As the old adage goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” and no truer words have ever been spoken…at least when it comes to dental marketing. Marketing can be fun (patient appreciation activities). It’s trendy (social media engagement). And it’s certainly enticing (“Don’t miss out!”). But it can also be frustrating, time consuming and costly, especially if you don’t have a plan in place.
Instead of having a scattershot approach to dental marketing, it can pay off big time to take the time to put a plan in place. Here are 5 steps to get you headed towards marketing success:
- Plan for the long term: When developing a strategy, keep in mind that it should be regularly monitored and needs to have the ability to change depending on factors like time of year, the economy, and your budget.
- Brand yourself: Work with a professional logo designer to develop a branding strategy that will be used throughout out all marketing materials, online and in print.
- Build/update your website: A great website serves as the foundation for the marketing plan, so it’s an incredibly important component. Hire a skilled web designer with experience in the dental field to create a site that attracts new patients and meets the needs of your existing base.
- Train the front desk: The team answering the phones plays a crucial role in the marketing plan. They need to have the communication skills to not only convert new patient calls into appointments, but to also extract the important information from every caller in order to track the results of the marketing efforts.
- Create buzz online and off: Social media is a hot buzzword today, and it’s not just for fun. The reason it’s so popular is because it’s grounded in something we all know – good old-fashioned word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth remains a powerful driver of new patient flow. Encourage your existing patients to become brand ambassadors for your practice and ask them to share their positive experiences online at social networking sites like Facebook and consumer review sites such as Yelp, Google My Business and Healthgrades.
- Just say no!: It’s easy to overspend on marketing when there isn’t a plan in place. Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for a dental practice to receive 20-30 sales calls a week from people selling various marketing packages. Stop the kneejerk reactions and wasteful spending. With a proper marketing plan in place, you can regain control of your practice promotions and feel confident that your hard-earned marketing dollars are being well spent.