What do you want from your marketing?
Let me guess.
You want to generate leads that you can turn into dental patients who will shout your praises from the rooftops. They’ll then become an army of people marketing your business for free.
Unfortunately, I see many dentists investing a great deal of time and money in marketing that doesn’t pay off.
Why is that?
Mostly because they’re committing one of the 7 deadly sins of marketing. Simple errors that completely obliterate their efforts.
Causing their marketing money to go up in smoke.
These errors are easily avoided and can mean the difference between wasting your time and money and creating a steady stream of patients who’ll fill your book.
Let’s look at them so you can be sure you don’t make the same mistake.
1. Content That Puts People To Sleep
Think about it. What blog posts or articles do you read to the very end?
What content do you feel driven to share on social media?
What adverts do you actually find engaging?
Most of us are engaged by content that makes us feel something. It might make us happy, or worried, or amazed – whatever it is it makes us feel something.
Work out what you want your audience to feel and create content to elicit that response.
2. Interest So Low It’s Subterranean
If you’re not interested in marketing, it will show.
It’s like anything else in life. If you do something that you’re not interested in, you’ll do it poorly.
Start a fitness program that doesn’t interest you and you’re likely to fail. Give up smoking because you’re badgered into it, and you’ll cave at the first hurdle.
You have to be interested in marketing to do it well so find a way of piquing your curiosity.
Remember that marketing is about connecting with people, and you’re in dentistry because you care about people. If you can find ways to demonstrate that caring through your marketing activities, you’re half way there.
3. Strategy That’s Sketchy At Best
Marketing – like most things in business – needs a strategy. You can’t just throw stuff out there and see what sticks.
Taken to an extreme, that could result in doing one newspaper advert, one radio advert, one post on Facebook and one tweet. No one in their right mind would do that and expect an upswing in business.
You need to develop a strategy, execute it for a reasonable period and then assess it. From there you can keep what works and tweak or replace what doesn’t.
A high performing dental practice needs systems and strategies for almost every aspect of its’ business. Marketing is no different.
So create a marketing strategy that’s manageable and affordable. Then start executing, reviewing and refining.
4. Research That’s Almost Non-Existent
Why do you need to do research?
Because you need information to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems. You need to evaluate marketing actions, monitor performance and improve your understanding of the process.
Simply put, marketing research links you and your audience. It gives you a much greater likelihood of a good return on investment – whether you’re investing time or money, or both.
Research helps you understand your target market and means you’re more likely to reach them with your efforts. It also gives you information on what your competitors are doing, so you can stand out from them.
5. Misunderstanding Your Target Market
You have to know and understand your market or you’re wasting your time.
Thinking you can appeal to everyone means you’ll appeal to no one. Smart marketing means defining your audience and marketing accordingly.
This ties in heavily with research because you need to be consistent with your branding and messaging.
What’s the demography of the surrounding areas? How can you make your practice more appealing to those people?
If you’re in an area with a large number of families you’ll want your practice to appeal to families and children. And your marketing should target that group.
But if you’re in an area that’s full of professional singles or DINKs (double income, no kids) then your branding and marketing are going to be very different.
6. Actions That Are Inconsistent
Even if you have a marketing strategy, you need to execute it consistently in order to have a positive impact.
Your marketing strategy might include five Facebook posts a week. But if you jam all five onto your page on Friday – because you forgot to do it earlier – that’s a problem.
Being consistent in marketing does a number of things. It gives your potential patients regular exposure to you and your brand, which results in effective frequency.
(Effective frequency is the number of times a person must be exposed to a message before they take action.)
But consistent marketing also demonstrates that you’re reliable and dependable.
Why is that important?
7. Hoping The Next Idea Works
A lot of people pin their hopes on the next big thing. They invest time and energy looking for silver bullets or magic pills.
There’s just one thing they don’t understand: There’s no such thing as a magic bullet in business.
A successful business involves hard work, consistent execution, and smart strategies.
Hoping for a magic bullet is like hoping a gym membership will make you fit. Buying the gym membership doesn’t make you fit – doing the exercise makes you fit.
It’s sad but true. You have to do your push ups yourself.
So stop hoping and start planning, executing and following through.
Avoid the Deadly Sins of Marketing
Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing, and you’ll boost the return on your marketing investments.
It’s fairly simple. Just do a little research and get a good grip on your target marketing.
Put together a marketing strategy and execute it consistently.
Create engaging content and ensure you’re actually interested in marketing.
Do this, and you’ll be creating new connections with people – and that’s what marketing is all about.