Ten top marketing tips for practice managers

I had the privilege yesterday of doing a quick presentation as part of Kevin Rose's 'Perfect Practice Manager' Workshop. Rather than focusing on the strategic side of marketing the aim was to provide the practice managers with ideas that they could start using and implementing at their practices straight away. Here is a very quick summary of the content:

Context: Marketing in Dentistry

Marketing is everything that do, everything that you say, everything that you stand for.

  • Understand the direction and purpose of the practice
  • Who is your ideal patient? What are they interested in? How can you connect with them?
  • Build a quality brand
  • Focus on long term loyalty and ongoing referrals
  • Ensure the ultimate patient journey

Tip 1: Understand the decision-making process of a dental patient:

Help your patients by educating and informing them. Case studies, testimonials, videos and photos will all help – utilise social media.

Tip 2: Stop ignoring your existing patients!

Make the patient feel cared for and like an individual person not just ‘another patient’. The more genuinely cared for you make the patient feel, the more likely they are to connect with you.

Consider: newsletters, ezines, patient events, birthday/Christmas cards, thank you's for referrals, loyalty schemes.

Tip 3: Increase revenue per patient:

Don’t assume that your existing patients know about everything that you do – tell them, and keep reminding them.

Consider: newsletters, ezines, smile checks, posters.

Tip 4: Encourage referrals:

At least 70% of your new patients should be coming from your current patients and working as a snowball effect. In order to do this though, must look after your existing patients as this encourages loyalty.

Consider: newsletters, ezines, referral cards, incentives to both referring patient and referee (doesn't have to be dental - M&S vouchers, meals out in local restaurants, iPads etc).

Tip 5: Reactivate your dormant patients:

It’s always faster, cheaper and easier to reconnect with patients who have visited you before than it is to attract total strangers to your practice.

Consider: clearing your database, newsletters, letters/emails/texts/telephone calls

Tip 6: Ensure a steady stream of new patients:

Make the most of your online marketing. Your website should be generating a steady stream of new patient enquiries and helping convert your marketing activity.

Consider: optimising & marketing your website, call to actions, special offers, integrating social media.

Tip 7: Harness the power of local marketing:

Advertising in relevant, suitable publications is inexpensive, but effective.

Tip 8: Get in front of new patients:

Implement door drops, use leafleters and attend events to let people know what you have to offer.

Tip 9: Local businesses/ strategic alliances:

Market to local businesses, get face to face, set up reciprocal referrals and become part of the community.

Tip 10: Quick wins:

Special offers, prize draws, discounts and competitions are all important weapons in your arsenal, but use them sparingly.

In summary:

  • Ensure all team members are brand ambassadors
  • The little things do make a big difference
  • Patients must be at the heart of everything
  • Focus on your existing patients before chasing new ones
  • Plan, monitor, measure, review

Please visit the portfolio section of our website to see examples and case studies or feel free to contact me to discuss your requirements in further detail.

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