For all dental practices, it’s important to decide who are your ideal patients.
Where do they live?
What kind of service do they expect?
Are they young, older, male, female?
Are they affluent, price sensitive, looking for a dental ‘package’ e.g. a membership scheme?
Are they in certain jobs like airline stewards and stewardesses, actors & actresses, business people that do presentations or public speaking, teachers or in other professions?
Last but not least, at what life stage are they? Are they about to get married?
Have you ever considered how many people are getting married in your local area in 2016?
What if we told you that you could directly target these people with tooth whitening, other cosmetic treatments or even braces if far enough in advance?
Well you can!
There’s plenty of benefits to approaching this section of the market:
- Everyone wants a perfect smile for their big day
- Brides, grooms and bridesmaids all want to be camera ready
- It’s all about having great photos as well as the memories
- They have a wedding budget of (average in UK) £24,000*
- People will spend more on a wedding cake than the cost of teeth whitening!
If you’d like more information about creating perfect wedding day smiles for your local area call us on 0845 287 3051 or email us.
Taking your blogs up a notch into vlogs is a great way to get your message across online.
With such a face to face (or face to teeth!) profession it’s a great way to let patients get to know you, without having to spend lots of time with them individually.
Not sure what to blog about, let alone vlog?
Here are a few ideas:
- Your practice New Years Resolutions
- Tooth Whitening take home kits – show the procedure and emphasise how easy it is
- A tour of the practice – for nervous patients this can make all the difference
- Meet the team – make sure everyone has their best smiles on!
You don’t need a professional camera or videographer to take your videos, if you have a tech savvy member of staff they should be able to get a good quality video on their phone – remember you’re not shooting the new Star Wars, just a friendly practice vlog!
If you need help with ideas, implementation or posting of your vlogs then get in touch.
N.B. You will need written consent from patients for them to appear in any of your videos!
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+ are sites visited by thousands of people every day.
By creating a profile on each of these sites, you will build new opportunities for potential patients to find your practice, as well as increasing traffic to your website.
Any type of local business that uses social media will almost always see a significant increase in monthly website traffic – and all it costs is a little of your time (or your dental nurses, or reception staff…).
By creating and sharing good content and interacting with your patients online you will build your reach to their friends and family. The internet is the first place people look to for answers if they have a question, so make sure you’re there when they need you!
…You should have your 2016 Marketing Plan ready!
It’s that time of year when businesses, including dental practices, have the ambition to make the New Year their best year ever.
All too often though, it never really happens and one of the reasons is that the practice doesn’t have a business plan and almost certainly doesn’t have a marketing plan with clear objectives.
It is, of course, important to plan and set targets in terms of patient income, cases, referrals and Patient Plan memberships if you have a scheme in place.
A dental practice business plan should at the very least cover the following topics:
- Practice vision
- Objectives – growth, acquisition, exit, new partnership…
- Practice strengths and weaknesses
- The financials e.g. 2-3 year financial projections, with breakdown in treatment mix
- Supplier services & costs e.g. supplies, sundries
- Practice and equipment maintenance
- Team development plans – clinical training, personal development training, recruitment, practice management
- Marketing – external support, such as Smile Marketing, and internal responsibilities
- Success criteria i.e. what does success look like?
So don’t leave “your best year ever” to chance.
For a no-obligation consultation with Steve Davey call 0845 287 3051 or email us.
At the moment we’re helping several clients to create and promote open days. This is a great way of showcasing new treatments as well as building relationships and rapport with patients.
To help you create an event for your practice here’s a list of the things you’ll need to think about:
Your Event Checklist
- Select a main theme
- Decide on a special discount for selected treatment
- Prize draw to win e.g. free tooth whitening
- Post updates on Facebook & Twitter
- Create momentum prior to the event
- Press release sent out to local media
- Book photographer / ask a team member
- Print leaflets for local businesses
- Promotional merchandise ordered
- Print posters for your windows
- Patient e-newsletter / newsletter update
- Motivate staff and assign roles
Need help with your events?
To celebrate our sixth anniversary we’re offering six FREE half hour slots for consultations at Dental Showcase in Birmingham, so book soon to avoid disappointment!
Book an appointment with our lead consultant Steve Davey at Dental Showcase on 23rd & 24th October. Get in touch via email or call us on 0845 287 3051.
This is possibly the best marketing tip for any business on a tight budget; and it is a great way to encourage patient referrals from local businesses to your dental practice.
What are affiliates?
Individuals or companies who promote your treatments on their website, in their premises or via their newsletter in exchange for discounts on treatments for their customers or referrals from you.
Having a team of affiliates marketing your practice to potential patients is invaluable as the recommendation comes from a person or company that they already know and trust.
There’s no limit to the number of local businesses that you can have promoting your practice.
We recommend the following local businesses for dental affiliates:
- Hair salons
- Hotels with gym/spa facilities
What do I do?
A cheap and effective way to work with local businesses is to produce a joint venture flyer branded to your practice.
For each affiliate you amend the flyer template to feature their logo (as well as yours), a tagline aimed at their customers and an offer ‘exclusively’ for their customers to use at your practice.
For guidance on practice affiliates simply get in touch via email or call us on 0845 287 3051.
Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
To make it happen, you first need a plan, a roadmap if you like. In the same way you don’t get in your car without knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there, it’s the same for building a business.
A business plan supported by a marketing plan that helps you achieve your business objectives is the way to reach your destination, whether measured in income, profit, cases, professional standing or exit, if you have an exit plan (which is a different subject in itself).
For a marketing plan from the people in the know, it’s important to work with people who know your challenges, your industry and the roadblocks potentially in your way.
Of course, it’s not only about having a great plan.
That plan has to be implemented.
After listening to our clients and talking to many successful principals and entrepreneurs in the dental industry, Smile Marketing has launched a new service called Team Smile.
It’s an opportunity for dental practices to access a marketing department dedicated to them, a blend of skills and experience that ‘dovetails’ neatly with their marketing objectives, team resources and budget.
For more info on Team Smile or a road map to growth, contact Steve on 0845 287 3051 or email@example.com.
Keeping in touch with your patients, whether current or lapsed, is one of the best ways to keep your patient lists full and appointments booked.
Sure, breakthrough thinking and new ideas are the lifeblood of really successful businesses – and dental practices are no exception. I talk to numerous practice owners and business owners from several industries, however, and they are often so busy looking for new out of the box ideas that they miss the clear opportunities staring them in the face – the “in the box” profit opportunities.
A great example of this is attempting innovative ways to bring in new patients when you have an under-tapped patient list. In other words; putting too much emphasis on new patient acquisition and not enough emphasis on patient recall.
At Smile we regularly encounter these issues that represent wasted opportunities:
- Not enough communication with patients
- A recall process that isn’t robust and doesn’t include all patients
- Giving up too soon on patients coming back for treatment
- Poor recall letters and emails – I see many that are ‘cold’, matter of fact and unfriendly
- No newsletter to ‘up-sell’ your treatments – many of your patients simply do not know everything that you offer
- Little or no ‘ownership’ of recall within the practice
- No segmentation of your patients – they are not all the same!
- A practice website that lacks key patient information (treatment, team, prices)
- Patient plans and membership schemes that are not well promoted
These are all “in the box” issues that can be addressed and are guaranteed to help build income and patient retention.
And here’s the thing. Generating income from your own patient list almost always costs much less than finding new patients.
For a FREE practice marketing Health Check call 0845 287 3051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every now and again we like to introduce other recommended services to the dental community.
Right Hand HR is a leading provider of flexible and practical people management solutions for practices of all sizes. They are the right choice for your practice if you want:
- Reduced Costs
- Increased Productivity
- Legal Compliance / Peace of Mind
- A People Management ‘One Stop Shop’
- Dedicated Points of Contact
Right Hand HR bring people and systems together to make sure that you get exactly what you want. They start by asking what your desired outcome is for your practice, so that they can get to know you and put forward the right solution for your needs.
Committed to giving an excellent, responsive service, you will always be given a named qualified HR Consultant.
If you think this approach is for you take our Health Check Survey or for a free, no-obligation consultation call 01494 451861 to discuss your practice needs.
Make sure you keep your patients informed about oral health. The BDHF released some interesting facts about oral health in Britain to make people more aware of their oral health.
That works out to more than 60 million adults who have lost a tooth, this can be changed with regular visits to the dentist.
27% only visit their dentist when they have a problem
More than half of us have admitted that we wished we had care for our teeth better and prevention is almost always better than cure.
50% of Brits are unhappy with their smile
A BDHF survey found discoloured/crooked teeth are the biggest reason we are unhappy with their smile, 1/3 said a good smile is the most important attribute in attractiveness.
10% would cut oral care items from their shopping to save money
Keeping your smile maintained is relatively cheap with a tube of fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush, compared to ongoing dental costs and painful treatments later in life.
1/3 of children are starting school with visible signs of tooth decay
If something is not done this figure will continue to grow.
‘Healthy’ alternatives are not always what they claim to be
These can be as damaging to teeth as sugary soft drinks. Some fruit juices, while 1 of your 5 a day, can contain more sugar than the same amount of fizzy drink.
Brits do not have the worst teeth globally
Research shows 92% of American adults show signs of tooth decay – 28% in England.
2/3 believe their teeth affect their prospects at work
Many people feel employers will overlook them for promotion if they have poor oral health.
14% of people are frightened to visit the dentist
Trips to the dentist ranked top in a poll on what make people nervous, this was more popular than heights and nearly 10 times as many compared to the doctor.
UK tooth whitening market is worth an estimated £40 million
This industry has soared in recent years as more people desire the ‘perfect smile’.
Only qualified professionals can legally whiten teeth
It is illegal for anyone other than a dental professional to perform tooth whitening.
Women smile more than men
In general women actually smile more than men with studies showing this starts from when they are babies.
Why not post this blog to your practice Facebook page or website? If you’d prefer a print version we can design and write patient-friendly copy for oral health educational literature, call us on 0845 287 3051 or email email@example.com for more information.