Dental Marketing Strategies For Your Practice
Many dental practices don’t view marketing as an essential component of their success in dentistry. Why? Some dentists simply don’t think it has a place in their industry. Others may have the mindset, “Hey, I’m the best doctor in town, so I shouldn’t have to market my practice!”
Well, let’s put it this way: Professional competence does not guarantee business success. But high-quality service, coupled with a strategic dental marketing framework, will not only increase exposure for your practice but demonstrate the exceptional value you offer your patients. This perceived value, in turn, will attract more patients and ultimately bring in more revenue.
Dental Marketing vs Dental Advertising
Many people lump marketing and advertising into the same business category, but the concepts of marketing and advertising are much different. In short,
- Advertising uses a specific medium (radio, TV, Internet, etc.) to communicate details about your company.
- Marketing is everything you do to communicate to customers who you are and what you do.
As a dental practice, here is an abbreviated list of items that constitute the marketing of your “brand”:
- How you answer the phone
- How you conduct transactions
- The smell of your office
- Your patient intake forms
- The technology you use
While these may seem like minor logistical details, they’re all part of your marketing strategy. Why? Because they communicate with patients who you are and what you do.
Refining Your Mindset
This is one of the first things you need to do to implement an effective dental marketing campaign. How you perceive your patients, and how you perceive the services you provide them, will impact how you send your marketing message out into the world.
First off, how do you regard your practice? Do you view it as a sheet of transactions, or as a service that transforms people’s lives? Hopefully the latter. We hope that every single person in your practice – not just the dentist, not just the front desk, but everyone – both believe and actively communicates that dentistry does indeed changes lives.
Consumer Ignorance? Oh, Maybe
Here’s the number-one impediment for dental practices: The average American doesn’t realize how important their oral health is. Fred Joyal, the founder of 1-800-DENTIST, put it this way, “The same guy who spends $5,000 on a built-in backyard barbecue grill won’t spend a nickel on his own grille.” The reason for this is there is no concentrated effort on part of dental professionals to explain the benefits of ideal dentistry. So why not incorporate this mindset into your marketing message?
Relay to your current and prospective patients that $15,000 to $20,000 in restorative and cosmetic dentistry could be one of the best investments they’ll ever make. After all, if they’ll borrow money for a new car, why not borrow money for their overall health and well-being? Furthermore, don’t let pricing be your “marketing strategy.” After all, if the price were the major driving force for consumers then:
- How did Starbucks take people from paying 50 cents for a cup of coffee to gladly paying three dollars?
- How does Evian get away with marking up bottled water by a whopping 4,000 percent?
- How can Gucci get away with selling a pair of jeans for over $600 when a pair of Levis sells for $50?
The answer: Effective marketing that tells a story. Compared to most consumer products, telling the story of oral health – that is, the overwhelming benefits of oral health — should be easy. Simply communicate the quality of life that sound oral health brings, and you’ll see your practice grow steadily over time.
Key Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you understand the need for effective dental marketing?
- Do you clearly communicate the value of your services?
- Do you educate consumers on the importance of sound oral health?
Now that you’ve refined your strategy, it’s time to implement it. If you’re struggling to effectively relay your marketing message, and don’t have an effective online platform to deliver it on, you’re missing the boat. Using an outside marketing agency to market your practice is well worth the investment.
If you want to learn more about dental marketing – or about how to go about getting a dental marketing plan by requesting a free digital marketing consultation.]