There is no denying the increased competition and decreased revenue dentists are facing today. After-hour appointments and working under capacity is becoming far too common. Unfortunately, just when many dentists are approaching a point where they are considering retiring and selling their practice, they are seeing a decline in its value.
Historically, dentists haven’t needed to learn the business skills to differentiate themselves from the competition. But, with the dentist-to-patient ratio per capita increasing consistently for the past few decades, dentists are now experiencing declining patient loads, empty chairs and a need to do something different.
There is good news!
Dental practices can take advantage of high performing marketing programs that differentiate them in their target markets. And while direct mail has definitely got a place in the marketing toolkit, digital marketing strategies allow you to reach your target audience in ways that could never be done before and measure the performance of your marketing spend. With a little homework on understanding the lifetime value of your patients, you can figure out a marketing budget that makes sense for your practice and delivers on specific business goals:
- Attract new patients
- Retain existing patients
- Help patients understand the importance of regular dental care
While your team focuses on keeping up with the latest dental trends and skills (your core competencies), engage marketing experts to provide the proper focus on your marketing investment. Your marketing resource should help you:
- Understand the type of patients you want to attract
- Understand the behaviours of this target market - both online and offline – this will allow you to be very specific in your marketing investments
- Ensure you can measure the performance of your marketing spend so you can spend your budget wisely
- Evaluate your competition’s marketing program so you outperform them
- Be knowledgeable on new marketing technologies, trends, and how it delivers on specific business goals
- Define a unique marketing strategy and plan for your practice – the goal is to be different (and better)
- Include your existing patients - if you aren’t talking to them, someone else may be
Check back next month for the next-in-series blog on exploring marketing strategies for your dental practice.