Setting Clear Goals for Your Dental Practice: The Key to Successful Marketing
If you're on a quest to grow your dental practice, have you asked yourself: "What are my goals?" Have you clearly defined what it is you're trying to achieve with your dental marketing campaigns? Have you developed a profile for your target audience? These questions are essential starting points for any successful dental marketing strategy.
Defining your marketing campaign goals is like taking an X-ray of your dental practice – it provides a clear picture of where you are now and where you want to go. This article will guide you through the process of setting effective marketing goals and demonstrate how they align with your overall dental practice growth.
Brace yourself (no pun intended) because we're about to dive into the most important part of dental marketing.
Understanding Your Marketing Goals
Before you strategize about your dental marketing, stop for a moment and ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve?" Answering this simple question can put you lightyears ahead of other dental practices when it comes to marketing success.
Maybe you want to attract more new patients. Or maybe you want to improve patient retention? Perhaps you're looking to establish your dental practice as the go-to dental clinic in your area. Or simply increase your revenue.
Either way, once you've identified your overall dental marketing goals, you should go a step further. Break them down into smaller, more manageable objectives for your dental office. For instance, if your goal is to attract more new patients, one objective could be to increase website traffic by improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you're focused on patient retention, you might aim to boost your current patients' engagement through a monthly newsletter or social media posts.
Aligning Your Marketing Goals with Your Business Objectives
Now that you have your marketing goals, it's crucial to ensure they align with your broader business objectives. If your goal is to expand your dental practice by adding more dental hygienists, your marketing goals should support this.
You could aim to increase awareness of your expanded services through targeted google ads, social media ads, optimizing your website to rank for keywords related to dental hygiene, or even offline marketing (print advertising, community events, partnerships with local businesses, etc.). Everything listed above should be a part of your comprehensive marketing plan for a specific dental service.
Leveraging Your Dental Marketing Strategy to Achieve Your Goals
Once you have clear, aligned marketing goals for your dental practice, it's time to put your dental marketing strategies into action. Let's look at how different marketing strategies can support common goals.
Goal #1: Increase new patient acquisition
Marketing Strategy: Improve your local SEO to make your dental practice more visible to potential patients in your area. Optimize your website using relevant keywords, ensure your practice is listed in local directories, and encourage satisfied patients to leave online reviews.
SEO, especially local SEO, can significantly impact your new patient acquisition rate. BrightLocal's survey revealed that 98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022, up from 90% in 2019. Ensuring your dental practice appears in local search results could be the difference between potential patients booking an appointment with you or a competing dental office.
If you're aiming to attract more patients, it's also essential to have a good grasp of your target audience's profile. According to the CDC, 64.1% of adults aged 18 and over visited a dentist in 2022. However, understanding who these individuals are is key. Is your target audience families, elderly individuals, or millennials?
Different age groups have different oral health needs and thus require different marketing approaches. Luckily, in today's digital age, it's never been easier to appeal to a specific target audience. A comprehensive dental marketing plan will take this into account. Your marketing channels should be aimed at attracting and engaging your specific target audience.
Goal #2: Improve patient retention
Marketing Strategy: Engage with your existing patients outside the dental clinic through email marketing. Regular communication keeps your dental practice top of mind and helps build stronger relationships with your current patients. Create engaging content, such as helpful tips, information about new dental services, and special dental care promotions.
Keeping existing patients coming back is just as important as acquiring new ones. According to The Harvard Business Review, studies suggest that depending on the industry you are in, acquiring a new customer can cost five to seven times more than retaining an old one.
Simply put, patient retention can be improved by building strong relationships with your current patients. Email marketing is a powerful tool for this. Dental practices that provide valuable, personalized content through emails, stay at the forefront of their patients' minds while also demonstrating that they value them beyond their dental needs.
Goal #3: Boost revenue
Marketing Strategy: Upsell and cross-sell your services through informative content marketing. Educate new patients about the benefits of additional or higher-tier services through blog and social media posts.
Upselling or cross-selling your dental services can significantly impact your practice's bottom line. As Hubspot points out, only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.
Content marketing can be a powerful tool for upselling and cross-selling. By educating new patients about the benefits of additional or high-value services, you not only help them make informed decisions about their oral health but also showcase the breadth of your offerings.
Measuring and Adjusting Your Goals as a Dental Practice
Dental Marketing isn't a set-it and forget task. It's important to regularly review your marketing strategies and adjust them based on the results of your marketing efforts. Keep an eye on your key metrics, also known as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Key metrics include website traffic, new patient inquiries, and retention of current patients. If you're not seeing the results you hoped for, don't be afraid to adjust your goals or try different marketing strategies.
Delving Deeper: Comprehensive Goal Setting for Dental Practices
While setting clear marketing goals is fundamental, understanding the specifics of each goal and the nuances associated with them can vastly improve your dental marketing efforts. Let’s delve deeper into how you should approach dental marketing goals and explore how understanding your audience, using data-driven strategies, and being adaptable can lead to exceptional results.
Successful Marketing Campaigns Prioritize Goals
Before you embark on your dental marketing journey, it's crucial to have a clear hierarchy of your goals, because not all goals are created equal. Some are pivotal to a dental practices' growth while others might be 'nice-to-haves.' Prioritizing your goals allows you to focus your marketing efforts on what will bring the most value from your marketing budget.
Think of it like performing a complex dental procedure. You wouldn't begin with cosmetic enhancements before addressing a serious tooth decay issue, right? Just as you wouldn't want to spend a ton on paid advertising and social media marketing without a website proven to convert visitors to new patients.
Set SMART Goals for Your Dental Practice
No, we're not just talking about intelligent goals, although that's important too! SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
This framework ensures your goals are well-defined, trackable, realistic, aligned with your objectives as a dental practice, and have a specific timeline for achievement. It's like a treatment plan for your marketing strategy, providing a clear path towards a healthier dental practice.
Get Granular with Your Dental Marketing Plan
After you've set major, broad goals for your dental practice, it's up to you to get granular. For instance, if you're hoping to attract more patients, you'll need a strong online presence. If you want a strong online presence, you'll need a substantial amount of patient reviews. And if you want more patient reviews, you'll need to encourage patients to leave them.
Now your marketing plan to secure more patients includes a specific goal: collect online reviews. Whether it's through your social media platforms or handing out physical marketing materials with a QR code that sends people to a review site, you now have a granular, achievable goal.
Let's take social media marketing as an example. You want more patient reviews from your target audience. Your new marketing goal could include encouraging patients to leave more online reviews with a unique value proposition, such as a free whitening, on your social media platforms. Now, not only are you getting more patients in the door, you're also boosting your social media engagement. All because you set more granular marketing goals.
Involve the Rest of Your Dental Clinic
Dental marketing is not a one-person show. Anyone that runs a successful dental practice does so because they know each team member has a crucial role to play. By involving your team in the goal-setting and marketing strategies, you create a sense of ownership and commitment- a shared purpose.
Plus, your team can provide valuable observations and ideas that you might not have thought of. They may be more exposed to patient feedback or have insights into marketing efforts that could attract more potential patients. Regardless, involving other members of your team can drastically improve your marketing strategy.
Embrace Flexibility with Your Dental Marketing Plan
While having a detailed dental marketing plan is essential, the ability to adapt and change is equally important. Just as a dentist needs to adjust their approach during a procedure if unexpected issues arise, being flexible with your dental marketing plan is crucial.
Market trends, patient behaviors, and even global circumstances (hello, pandemic!) can change rapidly. Embracing flexibility allows you to pivot your marketing strategies as needed, keeping your dental practice resilient and poised to acquire new patients.
Consistently Review and Revise Your Dental Marketing Goals
Setting goals for your dental practice isn't a one-time event. It's an ongoing process that requires regular check-ups (just like dental appointments wink, wink). And just like your dental marketing plan, regularly reviewing your goals can help you assess progress, identify areas for improvement, and make the necessary adjustments to your marketing efforts.
It also keeps your marketing goals fresh and top-of-mind, ensuring they don't end up forgotten. This consistent evaluation is what keeps your dental practice and marketing strategy robust, vibrant, and ready for success.
The Key to Running a Successful Dental Practice
In conclusion, setting detailed, data-driven marketing goals and staying adaptable can substantially boost your dental practice's growth. By understanding your target audience, using effective marketing strategies, and continuously adapting to the ever-changing marketing landscape, you can set your dental practice up for long-term success.
But it all starts with one question: "What are my goals?"
WEO Media Is Here to Help
Need help defining the goals of your marketing plan? That's where we come in! WEO media has helped hundreds of dental practices across North America run successful campaigns and effectively manage their marketing channels. And we can do the same for your dental practice.
If you're ready to take your marketing plan to the next level, talk with one of our senior marketing consultants today!
Ready to get serious about new patient growth?
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