Dental marketing in 2018

How can we market ourselves in a competitive dental environment? How can we get more ortho or cosmetic dental patients? How do we attract new customers to our dental clinic?

Digital Marketing screen on the workplace
Digital Marketing screen on the workplace

Questions we hear all too often from practice managers, principal dentists and clinic owners alike. Before answering or attempting to answer these questions let us define the scope of our reach. At Grow Marketing, we are about all things digital, that is anything related to the internet.

Why? Well the short answer is, when was the last time you needed a plumber in an emergency and called up Daryl next door and asked him who he uses? Or when was the last time you needed a podiatrist so went on to Facebook to find one or when was the last time you looked for a conveyancer in a large yellow colored book that gets dropped off at your door once a year. The answer is you didn’t, and it’s the same reason you found this page and website and are reading it. Now bare with the lengthy analogy as the reason we made it is that ‘Online’ has become and will remain for a considerable time to come, the number one destination consumers go for to find almost anything they need, according to Google’s own report in 2017, 86% of consumers will now search online for products and services, 94% of whom will go ahead and make a purchase.

How does this affect us in the dental industry? Being in an industry where marketing has become heavily deregulated over the past decade or so, more and more savvy dental clinics are embracing marketing aggressively to give them the edge when it comes to growing their respective clinics. Now we come back full circle to the question that we originally had, how can you use marketing to help grow your clinic?

Firstly let’s cover the basics of online marketing we need to decide what mode of online marketing, to this end we have ‘Push’ marketing and ‘Pull’ marketing. Push marketing refers to any marketing channel where we are preemptively approaching possible customers and ‘pushing’ ourselves and our brand onto them (don’t worry, it’s definitely not bad as it sounds). Examples of such marketing is Newsletters, Display marketing (Google banner advertising) and Social Media. This is where you want to create awareness about your brand as well as use a ‘Call to action’ (CTA) to convince them to take an action such as making a booking with you.

Pull marketing refers to marketing where the consumer is in either ‘buying mode’ or ‘research mode’ and is actively looking for a business and we are making ourselves found for these searches. Examples of such channels of marketing are Google Adwords or generally known as Pay-per-Click marketing as well as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). In these scenarios, a consumer has gone onto a search engine as they require a dentist in their local area. We find that there are three common reason why this type of search happens. Either they have moved into the area, aren’t satisfied with their current dentist or they haven’t gone to a dentist in that long that they don’t have a dentist and they have a dental issue that needs to be addressed ASAP. By appearing prominently in this search, you are ensuring that you increase the likelihood of that individual finding your clinic and deciding to book with you and hopefully keep coming back to you as well. Of-course this is an oversimplified statement however we will delve deeper into what triggers buying (or booking) choices in consumers later on.

So now we have discussed, albeit briefly, the marketing channels available to you, we must now think about what we are doing with these channels and what platform we are landing them on. That is, where are we directing these parties whose interest we have been able to gain through our marketing dollars? Of course the answer is our website. Think of your website as either a sales person or your reception, both share some very similar goals. That is to take a semi interested party and turn that into a booking. The better your reception is at carrying out this task, the more efficiently your marketing dollars are working. This analogy applies to websites as well, often it is tempting to go with the option that is the cheapest, however it is in your own best interest to ask your web-designer what you are getting. One of the best questions to ask is, how is this website being built to maximise the number of visitors coming to it, being converted into bookings, email enquiries and phone enquiries? Remember looking good is merely not enough, your marketing dollar must efficiently be used to maximise bookings and thus revenue. Your website will be around doing its job for the next 3-5 years at least so make sure you get it right the first time.

So now we understand the fundamental channels of dental marketing, you can read further about Marketing Strategy for Dentists by click on that link or at the bottom of this page to understand how we formulate the strategy to ensure these marketing channels yield revenue for you. If you would like more information about how we help clinics all over increase bookings, create growth and capture market share, call us on 1300 669 618 or fill in a contact form on this page or by clicking here and our senior dental marketing specialist will be in touch.