The importance of marketing your dental practice is key these days but if you’re unsure where to start it could cause unnecessary stress. Many dentists find themselves running out of dental marketing funds halfway through the year, simply because they have not planned ahead to allot those funds the way that they wanted to. Planning out your marketing calendar is a great way to help your money work harder for you and eliminates tough decisions that have to be made later on in the year.
What Do You Need the Most?
What obvious marketing strategies are missing from your practice at the current time? Do you already have an active, up-to-date website and social media pages? If not, those are one of the first places to start. More and more patients are turning to social media to see whom their friends prefer to use. The investment and maintenance is a fairly modest and simple process. Tackle these at the beginning of the year before you move on to anything else. After you have the basics out of the way, write down all the current marketing you are doing like patient recall or external advertising and how they have worked for your practice. This will help you note which methods you have not tried yet, and which ones may have not been working that you could postpone for the moment. It’s good to try many different methods of marketing, but its just as important to track how they are working for your practice so you aren’t throwing money away.
Remember Charitable Organizations and Clubs
Do you plan on sponsoring a local school, sports club or charity during the year? Decide on one or two at first, preferably which will affect a large number of people and get you more name recognition. For instance, the t-shirts of a local little league baseball team.
Remember Internal Marketing
Setting up a patient referral or appreciation program is a great way to get “free” advertising and also help retain your current patients. Some ideas include giving away a grill and picnic set on the 4th of July, tickets to a Christmas concert, etc. These are things your patients enjoy and are simple to organize. Set up signs at your check-in, update your Facebook page and make the process easy.
Decide How Often You Want to Implement Your Plan
Do you want to focus on marketing on a month-by-month or quarterly basis? Line these out on your calendar and plan ahead by at least a month. Spend more or less here and there depending on what you want to accomplish that month or quarter. Whatever your budget or timeline, you’ll want to stay on top of it to make sure you are meeting your revenue and new patient goals for the year. If you have questions or need some help getting your marketing in gear, give us a call at 800.556.2580!