To Market or Not To Market
When I first got into the dental field… back in the 80s (yikes), marketing in the dental industry pretty much consisted of the sign in front of the office and an ad in the yellow pages.
That was it!
In fact, marketing was thought of as unnecessary and quite possibly unethical. Why would a dentist need to market the practice? After all, if the patient wanted to make an appointment they would just call and set one up.
Gradually, people started to realize that a dental office is an actual business, and a successful business needs to market itself. The question is, what is the best way to do that?
Ways to Market and Why
The main thing to consider is that marketing is not a “one size fits all” kind of thing. You really need to check into the different options before you take the plunge into an expensive marketing plan that may not actually be a good fit for your practice.
Traditional advertising consists of a radio or TV commercial or a print ad in a newspaper, magazine, or yellow pages. These methods can be effective but are usually more expensive and impersonal. Besides, let’s face it, how many people actually use a phone book or pick up a newspaper or magazine anymore?
Digital marketing costs less and is very effective as it can be targeted. It’s personal because it can be tailored to reach many more people! Social media is where it’s at these days!
Word of Mouth (which is now known as “Marketing with Meaning”) is the most personal advertising that there is. When you WOW your patients and they tell others by mouth or by posting on social media, that, in my opinion, is the ultimate jackpot of marketing! It does not get any better than that.
If you are not using referral tracking on your patients, it’s time to start doing so. You may be very shocked at where your patients are actually hearing or learning about your practice. You can then base your marketing plan on proven results that best suit your business.
About the Author
As a little girl, Kay used to play “dentist” with her dolls using her mother’s kitchen utensils as her “instruments.” After completing the Dental Assistant Program at St. Louis Community College in Kirkwood MO, Kay worked as an assistant for 20 years. She went on to become a Practice Administrator, a role she has now held for over a decade.
Kay is a lifetime AADOM member and earned her fellowship designation (FAADOM) in 2020. She is currently completing the requirements for her mastership designation, (MAADOM). Away from the practice, she loves riding motorcycles and ATVs with her husband and spending lots of time with their daughters and six grandchildren.