Houston Dentistry Volume 1 Issue 3 The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies - Page 18

practice marketing 4 strategies corporate dentistry is using to steal your patients and how you can FIGHT BACK by Marc Fowler Corporate dentistry is like the neighborhood bully to the single location practice. They have big budgets for advertising, are in network with everyone, they have buying power with vendors, and they undercut long-accepted pricing structures. But you can fight back and win by taking a few pages out of their marketing playbook and exploiting their one big weakness (exposed at the end of this article). Here are four corporate dentistry marketing secrets that you can learn from: 1 They use data from multiple locations to optimize campaigns and maximize ROI. Corporate groups that have a dozen or more locations can test multiple approaches and fully implement only the most effective strategies. They are able to do this not only because they have several locations but because they have a dedicated marketing team analyzing the data. Seeing what works across locations gives them unique insights. What demographics are responding? What ad tactics are showing a return? What niches can we move into? They are able to track data from an entire region and act on the results to benefit each individual location. Likewise, corporate dentistry can test new and emerging strategies at a single practice without affecting the whole company. If a new idea works, they can quickly apply it to every practice. This gives them an advantage over the independent practice. One- or two-location practices often can’t afford to experiment with unproven marketing tactics that, if unsuccessful, impact the entire business. As a small practice, you can’t use this approach – or can you? What if you were able to pool your resources and data with hundreds of other independent practices across the country? By partnering with a marketing firm that works exclusively with dentists, you can do just that. If the firm has a diverse client base, they can tap into that collective data and test results to implement a proven strategy that will put you on level footing with the bullies. 2 They use a diverse and integrated strategy. Corporate dentists remove the perceived gamble from marketing by using what we call the DICE approach to marketing. Their marketing is Diverse, Integrated, Customized and Effective. Diverse is a way of describing a multichannel marketing system that big retail brands use. They don’t just rely on a single marketing tactic. Rather, retailers use a variety of programs to increase brand awareness and convert leads to customers. Or patients. Depending on your market, a diverse strategy might include direct mail, online reputation management, digital advertising, community involvement, video and referral marketing. Several studies have shown that it can take 7-10 marketing “touches” to convert a prospect to a patient. Integrated refers to the relationship that each marketing channel has with the other 18 HOUSTON DENTISTRY | www.houstondentistrymagazine.com and how they present a consistent brand message across each. Every touch point with consumers must be part of a welldesigned plan to build brand awareness and trust. Consistent messages help the corporate practices stand out. Customized messages designed to speak to the needs of potential patients. Corporate dentistry uses their data on current patients to design marketing that appeals to similar audiences. This is proven to show a higher rate of return. You need to make sure your message speaks to your target patient and is meaningful to them. Effective is marketing that generates a consistent return on investment (ROI). Through measurement and adjustment, corporations eliminate ineffective methods. Hope is not a strategy. Corporate dentistry is laser focused on the bottom line. You should be too. 3 They invest heavily in digital advertising. The marketing departments in corporate dental offices prefer digital advertising. They use digital advertising because they know that, in most markets, it is going to result in a lower cost per new patient than its non-digital counterparts. Why is digital advertising more cost effective? First, better targeting means less waste. With digital you can specifically target by demographics, psychographics and geography. Only your ideal patients see your message. Second, digital advertising is less expensive to produce. There is no physical product to print and send. So, the