Dental Startup Marketing Plans: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes!
We have helped launch over 50 dental practices. Some of those we were involved with from the beginning, and some we were called in after they had already launched because their new dental practice was not growing quickly enough. Here are some of the most common mistakes that Dentists making when creating marketing plans for their practice:
Not setting defined goals: Establish goals for what you want to achieve with your marketing. Set goals for the number of New Patients and the Production per New Patient that you want to generate. In other words, you could get hundreds of new patients by giving away dental exams, but what will the revenue for that look like?
Not “cleaning your house”: If you were going to have first-time guests to your house, you would make sure things are in order, right? Well you need to do the same for your dental practice. Is there room on your schedule in the next 5 days to receive a new patient? Is your front desk team ready to take new patient phone calls and convert them into appointments? Are sending a welcome packet to your new patent before they come?
Not diversifying your marketing plan: It is generally believed that it can take up to 7 contacts with a new potential patient before they make a decision on a healthcare provider. Therefore it is more important than ever that you utilize several marketing channels. As you can see above, there are many marketing channels that you can utilize!
Not integrating your marketing plan: If your marketing is “integrated”, then it will have the same “look-and-feel” and messaging across channels, and all channels will work together.
Not understanding the difference between Brand Advertising and Direct Advertising: Not every marketing channel you create will have a direct Return On Investment (ROI). Sometimes the value of a marketing piece is simply to get your name and brand out in the community, so that it will be more easily recognized in the future when patients are looking for a new dentist. Direct advertising is a direct solicitation (Direct Mail, Pay-per-Click ads, etc.) where you are requesting that a patient call you to set an appointment.
Not educating potential patients: It is a huge mistake to assume that your patients know as much about dentistry as you do, because they don’t! Many dentists speak about their services as if they are talking to other dentists. Remember, you need to educate your patients on the benefits of your services.
Not tracking success: While it is not always easy to track new patient referral sources, it is critically important. As the saying goes, “what you focus on expands.” Track your ROI by marketing channel and by calculating your production per new patient.
Not reviewing your state’s Board of Dentistry Advertising Guidelines: Each state’s board has its own rules about what you can and cannot say in your advertising. Become familiar with these rules, and if you are working with an out-of-state marketing company, make sure they are familiar with these rules as well.
Trying to do it all yourself: We cannot stress this enough. When you are starting your dental practice, you will have very little time to spare. We have seen several doctors who, after trying the do-it-yourself route with little success, end up having to bring in a professional marketing firm and pay them more than they would have if they had hired them in the first place.
Not involving your team: Get your team involved and excited about promoting the practice. Enthusiasm is contagious, and if your team has it then it will rub off on your patients.
Do you need help with your new dental practices marketing plan?
Call us today or fill out our contact form. Don’t let missed opportunities hinder your new practice’s growth! We launch and manage full Dental Startup Marketing Packages for our clients.