You aren’t the only dentist in town. That means you need dental marketing to spread the word about your practice. But not just any marketing, it has to be better than your competitors’. Differentiation is the key to success, and that requires uniquely-yours customization of everything from your logo to direct mail postcards and other promotional techniques you use.
Marketing that differentiates your practice makes it easy – and worthwhile – for prospective patients to distinguish you from everyone else. And that makes it easy for them to choose you. How can dental marketing do that?
Show them you’re The Best Choice.
Visuals have tremendous psychological impact. They can speak to people in ways the written word cannot:
- Well-crafted postcards show professionalism and quality that underscore your personal professionalism and the quality of your work. In other words, how your postcards look establishes your credibility.
- Design that instantly appeals to people with warm, friendly colors and an attention-grabbing yet pleasing layout indicates your practice is also warm and friendly. That builds confidence in your chair-side manner and increases your prospect’s comfort in scheduling an appointment.
- Photos of smiling people that look like your audience are the most easily relatable. You want your prospects to immediately see themselves in your picture, so they start thinking of themselves as your patients.
- A photo of yourself or your family builds neighborly rapport as well as helping prospects “meet” you personally.
- If you have an especially comfortable, non-threatening office environment, show that, too. It will help reduce the natural anxiety many people feel about going to the dentist.
Tell them why you’re The Best Choice.
Let’s get practical here. Comfort level is vital to allay fears and attract prospects in your door, but no one wants second-rate dental treatment. So spell out exactly why you’re the best professional available. Your marketing should note:
- Your accreditations or advanced certifications.
- Your professional and business affiliations such as the American Dental Association, specialty groups, etc.
- Personal attributes such as your gentle touch or ability to win over fearful children.
Tell them about what sets your practice and your office apart, too. Think about which features are most meaningful to your patients, things like your:
- Evening or Saturday hours.
- Nearby, easy-to find location.
- Pain-free procedures.
- Payment plan.
- And of course, all the services you offer.
Don’t make them guess what you do, or they’ll assume you do not offer a service important to them and they’ll seek out your competitor. Tell them straight out how they will benefit from choosing you.
Be smart about targeting.
Some dentists make the mistake of thinking dental marketing is a “yes or no” proposition – either you’re marketing, or you aren’t. But successful marketing is more complex than that. Every practice has a variety of marketing goals, and for each one you have a somewhat different audience.
For instance, you need to attract an ongoing supply of new patients. When you’re brand new, you need more people to grow your practice. And of course you want to continue growing. You’ll also lose some people along the way, so you need new patients to replace those folks. Year round dental marketing using a broad-based mailing list addresses this goal.
However, you also have narrower sub-groups within your target audience. Creating special promotions aimed at each of them will not only grow your clientele, it can significantly boost your revenue, bringing you an even greater return on your marketing investment. Because many dentists neglect these special sub-groups, your marketing will stand out even more. Consider campaigns to:
- Encourage current patients to visit more regularly, or take advantage of elective procedures such as whitening.
- Win back some of those former patients who still live in town.
- Boost sales during typically slow seasons.
Making your dental marketing better than your competitors’ is easier than you may have thought. And the results will have you smiling.
photo credit: Biker Jun via photopin cc