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Successful dental marketing depends on strategy. In this blog, you will learn not only about marketing strategy, in general, but also about what millennials are looking for in a dental practice and how this can be leveraged via your marketing strategy to grow your patient base and employee satisfaction.

 

In dental marketing, there are endless services and products available. The overwhelming number of options can make it tempting to sign up with a one-size-fits-all marketing product for your dental practice or DSO. But a product is not the answer. Successful marketing depends on strategy.Dental website creation, social media scheduling, SEO services, pay-for-click advertising and other marketing services are products, not strategies. The Strategy is the blueprint…the Message and the Audience that together form the foundation on which your dental practice or DSO can make wise marketing choices.  

 

What do your dental patients say about you?  

Building a dental marketing strategy begins with your message. To determine your message, start with self-reflection on what makes your dental practice or DSO special and what is already effectively working. Once you have a good understanding of what patients say about you now and what you want them to say about you in the future, you can define your focused message.

Evaluate your patient experience from a patient’s point of view.

Are you providing the quality of customer service that you would expect to receive? Read reviews of your practice and adjust your patient experience process where necessary. Also recognize and maintain systems with which patients are already satisfied. 

Creating an amazing patient experience is job number one that will have sustaining positive impact on patient reviews and referrals that compose your free advertising. As management consultant Peter Drucker says,

“If you can measure it, you can manage it. You can improve it.”

So, your first task is to measure where you are in the present. Read your online patient reviews. What do you discover in those reviews you can improve or sustain and leverage? What do you want patients to say about you as you go forward? What key characteristics do you want to focus on? 

 

Who is your ideal dental patient?

After recognizing what is special about you, identify your target patient. Pinpoint the demographics of your existing core (returning patients). Where do they live? What are the percentages within age groups? How did they initially learned about your practice? Is there a core group you are reaching? Your core is your target audience or “market” for engagement. 

Evaluate your message in relation to your target patient.

Pause to make sure your message is consistent with what your target audience wants. Evaluate how you can improve your message for your target audience. You will want to deliver the message in the most effective way to reach this market. This delivery involves presenting the message in “language” that resonates with your target market, whether it be words, pictorial images, and/or visible actions. For example, Millennials will be attracted to your dental practice or DSO in ways that may not attract an older demographic, and this will be addressed shortly.

 

How will you share your message with your target patient?

Your strategy should include not only the message that reaches this core group but also how the message is to be communicated. You need to think about this before purchasing marketing services or software platforms. You need to understand which channels of communication are most effective in reaching your target demographic with your message so you can allocate marketing dollars for greatest return on investment.

Along with traditional marketing avenues there are two significant, often overlooked, resources at your disposal: current patients and team members.

Your current patients are your number one source of referrals. Your team is the face of your brand and your business.

 

Consider the millennials.

Because many, if not most, of your new patients and team members will be millennials, understanding this group is the best way to take advantage of that potential. Adapting your work environment and marketing to include the unique dynamic of millennials will lead to greater growth.

  • As consumers, millennials are conscious of how they spend their money. They want to support businesses they feel good about. That includes oral health care providers.
  • The millennial generation is looking for dental practices that go beyond providing a service, that go beyond having a business and making money. Giving back is important to them, so visibly giving back to your community strikes a chord. 
  • Millennial employees want to be part of something “bigger.” Fair, competitive compensation is essential, but millennials want meaning and purpose. Ideal employment includes empowerment, opportunities to advance, mentorship and recognition on a regular basis. Exceptionally successful companies, like Google, attribute much of their success to their non-traditional work environments. 
  • Millennial employees will be excited about the opportunity to partner with you in developing the marketing strategy and enthusiastically share marketing messages with meaning and purpose.

 

Your dental marketing strategy should be dynamic.

Many of your dental patients and team members will be millennials. As technology and culture evolve, so should the marketing strategy for your dental practice or DSO. Discovering your distinguishing message and target patient, and then sharing your message and empowering your team(s) is where you begin. The process of refining your strategy over time should be based on monitoring the results of what you are doing and making improvements to attract the patients you want while maximizing the return on your investment.

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