Are you competitive?
Because the dental profession is more competitive than ever. There are simply too many dentists for the number of patients.
But that’s not the real problem.
The real problem is:
What are you going to do about it?
Because there are still plenty of dentists out there who run highly successful, lucrative practices.
Despite the competition.
They don’t struggle to fill their appointment book. They don’t spend their nights worrying about their bank balance.
And if they ever start to feel that things are slowing down a little, they know how to convert price shoppers to customers.
They know how to kick-start patient flow.
And they understand the art of marketing.
In return, the practice owner feels a greater sense of control over their business and enjoys reduced levels of stress.
What is marketing exactly?
Marketing is any activity that either brings patients through the door or keeps them in the practice. It has three broad elements:
- Recruitment of new patients.
- Retention of existing patients.
- Reactivation of patients you haven’t seen for a while.
Each practice will require its own unique mix of these elements depending on which stage of development it is in.
6 Common Marketing Mistakes
Mistake #1: Looking for Magic Bullets
This is the most common mistake we encounter. Many dentists ask:
“What is the one tactic, the one trick, the one tool, that I can use to ensure I have a never-ending supply of patients?”
The simple truth is there is no magic bullet, and marketing is a culmination of activities. Most importantly, it relies on having the fundamentals in place before specific activities are undertaken.
Mistake #2: Being Unclear On Your Ideal Patient
If you don’t know who your ideal patient is, it means your marketing initiative is aimed at no one in particular. Trying to be all things to all people is futile and counterproductive. It is far better to hone your marketing message so it resonates with those people you ideally want to treat.
Mistake #3: Trying To Suit Everyone
When the practice understands exactly who their ideal patient is, the patient experience can be tailored to suit that individual. That experience gives patients a story to tell others.
Mistake #4: Being Beige
Many dentists are afraid to be different, have an opinion or stick their neck out. The end result is a sea of sameness. When one practice looks like another, dentistry becomes commoditised. That’s when patients start to compare on price because it’s the only unit of comparison.
Mistake #5: Failing To Test And Measure
When you undertake marketing activities, measuring their effectiveness is critical. Gather as much detail as possible to understand whether or not that particular initiative has been effective.
Mistake #6: Loosing Interest In Marketing
Many dentists say, “I just want to be a dentist. I just want to make sure that I have an endless stream of patients at my door so I can focus on my clinical work.”
In times gone by, it was easy to get away with this mentality. However, in today’s competitive marketplace, business owners must take charge of their marketing.
So how do you improve your marketing?
6 Steps To Improve Your Marketing
1. Know Your Ideal Patient
Understand them at a very high level. Know their age, gender, income, where they live, what media they consume, what other products they consume, and the other businesses that serve these ideal patients.
It is absolutely imperative that you understand the concerns these people have so your solution can address them.
2. Serve That Ideal Patient
Understand the experience is created by paying attention to the tiniest details. Map the patient’s experience by the touch points they have with your practice.
Choose the critical touch points and choreograph the experience you want your patients to have at this point. Then create a system around it and train your staff so it’s reproducible.
3. Create A Marketing Strategy And Follow It
Many dentists look for magic bullets in the absence of a good strategy. Create a 12-month marketing plan and follow it.
Look outside dentistry for inspiration. Avoid being beige, market yourself creatively, think differently to every other practice out there, and ask yourself: “How would an inspired business do this?”
5. Measure Everything
Having some reliable data is better than having no data. Gather the most effective data to help with your future marketing decisions.
6. Take An Active Interest
You either need to be interested in marketing yourself or build and lead a team that markets your practice for you. Delegate the day-to-day responsibilities for certain activities, while you remain accountable and take ownership of the practice.
Ditch The Struggle
Stop struggling to fill your appointment. Stop wasting your nights worrying about your bank balance.Embrace marketing. Get to know it, and do it right.
Embrace marketing. Get to know it, and do it right.Create a strategy. Test and measure your results.
Create a strategy. Test and measure your results.Then refine and repeat.
Then refine and repeat.It really is that simple.
It really is that simple.Effective marketing ensures you have
Effective marketing ensures you have a full appointment book.It provides certainty for
It provides certainty for staff, and reduces your stress.
It means a profitable practice. So embrace marketing and leave Struggle Town far behind.