In today’s economic climate, it’s never been more crucial to attract the ideal patient to your practice – and we don’t mean the ones who floss between every meal and are always on time for their appointment, although they’re very much appreciated!
No, when it comes to creating a successful dental marketing strategy it’s important to identify your target patients, why they’re ideal for building your practice, and how to reach them. Throwing a wide net of advertising and content, be it digital or print, must be more targeted or you’re wasting valuable marketing dollars and resources.
Ask yourself these key questions before proceeding:
Who Are Your Target Patients?
More than just a dream patient with good oral health goals and the best insurance, each practice has a target demographic in mind whether they’re a specialist or offer general dentistry.
To begin with, take a look at your current patient base. There are likely to be some who stand out as your ideal clientele. They’re invested in their oral health and they’re loyal to your practice. Conduct an informal demographic analysis by noting the age, sex, education, income, attitude, goals, etc. Also, look at your competitors’ ideal patients if their base is similar to yours, then look at what they’re doing marketing-wise.
Where Are They?
When a clearer picture of your target dental patient emerges, it’s time to establish where they are. Marketing tactics can vary greatly by state, region, and neighborhood. Additionally, some services offered may appeal to a broad, local target audience, while other specialties may draw from farther away due to less competition or availability.
By pin-pointing distinct locations to reach the ideal patient base, marketing tools like geofencing are much more effective.
What Are Their Needs?
Look at the selection of current ideal patients and ask yourself how they tie in with your practice’s particular services and objectives, such as sedation dentistry, orthodontics, endodontic care, implants or cosmetic dentistry.
The flip side to this question is, what is your value proposition? What does your practice offer that fulfills your patients’ dental care needs? If you’re not sure, create a questionnaire or online poll for that group of long-term patients and thank them for their feedback with a gift card or free cleaning.
How Do You Reach Them?
Once you’ve determined the target patients that align with your practice and its services, you’re on your way to knowing which channels are best suited for reaching them. There are multiple traditional and digital marketing tools to include in your strategy, but they should be appropriate for the desired audience. For example:
- Families moving to a new town and looking for a dentist may respond positively to a well-timed direct mail postcard for new patients.
- Local newspapers are still thriving in smaller communities and advertising can be targeted to the older readership.
- Most everyone spends time on the internet and new technology allows you to use pay-per-click and website retargeting tools to focus on your ideal patients.
Whichever route you choose, make sure your quality content is geared to the best prospective patients. Ultimately, one size does not fit all when it comes to marketing your dental practice. Successfully matching your target patients to your practice can result in less patient turnover, increased production, and more referrals.
If you’d like more information on aligning your marketing strategy without taking away valuable time from your current patients, contact RAMP The Dentist’s Marketing Company today for a complimentary consultation.