Market Your Practice
Neil Sanderson Dental Marketing Expert
It has to be said that the majority of dental practices do little or no marketing and as a result they get by. I'm often told especially by NHS practices that we don't need extra patients and as a result we don't need practice marketing.
The problem with this argument isn't that they need more patients its normally that they need more patients who will purchase private treatment to boost profits.
Having an NHS contract is a great comforter and obviously keeps the cash flow positive, the down side is that it doesn't grow and as overheads continually increase, this puts ever more pressure on your bottom line or profits.
So this is why you need to think how you can market your practice using every tool available to you.
It's reasonable that if you have a good supply of NHS patients, the vast majority of them have absolutely no idea what you offer privately unless you or one of your colleagues tell them. Whilst you the principal may well introduce your private treatments, do your associates?
This is why EVERY practice should embrace marketing as a way of life, it is a constant investment that will give you a payback month in, month out. There are very few things that give you a return on investment but when you market your practice, this is one of them.
Knowing how to market your practice isn't just about knowing how to get an advert into the press or get a leaflet produced, just think about all those patients who visit you every day who have little or no idea as to what you can do for them, so here are some essentials you need to consider when you market your practice.
- Social media is a must, 50% of the British public spend 30 minutes every day on Facebook alone, that's thirty million people. This is the ideal platform for you to tell your patients and prospective patients just what you can do for them.
- In-practice marketing. The most under utilised area to market your practice is your waiting room. Just about every dental waiting room has a TV which inevitably is showing some daytime TV channel instead of showing a video or video's of what you can offer your patients.
- Your Mobile App. This is probably the most cost effective way for you to communicate with your existing patients. The dental app is the ideal tool to generate referrals, encourage loyalty and return visits, it also showcases your treatments like nothing else. The mobile app is the ultimate word of mouth tool you can deploy.
- Email Marketing. Email is still one of the most cost effective ways to communicate with your patients on a regular basis. You don't have to bombard them with endless special offers, but a regular update from you giving your patients updates on what you do and the services you have is invaluable.
- Text Messages. Whilst most dental practices have embraced text messaging for appointment reminders, hardly any use it for marketing and text messaging is a fantastic tool to do this. It's cheap and gets a very high read rate. Test messaging is a great way to market your practice.
- Direct Mail. Yes we all know that direct mail isn't cheap, but it's incredible effective, especially to your own patients. If you can get 20% of the emails you send out read, you are doing pretty well, whereas direct mail will get closer to a 90% read rate.
So just because you are very busy doesn't mean that you can't improve the profitability of your dental practice when you market your practice. Just think what an extra 10% profits would make to you!
We have just launched a new service that is going down a storm, it's called the Complete Dental Digital Marketing System and it handles every aspect of marketing your practice. For more information, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk You can also find us on Facebook