Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

OK, One More Time! When Everyone Goes Right, You Go Left!

On Thanksgiving morning last year, the first thing I noticed when I walk down the driveway to get the morning paper was that there were two separate deliveries. This blog post, or news letter to some of you, is about marketing effectiveness. What are people looking at?

OK, back to the deliveries. Why were there two? There were two because of all the printed advertisements,. Why? Because human nature will trump technology, at least for the next few years. That is a bold statement coming form an old guy like me, but if you look at the reality and not the hype you may agree.go-it-alone

How many e-mails do you get per day? 20, 50, 100? How many do you read? How many do you delete? But, when you get home and look at the mail, you look at every single piece before throwing them on the table to sit there looking at you for a few days. Hey, we are all human and share the same traits, we don’t want to physically through something away. Marketing is all about Name Recognition and reputation. How you deliver your message and wrap the package will determine the effectiveness of your program. Also, never advertise discount prices, it does not attract quality patients and effects your PPO reimbursement.

The Web Page … Yes, everybody needs one. Your presence on the web gives a patient the chance to meet you and feel comfortable before they request an appointment. What the patient sees on the web needs to compliment what they hear when they call and see when they walk into your office. Telephone communication skills set the first level of comfort for a patient. Office décor needs to meet all patient expectations to achieve the next level of comfort.   Patient comfort is the first phase in treatment plan acceptance. The real question is how to get people to look at your page. What makes you different from the other 25 offices they see on a Google search.

The Marketing Plan … Marketing budgets should be set at 5% of the previous year’s collections. A marketing plan consists of several programs working together and complimenting each other. Printed advertisements are very effective in creating Name Recognition. Attractive signage (if possible) and coordinated mailings all contribute to establishing your brand. Yes, your Brand! Marketing is all about branding yourself (Name Recognition).

Selective Mailing … The U.S. Postal Service offers selective neighborhood delivery. With this service you can target specific areas that are local to your office. The cost of printing and mailing varies on the number of addresses but sending oversized postcards, every 3 months maybe one of the most effective ways to drive the public to your website. However, don’t think that the phone will ring off the hook, a successful rate of return is only about 3%. This is a marathon not a sprint. But if 1000 mailings done 4 times per year (4000 pc) at a cost of $6k generate 30 phone calls, well, you do the math. The lower range of the average patient value in northern NJ is $700.00/year. If all your marketing is coordinated correctly and the office’s patient communication skills are good, you could realize $21k in revenue for the $6k investment for the first year.

When everyone goes right, you go left … Don’t be afraid to be different. If you look like everyone else you will be lost in the pack. Your message needs to be communicated in the areas your competitors don’t go. Everyone follows the cyber path but how many engage in the old methods? The general public still checks the mail box and they are you target! You want that postcard sitting on the dinning room table for a couple of days. Just a thought.

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January 8, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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