Dental marketing starts with one important thought, knowing who you need to market to!

After I sold two of my best producing practices and assumed the debt of my two lowest producing ones, I found myself spending around $36,000 a month in marketing to gain 60 new patients. Over a period of 6 months, I developed my Call Tracker ROI system to retain the data I needed to make better marketing decisions and make sure that my team was answering calls and converting the amount of new patients that called in. The results spoke for themselves. I went from 60 new patients a month to averaging over 300 a month, while decreasing my marketing costs by 74%.  Another key to my success was when I began to dissect and figure out how to improve the quality of my marketing to my new patient base. Ultimately, what I discovered is that it all comes down to Marketing, Message, Medium, Content, Offer, and CTROI Tracking. These are the 7 Pillars of External Marketing, but for time’s sake, I’m going to over the first 3 as they are the initial steps to any marketing experiment.

Who Is Your Target Audience? 

It all begins with knowing who your Market really is. Who is your target audience? Who do you want more of in your office? To know this information, you really have to study it. Look at your existing patient base, who are the top 10 people that spent the most in your office over the last 12 months? Divide them into categories of similarity and you’ll find a pattern. When you have someone in your chair, you must take the time to speak with them and find out everything about them. This will give you a better understanding on how to create a more strategic Medium that you can use to target your Message to a similar audience.

What Is Your Message?

The Message to your Market should be something that differentiates you from others and catches their attention, like the headlines of a story would. The Mediums are places where you advertise your Messages in hopes that your target audience will respond to them. The problem I find when speaking with other Dentists or Dental Marketers, is that they all want to start with the Medium, i.e. Direct Mail, PPC/Online Ads, Radio, etc. The issue with that is no one ever asks, “Does my Market even look at that Medium?”

Here’s an example of how this should work and how I was able to net a 100:1 ROI within 2 months. I had a patient by the name of Bill that I did a few implants on. Bill is my Market, someone I want more of, a Baby Boomer who values their oral health and is missing teeth. One day, I asked Bill, “ What do you do now that you’re retired? I bet you’re just sitting around the house doing nothing, aren’t you?” Bill smiled and said, “Well Doc, every day I get out of bed, I look in the Obituary section of the newspaper and if I’m not in there, I keep on going.” We both had a good laugh, but that made me think, What did my Market just tell me he reads every day? Not just the newspaper, but specifically the Obituary section of the newspaper.

Do You Understand Your Market?

I became curious and asked another patient in the same age range that I had also done implants on. I said, “Do you ever read the Obituary section of the newspaper?” She replied with, “Yes, every day.” Now that this information is confirmed, I know a Medium that my Market looks at every day. So, for about $1,200 I ran a 2” by 3” classified style ad in the Obituary section of the newspaper looking for patients who needed dental implants. The result? Over 130 emails and 35 people calling the tracking number I had in place asking about dental implants. I collected over $120,000 in implant fees within the first two months from these initial consult visits all because I realized you have to follow this sequence.  

It all starts with truly understanding your Market. Once you understand your Market, you can begin figuring out different Messages to catch their attention and interest. Lastly, pick your Mediums. Keep in mind, if you truly know your Market, they may lead you to Mediums  you never would have considered, but they can have amazing results. To learn more, check out www.drphelpshelps.com.

Written by Dr. Chris Phelps

Written by Dr. Chris Phelps

Golden Goose Scheduling, CallTracker ROI

Christopher Phelps, DMD, CMCT works with professionals across the country in identifying their marketing hurdles and showing them how to succeed and grow in an otherwise tough, competitive economy.

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