Marketing is a hot topic in the dental industry. Practices are becoming more competitive and, as a result, they are increasing marketing efforts and tuning in to what patients want in order to give their practice the edge over competition.
But marketing isn’t second nature to everyone, so we’ve caught up with Les Jones, editor of The Business of Dentistry Magazine and the marketing director of Practice Plan, to find out his top ten marketing tips for budding dental marketers.
Know what game you’re in!
What’s your offer? Are you a health-focused practice for the whole family or a specialist orthodontic practice delivering life-changing smile makeovers? Know who you are and know who your potential patients are.
It’s not about you… it’s all about me (the patient)
I don’t buy features, I buy benefits. I don’t speak ‘dentish’, I speak ‘plain and simple’. I don’t want to see a picture of the outside of your Victorian mid-terrace practice.
Sweep me up and take me on a journey
Every touch point of your customer journey matters…and all of them present an opportunity to do something that ‘wows’ the patient. How well defined is your customer journey? What memories will I take away? Little creative touches that exceed customer expectations make a huge impression.
Make me an offer… incentivise me!
Everybody loves a deal – what are you offering that will entice me into your practice? A free initial consultation? A shiny new electric toothbrush? A free photo shoot to show off my new smile? Do the maths.
Online is oxygen… breathe it!
If you haven’t got a great website that’s at the top of a Google search first page… so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye! It’s really important for you to develop your online presence.
Create some ‘buzz agents’
Get people talking about your practice and the great benefits you deliver – think about developing local networks, generating PR (public relations) in the local press, stimulating referrals and asking for testimonials.
Marketing is not an exact science; find out what works for you and do more of it. Find out what doesn’t work for you and stop doing it. Measuring the success of your marketing activity is vital.
Go retail – Tesco me!
Boost your practice income through sales of products and consumables… but get them out of that glass cabinet, please.
Make it easy for me to say ‘yes’
Stop putting up barriers and start knocking them down instead. Can I book an appointment online? Can I spread the cost of my treatment through a plan or patient finance? Can I sign up to your practice in a few minutes? If the answer to these questions is yes, then so is mine.
Create unique experiences…give me stories to tell my friends and relatives about. Being the same as everyone else just means getting lost in all the noise. Be a work of art in an endless expanse of wallpaper.
If you found these tips quite interesting, the great news is that Les Jones will be touring the UK in September, delivering a series of one-day marketing masterclasses entitled ‘How to market your dental practice’. His full-day workshop will take you on a marketing journey, right from understanding the basics of marketing, identifying your target market and setting marketing KPIs (key performance indicators), to creating your marketing proposition, exploring routes to market and understanding branding.
The dates and locations for the workshops are:
- 10 September – Birmingham
- 12 September – Manchester
- 25 September – Cardiff
- 30 September – Southampton.
So, if you’re interested in developing your marketing efforts, book your places today by visiting www.practiceplan.co.uk/events or call 01691 684135.
Les Jones is marketing director at Practice Plan. He has worked as a professional graphic designer, photographer, writer and business speaker for more than 25 years, and in the dental industry for the past four. Les is also editor of The Business of Dentistry Magazine.