I support many practices up and down the country with their marketing and you would be surprised how many tend to be a little ad hoc with their activity. Normally when business drops off a little then they tend to do a bit of marketing, but it’s rarely focused and specific.
So with this in mind, here are my top five tips to support your dental practice with its marketing activity.
Tip one: goals
I always advise practices to set tangible and measurable marketing goals.
The perfect example of the opposite to this is: ‘We want to increase the number of treatment uptakes in a particular month’. There is no real measurement there. You need to get specific, so something like this: ‘In the next 12 months we want to increase the number of treatment uptakes from 60 to 100’. By stating ‘the next 12 months’ you will have something that is time-based, and by stating ‘60 to 100’ you now have something that has a start and end point.
Tip two: language
Dentists are fantastic at talking to their patients, but unfortunately sometimes what they say is far too technical.
The key is to speak the language of the receiver, which means speaking in a way that the patient can understand.
I don’t think there is anyone that thinks ‘I’d really love to go to the dentist this morning’. Dentistry is a means to an end for your patients.
So you need to talk about the benefits of having a treatment in those terms, not the features.
Tip three: remove barriers
You would be surprised how many barriers dentists unintentionally put up but expect their patients to overcome. For example, most people work 9-5; and if they want to get in touch with their dentist during the week they are most likely to ring at lunchtime – however, this is usually the time a practice is closed ‘for lunch’.
Another example are treatment plans, lots of patients would like to invest in high-value treatments, but they can’t afford it outright. If you aren’t offering an affordable solution, for example patient finance, then you are missing out.
Both are quite simple things to fix, so take a moment to think about any more possible barriers in your practice.
Tip four: website
Your website is a powerful marketing tool, so make sure you invest in it. If a prospective patient is looking for a dentist in the area, then they are more than likely to search on the web.
If your website isn’t on the first page of their search, or your website is not connecting really quickly, then you’re probably out of the game.
Tip five: measure
You must measure your marketing activity, otherwise how will you know if what you are doing is working?
Whatever the activity, make sure you monitor the results every step of the way. Marketing should give you a return on your investment.
There we have it, five very easy tips to support you with your practice marketing. If you implement them, your marketing activity will increase and the results will also become much better.
Practice Plan is a specialist provider of practice-branded dental plans. It has a wealth of business and plan support services, including expert marketing support, and a proven reputation for supporting practices. So, whether you’re considering your options out of the NHS, looking to introduce a plan into an established practice or considering switching from another plan provider, Practice Plan can offer you expert advice. Call 01691 684165 or visit www.practiceplan.co.uk/dental-plans.