You know you need a blog, a website, a Facebook page; and you probably know that you should have a newsletter and email blast campaigns, host local events, and participate in local sponsorship opportunities. You might also advertise in the newspaper or in magazines, submit press releases, or send direct mail.
Question is, which of these is profitable?
What’s the key to getting new patients,
closing bigger cases, and earning more profit?
First of all, determine what’s lucrative. Don’t keep investing in marketing projects that have little or no return. And, don’t let anyone tell you that something does not work. While I truly believe that phone book advertising is useless for most dentists, some practitioners in small communities may still see new business from a yellow pages advertisement. Likewise, newspapers across the country are filing bankruptcy, yet I still see quite a few dentists, usually those that cater to people 55 and older, who see new patients as a direct result of regular newspaper advertising.
Measuring return on investment, or ROI, can be difficult unless you ask all new patients how they heard about you, then log the information for future reference. The best way to accomplish this is by giving your front office team the tools and training to ask for and accurately record “How did you hear about us?” responses. Your records must reflect ALL new patients, and they must be maintained year after year to truly measure responses. I’ve seen new clients call businesses as a direct response to an ad that was placed over a year before.
Set your budget. You will not get any business from marketing if you don’t first invest in marketing projects. Before all else, you need a website, business cards, and signage. Once these tasks are complete, you should quickly move on to a strategic campaign that makes the most of the dollars you set allot. How do you determine what your budget should be? That’s up to you. It’s wise to set aside a percentage of profits for marketing each year (or quarter). An article in Entrepreneur Magazine suggests that a business invest 1 to 20% in marketing. That’s a pretty wide range! Many factors contribute to setting a marketing budget, one of which is how much risk you want to take…a truth that’s consistent in all types of investments.
Continue with profitable marketing projects, discontinue those that aren’t working, and try something new a few times each year. The following schedule is not hard and fast. It’s simply a jumping off point. Adjust the frequency of your various marketing projects according to the results you see in your office.
- Blog – daily or weekly
- Website – update quarterly
- Facebook – daily or weekly
- Newsletter – quarterly
- Email Blast – once or twice a month
- Events – twice a year
- Sponsorships – one or two a year
- Newspaper – monthly
- Magazines – monthly or quarterly
- Press Releases – monthly
- Direct Mail – one to four times per year
Get expert help! If you need professional assistance evaluating your marketing strategy, defining what’s worked and what hasn’t, then designing a campaign that will prove effective and profitable, call Jill at Modern Dental Practice Marketing, 972-781-8861, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A consultation is free, so you’ve nothing to lose and better ROI to gain!