Prove to me that your marketing program works. Make new patient acquisition costs scientific. ROI starts and ends with measuring results, quantifiable results. Numbers can mislead but never lie! Can marketing become a science? Absolutely!
In 1996 I flew my entire team to Utah for strategic planning meeting. Since the beginning of my business ownership I have been 100% committed to aligning my company mission, vision and goals. My thinking is twice per year the owner should stop what you are doing and communicate clearly with your team in a comfortable learning environment. Staying in a cabin in Sundance Utah seemed the perfect place. This year just like all SPM meetings I hired a marketing coach to teach my team the importance of marketing. We were ready to listen and change.
The marketing coach flew from Sacramento CA to teach. Her first question to our team was “who needs to market”? We spent 20 minutes defining the dentist that needed marketing. The new practice. The young dentist. The dentist who clearly struggles with communication. The foreign dentist. The bad dentist. I remember as if it were yesterday how upset she became. She actually physically started to leave. Walk out! I nearly had to tackle her. She spun around to me and said “I don’t have time for companies that don’t get it”? I finally stopped her and asked why are you so upset? She quickly explained everyone needs to market. The next two days certainly changed the way I think.
She went on to explain the race is on! The race for New patients. The golden era of dentistry is upon us. She was ahead of her time. The race is still on and there are companies far in the lead.
Take Clearchoice for example. Wow what a marketing machine! They say they don’t compete with the average Joe dentist. They say that they fill a niche that they can fill. If anything they think they are good for the average dentist. They couldn’t be more wrong. Yes they fill a hole in dental marketing. Yes they target the dental phobic. Yes they don’t compete with the average Joe based on money or disc out dentistry. And yes many of you reading this right now have done cases that did not accept treatment at the clear choice factory. However; you are absolutely wrong if you think you don’t compete with them.
Everyone knows the lasik story right… They are the lasik story for dental implants. Wow how can you not respect that. Marketing directly to the consumer through TV ads, radio, billboards. Go to their web site and drool. They have taken they direct education of the general public to new heights. Better yet go to one of there events and watch magic happen. The event I went to had just about 100 total people. I would guess 50 potential buyers. My estimate is that 25 scheduled before they left the event and they close about half of those (I have several friends and past employees that influence this guess). Considering the average case runs over $30k that is not a bad event.
So how can you learn how to make marketing a science? Track everything with a unique phone number and start recording calls. Most companies do it. You hear this call may be recorded for training purposes right? You bet they record calls so they can track results. Customer service results. Marketing results. The most critical piece of equipment in your practice is the phone. Not the Cerec, laser or the high speed hand piece. The single most effective change we have made in the past 5 years is call tracking and recording.
Does anyone else feel the way I did? I felt like ALL marketing companies played the shell game. You know where is the object? You never pick right. Here it is. Now it’s gone. How can you choose marketing without being robbed? Don’t get SOLD a bill of hot air. Market, track results, quantify your acquisition of NP costs and prove your choices work. Connie with Hycomb asked me a curious question I will never forget, “is your dentistry so bad that your community would be better served not knowing who you are and what you stand for or are your proud of your work”. It is absolutely your job to educate the consumer on what you do who you are and your unique buying opportunity. Don’t let others in our industry create the perception that they do it better faster or with more love and caring than you do.