without SEO services is like buying that nice drill and not using it. The only way that drill does you any good is if you consistently expend effort using it on patients to generate revenue. If you invest in a quality website without SEO, it will usually NOT get to the top of results or even be visible to people searching for local dentists on a major search engine. It requires a consistent investment of time and energy to optimize your site and help it climb the rankings. Only then will it offer you value in the form of new patients. If you don’t have the time, desire or expertise to optimize your site, you better find a professional dental marketing firm (like us, wink) who does.
This is the same for all your dental marketing efforts: social media, mailers, referral program, paid search campaigns, etc. Consistency is your friend, don’t blow him off.
CARE (3rd C)
Morris Hite said “Nothing will put a bad product out of business faster than a good advertising campaign. Advertising causes people to try a product once, but poor quality eliminates any possibility of a repeat purpose.”
If you promise patients a “comfortable experience” under the hands of a “caring professional” who delivers “top quality dentistry” and then your staff treats the new patient rudely, you rush through the treatments and don’t do the best job, will that patient come back? Will they tell your friends how great of an experience they had. Nooooope. You can probably bet your marketing budget that that patient will tell anyone interested not to go to you. You just invested money in marketing only to have it lose you more potential patients than you gain. Dental Marketing is only effective long term when you deliver great CARE to patients. At the end of the day, the quality of your care is your best form of dental marketing. DentalCMO can’t help you on this one. But if you’re a great dentist and your patients love you, we can definitely help you spread that message.
Hopefully this overview of the 3 C’s of dental marketing was helpful. Dentistry is valuable service and you dentists can truly help people’s lives become better. Let us know if you would like to reach even more people.