Dentistry is becoming more business-orientated these days and it sometimes requires a businessperson’s touch to be successful. Marketing in particular is an important consideration – gone are the days when patients would come to your practice because they must. The element of choice is far more prevalent now – meaning you must present your practice in a way that is attractive to a customer. As such, let’s look at some easy tactics you can employ:
1) Target marketing: knowing exactly who your patients are will enable you to tailor your services accordingly. Once you have identified your demographic, you can work towards networking more closely with them – building up a number of unique USPs that would make good features for any promotional marketing.
2) Image: creating a definitive image for your practice is crucial. Through it, your business will become identifiable – for better or worse – so it is absolutely imperative to get it right. Be sure it aligns with your target demographic. From here you can start to create promotional material that utilises your new image which can be incorporated onto newsletters, business cards and letter-heads, in order to create a coherent marketing message to your existing patient-base – and beyond.
3) Social media: love it or loathe it, there can be no question about the importance of social media in modern marketing. As an efficient way of reaching people on a personal level, there can be no denying social media’s utility. By taking your practice onto platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, you can increase your outreach exponentially. You will also be able to open an effective line of communication with your patients – allowing for feedback, notifications and updates to be passed to and fro with ease.
4) Office presentation: maintaining a high level of tidiness is, of course, vital within a dental practice. You can be sure that, regardless of the skill with which you deliver the clinical aspect of your service, if your practice is untidy, poorly decorated or in desperate need of refurbishment, your patients will judge accordingly. With any design decisions, be sure to incorporate your new image into the plans. Consistency lends itself to the perception of professionalism and quality.
5) Referrals: does your practice offer something different? Are you, for example, the only dentist in the area who offers dental implants? If so, you should be promoting your services to other practitioners as well as potential patients. More than anything, this requires effective self-promotion, since other dentists will not trust you with their patients unless you have proved yourself to them. As such, you need to offer certain reassurances – not only in a clinical sense, but also in an ethical and professional sense.
Effective marketing can offer you a competitive edge – but can obviously take time to implement successfully. Munroe Sutton offers participating practices exclusive marketing services in exchange for providing its Healthy Discounts scheme to patients.
For more information, please call 0808 234 3558
or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk
About the author
Jeremy Hedrick is Vice President of Network Development and has been an integral part of the Careington and Munroe Sutton teams for over 14 years. As Vice President, Jeremy is responsible for the strategic leadership of network development for both Careington and Munroe Sutton, overseeing business development, licensing and regulation, recruiting, credentialing and quality assurance. Jeremy’s primary focus is on the continued growth and expansion of the Careington and Munroe Sutton dental networks, which are currently among some of the largest dental networks in the US and the UK. In addition to his current role, Jeremy has served in various senior leadership roles throughout Careington and Munroe Sutton including customer support, compliance, claims as well as operations of Careington’s affiliate TPA, Careington Benefit Solutions.