How much time do you spend planning for the future? If you’re like most dentists, it’s maybe a quarterly thing: a review of your stock portfolio, eyeballing the practice’s finances, checking that your Roth IRA is performing well enough, or some variation on that process.
How much time do you spend planning the future of your dental marketing?
Just like most financial investments are seldom “fire and forget,” your practice marketing deserves periodic review. What works to attract more new patients during one quarter may not work as well the next quarter. And forget about taking the same approach year after year. Marketing practices are evolving quickly, particularly those that concern online marketing.
It’s not just marketing practices that are evolving. With record numbers of new dental school graduates, the competitive landscape is changing like never before. If you have new competition in your market, you’ll certainly need to adjust your marketing approach or face a lower return on marketing investment.
Periodic review of your marketing is essential to your success. There is a downside to that approach, however – it’s essentially reactive. You find what’s not performing – the “squeaky wheel” – and attempt to correct it. But unless you have some method of tracking your marketing’s performance in near real-time, you’re wasting marketing dollars between quarterly or annual reviews.
Take A Proactive Marketing Approach
Proactive marketing has two components: an integrated, adaptable system, and a method for quickly determining the ROI of each marketing channel.
An Integrated Marketing System
Most dentists use a scattershot approach to marketing. That’s understandable. They’re not trained marketers, and practice marketing isn’t something that’s covered in dental school. It’s fairly common for a dental practice marketing approach to consist of some recurring newspaper ads, the occasional postcard campaign, and a website that hasn’t been updated in five years or more.
That might have worked ten years ago, but today’s dental prospects are more sophisticated and have higher expectations. They also have easy access to more information about dental practices than at any other time in history.
To succeed at a time when insurance reimbursements are declining and competition is increasing, savvy dentists will adopt a strategic marketing approach that integrates an up-to-date and attractive website; a robust social media presence; effective email campaigns and an automation system to handle those campaigns; and selected offline marketing vehicles.
Measuring ROI By Channel
Research has shown that prospects are very poor when it comes to recalling exactly which piece of marketing influenced them to book an appointment with your practice.
Relying on new patient self-report is a good way to waste your hard-earned marketing dollars.
The one accurate method of measuring marketing ROI by channel is phone tracking. Phone tracking assigns unique phone numbers to each marketing vehicle. Calls to those numbers are forwarded to your practice phones and automatically tracked. It’s easy to determine which marketing channels are producing the most new patients and which are wasting your money.
Make Every Dollar Count
SmartBox provides phone tracking and dedicated, in-house Call Quality Analysis for our dentists at various service levels. We’ve also developed proprietary, dental practice-specific Patient Attraction Phone Training™ & Certification Program to ensure that every possible new patient caller is appointed.
Visit www.smartboxdental.com and click on the “Get Started” button. Schedule your free, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™. Following the 25-minute phone call, SmartBox will send you your completely personalized, free, Patient Attraction Roadmap™.
Choosing to partner with SmartBox is the proactive choice that will position your dental practice to profit, now and in the future.