Marketing is an extremely important but often neglected part of running a dental practice.

If you don’t market and advertise your services, then how will you attract new patients whilst letting your existing patients know about the treatments and services you offer?

You will be surprised how many businesses, let alone dental practices don’t do any type of marketing; they believe good old-fashioned word of mouth is still their number one way to drum up business. However, things have moved on a bit and those who don’t market will soon be left behind. So, if you haven’t already put together a marketing plan, this should be high on your priority list.

A marketing plan will help you assess where you currently are, where you want to go and how you will get there. Below is a list of some things to include in your plan to get the best results for your efforts.

Where Are You Going?

A marketing plan should assist your practice’s aims and objectives, if you want to grow your practice’s reputation or you want to get more patients through the door then you need to figure out how you are going to do that with your marketing plan. You need to understand that every campaign you execute needs to move you a step closer to your end goal because if it doesn’t then you will never make any progress.

Where Are You Now?

Benchmark where you are now. If you want to increase your revenue, then take a look at how much your practice makes now. Or if you are trying to increase sales of a certain service then see how many you currently sell. This way you can see how much you must increase your efforts to achieve your targets, and also have a benchmark to track against.

What Else Is Out There?

Do some research into your industry; what treatments are trending in dental? Who is your competition? What are they doing better than you? What do you think you are doing better than them?

Find out what their patients like about them and think about why they would visit your practice over theirs. All of these things are what you need to try and communicate in your marketing strategy.

How Are You Going to Get There?

You need to investigate the different ways you are hoping to get there, for example: are you going to use social media to share your message or are you going to increase your content marketing? Or perhaps you want to use your website for more of a selling tool so then you may look to improve your SEO performance. Think about all of the different channels that your patients would use, and which ones would be most appropriate for you and your business goals.

Who Exactly Are You Speaking To?

Who are your patients? Easy answer, right? Wrong, depending on your message would have a different impact on different demographics. One marketing campaign may work for over 45’s but may not engage the under 20’s.

This is why audience profiling is a very important part of your marketing plan. Try to come up with profiles for at least 4 different patients. Think about their gender, their age, their background by doing this your different marketing messages will have a greater impact.

How Do You Know You Are Going in the Right Direction?

It’s good to know how your marketing plan is going to go but how do you know if it’s working?

It’s important to track and measure for marketing efforts, to see if there is anywhere you could improve your ROI.

Using Google Analytics will give you are a good view of who is visiting your website, how they are finding you online and who they are.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin all have their own insight data that tells you what is working and what is not. SOE offer Campaign+ and Channel Track, with the ROI dashboard you can see exactly how much you are spending on your marketing campaign and see how much you will receive back.

Time to Get Started

It’s time to put pen to paper. Work your way through the different titles in this blog for guidance. Think about what you wish to achieve as a practice, where you currently are, how are you going to get there and make sure you are going in the right direction.

At SOE, we not only have a Patient Communications Team who are experts in the marketing field, but we also have our Customer Success Programme. Your dedicated consultant will work with you on a monthly basis to identify what you wish to achieve, how you are currently performing as a practice and then work with you to implement best practice steps to boost your performance KPIs. So, if you are struggling with putting together a marketing plan, it might be worth giving us a call.

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