Do you believe you have “Normal” or Exceptional Dental Marketing? Answer that question for yourself.
For the last 35 years and counting, I have tried to encourage dentists to look at their dental practice as a business, not only as a profession providing oral healthcare. I talk daily to dentists who are not my clients, trying to convince them they should be. After all, that is my job. I am a marketer.
Talking to dentists daily and listening to their experiences, problems, and opinions keeps me in touch with the reality of what it takes today to run a dental practice. It also helps me develop new strategies and ideas outside the box. During the conversations, Dentists often ask me, “what do other dentists do to promote their practices?
I believe this question frequently arises because dentists are unsure about their marketing. They wonder if they are on the right track or if they could do better. Just because other dentists use average marketing tactics does not mean it should be good enough for you. You must have a plan, and you must use data.
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.
Suppose you have the opportunity to speak to successful business owners outside of dentistry. They will tell you that they have a marketing plan that covers an entire 12-month period. How successful you are in your marketing depends not only on what you do and how you do it but on who and how you target.
Your success is irrevocably linked to having a long-term plan, compared to a short-term plan that covers a few weeks or months. Short-term planning does not accomplish the goal of long-term business success. You may have noticed some of your competition surging ahead. In that case, they might have a strategy to put you in their rearview mirror.
Access to data and reports does not help unless supported by analytical conclusions. You need a roadmap that points you in the right direction and provides instructions on how to implement the changes you need to make. There is no excuse for not having full transparency of your marketing results. Gut instincts are flawed and are not a sound basis for making decisions. Top-level business executives use data to drive their business decisions, guided by the thought process.
Think of and compare an “Intraoral-Camera Exam” with using a Panorex to complete a visual exam. Patients are far more likely to commit to treatment when they can see any problem areas for themselves. People trust what they see. Identifying the business problem areas is what analytics can do for your marketing.
A dental marketer with whom we frequently exchange opinions was kind enough to share the results of a survey he completed. The sample size was 1000 Dentists. His questions centered on marketing, website experience, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Despite a whopping 89% of respondents declaring they were either “somewhat” or “very happy” with the performance of their dental marketing, the 38% of survey participants who were “somewhat happy” or “not happy” had plenty of complaints regarding their website.
38% expressed dissatisfaction with their dental website, saying the website did not generate enough new patient leads.
25% complaint that they had poor search engine rankings
18% were unhappy and declared their website did not sell their brand well enough.
9% had technical issues of some sorts
6% had inadequate mobile representation
4% felt their site was not user-friendly enough
Only 10% of the respondents said their SEO strategies are very effective. Even Google ads did not do much better.
Only 13% found them to be highly effective and paid social ads topped the chart with 15% of people thinking this platform was highly effective.
Why are so many dentists seemingly happy with their marketing results when others feel most of their lead generation activities could be doing much better?
I think the answer it’s linked to relationships. I’m willing to make a small bet that our satisfaction comes from our relationships with the dental marketing companies we chose to do the work for us.
We must look at this from the very basic human level.
Typically, we choose people to be our partners who we like, which means we are often too willing to tolerate average results. The survey results indicate that “average” and “mediocre” results are the new normal among your peers, which is an excellent opportunity for improvement. Let me ask you, do you just provide “normal” dentistry to your patients, or do you try to give it the best you can to all of your patients each day?
Do you tolerate team members who are just okay, or do you train and expect them to provide an outstanding patient experience? I think it’s time to raise your expectations for your dental marketing.
The path to success is paying attention to your data results and challenging yourself to take action to make the necessary improvements. I can assist you in the process.