You wouldn’t treat your patients without dental operatory lights. Accordingly, don’t run your practice in the dark.
While having a flexible and in-depth marketing plan is essential for the health of your dental clinic, developing a progressive strategy must come first. Every dental clinic is, in fact, a business. Ergo, once you have a sound strategy ironed out, your oral health practice needs to forge a progressive dental marketing plan to compete, to grow, to thrive. After all, and to quote French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Your dental marketing plan is a critical part of an overall business plan. It should outline all the necessary pieces needed to consistently market your practice effectively. Though it should be comprehensive, it doesn’t need to be complicated.
Taking Control of Your Business
Without a realistic marketing plan, you’re running your business blindly. You wouldn’t treat your patients without dental operatory lights, so why would you attempt to run your practice in the dark?
There are many reasons why your practice needs a marketing plan, including:
- It determines a vision for your practice and its mission. Without a vision and mission statement, your dental clinic is at a real disadvantage. These two critical statements serve as your practice’s compass.
- It defines what you want to accomplish. Setting achievable business goals is necessary for any oral health office. Reviewing them regularly is of equal importance. These goals need to be measurable, precise, and they should map to a timeframe.
- It identifies your target market. You need to identify who your patients are in your community and what their needs are. You also need to know who your competition is and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and if and how the competition is meeting the needs of the community.
- It serves as a blueprint for achieving smart business ideas. Coming up with sound ways and proactive ideas to move your business forward isn’t difficult, but you need to record and manage them, assign them to certain members of your staff, and determine reasonable timelines to achieve them.
- It helps you differentiate your practice. Your patients are your customers. In addition to helping identify your target market, a marketing plan helps your patients understand why your dental clinic is the one they should choose, and what’s unique about your services
How to Craft a Comprehensive Dental Marketing Plan
So how do you start to develop a broad, well-rounded dental marketing plan? Follow these steps:
- Establish a vision for your practice. Begin with a vision statement. Simply put, a vision statement is your practice’s road map. It provides a direction for growth based on economic foresight.
- Create a mission statement. Whereas your vision statement will outline where you want to go, your mission statement should clearly state which markets or patients you will serve and how. It guides the business-related actions of your practice.
- Identify your target audience and how you’ll communicate with them. Profile who your prospective patients are and detail what their needs are. Flesh out the tactics and mediums you will use to grab their attention. For example, women are typically the target market because they tend to make the majority of decisions in their households. And our research shows traditional newsletters consistently generate more business than postcards or other types of advertisements.
- Set a budget. It’s necessary to earmark a percentage of your projected revenue to fund your marketing initiatives. If your practice is new, that could mean using a slice of your start-up funds or self-financing it.
- Project long-term goals. While your marketing plan needs to outline short- and mid-term goals, it’s wise to plan for the future as your practice grows. If, for instance, your goal is to expand your practice dramatically over a five-year period, what steps will you take along the way to get there? Furthermore, how can your marketing plan support that vision, and how will it be adjusted accordingly? These longer-term goals need to be defined and as do the marketing activities that will help you get there.
Need professional assistance marketing your dental practice? We can help. Call us now at 1-888-377-2404 or request a callback. Let’s get to work growing your practice and delighting your patients.