Years ago, I worked for a marketing agency on accounts like Wells Fargo, Microsoft and Regal Cinemas. While there, I learned the strategy that these corporate giants use to deploy powerful, foolproof marketing.
Fast forward ten years, and I’m now seeing corporate dental practices use a very similar approach.
What if you could replicate what they are doing?
You can. Here are the basics:
Give Them What They Want. America’s largest and most successful corporations, including corporate dental practices, regularly research patient behaviors, data, and trends.
To ensure that they are delivering all of the right messages, services and perks throughout the patient experience.
Amazon.com is a great example of this. CEO Jeff Besos founded the company as an online bookseller. The nation’s upper middle class took notice, buying books and having them delivered to their doorstep. Unwittingly, those buyers were providing Besos and his team with valuable data on what they were willing to buy. Today, Amazon.com is the world’s largest online marketplace for wares of all types, thanks to all of that market research.
An independent dental practice can gather similar data with simple surveys. Ask why patients chose the practice and what they love most about the doctor in order to develop a marketing message that truly resonates. Ask your patients what types of marketing (Google AdWords, Yelp reviews, direct mail, etc.) capture their attention so that you know how best to reach their peers, who are your potential patients. Continue to gather feedback to refine the marketing strategy and the patient experience.
Consistency is Key. A mentor once told me, “When you become sick of a logo, that’s the time when the target audience is noticing it for the first time.” When you gather market research and truly understand your patients or buyers, you have the power to replicate a meaningful message using captivating media outlets. Invest in professionally designed marketing materials. Even more, invest in a solid marketing plan that is consistent with its message, look, and delivery. This is the only way to truly compete in today’s marketplace. It’s hard to find one vendor that does it all for dental practices, but they do exist.
Always Be Closing. In the corporate world, there is a phrase: “ABC! Always Be Closing.” This refers to asking for the sale on a regular basis. If you think there’s not a “sales” job inside a dental practice, you are dead wrong. It’s best if all treatment coordinators and dentists in the practice are professionally trained in closing sales, or encouraging treatment acceptance.
Beyond that, the practice should always be recruiting great talent. What does the team have to do with marketing? Everything. The right team acts as a patient and referral magnet, keeping existing patients loyal to the practice and inspiring those patients to regularly bring friends and family into the practice. Corporate dental practices always have well-developed job opening advertisements on their websites, not just when they are hiring. The very best actively seek great talent with robust headhunting strategies. You can do the same my searching out qualified dental professionals on LinkedIn, connecting and building relationships. That way, when it comes time to hire, you will have cultivated an entire pool of talented people from which to draw.
Finally, corporations know to Always Be Marketing, too. Marketing is not a one-and-done activity, but the very lifeblood of the practice. A thriving independent dental practice has a professional marketing team, or outside agency, managing the right mix of 5-7 marketing tactics at any given time, that collectively attract new patients and increase production over time.
This is the foundation upon which our offerings are based, so plenty of independent dental practices are benefiting from this strategy now, too.
What will you change in your marketing approach to better compete with the big dogs?