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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3 Things We Do to Hinder Our Success

In my recent conversation with a business owner, we were discussing business strategies to help her. Her business wasn’t growing as quickly as she needed it to in order to cover her overhead. In strategizing and coming up with ideas with her, she gave me some very strong resistance which manifested in these three things that hold many people back from success.

Hunger for Approval
I’ve seen it time and again, business owners are too concerned with what their employees will think of them that it stops them from doing what they have to do.
In my conversation with this business owner, I was suggesting that she try a management strategy that I use in my own company, which operates on accountability. I described how I run my team by giving detailed instruction, holding people accountable, and having deadlines.

The business owner felt like if she tried this management style that she might be accused of being a ‘micromanager,’ and she was adamant that she did not want to micromanage her employees.
She was about to let her desire to have her employees approval hinder her from trying something new.
I’m happy to say the business owner will be implementing an accountability management style.

Perfectionism and a Fear of Failure
These two often go hand-in-hand: Perfectionism and a fear of failure. Many business owners are afraid to make a mistake, and only want to do something that will guarantee a positive outcome. The problem is if you don’t try anything, you’ll achieve nothing.

During this same conversation with the business owner, I presented her with some strategies to grow her business. Her initial reaction was ‘No’ because she didn’t know for sure that these strategies would work out well, or give her the results she wanted. As we continued talking, she found herself quickly realizing that, Yes! She could try these new strategies–she could learn what works and what doesn’t.

The call concluded with a business owner ready and excited to execute some changes to grow her business.

The Takeaway
Take a moment right now to consider your own life, your business. Are you letting these roadblocks hinder your business from progressing:

  • Do you worry about acceptance from your team? If they approve of what you do and say?
  • Are you giving your team the tools they need to succeed individually, and as an organization?
  • Are you letting perfectionism and fear of failure paralyze you?

As business owners, we have to remove these roadblocks we put in our minds. We need to be willing to take a risk and try something new.

 

Listen to my vlog here:

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Why Successful Practices Need Ongoing Marketing

Marketing your practice should be a proactive approach, not a reactive one. Learn why successful practices need ongoing marketing in our latest blog.

Consider This:

Imagine a scenario in which you and your team have just invested in a short-term marketing approach such as a high-cost ad that runs for the duration of a month. The ad goes live and you’re surprised by the amount of new patients you’re seeing each day.

Then, your month is up. The ad comes down. The stream of new patients that were calling each week and making appointments is dwindling. What went wrong in this scenario?

Marketing should never be approached with a one-and-done mentality. Building momentum in your brand recognition, patient education, and your search engine potential takes time and effort. This is why investing in an ongoing marketing campaign is crucial if you’re looking to bring consistent, tangible growth to your practice.

The Strategy Behind an Ongoing Marketing Campaign

If an ongoing marketing campaign is the best way to reach practice growth, what does one actually look like? Here are some of the key elements.

  • Modern, Optimized Website — A visually-stunning, easily navigable website with a direct call-to-action should be the crux of your strategy. With ongoing maintenance and security, your site can stay up-to-date and protected.
  • SEO — Search engine optimization is a long-term investment that offers incredible ROI by bringing you to the top of Google searches in your area.
  • Facebook Ads — This strategy allows you to show your community the value of choosing you through compelling ads that target your unique services. Over time, you can tailor specific ads to custom audiences, improving your conversion rate by targeting your ideal, new patients.
  • Google Ads — Are you hoping to reach neighboring towns or attract more speciality cases? Pay-per-click ads on relevant Google searches can get you there.
  • Social Media Marketing — Engage your community with custom-branded social media marketing on a consistent basis.

Depending on your unique practice, your strategies will differ. That’s why we take the time to listen to your needs and help you build an ongoing marketing campaign that prioritizes long-term success through a constant influx of new patients.

How can we help?

We can’t wait to hear your goals. Schedule your complimentary marketing planning session with our team today.

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Smart Marketing for Big Cases

How can you become the go-to dentist in your community for larger cases such as dental implants or complete smile replacement? The answer is smart marketing. Learn how to expand your reach for big cases in our latest blog.

Building Credibility through Patient Education

Why should your patients choose dental implants over a cheaper, quicker option such as dentures? Why should patients choose you and your team instead of another dentist or specialist? Patient education can solve both of these questions. If your patients don’t understand your method of smile replacement, they won’t feel inclined to invest the money, time, and effort into pursuing it.

Instead, focus on teaching your patients why your methods are truly the best for their health, confidence, and comfort. You know that dental implants are a longer-lasting, more permanent solution for their oral health. You know that they may be more expensive than dentures or other methods of smile replacement, but they are worth it. However, your patients likely won’t have this context. After all, you’re the expert. By listening to their questions and educating them on the benefits of your services, you can build credibility with your prospective patients.

Becoming the Expert, not the Salesman

Treatment acceptance isn’t about being pushy. It’s about teaching your patients the value of accepting treatment, and how their lives can be improved. That’s why you need to position yourself as the expert, not the salesman. In your communication and your marketing, you should take the role that feels natural to you — your community’s guide toward improved health, comfort, and oral function. Patients who understand your true dedication to improving their lives will take initiative themselves to seek out the treatment they need.

Utilizing a Funnel Campaign and Remarketing

One question remains — how can this philosophy of patient education translate into your marketing efforts? Here is a breakdown of how to utilize these ideas to boost your big case acceptance.

    • Advertise. Attract patients with initial interest in your services using advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Google.

 

    • Educate. Your ad should lead to further information that explains just how your treatment works, and what benefits it will bring your patients.

 

    • Show your expertise and commitment. Have you taken hundreds of hours of continued education and obtained relevant certification? This will reassure your prospective patients that you are the best choice for their optimal results.

 

    • Remarket for increased conversion rate. When your ideal patients engage with your advertising, you can tailor future ads to what they initially showed interest in. This helps to build brand recognition and allows you to pinpoint your efforts, making sure the right people are seeing the right marketing.

 

    • Analyze your results and adjust your strategies. How is your marketing working on a month-by-month basis? Your success relies on a constant evolution of your techniques.

If you are looking to grow your practice by marketing for larger cases, we can help. Whether you are focusing on specialty cases or hoping to expand your reach, our team at Identity Dental Marketing has the tools, the expertise, and the dedication to drive your marketing forward and help you attract your ideal, new patients. Schedule your complimentary marketing planning session with us today.

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