Marketing can be expensive.
This statement is relative, however, because the better your marketing works, the less expensive it becomes in the long run.
The worst thing you could do is “no marketing.”
There are quite a few components to a successful marketing campaign, but let’s start with one that is quite often mishandled: Choosing your public.
In the PR and marketing world, your “public” would be your “target audience.” You could say that a “public” would be a group that has one or more particular traits in common. This might be age, income level, interests (i.e. people who like action movies), location, and so on.
Most successful marketing campaigns are pretty clear cut about which public they are targeting.
In other words, you could say it is clear who they are marketing to, and the marketing itself takes this into account.
You see this all the time with TV commercials (at least the good ones). Who do you think the “Mac versus PC” ads were aimed at? Here’s ayoung allegedly hip kid. He’s a Mac. The 40 something guy with glasses and a sport coat was a PC. Notice all of the “problems” the “PC” had in all of the commercials while the Mac was trouble-free. Well…my teenage kids (at the time these commercials started airing) both got Macs. So did most if not all of their friends that I saw with a computer! It wasn’t just limited to my kids and their circle of friends. I’d see it at Starbucks, and anywhere else a kid had a laptop – more than half were Macs. The ads worked and their target audience (teens and young adults) bought. While I don’t know if it was part of their original strategy, I would bet you that some of these kids who start businesses in the future will use Macs instead of PCs. Technological superiority aside, Apple may have guaranteed a market share for decades to come with just that alone.
Let’s roll this idea into dentistry. The type of dentistry you want to do has a great bearing on whom you select for your target audience. Match up the type of dentistry you like performing with the publics that need it most.
For example, if you wish to perform a lot of crown and bridge, you would obviously not direct your marketing efforts towards children or college students. You would reserve your marketing dollar for the audience who needed these services the most. The basic idea here is don’t “shotgun” one type of marketing out to the undefined masses. Pick a particular type of public to market to and do it. Eventually you can have several different types of marketing to several different publics.
Examples of different publics would be:
1) Homeowners within a certain age group or income bracket.
2) Families with small children.
3) Other professionals (CPAs, Lawyers, M.D.s, etc.)
Demographics play a big part in all of this: For instance, what is the average age in the neighborhoods surrounding your office? Does your zip code contain primarily families or singles? What type
of industries do they work in? What is the average income level?
All of this information can be found easily for free. You can use the website zipskinny.com, where you simply enter in any zip code and it immediately displays all relevant demographical data.
Once you have selected your public, you need to find out more about them and their dental needs, wishes, and opinions. This is accomplished through surveys. The first step we do with a client when they sign up for the New Patient Workshop is have them survey patients who they would like to attract more of and then use this data when they come to MGE for the course to develop their marketing plan.
You will find that different people in different locations want different things from their local dentist. You should find out what your public wants by surveying them. The results of the survey will affect the overall look and message of your marketing.
Don’t assume anything when designing a marketing campaign. Survey it first! And the surveys will tell you if you’re going in the right direction.
Depending on which media you choose to use in your marketing, you could also survey a cross section of your patients who conform to your target audience and find out which papers/magazines they read, which radio stations they listen to, which websites they visit, where they gather, as well as other avenues of reaching more people like them.
When proper consideration is given to basic marketing principles like these, it is possible to get real, predictable results from your marketing—and it doesn’t have to cost inordinate sums of money, either. It just has to be done right. And that’s exactly what we teach on the MGE New Patient Workshop. Give us a call now for more information.
Jeffrey Blumberg provides this general dental practice management advice to furnish you with suggestions of actions that have been shown to have potential to help you improve your practice. Neither MGE nor Jeffrey Blumberg may be held liable for adverse actions resulting from your implementation of these suggestions, which are provided only as examples of topics covered by the MGE program.