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How to Allot the Practice’s Marketing Budget

Most established dental and orthodontic practices regularly reinvest about 6% of their annual production back into marketing. For the average practice that produces $780,000 each year that means $3,900 per month is invested in marketing.

For startups, lenders typically allot $20,000-$25,000 of the initial practice loan to marketing during the practice’s first year. With the help of the speed of the Internet, dental marketing providers are becoming more and more efficient at delivering patient acquisition solutions like websites, social media and video marketing to startups at an even lower investment level. Even better, many can provide custom demographic reports to help pinpoint exactly how to allot the marketing investment based on the target audience.

By setting an overall marketing budget, the practice is more likely to produce a return on investment. A single set figure month over month will most accurately measure marketing success.

Marketing should always be backed by strategy not opinion. Rather than going with a gut feeling, survey the existing practice’s best patients, or survey members of the community for a startup. A simple survey will provide insights into which marketing tactics are likely to motivate people to become patients of the practice. Ask questions such as these:

  • How likely are you to click on Google AdWords?
  • How likely are you to select a healthcare provider based upon direct mail?
  • How important is a healthcare provider?s website to you in deciding whether or not to visit that practice?

Then have a look at what the competition is doing. If four out of five competitors are advertising in the city magazine, steer clear ? your ad will only be more noise across an already saturated medium. If none are doing television or radio ads, consider investing there. (But only if your surveys showed that the patients and thereby their friends and family would pay attention to those tactics.)

There are many possible things you can be doing for marketing right now. Here?s a basic list:

  • Recall marketing
  • Reputation management/online reviews
  • Search engine optimization
  • Website development
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, other online ads
  • Email campaigns
  • Referral marketing
  • Thank you cards
  • Practice brochure
  • Welcome packet
  • Television ads
  • Radio ads
  • Public relations
  • Outdoor ads/billboards
  • Direct mail
  • Print ads
  • Community event sponsorship
  • Marketing to referring doctors
  • Open houses
  • Patient appreciation events
  • Professional lecture presentations
  • Point-of-sales campaigns
  • Retargeting ads
  • LinkedIn lead mining

Based upon the findings from the surveys and competitor analysis, pick five of these to focus on now.

And finally, for the big question: How to know what part of the budget to allot to what?

Gather estimates for each of the five tactics you wish to deploy. Direct mail can be an investment of tens of thousands of dollars and can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars of production when done well in the right markets. By contrast, the average U.S. marketing firm charges just $750 per month for search engine optimization services.

Think not, “How much should I spend?”

Think instead, “What is the overall budget I’m willing to invest, and what are the top five things that are best for me to do now?”

That’s investing for a healthy return!

The team at LenDRgroup Consulting cares about the long-term success of your practice. No matter if you are in need of practice financing or business consulting, we are able to craft a customized plan to fit the unique needs of not only your practice, but also your career. We bring a lending platform comprised of 300+ dental and healthcare specific lenders, and we built this network with the purpose of helping dentitsts, veterinarians, and physicians. We want you to acheive your dreams of practice ownership while eliminating the obstacles associated with practice financing.
To date, we have helped hundreds of medical professionals expand and grow their practice. LenDRgroup Consulting recognizes and understands the needs of your business and can provide guidance to help avoid costly mistakes. So, let’s get started. Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one consultation.