We’ve already talked about Environmental Factors and your Value Proposition in our series on the Five Elements of a Dental Marketing Plan and now it’s time to put those two elements – and others – to work on developing your marketing campaign.
So let’s go directly to what is probably the biggest, most consistent factor in planning a dental practice marketing campaign. And that’s simply this: Women make 90% of all dental buying decisions. Period. Whatever you do, you don’t want to under-estimate this powerful decision-making factor.
So who is this powerful decision-maker? That’s going to depend on where your dental practice is located and the culture in your community. She may be a full-time parent, a working mother, or a single parent. She may be young and hip, a soccer mom, or a retired grandmother. These are all Environmental Factors that you can’t change, so you’ll need to develop your campaigns to cater primarily to the prevailing demographic in your practice area. How can you learn what’s important to the potential patients in your area? Simply talk to your existing patients – particularly those who fit the prevailing demographic – about what matters to them. Then design your campaign, your practice, and everything that touches it around those issues.
Those patient priorities are going to drive every decision in your dental marketing campaign, including where and how you promote your practice, what messages you want to drive home, how often, and at what specific time periods your marketing activities will be most successful, and much more. And all of this will determine the marketing budget you’re going to require. Of course, you’ll need to use the language, colors, and imagery that will appeal most to the target customers you select, but remember, pretty pictures won’t be enough. Marketing to women is a technical skill. These consumers want and respond to good information to help them make sound decisions for their families and themselves.
In addition, your marketing messages need to be easily understood by your patients and potential patients. They don’t want to hear about mucogingival junctions or keratinized tissue; they want to know, in simple language, how you will care for their dental requirements and how your non-dental services such as extended hours, will meet their needs. If you want a little help developing messages that are persuasive and drive behavior, have a look at our whitepaper What Do Patients Want in a Dentist for some key criteria related to messaging and also the recent blog The Neuroscience behind Direct Mail.
So you’ve identified your target market, done enough research to know what your patients want and developed an effective set of messages. Now you need to find ways to deliver that message consistently, effectively and repeatedly in ways and places that matter to your market segment. One shot marketing is not a campaign. An effective marketing campaign is built on repetition and consistency. Why? Because that’s how your marketing message will get through to the pre-frontal cortex, the area of the brain that allows decision-making. Repeated positive stimuli through consistent marketing, applying the right message, and using the format that your target market will respond to most will drive the action and result you desire.
Your marketing campaign must be unique to your patients and your community. It takes time and effort to develop the right dental marketing strategy for your community but once the rubber hits the road and all components start working together, you’ll find they will result in an ongoing flow of new patients. Please contact one of our account executives if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you maximize your dental marketing results.