The beginning of a new year is the optimal time to take stock of your dental practice marketing plan. Finding the time to give your marketing some serious thought and consideration can pay off hugely n the long run. It helps in staying on top of deadlines. Carving out a schedule ahead of time ensures you are promoting your dental practice consistently and efficiently, and does not leave you vulnerable to knee-jerk marketing tactics every time a sales person calls.
However, it is difficult to finish a marketing plan without determining a budget. Setting a marketing budget may seem like a daunting task. Several factors should be weighed when considering how much money should be allocated, and where your money will be best spent.
- Consider how well known your practice is within your local community. If you have not done much marketing in the past, you should probably expect to spend more, particularly in a building year (when you are creating your infrastructure).
- In the building year, best practices indicate approximately 5-8% of production should be put towards your marketing. It’s imperative to track your return on investment, and plan to dedicate 3-5% for the second year and going forward.
- Always keep your target patient profile in mind. For example, if your target customers are Moms, engaging in social media marketing will be more effective than paying for phone book advertising.
- Business is cyclical, and dental practices are no different. Think about what times of the year your practice gets busier – these are generally the times when your patients are looking for dental services. Marketing during these times can help to reach new patients when they are searching for you.
- Do not forget that your marketing budget should be fluid. Set a time frame within which you will dedicate time and money towards a series of marketing activities, and take the time to track and review the results. Make changes where you see there is room for improvement.
Creating a marketing budget does not have to be a difficult process. Simply taking the time to sit down and giving careful consideration to the money allocated to promoting your process is a smart step in reaching new patients and keeping your dental practice running most efficiently.
What questions have you encountered in creating your practice’s marketing budget? Do you have any advice for beginners?