Your practice is your livelihood and getting patients in your door is its lifeblood. You take great pride in what you do, and patients benefit just as much from your great work as you do from the revenue they provide. On paper, the recipe for keeping your practice alive and thriving is deceptively simple: attract new patients and keep existing ones coming back. As you well know, these objectives can be quite elusive, and it’s disheartening when you feel as though you have exhausted every avenue. It’s become clear that marketing is essential for the success of a modern dental practice, so why isn’t it working for you?
In many cases, practice owners take the right steps in promoting their businesses, but, by no fault of their own, wound up using a firm or agency that simply wasn’t right for them. This can often lead them to the conclusion that marketing isn’t the answer to meeting their goals, and who could blame them? People’s experiences dictate their actions. However, a closer examination reveals that marketing can and does work, it just takes an individualized, research-driven approach – one that is founded on experience and success. Whether you haven’t yet worked with a marketer or you’ve had bad experiences with them in the past, you can take solace in knowing that there is a solution out there for you if you know how to look for it.
Below are some key questions you can ask to inform your decision, empower yourself as a business owner and help you select the best choice with confidence.
What kind of experience do you have working with dentists?
You’ll notice that this question goes beyond asking if they work with dentists, and there is a reason for this. Many agencies will prominently list that they work with dental practices, and 99 times out of 100 it’s the truth, but that’s not what is important. What matters more are familiarity and experience. All too often, dental practices are lumped in with more conventionally marketed businesses like retail stores or construction companies. An agency may do great work, and indeed also have dental clients, but without an understanding of your field’s nuances, your results may be hindered.
By asking this question, you can open a dialogue about their familiarity with your field and your challenges.
What kind of marketing tactics will you use for my practice?
This question is a bit of a test. Be wary of those who are quick to answer with specific strategies. “We’ll do some SEO, manage your social media and run some ads.” Well, these may be great options for you, but without knowing your practice, its history, your current metrics, your area, your patient base, and so on, they have no way of knowing that. Additionally, take note if they say they’ll “do it all.” Successful marketing is not one-size-fits-all. It is executed with the guidance of research and the utilization of only those methods realistic to work for you.
While there is no correct answer to this question, your safest bet is the choice that says they need to know more before they can tell you with any confidence.
These questions are designed to give you a sense of how well these marketers know your business and whether or not they plan on creating a strategy uniquely designed to solve your specific challenges. You can also ask about how often they plan to communicate, whether they are willing to reassess and change gears if necessary and whether they have any case studies available from previous dental clients. Again, these questions aren’t designed to reveal whether to tell if an agency is good or bad – it’s about whether they’re the best choice for helping you – and in turn all of the people out there who deserve the great treatment that you provide.
If you’d like to learn more or get a free, no-obligation assessment of your current website and how to optimize it to drive new patient traffic and current patient engagement, email our CEO now at firstname.lastname@example.org to get scheduled.
Big Buzz is an agency delivering focused marketing efforts for dentists and dental teams nationwide. CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of KABOOM!: The Method Used By Top Dentists for Explosive Marketing Results, has been published in The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry magazine and has been quoted in Forbes, The Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune. The American Dental Association hired Phillips as an expert consultant in marketing. She regularly lectures for dental organizations and associations in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 5,000 attendees. Agency awards and accolades include recognition for excellence by the American Marketing Association, Best Advertising Agency and Best Web Developer in Denver by Expertise, and Top Advertising and Marketing Agency by Clutch.