Internal Marketing: Targeting Your Existing Patients

Too often dentists focus on bringing in new patients, that they forget there is already a captivated patient population in front of them. It’s a ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ situation.

What is Internal Marketing
When you hear the term ‘marketing’, the first thing that comes to mind is likely ads, websites, and similar media. These are external marketing strategies. While internal marketing is very simply selling services to and encouraging referrals from your existing patients.
 
How Do I Market Internally?
Internal marketing is all about stirring up excitement with your current patient population. You’re generally aiming to grab the attention of your patients and stir up conversation to achieve word-of-mouth advertising.
 
What Strategies Can I Use?
Internal marketing should be interesting and should focus on creating a commodity. You want patients to say to themselves, “Oh! I want that!” or “Wow! Look at that. I should look into that myself.”
 
Here are some simple ways to market:
● Your Team.
Your team is THE best internal marketing asset you have. Provide them with the training and knowledge they need to inform patients of all services offered, risks/benefits, costs, and payment options. And this isn’t the sole responsibility of your hygienists–every staff member who talks to patients–on the phone or in-person–should know this information backwards and forwards.

The best way to get your team up-to-speed on internal marketing is to hire someone to do an in-office workshop. Practice consultants are often ideal to provide this and a number of other helpful and worthwhile services. They’re worth the money, trust us!

● Before-and-After.
Most of us enjoy flipping on our favorite DIY show and seeing the dramatic before-and-after. Captivating transformations can be used in dental marketing, too.

Consider sharing patient before-and-after case photos (with signed release waivers, of course). A general dentist can highlight in-office or take-home whitening treatments. An orthodontist may showcase inspiring before-and-after cases, and an oral surgeon may focus on some dramatic corrective jaw cases. Make it your own–you know what your patients are looking for, target that!

Share these photos using a newsletter, social media, and quality flyers or framed posters throughout the office. All of these items can quickly and easily be sent to your patients, even the ones who have been quiet the last year or two (what a great way to bring them back in!).

● Amenities.
Who doesn’t check out the amenities at a hotel before booking? Providing patients with a warm, welcoming and calming experience will help them feel relaxed when they sit in the exam chair. And relaxed patients are happier patients, and happier patients tend to be more agreeable patients.

Consider providing more than just water and a carafe of coffee made 6 hours ago. Put in a single-cup coffee dispenser, offer multiple beverage options like tea, hot cocoa, and an assortment of coffee.

Give the lobby and exam rooms a makeover. Apply a new paint color, bring in new furniture or reupholster what you have. And, please, ditch the tired, dated paintings and framed prints! Instead, opt for some modern, clean artwork instead. Don’t be afraid to bring in a professional designer if you don’t have the eye for it.

Identity Dental Marketing offers monthly Internal Marketing strategies to address topics that contribute to practice growth. For more information visit https://identitydental.com/services/dental-internal-marketing/.

If you’re ready to step up your marketing game, with internal and/or external marketing, contact Identity Dental Marketing today for your FREE marketing planning session.
Contact us today to get started https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

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Buyer Beware: Marketing Scams

Integrity is everything in business.  It is one of the pillars of my company.  We hire by it, we live by it, and we accept clients by it.  So nothing bothers us more than when other companies, especially marketing agencies, operate in an unethical manner.

As any good doctor will say, “I know I’m not the only one able to help you, I just want to make sure you’re treated well and receive the care you need.”  So whether you choose to work with Identity Dental Marketing or go with another agency, we want to make sure you’re being treated fairly and ethically.  Here’s some information to help protect your company from a scam.

Know Where Your Money Goes

It’s a simple concept, but one that is often forgotten: Before you sign on the line, be fully aware of what you’re getting.  With Identity Dental Marketing, we’re up-front with our clients about the services we’re providing, the associated costs, and where their money goes.  In our proposals, we clearly define the services we recommend along with their fee–like customized website or an ad design.  During our marketing planning session, we discuss your goals and make recommendations about what a good ad budget would be, what the target audience should look like, and any other incites that we feel would be beneficial.

A good, honest marketing company will have you pay Google and/or Facebook directly for your ad campaign.  By paying Google and Facebook directly, you know that every penny of your money is going toward your ads.  Our clients do just this–they pay Google and/or Facebook directly to run the ad, and we get paid directly for our services–like designing and coding the ad.

If a marketing agency is asking you to pay them, and they say they’ll pay Google or Facebook, it should be a big red flag. Why, you ask?  Because too often marketing agencies are pocketing at least a portion of the money. Time and again unethical marketing agencies will dazzle a prospective client with a smoke and mirror show: They run a Facebook or Google campaign and show the client unbelievable results and sell them on their services saying that “if you pay us just $1,000 a month, we can get you great ROI. See what we did!” They send a report and the client sees these unbelievable results–but they’re just that, unbelievable.  Why? Because it’s all a scheme!

What’s really happening is they’re reallocating funds.  The ad campaign they used to wow their prospective clients is probably valued at about $5,000 a month.  But once a client signs the contract, what really happens with their $1,000 per month is only about $200 will actually go to their ad campaign.  The remainder is thrown into a pot and is poured into the next huge $5,000 ad campaign to pull in the next unknowing victim.  Meanwhile your ad yields poor ROI (because $200 a month is nothing in ad spend), and you’re stuck riding out a contract that’s getting you nothing.

The Bottom Line

Make sure you work with a company that is upfront with costs.  Always directly pay the digital marketing provider to run your campaign.  Know what your contract is actually getting you, and don’t be afraid to ask for references.

If you’re prepared to experience a marketing agency that truly cares about its clients, contact Identity Dental Marketing today to schedule your complimentary marketing planning session.

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