The average dental practice employs 10 people and sees about 1,000 patients a year. You and your staff are great at what you do. Whether you perform routine cleanings, fillings,or the occasional extraction, chances are that you do not spend much time thinking about finding ways to attract new patients to your practice. In other words, you don’t spend much time on marketing.
You aren’t alone.
According to a Whitepaper by Software of Excellence, 93.6% of all dentists want to attract more patients, and 89.4% wanted to improve their marketing activities. Unfortunately, dentists are trained to be medical practitioners first. Most dentists just don’t have the time to dedicate to marketing their practice and selling their services to prospective patients along with their daily work.
There are some options you have with marketing. One of them is to hire another staff member to run your internal marketing. Another option you have is to hire a marketing agency. And perhaps you can do both. Let’s go through four reasons why you should select a marketing agency to handle your dental practice’s marketing operations.
Most dentists haven’t been consistent marketers on their own
According to an article on Dentistry Today, dental offices miss up to 80% of potential new patients because they do not market consistently. Let’s assume that you are running your own marketing campaigns for the moment and your only advertising campaign is through direct mail campaigns. Though a direct mail campaign can bring you a few patients, that will only last as long as your campaign.
Many of our dental practice clients who “went at it alone” before retaining us often ran their marketing campaigns on an “as-needed” or on a seasonal basis. Though everyone needs dental services at some point during the year, not everyone needs dental services on any given day. So there may be prospective patients who like your promotion during a three-month direct mail campaign. But they won’t use it because it’s not their time for a routine checkup.
Ultimately, it’s important to make sure that all of your marketing campaigns run year round. By doing so, you eliminate the risk of seasonality where you may get “business surges” at certain times of year and slow periods during other times.
Marketing agencies have the staff and resources to stay on track of all your marketing mediums year round. This allows you to focus your time serving your patients, and allows agencies (like us) to nurture your prospects and convert them into your next group of loyal patients. Agencies can also help you with your inbound marketing processes, where you attract prospective patients, including those who don’t need your services right away. However, with a strong inbound content marketing strategy, your prospects will start converting to your newest patients on a consistent basis as you develop more content for your target patient segments.
An agency helps you target the right patients
One of the most common things we hear from our dental practice clients is that they were not marketing to the right patients enough before retaining us. There are a number of reasons behind this. First, dental practices are in the healthcare field. There sometimes is an assumption that patients will just go to a practice close their homes.
While that may have been true a long time ago, there are now six times more dental practices today than there were 60 years ago. For prospective patients, this is great because there is more choice. However, dental practices — even general practices — cannot assume that they will serve everyone with messaging that implies something similar.
A marketing agency can help you hone in on your target patients, when, and how to communicate with them. It’s important to make sure that before you do any marketing that you know who to market to and how.
Marketing Agencies are up-to-date on the latest software and are aware of the latest trends
If you run all your marketing operations internally — even with internal employees — you must have the software and databases needed to run those operations efficiently and effectively. If you don’t have up to date software to run digital marketing operations, then you’re setting yourself and your internal marketing team back.
One of the value-added points that marketing agencies have is that we’re up-to-date on all of our digital marketing platforms, whether it is for email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), landing page, website design, and so much more. We also have the ability to scale our software for multiple clients, which will also help cut your costs, while adding the expertise of a full-time marketing team.
Finally, marketing agencies are up to date on trends within the industry. Marketing in the 2000’s involves much more than having a simple website and advertising campaigns. It’s also about developing engaging content that attracts more prospects to your website. When your site has more visitors, it will rank higher in the search engines. Also, agencies have the resources to engage with prospective and current patients on your social media pages. There are many different strategies that get “buzz” and may even tempt you to executing. While such trends may be the right ones for your practice, we can advise whether such a trend could actually be beneficial for you. After all, no two dental practices are alike.
Agencies are already working with your peers
We get it. There are many marketing agencies and individual marketers in the marketplace who claim they are the right fit. It can sometimes be difficult to determine how reputable any one agency can be.
Here’s the good news with agencies. We already work with other dental practices and delivered results for them. Most of these other agencies have either given testimonials on our site or are willing to give you a reference. Even in today’s digital world, word of mouth and referral marketing are still incredibly powerful forms of developing new business.
Take the Next Step
Now that you know a bit more about the value a marketing agency can provide your dental practice, it’s time to take the next step. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can help you target the right patients, at the right time, with the right medium.
And for more reading, download our latest eBook on marketing your dental practice.