Dental marketing – the who, what and how
Dental marketing is important for the long-term success of a practice. Effective promotion of the services you offer supports business growth and sustainability. It also facilitates your practice and team goals. For the best results, it’s necessary to consider who in the practice should take control, what they should do and how.
Who manages activities?
Nicola Ripton, Marketing Business Partner at Rodericks, offers some advice on choosing a marketing lead for the practice.
“When it comes to dental marketing, the best person for the job will be passionate about it. They also need to be confident in learning the new skills required to plan and implement a campaign. In addition, they should have strong relationships with other members of their practice team. This will help them to get all the relevant information, input and content for effective marketing materials. While this is usually the practice manager, it could be a dental nurse or a member of the reception team.”
How should they do it?
Marketing can seem like a complex area, but it often pays to take it one step at a time.
“First, think about what you want to achieve,” says Nicola. “Second, identify the patient groups that you want to reach in order to achieve that objective. Next, consider how those patients would most likely access and digest information. This might be via newspapers, online platforms, social media or direct mail. From here, it’s necessary to eliminate any channels that are not viable within your budget or available to your practice. Finally, select from the remaining options.
“I am often asked about how to set a dental marketing budget. This usually depends on the size and type of your practice, as well as the promotional activities you’re looking at. Sometimes, the most successful marketing avenues are free or very cost-effective, so start with these and work through your options. It’s more important to structure your marketing according to your objectives and then adjust it as needed.”
While planning is vital, all marketing campaigns need to be fluid. Activities or messaging may need to change due to external factors like related stories in the media, or internal factors like new objectives. Being flexible and changing with the times will ensure your marketing supports your practice in the best possible way and helps you achieve your goals.
Top tips for dental marketing
- Use your marketing to support and achieve your practice goals.
- Consider what activities are best for your target patient group(s) and then narrow down the options according to budget / availability.
- Always plan review points at least once a quarter to ensure your marketing is working and helping you achieve your goals. If not, don’t be afraid to stop activities and focus on what is working.
- Prepare to be flexible. Priorities can change quickly in marketing and you need to respond accordingly.
- Follow up with activities – it is not just a case of setting a campaign up and leaving it alone. Expect and encourage conversations and questions from those you reach out to.
- If you have questions, ask your marketing team for advice or extra support.