For most dentists, getting started is the hardest part of setting up their marketing strategy. Below I’ll give you six tips that will be a great reference on how to get started.
Step 1- Design your marketing to get attention from the different demographics in your area.
This seems like common sense, but in all actuality, you need some accurate numbers. There are great services out there that have measured the type of demographics available. Nielsen generally has the most up to date and comprehensive data specific to your zip code.
This needs to be done at least once a year.
Step 2: Create Buyer Personas based on the demographic information you have.
If you’re a family dentist looking for mothers you need to know what areas around you index the highest for people with children in the home and develop a strategy to get their attention.
If you’re trying to sell Invisalign you need to see what areas have a higher concentration of HH Income level over $75,000 and get their attention.
Also, make sure to include new movers in your strategy. These are people that will let their dental care slide until they need it. Capture them early when they’re just getting to the neighborhood.
Step 3: Take that information and make sure your website is designed to capture these people.
Your website actually can be something for everyone. You must supply the content to attract their attention to the parts of your websites those individual patient personas are likely to look at.
A good example of this is at the grocery store. People’s time is valuable and most people are there to get what they need and leave. It becomes a lot more convenient when the mac and cheese you’re looking for is on the cap space at the end of an aisle. That way you’re not looking for which aisle and then searching up and down the aisle for it. Make your messaging easy for your desired patient to find.
When people come to your site because they saw a blog on a dental savings plan they’re looking for costs based on not having dental insurance. Your content needs to be informative and not include promotions or sales tactics. They just want information right now. Give it to them and they will begin to trust you. Once that happens they are much more likely to choose you.
Step 4: Your three-month speed up
Your plan needs to be developed in quarters and each quarter you need to know the speed at which you will be going. Here’s where dentists waste a lot of money on advertising and marketing. There are marketing items like SEO and content marketing that need to be yearlong projects but your targeted and branding promotions need to be strategic.
If you know you’re shutting down between Christmas and New Years I wouldn’t be spending a great deal on radio or direct mail at the beginning of December.
If you were headed out of town with the family the first few weeks in June I wouldn’t spend a ton on PPC or display ads in May.
Be strategic in when you deliver messaging.
You also need to have your first quarter plan developed, done and most importantly committed to by the end of September. December for 2nd quarter and so on. That means you probably were able to negotiate the best deals on media and have time to educate your staff on your efforts for the next quarter. You will also be able to evaluate what worked in the previous quarter. This will keep you from making kneejerk decisions month to month. This inconsistency is the biggest problem I see with marketing efforts in dental offices.
Step 5: Purchase the media and evaluate via analytics
You can purchase media on your own but I’m always going to suggest going through a buyer or broker. They have buying power, better media relations, and in most cases a better knowledge of what’s available to bring you the most success with traditional media, online and mobile.
If you do it yourself that’s fine but be sure to incorporate or when you hire a marketing company make sure they incorporate two things:
- A call tracking system that measures calls on traditional and online sources.
- Google analytics with custom fields to evaluate online and even direct mail.
If you can’t tell where you are having success it will make it even harder to hit the brakes or accelerate during your three-month speed-ups.
Step 6: Do your best.
Marketing isn’t easy and a lot of business owners beat themselves up over it. How much money do you think Coke and McDonalds spend on advertising just to miss on the wrong targeting or creative.
Just get out there and market like you mean it!
Remember that you can always contact me to discuss your marketing strategy by scheduling here