5 indications that it’s time to work with one trusted agency
In certain critical areas of a group practice, centralization can ensure profitability, efficiency, alleviate growing pains, and provide a coordinated effort to achieve objectives.
A recent article by the Dentist Entrepreneur Organization (DEO) states it’s a must to centralize certain functions of a group practice in order to grow at a sustainable rate. While it may seem like a considerable initial investment…
“Streamlining processes and services is an incredible long-term investment, and pays dividends in the end.”
The DEO hit the nail on the head. Since most practices don’t have marketing experts, digital specialists, and data gurus working on their team, it’s logical to hire a dental marketing agency that can keep up with the ever-changing marketing needs of a growing organization. It’s not just launching print and digital campaigns themselves; it’s also the expertise and technology required to monitor results and make adjustments to maximize return on investment (ROI).
When is it time for a group practice to centralize marketing? The DEO says it’s possible to manage without centralizing certain functions when there are two or three locations to look after. But once there are more, it can become a serious challenge.
Top 5 Signs It’s Time To Centralize Dental Marketing
Below I’ve compiled a list to help determine if it’s the perfect time to centralize group practice marketing.
1. Different regions require different targeting efforts. There are likely different demographics and ideal patients each of your dental offices should be reaching out to. It’s critical to identify who they are and send them messaging that resonates with them to maximize marketing ROI.
So, how is it possible to find out who they are? With advanced demographic targeting. It may sound like rocket science, but it’s not. Not when this is assigned to dental marketing experts who know how to generate and analyze the patient trends around a dental practice. For example, at Patient News, we use leading industry mapping analysis to extract vital details about prospective patients, including their income, interests, preferences, and buying behavior. And we also analyze existing patient trends to identify where higher-value patients are located.
2. The current marketing strategy is misaligned, fragmented, and fractured. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen (multiple marketing agencies), it can be a challenge to get the results desired and it may even be a frustrating process. These companies may not see eye-to-eye when it comes to best practices, strategies, and the implementation of campaigns.
Other common problems that can arise when using more than one marketing agency include:
- duplication of effort
- lack of campaign leadership
- insufficient marketing reporting/complicated reports from disparate sources
- no overall plan or clear understanding of ROI.
- additional costs
3. There isn’t a clear picture of how the patient journey impacts each office. The patient journey is comprised of five key stages each person experiences as a potential patient and as a patient-of-record. It’s all part of how they find out about a practice (awareness), the steps they take to learn more about it (research and consideration), and when they’re finally ready to become a patient (buying decision). And once they’ve been acquired, it’s the steps a practice takes to foster that relationship (patient experience) so that patients refer friends and family (advocacy and growth) – a massive revenue generator.
The patient journey is no longer linear. For example, more than half of all patients don’t believe they need to see the dentist. They think their oral health is just fine. Some of these people could be great new patients. But it isn’t until they read an eye-opening article in a dental practice’s newsletter that they see the light – and realize their smiles need regular care and maintenance. Another new patient may instead be prompted to call because they suffer a dental emergency.
When it comes to improving the patient journey and providing the very best customer experience, practice managers need access to various metrics. Some of the most telling of which include:
- front desk performance (phone call handling)
- number of patients scheduled for a future appointment
- monthly production totals
- website conversion rate (appointments booked, intake forms completed, etc.)
- reputation management (online reviews)
- net gain/loss of overall patient base.
4. Data on all offices isn’t available in one convenient spot. Is it easy to see how many new patients each dental office has acquired in the last month? How many patients believed to be part of the active base actually haven’t been in for 12-24 months or more? What’s the percentage of calls that are converted to appointments at the front desk? And which marketing campaigns are really delivering the best results?
By using a cloud-based software solution, it’s possible to get instant access to these key performance indicators and more. Once connected, this data can be viewed – at home, in the office, or on the go – so team members can make rapid data-driven decisions for business growth. No longer is it necessary to try to sort through and make sense of complicated reports to see where the business is thriving and where it needs attention.
5. Too much time and money are being spent on marketing. If the marketing budget is ballooning out of control, it’s time to look at centralizing marketing. With marketing under one roof, economies of scale make it possible to execute a wide range of campaigns at a lower cost. Another benefit of engaging with one marketing company is that less time is devoted to dealing with numerous salespeople and account managers.
And all those extra seconds and minutes add up. Just think of how else your dental teams could spend that time – like focusing more on the patient experience, taking continuing education courses, or simply providing more dentistry.
Growing group practices have a lot to gain when joining forces with a trusted dental marketing agency.
Every single day we work with groups to streamline marketing plans, provide valuable insights with top-of-the-line practice intelligence, strengthen branding, improve the patient experience, and more. This all aids in acquiring more quality patients and improving retention.
If your group’s team can’t put full-time effort into marketing its offices, I want to hear from you. As a full-service marketing agency, we have the time, the resources, and the tools. We’ll identify which campaigns will drive more new patients to pick up the phone. And that inevitably means more profits, more growth, and increased practice value through differentiation.