by Jackie Adame
More than 35 million Americans do not have teeth and 178 million are missing at least one tooth.* With those kind of numbers, bridge, implant, denture, and hybrid options should be common discussions with your patients. Yet, many dental doctors will say, “I just don’t have those kind of patients” in my practice.
The reality is, those patients do exist in EVERY community. More importantly is to assess, and create a plan to attract and retain patients with missing tooth needs.
Patients who have lost teeth, through trauma, perio concerns, failed endo or decay and “miss” them often will make it a priority to restore the issue of aesthetics and function that plague them.
1. You don’t truly know your practice demographic and what drives them
You as the business cannot define your demographic: your brand, potential patient habits and behavior define your practice demographic.
This isn’t a gut feeling or a profile of your existing patients or identifying the kind of patients you want. It’s an objective analysis of where your physical practice location and its likely patients live and how they make treatment decisions like:
– how far they will drive
– what they value most
– where they spend their money
– what they look for in a dental office
2. You haven’t strategized your service mix and marketing message to attract: the results of #1. Adapting and shifting your message to how your patients make provider decisions and what they are looking for in their dental care, is the difference between practice marketing that is massively successful in attracting those with “missing’ teeth and those that aren’t.
– Having a marketing coach that gives an unbiased perspective is one method of ensuring that you are aligning the vision of your practice with the message your potential patients are receiving.
– Doing in depth practice area research that includes demographics, competitive analysis and consumer lifestyle demographics will also provide insight into what motivates and is important to your community.
– Align and adapt a message that is attractive to your practice area.
Angle the benefits of treatment to what’s important: convenience, family, aesthetics, success, social/community involvement, health etc.
3. You haven’t yet evaluated what’s working – objectively. Virtually every practice management software has a Production by Referral Source Report. With extensive research into your practice software and practice area, you can utilize all of your marketing tools to capacity.
Eliminate the ones that are not effective and expand into media that will attract the patients and services you want more of.
– Evaluate the production, the number of referred patients each referral source has given you and the production per patient for each source
– Identify opportunities in your unscheduled treatment plan report.
– Get a base line for growth measurement by running your Procedure Code analysis report for the previous year.
4. You are unrealistic about budget. Pull out your last profit and loss statement and go to the area that says “Advertising & Promotion” or “Marketing” or a combination of all those things. Add up the percentage of production.
If you are interested in growing your practice significantly it will require an investment of 5-8% of collections. It’s not magic, it’s just true. And like all dental practices, you may be concerned about “what works” or spending dollars without a return on your investment.
Here’s the reality, when you “try” things, that’s when you will see failure. Without a strategic plan, your efforts will likely generate unpredictable results.
– Many practices do not commit to a consistent monthly marketing budget. The majority fluctuate but are typically at 1-3% of average collections.
– Some marketing does not generate a monetary ROI. Branding/positioning, customer service, and community events are examples of necessary marketing efforts where the return is often on response or awareness which is highly necessary.
“Your practice marketing is often the first and only impression you make on a prospective patient, be sure it’s not missing a thing!”
Jackie Adame is a marketing strategist that has dedicated her 20+ year career
focused on the unique business of dentistry. Her experience, advanced training from the top leaders in their industry and marketing expertise prove invaluable with identifying the day-to-day challenges face by most small businesses. As a certified Guerrilla Marketing coach and copywriter, Jackie’s expertise is in highly efficient marketing strategies with a practical approach for dentists in every stage of their practice.
For more information about how to create and execute a plan and train your team on the elements of success … go to www.clinicalmas.wpengine.com/teamtraining or call 480.489.5551
* statistic provided by the American College of Prosthodontists https://www.gotoapro.org/facts-figures/