Marketing is a balancing act with many moving parts, and it can sometimes feel fragile and fickle. We often hear from dentists that the marketing they’ve tried in the past or are currently running isn’t working, but the fact of the matter is, marketing is like a science. Like a science experiment, for marketing to work best, it needs to be controlled, monitored and adjusted as needed. Like a scientist, a marketer must take into consideration location, size of practice, target market, surrounding competitors, and many other important factors. If one variable changes, it can throw off your whole platform. Below, read why marketing doesn’t work and what to do about it.
The online market is changing. Our cyber world is perhaps the most diverse marketplace. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2011 only 51% of American adults used their cellphone regularly to get information. Just six years later, 95% of adult Americans own a smartphone and use it to search online. Is your website not working? Redeveloping your website so that it is responsive and mobile friendly is likely the change you need to make in your marketing lab to see results.
Your messaging isn’t targeted enough. Each potential patient is going to respond to your marketing differently. In order to attract more of your ideal patient, you need to target that exact demographic. For example, if your ideal patient is fee-for-service and visits the dentist every six months then survey those kinds of patients. This will help you to learn more about how they make healthcare decisions, including why they select certain providers and what types of marketing they pay attention to most. If you are discounting your prices and offering low-cost specials, this will attract a certain demographic, likely different from your ideal patient. Be smart with your targeting so that your marketing works to attract the kinds of patients you desire.
You don’t have a strategy in place. Great marketing requires research. To get started, survey your patient base by generating a list of 20-50 of your most cherished, ideal patients and ask them what your practice is doing best, why they chose this office, what marketing they pay attention to, etc. Based on those answers, you can create a marketing strategy. For example, if 80% of respondents tell you that they found you on Facebook, invest in Facebook advertisements and make sure your page is constantly being updated with your smiling patients and happy staff. Potential patients don’t want to see drills and latex gloves. They want smiles, laugher, and a comforting environment.
You put all your eggs in one basket. You could be seeing lackluster results if you view marketing as one and done. If you send out 5,000 mailers every few months and wonder why there isn’t a consistent uptick in monthly new patients, it is worth reassessing your marketing tactics. An effective marketing strategy is diverse and comprehensive. Most practices require a marketing mix of three to five different tactics. For example, one of our client’s ideal marketing mix includes Google AdWords, SEO, referral training and Facebook mobile ads. Another practice may need a new website while another might need internal communication support. Putting all of your marketing eggs into one basket is a way to ensure your marketing won’t work.
You think you can do it all yourself. Our clients have a true passion for dentistry, and see marketing as an obligation they must fulfill. While marketing is necessary, it does not need to fall into your day-to-day operations. If you take on both dentistry and marketing, both areas may suffer. Not to mention, you will likely miss out on family time, fun with friends, and activities that you enjoy due to massive overwhelm. In order for your marketing to work, you need to delegate it to an expert. Hire a marketing coordinator for the practice or outsource to an expert marketing agency.
There are so many moving parts to a strategic marketing plan. At Big Buzz, we make it our priority to know these trends and how they relate to your unique practice. When marketing doesn’t work, don’t lose faith. Recalculate your strategy so that it is precise, calculated, and backed by real patient research. If your marketing isn’t working, schedule a call with one of our marketing experts today.