One of our SmartBox associates spent some time in advertising agencies, and he shared a tidbit from those experiences.
“The last thing any agency wants to hear from potential customers, or particularly from existing customers, is, “I didn’t know you do that!”
That’s true for all small businesses.
For dentists, the “that” in question might be a dental appliance, a procedure, or emergency walk-in service. It might be offering special incentives or financing arrangements. It might even be offering to speak at a civic organization’s meeting or at a local school.
No matter what your “that” might be, it means that your marketing has failed you.
A lot of good marketing is making sure that your customer knows what you offer. Many times, the availability of one product or service is enough to tip their decision in your favor.
If you’re hearing that awful phrase more than a few times a year, you need to have a hard look at why people don’t know what you do and what you offer.
Let’s start with your website. When was the last time you updated it? Google is looking for fresh, useful content, and your potential patients are searching on Google.
Dentistry doesn’t change as fast as, say, the Internet but it does change. Dental technology and treatments certainly change. Does your site reflect your current capabilities?
Or have you completed additional training since your last website update? Expanded your office hours? Added a payment plan option? Expanded the range of insurance you accept?
The same holds true for any social media that are part of your marketing plan. Your blog, your Facebook page, Tumblr, or anything else you use to communicate with the people who want and need your services also has to be kept up to date.
What about your patient emails? You might have sent out an announcement, but if your patients weren’t interested at the time, they likely forgot about it.
If you run a standing ad in the local newspaper, how long has it been the same? How about your Yellow Pages ad, whether print or online?
Your marketing isn’t what happens outside the office, or not only that. If you offer educational pamphlets to your patients, are they current? Does the signage in your practice advertise new developments that might interest your patients?
These may seem like obvious points, but in our experience dentists are mostly busy treating patients and don’t have a lot of time to think about their marketing. If you work with a good dental marketing firm, they’ll probably keep track of these things for you. Or maybe you have a staff member who you’ve tasked with keeping things up to date.
One other point: making sure that your services, products, and offers are up to date can help you stand out from your competitors. Getting noticed gets you patients.
Maintain a watch over your marketing and set up a system to keep things current, if you don’t already have one. Then, you can happily look forward to hearing patients say, “I’m glad to know you do that!”