You need to pick a marketing agency that understands the dentistry industry and your practice’s unique challenges. Choose wisely.
All marketing agencies boast about their creativity, innovativeness, and marketing savvy. But how can you tell if they’re capable of living up to their claims? And on the business of dentistry, how can you be sure they’ve got the experience and skills to serve as your dental marketing agency?
It’s not an easy call to make, and it’s not one that you should make alone. Pull together a panel of your senior or most experienced staff to help you make the right choice. Be clear about your objectives, keep your team’s discussions focused, and don’t allow subjective opinions to dominate the conversation.
Three Factors to Weigh before You Sign On
There are three important things you need to consider before you hire an outside marketing team to promote your practice:
- Focus on how much the agency knows about you. All marketing agencies have their strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to how much they listen to your concerns before recommending a marketing plan or tactic. Do they take the time to understand your challenges thoroughly? Did they undertake a detailed market analysis and situational discovery? You want a partner that really understands your practice, target audience, and industry.
- Years of dental practice marketing experience. Delivering effective, measureable, results-oriented marketing for a dental clinic isn’t even remotely the same as promoting a new soft drink, technological advancement, or any other consumer-oriented product or service. From a marketing perspective, the dental industry is a niche industry. It’s unique, its marketing demands are unique, and that requires industry experience, not solely marketing expertise.
- Check their references. You wouldn’t hire someone to work in your office without doing a background check on that individual’s employment experience, educational credentials, and so on. So why shouldn’t you do the same when it comes to hiring a marketing agency? There are a ton of pop-up firms offering traditional and digital services and claiming dental marketing expertise. Tenure in the industry is a biggie – check out their testimonials, survey data, and talk to some of their former and current clients and find out how they feel about working with them.
Other Noteworthy Points to Bear in Mind
Let’s assume you’ve done your due diligence. You’ve talked to more than one marketing agency, and you picked the one that you think stands above the rest. You’ve reviewed some of the work they’ve done for other businesses, conducted a thorough reference check on them, and you’ve taken the time to vet the individuals that comprise their team. Before you make your final decision and invest your money in that firm, ask yourself these questions:
- During the “full discovery” session, did the agency accurately assess your practice’s current situation? Do they truly understand your long-term goals?
- Do they have a dedicated account manager who will take the time to learn about your business and its challenges in-depth, and who will draw out your key competitive advantages to help your practice stand out?
- Do they offer support and training to your frontline team to improve marketing results?
- Can their proposed marketing campaigns and related materials be adjusted on-the-fly to improve your ROI? Or do they only offer static, printed materials?
- Do they provide a real-time marketing intelligence dashboard and ongoing scheduled program reviews to analyze the results, discuss them, and make changes if necessary?
- Will they provide thorough analysis regularly to discover why patients don’t book appointments?
If you’re uncertain about the answers to any of the above, it may be wise to rethink whether or not the agency you are considering hiring is indeed the right one to represent your dental practice.
Need professional and experienced assistance marketing your dental practice? We can help. For more than 24+ years Patient News has worked exclusively with more than 7,000 dentists across the U.S. and Canada. Call us now at 1-888-377-2404 or request a callback.