There is a lot more to running a successful dental practice than cleaning teeth, filling cavities and placing implants. You can be the best cosmetic dentist in your state, but in a market saturated with dental professionals, you may struggle to get your unique message out to the public.
Despite their best marketing efforts, dentists across the nation find themselves drowning in a sea of sameness, unable to stand out. You may think marketing is intimidating, unpredictable or even a waste of money when even your best tactics fail to make a substantial return on investment. Hope is not lost!
What your practice needs is a unique and authentic brand, one that will make your practice shine unlike anything your community has seen before. This can be developed using a proven, research-based method that utilizes the greatest marketing resource available to you: your best patients. The first step is to learn what initially attracted your very best patients to your practice so you can unlock the secret to attracting more of those types of patients. Uncovering this information and completing the branding process takes four succinct steps:
- Assemble a group of your very best patients. These are the patients you have been seeing for decades. These are patients who love chatting with you and your staff. These are patients who refer their friends and family to your practice. These are the patients who accept treatment from your practice and show up to every appointment. These are the patients who remind you just why you love your job. Make a list of roughly 10-15 of these patients.
- Design a survey that questions exactly why your patients love your practice. Why did they choose you over others in their area? What has kept them coming back year after year? What do they enjoy most about your approach to care? What are their special stories about your practice? Did you calm their child’s fear of fillings or schedule them for a last minute emergency appointment? These are the things you will want to learn. Make your survey around 10-15 questions long. Email it to your best patients kindly asking them to take part in making your practice better for future patients like them.
- Analyze these responses carefully. It may be a very humbling experience for you to see such a raw perspective on what your practice means to your patients. Know that what you are seeing is the truest version of your brand, honest and unclouded by your own perceptions and biases. These responses will form the core of your new brand.
- Synthesize these responses to construct a brand messaging document that clearly outlines three or four core defining qualities of your practice. Explain these in detail, focusing on what value they provide to your patients. Next, generate a single sentence positioning statement that expresses in simple terms what you provide at what value to whom. Finally, develop a brand essence, which is a short phrase that describes your practice at its core (i.e. “Convenient and Comforting,” “Simply Exceptional.” etc.). This should be the succinct idea that comes to mind when your patients think of your practice.
The brand messaging, positioning statement and brand essence will create a foundation for all marketing materials you produce henceforth. With a custom brand backed by research in place, you can clearly define your practice as an authentic entity set apart from the competition.