3 Mistakes Dentists make in Marketing PlanningFebruary 9, 2016 | Category Marketing
By Doug Slighting, Dental Branding
Can you think of anything in business that works better when it’s not planned? A good marketing plan makes all the difference in the effectiveness of your marketing. Let’s examine the three most common mistakes that dentists make in creating a marketing plan.
1. The plan is not focused on systems implementation.
Most dentists build a marketing plan focused on marketing tools rather then a plan that focuses on implementing strategic marketing systems. A marketing tool approach delivers results that are hit and miss at best with no predictability. A systems based approach on the other hand employs
4 components. 1) A marketing tool 2) Employee training to ensure correct delivery. 3) Accountability to ensure consistency. 4) Measurements and tracking to ensure continual improvement. If you focus on building marking systems rather then delivering marketing tools, you will build long term solutions that lead to predictability.
2. Incorrect budgeting
Every patient has an acquisition cost and every patient has a value. This is the fundamental premise that should determine your marketing budget. To determine your per patient acquisition costs, determine the total amount you have spent on internal and external marketing and divide by the number of new patients you received over a 12 month period. To determine your per patient value, divide your total collections (not total revenue) by the number of unique patients (not patient visits) you saw in the last 12 months. This will give you an idea of how much you will likely need to spend to attract the number of additional new patients you desire and help you understand the rate of return you can expect if you reach your goals. Most practices underestimate the cost to acquire new patients and generally don’t budget enough for their marketing.
3. Unrealistic expectations.
Marketing is not a quick fix lottery. It is a long-term, strategic, systems-driven process that, when done right, leads to control over your growth and confidence in your future. Don’t expect great short-term results. Do expect to dedicate part of your overall budget to marketing for as long as you own your business. Consistency and a systems focus will inevitably lead to success, but just like building any complex systems, be patient with the process. Don’t let one or two failed efforts derail you from the path.
If you would like help creating and implementing a long term strategy for your practice, schedule a free consultation with Dental Branding.