Times have changed and it’s much rarer to find the town that is served by a sole dental practice. Due to factors including an increase in dental service organizations (DSO) and a decrease in retiring dentists, you may find a more saturated dental market in your community.
How do you compete when it feels like a new practice is popping up every day? Here are a few tips and tactics to make sure you stand out in a crowd.
Research the Market
Perception may be different than reality – for better or for worse – so research the market to better understand your challenges. A marketing company can access the data and tell you what the ratio of dentists to customers is in your area, which will help evaluate supply and demand needs for dental care and specialists.
Simple Google searches can reveal which offices are ranking and why. Not all dentists are created equal, especially if they offer completely different services than you. By determining your value proposition and ideal patient, it’s much easier to differentiate your practice from the pack. This improves the ratio, and you can market accordingly.
Start at Home
While you may not be able to compete with a large DSO’s marketing budget you can focus on what you have control over.
Set yourself apart from the competition by continually improving your patient experience and prioritizing customer service with your team. It seems simple because it should be the primary objective of any business. By marketing internally and establishing an excellent reputation, you’ll maintain good patient retention, garner positive online reviews, and generate more word-of-mouth referrals.
Include those enthusiastic testimonials on your website and social media. Speaking of web presence, make sure your site is informative and user-friendly. Highlight any services or specialties you may offer that the office down the street doesn’t.
In a saturated market, it’s even more vital to have a multi-pronged strategy. By elevating your visibility in the community on a number of fronts, you improve the top-of-mind awareness for potential new patients. Both digital and traditional marketing tools should be included, such as:
- Website and keyword retargeting
- SEO-driven content that focuses on the differences in your practice
- Geofencing which can target ideal demographics or the competition directly
- Engaging direct mail pieces with special offers
- Community involvement and sponsorships
- Updated business listings with key services or offerings on all search engines
- Facebook and other social media ads targeting ideal demographics
- Advertising through local radio or over-the-top television (OTT)
- Newspaper and digital ads, especially with smaller, local media outlets
A good marketing team will determine the best use of your allotted budget and then track the results for each method. Adjustments should be made when one avenue is more successful than others. Competing in a saturated market is often more of a marathon than a sprint, so set realistic expectations while finding and benefiting from your practice’s niche in the community.
If you’re feeling lost in a sea of competition and not sure how to rise above – we can help. Contact RAMP for a free review of your current plan and we’ll get you started on a strategy that will allow you to outshine the other practices.