Many dental and orthodontic practices reinvest about 6% of their annual production into marketing for their practices. Therefore, a practice that generates $780,000 each year invests $3,900 each month in marketing.
For startup practices, lenders typically allot $20,000-$25,000 of the initial loan for marketing in the first year. Thanks to the speed of the internet, dental marketing providers efficiently deliver solutions for patient acquisition through websites, social media, and video marketing. Solutions are often available for startups at an even lower investment level.
Even better, many of the marketing agencies can provide demographic reports. This helps pinpoint exactly how to allocate the marketing investment based on the target audience.
By creating an overall budget for marketing spending, the practice is more likely to produce a return on investment. This single set figure each month will most accurately measure your marketing success.
Your healthcare marketing plans and goals should always be backed by strategies, not opinions. Don’t simply go with your gut.
Survey the practice’s existing patients or members of the community. This will give you insights on marketing tactics that may motivate people to become patients. Ask questions such as:
- Are you likely to click on Google AdWords?
- Are you more or less likely to select a healthcare provider based upon direct mail?
- How important is a healthcare provider’s website in deciding whether or not to visit that practice?
After your survey, take a look at your competition. If 4 out of 5 competitors are advertising in the city magazine, avoid that route. Your ad will only be more noise in an already crowded medium.
If none are doing TV or radio ads, consider those advertising options. (However, only do this if your surveys indicated that patients, their friends, and family would pay attention to such tactics.)
There are many possibilities 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
Once you have your findings from the surveys and competitor analysis, choose 5 marketing ideas to focus on.
Allot Your Marketing Budget
And finally, for the big question: How do you know what part of the budget to allot to each item?
Get estimates for the five tactics you’ve chosen. Direct mail may involve an investment of tens of thousands of dollars. This can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars of production IF/WHEN it is done well in the right markets. By contrast, the average U.S. digital marketing firm charges $750 per month for search engine optimization (SEO) services.
Don’t think, “How much should I spend?”
Instead, think, “What part of my budget am I willing to invest? What are the five marketing tactics that are best for me right now?”
That’s investing for a healthy return!
At LenDRgroup Consulting, we care about you, your dental practice, and your long-term success. Our team offers practice financing or business consulting services that can be customized to meet the needs of your dental practice and your career.
We developed a lending platform of 300+ dental and healthcare-specific lenders with the sole purpose of helping dentists, veterinarians, and physicians. We want you to achieve your practice ownership goals and will work to eliminate the financing obstacles in your way.
Thus far, we have helped hundreds of dental professionals just like you launch, expand, and grow their practices. LenDRgroup Consulting understands the needs of your small business. We can provide guidance to help avoid costly mistakes. So, let’s get started.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.