As with most businesses, dental practices are susceptible to the effects of the economy and, more recently, the pandemic. Revenues fluctuate from time to time. When revenues begin to decline, many practice owners respond by cutting back on the line item they consider most expendable: marketing. The majority of the time, this is a mistake.
By reducing your marketing budget, you effectively close the door to new patients and reduce your revenue potential. The relationship between marketing and revenue may not be apparent to someone new to the profession.
You cannot afford to stop marketing your practice—the kind of marketing that is tailored to the type of patient you want. If your practice is located near a school, you may be able to attract young families who prefer convenience. You may wish to market your excellent restorative work in a zip code with a high number of retirees. Or, you may wish to advertise teeth whitening and veneers in a zip code with a high number of young professionals. What is the most effective way to reach them?
Today’s businesses cannot survive solely on word of mouth and referrals. It is essential for your practice to attract new patients on an ongoing basis, not just after a postcard or mass email blast. A scattershot approach is a waste of resources. The goal is to keep potential patients’ attention week after week and month after month.A minimum of seven exposures is required for them to remember you. Especially in a profession that still invokes fear, it is imperative that you establish trust.
Your existing patients must be solidified and maintained in order for you to attract new ones. It is imperative to keep them up to date on any specials you are running, new services you are offering, and the latest developments in the dental world. It may be possible to solve the problem with social media marketing.
Marketing that is consistent and effective keeps you top of mind.
Revenue increases when your marketing budget increases. There are several factors that affect how much your practice should allocate to marketing, including the following:
- Are you a newly established practice? You may need to invest more until you have a solid patient base.
- Would you like to maintain the growth of your established practice? In order to determine the performance of your current budget, you should compare the current rate of new patient acquisition to the number of patients lost each year.
- Is your business stagnant or declining? Spend an additional 5 or 10 percent above your current marketing budget, at least until the trend reverses.
- What is the level of competition in your local market? A higher level of competition requires a greater level of investment to grow the business. Identify, develop, and market your differentiator—and do not stop there.
In these lean economic times, can you still afford to market your dental practice? It is simply not possible to ignore it. Get customized advice regarding your marketing budget and business growth by contacting our dental consulting firm today.