No one wants to see any money go to waste, but amidst all of the sales calls and promotions bombarding dental offices, it can be hard to find the sweet spot of spending enough money to get your name established within the community without spending your marketing dollars unnecessarily.
When trying to determine a budget for your dental practice marketing in 2018, consider these following questions:
- How well known is your practice within your local area? For a new practice, plan on spending more, particularly in the first year.
- How much external marketing has been done in recent years? Again, for a new practice, or one that has done little to no marketing, consider the first year the “building year”.
Practices that fit into one or both of the above descriptions should plan to dedicate anywhere from 6-10% of gross revenue for marketing in a building year. Then in years 2 and following, be sure to track the ROI (return on investment) and budget 4-6% annually for ongoing efforts.
As far as how to allocate the budget, here are a few concepts to keep in mind:
- Always keep your target patient in mind. Choose marketing ventures that will best reach your desired patient type. Looking to attract moms? Think about social media as opposed to phone book ads.
- Business is cyclical. Market your practice during the times of year when your practice gets busier to reach more patients at the precise time they are searching for your services.
- Don’t forget your marketing budget should be fluid. Take time to track and review results over time. Make changes on a semi-annual basis when you see there is room for improvement.
Finally, don’t overlook the benefits of hiring a marketing consultant when crafting your marketing budget and strategy. A professional with specific experience in the dental industry can help guide you through the marketing process and help you find your marketing sweet spot.