You probably don’t need me to tell you that dentistry is a highly competitive industry – one in which you have to work that extra bit harder to gain trust. Without a realistic dental marketing strategy, you are, in effect, running your dental practice in the dark.
Consider a dental marketing plan as the light at the end of the tunnel. It gives you perspective on where your business currently is and where you want it to be. And, to quote a famous saying, “A goal without a plan is purely a wish.”
The truth is that many clinics rely on their dental websites to bring in some much-needed new patient footfall. Unfortunately, this is no longer enough. Instead, a dental practice with a solid dental marketing plan is the way to go.
Still not convinced?
Here are 5 key reasons why you need a dental marketing strategy for your dental practice.
Reason #1 – Good dental marketing strategies provide vision and guidance
Without a vision of where you want your dental practice to be, your business is at a clear disadvantage. Consider the analogy of placing a dental implant.
The process is undoubtedly planned to the Nth degree.
The legwork a dentist puts in beforehand provides a clear goal of the process and how they want it to end – hopefully, a satisfied patient who has just gone through a comfortable and hassle-free experience.
Similarly, a dental marketing strategy provides vision – E.g. where you see your dental practice in 2, 5 or 10 years from now; and guidance – E.g. how you get there.
Reason #2 – A dental marketing strategy – defines accomplishments
Setting achievable business goals is something that all dental clinics should aim to achieve. Do you want to grow your existing practice footfall? Are you looking to expand the number of clinics you currently have? Or are you simply looking to be in a better position than you are now?
The reason itself isn’t important but what is imperative is that you have a reason in the first place. Once you have your ‘why’, it becomes easier to map out precise and measurable timeframes to get you there.
Reason #3 – A good marketing plan defines your target audience
Unlike your dental website, all good dental marketing strategies are specific about defining a target audience.
So why is this important?
It helps to identify the demographic and type of dental patients in your community. This way, you can formulate dental marketing strategies that target them specifically. If your immediate competition is not doing this, it’s one sure-fire way that you can get ahead.
Reason #4 – A marketing plan serves as a solid blueprint for smart business ideas
A dental marketing plan gives you the platform to develop proactive ways to take your business forward. While this in itself isn’t difficult, a strategised plan gives you the means to document and manage goals effectively.
Proactivity may involve
- assigning marketing tasks to various members of your dental team
- managing the job at hand and determining reasonable timelines, and
- reporting the results.
This way, results are measured against specific targets or goals, thus giving you significant focus on what works and what doesn’t. Then, it’s simply a case of rinse and repeat!
Reason #5 – You get to stand out from the crowd
As already mentioned, dental websites provide a constant shop window, but it’s something that 85% of all dentists now have. So while it’s a necessity, it’s no longer the defining feature that makes you stand head and shoulders above your competition.
Instead, a solid marketing plan with clearly defined targets and goals is!
It helps your patients understand why your dental clinic is the one they should choose and why your treatments and services are unique.
So, now you know all there is to know about why you need a marketing plan for your dental practice, how do you build a comprehensive marketing strategy?
Here are some hints and tips:
Take a look into the future
Establish a vision for your dental practice. Where do you see your clinic and, ultimately, your business in 1, 3 or 5 years? Begin by placing a vision statement in your marketing roadmap. Doing so will help you grow your business with documented foresight.
Create a mission statement
Where your vision outlines where you want to go, your mission statement defines how you get there. Like all good dental marketing strategies, it should detail which markets and patients you serve and how you propose to do it. Your mission statement should be the guide by which all marketing processes should follow.
Know your audience
Look to identify your target market and consider their needs. Then, think about the tactics and platforms you will use to grab their attention.
For example, when it comes to kids’ dental health, women are typically the ones who make household decisions involving the family.
So you may decide to target mums in your advertising campaign.
Don’t forget to budget
It’s vital to set a marketing budget and to be able to track spend. If you don’t, marketing can easily run away with you. If you are opening a new practice, you may want to consider using a slice of your start-up funds.
In addition, by setting a budget, it’s easier to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. This way, you can invest more into activities that do and shelve any actions that don’t.
Don’t forget your long-term goals
While most dental marketing strategies deal in the short to mid-term, longer-term goals should not be ignored. What do you want to achieve in 5 years or more? What steps will you take along the way to make it happen? How can your marketing plan incorporate this aspect?
Dental marketing strategy – The key takeaway
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you can no longer rely on dental websites as your sole marketing strategy. While they have their place, dental websites should be part of a more extensive dental marketing plan that incorporates paid and free forms of advertising.
If you would like to find out how a comprehensive marketing plan can help your dental practice, come and talk to the experts at Mediboost. We’re Australia’s #1 medical marketing agency and have helped multiple businesses to achieve unprecedented growth.
Contact us on 1300 163 058 today.