Dental marketing – take it one step at a time – Nicola Ripton Rodericks DentalFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 9th January 2020
We all know that marketing is important for the success of a dental practice. It facilitates the uptake of services among patients and consequently boosts business stability and growth. Promotion of the treatments and products you offer is therefore necessary both among existing patients and potential new ones. It is also crucial that all marketing activities communicate the right messages to the right people in the right ways. However, getting it right can be challenging.
For dental practice marketing to be effective, it always requires an investment of time and effort by a member of the team. But who in your practice should be managing your promotional activities? How can they organise content and channels so as to get the very best results and how do they know if what they’re doing is working?
Start with the who
First things first, establish the most appropriate person for the job. Nicola Ripton, Marketing Business Partner at Rodericks Dental, offers some advice on choosing a marketing lead for the practice.
“When it comes to dental marketing, the best person for the job will be passionate about it. They also need to be confident in learning the new skills required to plan and implement a campaign. In addition, they should have strong relationships with other members of their practice team. This will help them to get all the relevant information, input and content for effective marketing materials. While this is usually the practice manager, it could be a dental nurse or a member of the reception team.”
Move onto how
Marketing can seem complex, but – like everything – it can be made much simpler by just taking it one step at a time. Nicola shares her recommended sequence for practices looking to plan and implement an effective marketing strategy.
“First, think about what you want to achieve,” she says. “Second, identify the patient groups that you want to reach in order to achieve that objective. Next, consider how those patients would most likely access and digest information. This might be via newspapers, online platforms, social media or direct mail. From here, it’s necessary to eliminate any channels that are not viable within your budget or available to your practice. Finally, select from the remaining options.”
Keep it cost-effective
Budget is usually a sticking point for practices looking to design a marketing campaign. Knowing how much to spend on activities in order to make it all worthwhile can be difficult. Often, it will depend on what you want to achieve – the bigger the desired result, the more you’ll need to do and so the more it will more likely cost. However, in many cases this is not the situation. Sometimes, you can start small and utilise the free or very low-cost marketing channels first. As Nicola comments, it is more important to adapt the plan as time goes on than to get it right straight away.
“I am often asked about how to set a dental marketing budget,” Nicola adds. “This usually depends on the size and type of your practice, as well as the promotional activities you’re looking at. Sometimes, the most successful marketing avenues are free or very cost-effective, so start with these and work through your options. It’s more important to structure your marketing according to your objectives and then adjust it as needed.”
To keep marketing campaigns fluid, it’s vital to stay aware of possible reasons to change activities or messaging. For example, there might be external factors like related stories in the media, which you need to be sensitive to or which you can highlight to better make your point. Alternatively, internal factors like a change in management or a new direction for the business might change your overall objectives. Being flexible and changing with the times will ensure your marketing supports your practice in the best possible way and helps you achieve your goals.
Nicola’s Top tips for effective dental marketing
- Use your marketing to support and achieve your practice goals.
- Consider what activities are best for your target patient group(s) and then narrow down the options according to budget / availability.
- Always plan review points at least once a quarter to ensure your marketing is working and helping you achieve your goals. If not, don’t be afraid to stop activities and focus on what is
- Prepare to be flexible. Priorities can change quickly in marketing and you need to respond accordingly.
- Follow up with activities – it is not just a case of setting a campaign up and leaving it alone. Expect and encourage conversations and questions from those you reach out to.
- If you have questions, ask your marketing team for advice or extra support.
For details about Rodericks Dental, please visit www.rodericksdental.co.ukor call 01604 602491