Just about every dentist does some marketing. Many have a couple of different types of dental marketing in which they are engaged. And with that in mind, when you have more than one thing going (e.g. newsletters, flyers, Google AdWords, Social Media, etc.), it’s critical that these activities are all coordinated.
Even a little bit of coordination between your marketing efforts can drastically affect your results (i.e. new patients) and significantly improve your return on investment.
I often speak with dentists that are actively in any number of different types of marketing and while each of these might seem to be working and “look fine” – a good chunk aren’t actually getting good return on investment.
And the reason for this is not that any of the individual marketing actions they were doing were wrong or performing poorly. It’s that no one was overseeing these activities and making sure they worked together.
(Related: The Latest Trends in Dental Marketing)
Real life examples of uncoordinated dental marketing
A dentist was running a Google Ad campaign that was “working” – in other words, people were clicking the ad and going to their website. However, once the visitor gets to the website, it’s difficult to find a phone number, and people don’t call. Or, when they do call the practice, nobody answers the phone; it rings several times and goes to voicemail.
A dentist had their Facebook page created a few years ago by a marketing company that they no longer work with. Now, they don’t have the log-in information for it anymore and they can’t access their social media accounts.
A dentist is sending out postcards, but they don’t totally remember where they sent them to or how many they sent out last month.
A dental office did some community events with some local businesses or schools in the area. It worked well and produced some new patients…but then the doctor didn’t really have time to do it anymore and nobody followed up. So no events got scheduled.
(This is the most common) A dentist is marketing, but doesn’t know how many phone calls they got last month FROM EACH MARKETING ACTIIVITY or how many new patients were scheduled from it. Because there’s no tracking, they have no real information about whether the marketing is actually working.
(Related: Dental Internet Marketing 101 – Part 1)
Dental marketing: tracking results
In all of these examples, nobody kept track or followed up with their marketing actions. In order to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts you have to stay on top of them, find out what happened after each, and continue actions that worked. And then of course change the ones that didn’t.
So, you can see the biggest problem is not whether or not the individual marketing activities were working. It was the fact that they weren’t coordinated. No one was really overseeing marketing in the office as a whole.
Put someone in charge of marketing
At MGE, we endorse a very clear assignment of duties and responsibilities in a dental office. For example, in most dental offices the receptionist is responsible for greeting new patients, answer the phones, etc. The finance coordinator is responsible for billing and collections. However, in most offices marketing often doesn’t fall under anyone’s particular job duties.
Most marketing is born from the doctor having an idea that he or she would like to try. They’ll hiire a company to do their website, send their postcards, etc. However, nobody is really responsible for making sure it all works together intelligently. So, eventually one or more of these marketing ideas go by the wayside and you never have a consistent marketing strategy for your dental practice.
You would never just run out of supplies in your office. Or make no attempt to look at or manage the schedule (I know…these things do happen from time to time – but at least all concerned know it’s not supposed to happen). You should place a similar level of importance on your marketing; it shouldn’t be ignored. Someone should be in charge of making sure that it occurs, is coordinated and gets results!
Marketing can be expensive, and it’s absolutely worth having somebody in charge to make sure it’s done correctly.
If you have a large office, a full time PR Director might not be a bad idea (especially if you want a larger office). If you have a smaller office, it may have to be assigned to the Office Manager or Front Desk employee as a secondary job. However, make sure somebody is putting in enough time to oversee these things and do them correctly.
So, there you have it. My advice and tips on how to get the most out of your dental marketing.
If you want to learn about how to market your practice effectively and get more new patients in the door, come to the New Patient Workshop. We don’t just cover some marketing ideas. We show you how to optimize your practice to create a steady flow of new patients month in and month out.
This workshop is delivered in Florida, New York and Southern California. You can find out more information at www.newpatients.net or call us at (800) 640-1140. But meanwhile, make sure you have someone who is at least overseeing the current activities you’re doing and making sure they’re working properly.