Navigate Downturn With Dental Marketing

Posted by niche on May 10, 2008


Economic downturns put consumers in a wait and see, not unless it is vital, only things I (or my family) really need or want… mode. Maybe you can wait out the slack in your dental office as well - but in reality consumers are still spending as much as they did before.

Some have just decided dentistry is one of the things they will put aside often because there is no voice in their head telling them to make it a higher priority. Improving communication is the only way to make headway, clear a path, and produce an up tick in dental practice revenues!

To successfully navigate a way to more dental patients, more referrals, and fill schedules, dentists need to embrace all the dental marketing and patient communication strategies available. While not every dental practice in every area benefits in the same way or will get the same revenue bump from each strategy, dental patients are a very varied group in how and when they make decisions.

For example, what is the fastest growing media asset for CBS? And yes, they are the TV people, too. It is the CBS outdoor advertising (billboards) media unit. While we are seeing many digital billboards, the standard ones are selling very well too. Why does this matter to dentists besides that they might want to advertise on them? Dentists need to realize successful dental advertising is not just online.

Where Are Those New Dental Patients?

They are everywhere. They do many things, read many things, and have varied interests. While the dental yellow page campaign can still bring in patients, things have spread out dramatically in the last decade and will continue to do so.

There is no one concept that will help your dental practice advance for more than a few months. Imagine taking only one dental CE course and hoping it will put you ahead for the next few years. But that does not mean you can skip the course just because it does not do everything for you.

Obviously, most dental practices have a limited budget. And at some point the competitive dental marketing "face off" has diminishing returns. If one dentist after another in your neighborhood is sending a smile-whitening postcard covering every day of the week or 25 dentists have full-page ads in the yellow pages, the viability of another dentist competitor jumping in makes little sense.

Yet, the secret is that there is really no face off. Few dentists in any one community are doing anything of substance. Plus most dental practices have no consistent pattern of communication. If it were not for the dentist section, yellow pages advertising option, dental marketing consistency would have been non-existent in the past. Dental websites, some online dental directories, and a few other strategies have picked up the consistency slack in recent years, but still few dentists are participating with any pattern or strategy, or planned enhancement. 

The Best Dental Marketing Plan Has THREE Elements:

ONE: Be A Publicly, Proactive, Persistent Dental Practice

  • To grab people who are not considering dentistry right now
  • One of the biggest areas of new dental patient development
  • Usually includes a traditional marketing element or format
  • People need to be made aware of your dental expertise and services
  • While public marketing is not inexpensive, if done right, dentists can bring in new blood fast
  • Waiting for referrals, or consumers to think about or search for you, is risky in an economic downturn

TWO: Completely Cover Your Current Dental Patients Angle

  • Dental patients want others to know about you if you do things well
  • This is hardly ever done well - it is often generic, impersonal, and infrequent
  • Referrals and dental case acceptance result from effectively communicating value
  • Find more ways to connect with patients and more formats to ask for referrals
  • Where you communicate now - add elements that say something new about you
  • Referrals still make great patients, but the new landscape requires new methods
  • Use technology to better inform patient of your services and expertise is a must

THREE: Network Your Internet Connection: Dental Website

  • The Web is where your patients, and consumers are, and will be looking for you
  • There are a thousand ways to attract new dental patients online: spread your wings 
  • Internet evasion will shrink your community influence, referral power, expertise value
  • Remember most of your competition is doing one thing, if any, and often haphazardly
  • Keep adding to your online dental marketing repertoire, weaving your presence

Conclusion: Downturn Dental Marketing Article 

Assertive and persistent communication in public and internal formats is essential for your dental practice to thrive today and even more so tomorrow. Dental marketing is not only a good thing it is the only thing that will get to consumers and patients consistently enough to give them information in the quantity, quality, and at the time of day they will review and absorb it.

To achieve the dental practice success you want, get the information you need now to reach your goals through dental marketing coaching. Niche Dental coaching is focused on guiding you to better, faster, and fit-your-needs solutions.

Call 866-453-1026 or fill out my Dental Consulting form.

 Ask about my 60-Day Marketing Coaching Guarantee!


Dick Chwalek – Niche Dental President

> Member, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry & Northern Dental Alliance

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