As a group, dentists keep abreast of the latest developments in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental issues. As a group, they tend to be a little tardy in adopting best practices when it comes to their dental marketing.
Most dentists today still market like the dentists of 15 years ago, with the exception of having a website. There’s not anything wrong with that approach, per se, except that dentists overwhelmingly still use the same value propositions in their marketing.
How’s It Look From the Bottom?
If you’re advertising on the basis of price, specials, and coupons, you’re making a fundamental mistake. It’s a mistake because there’s nothing to differentiate you from the great mass of dentists. You’re all advanced-degreed professionals who are assumed to be competent. Your prospects have no reason to choose you over any other dentist in your market.
Advertising on the basis of price or discounts is a slippery slope. If you’re the only dentist in your market, you can get away with it. But what happens when one or more of your competitors undercuts your price? You have two options: accept that the other dentists will get a larger share of new prospects, or drop you price even further.
That’s a race to the bottom that only the practices with the deepest pockets will win. If you have corporate dentistry in your market, those practices will win every time.
And in Other News…
The new patients who do call your practice will be the ones your marketing approach speaks to: the price-shoppers, the insurance-driven patients, and the one-and-dones. Those patients will squeeze your margins, forcing your practice to work harder and longer to grow. That extra work is hard on you, hard on your staff, and hard on your physical plant.
Not only that, but the number of dentists is forecast to increase for a number of years. More dentists in your market means a smaller slice of patient “pie” for everyone. Generally, the only recourse is to spend more on your marketing. You can make that work for you, but it’s a questionable long-term strategy. It’s also questionable whether that approach will provide the value for your practice when the time comes to sell… if your practice survives that long.
Give Your Marketing New Life
To get out of the downward marketing spiral that plagues so many dental practices, you have to give your prospects reasons to choose you. You won’t accomplish that through postcard campaigns or other mailers, or even through radio or TV spots. Today’s dental patients overwhelmingly begin their search for a dentist online which is actually good news for you. Your website, your social media posts, and your blog provide a much broader platform that will allow you to go in-depth with reasons why you’re not just “another dentist.”
To get out of the marketing death spiral, your focus needs to be on the twenty percent of prospects who can and will pay more for a dentist who they like, relate to, and trust. But producing the amount of online content required to make this approach work is very time-consuming. Not only that, but your marketing doesn’t make you any money. You and your staff make money by seeing patients and solving their dental problems.
If you’re serious about your practice’s success, go to www.patientattractionblueprint.com and schedule a Blueprint call. Those calls are reserved for serious dentists who want to see a Patient Attraction System™ that double or even triple their practices. You can get more patients, more profits, and more freedom.
And you can make your marketing work for you rather than failing you.