Dentists Ask: How do I know where to begin with practice marketing?

EOS Healthcare Marketing answers real questions by real dentists on how to market a dental practice.

Getting started…that’s often the hardest step to take for dentists who want to market their practice.  It can be hard to know where to start and to know what to do first.  At EOS Healthcare, we’ve helped hundreds of dental practices take that first step with full confidence that they are moving their marketing (and their practice) in the right direction.

Step 1: Know Your Community.  We believe that you can’t market properly unless you know who you are marketing to.  That’s why we do location viability studies for dental practices.  We can do a study like this for a practice at any phase, but it’s vitally important for a practice to do this study at the start.  You can KNOW who your audience is from the beginning, which makes your marketing path very clear.

Step 2: Analyze Your Community.  Once you’ve had a location viability study performed, you will know a lot of valuable information.  However, you need to take a close look at what that information means.  Take a look at the patterns you see in your surrounding community and look at how those patterns affect your practice.  For example, if your community is showing patterns of purchasing decisions mainly on lowest price, you will know that your patient base will care a lot about cost.  That will be either a major hurdle for you, or a major opportunity for you, depending on how that jives with your values and vision for your practice.

Step 3: Build Your Marketing Plan To Fit Your Audience.  The next step is actually creating your marketing plan and you can do that once you know what your audience is looking for.  Cost-focused communities are very different than customer-experience-based communities and you market differently for each.  Knowing your community intimately will help you know what steps to take to send the marketing messages that they will resonate with.  This is often a hard part for many practice owners because their vision and desired message may be different than what the community actually wants to hear.  However, successful practice owners are the ones who retrofit their marketing strategy to what the community wants to hear.  At EOS Corporate, we know what strategies work well for these two very different audiences based on our years of experience.

Step 4: Refine and Reform.  Data from a location viability study allows you valuable intel from the start, but the most valuable information you can gather comes from how your marketing campaigns actually perform.  Smart practice owners will look at every marketing effort and analyze what can be refined or reformed for future campaigns to make them even better.  Your community and the marketing trends are constantly evolving, and therefore, continual analysis of marketing efforts will help you stay current with any changes.

You have to start somewhere with your marketing strategy, and we suggest that the best place to start is to observe your surroundings with a location viability study.  From there, you can take the necessary steps to craft the perfect advertising strategy for your practice to grow and thrive in your community.

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