Dummies’ Guide to…seasons
Do you plan your marketing according to the seasons? Chris Baker explains how you can make the seasons work for you.
The need for dentistry is consistent, right? There won’t be any major peaks and troughs across the year? That may be the case in terms of regular appointments and hygiene, but when it comes to your marketing, the calendar can have a major impact on what works well and when.
New Year, new you
Yes, it’s a cliché. But like most clichés it exists because it’s true. The best time of year to offer ‘life-changing’ healthcare treatment is early in the New Year. The New Year is a time of transition and it can hit some people hard. Many will associate New Year with the passing of time and take stock of where they are in life and what they might like to change. It is the time of resolutions. Many will look in the mirror and curse the passing of time – they often don’t like what they see!
But you do have to be a bit clever how you carry out the promotion as after Christmas, everyone is skint! A successful tactic is to start your promotion in January with the offer/event/competition not taking place until February when everyone has been paid again. Don’t forget to make finance a feature – £3,500 or £60 per month – which do you think is more appealing?
This runs from February through to mid-June. Dental practices should spend around 70% of their annual marketing budget in the months as they tend to be the most fruitful. These are the months to really have your major promotions and pushes.
Not everyone disappears for six-eight weeks over the summer. However, there is a noticeable drop off in sales in July and August. There are three great ways that your practice can still increase demand at this time:
- Children’s days – these are a great practice builder and encourage parents to introduce their children to the practice environment
- Teeth whitening – this can be promoted along the lines of: ‘Make sure that your smile has that summer sparkle on holiday’
- Facial aesthetics – if your practice offers these treatments then they can really take off across summer months.
Run up to Christmas
In some industries, this is the time that businesses will expect to make the majority of their turnover and profit. Dentistry is somewhat different. Most people would rather not commence a big course of treatment in the run up to the festive season. With that in mind, consider:
- An email to existing patients promoting gift vouchers for family or friends as a Christmas present
- Email/hard copy newsletter keeping them up to date with news and education from the practice with a nod towards upcoming promotions early in the New Year
- Email with the Christmas opening hours and thanking patients for their custom throughout the year.
Whilst not all seasonal rules are hard and fast, you do need to be aware of them and to have considered them to better deliver success.
Choose your season wisely!
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