Finish Strong: End-of-Year Marketing To-Dos

By November 14, 2016Blog

You’ve had your sights set on a particular production goal all year, and now you’re just six short weeks away from the finish line. Here’s a simple to-do list to ensure that you finish strong:

Boost end-of-year patient traffic. Initiate an educational email campaign to the entire patient base – including active and inactive patients – to encourage them to use their benefits before year-end.

Our friends at Rankin & Mingle Dentistry used this verbiage:

“Did you know that if you don’t use your dental insurance benefits this year, you lose them? It’s true – dental insurance benefits don’t roll over to the following year. If you don’t use them, you lose them!

“Don’t let your dental benefits go to waste. Call us now to schedule a dental appointment for a professional dental cleaning or any dental care you may have been putting off.

“Call today because our schedule is filling quickly as many patients are rushing to use their dental benefits before they expire. We’ll be happy to discuss your remaining benefits and answer any questions you may have.

“We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!”

Offset tax exposure. If cash flow permits, consider making an extra payment or two to your marketing firm to pre-pay the 2017 fees. Reinvesting profits back into the practice means a lower tax bill.

Reward the team. This is another great way to reinvest profits, and even more importantly, a great way to bolster confidence and excitement in the dental practice. Have your marketing firm provide metrics that show how many new patient calls the front office fielded, how many new patients the hygiene team saw and how many recall appointments were completed for the year. Hold an end-of-the-year team meeting – something more special than the standard morning huddle, like a team lunch. Publicly recognize each team member for their part in making the year great, and if cash flow permits, hand out bonuses. Even a small Visa gift card can go a long way in saying thank you to the people who carry your practice day in and day out.

Finalize 2017 production goals. Meet with the leadership team to analyze historic year-over-year growth and set next year’s goals. For example, if the practice has grown on average 20% each year, aim for 25% next year. Break down exactly how that will happen. How many recall appointments? How many new patients? How many crown and bridge cases? How many implant cases? From the breakdown, formulate a clear production plan and share it with the entire team.

Finalize the 2017 marketing plan. Analyze what has worked well in the past and what may not be producing as high of a return on investment. Consider the total marketing investment you made last year and your production goals for next year. Articulate in writing exactly what marketing tactics will continue in 2017. Attribute a dollar figure to each to account for how much you plan to invest next year. Again, share the completed marketing plan with the entire team so that everyone is clear on precisely how the practice will achieve the production goals and what each person’s part is in getting there.

Inspire the team. This goes far beyond sharing your plans with the team. Facilitate an open team discussion about what their personal goals are for 2017 and explore together how the practice might help them achieve those. Show them what’s in it for them to help the practice make its goal a reality. An inspired dental team is a highly successful team.