…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.
Google’s Algorithm Updates Explained
Panda, introduced Feb 2011, hits weak and duplicate content and stops them from appearing in Googles top search results. This increased the ranking of news and social networking sites as they are content heavy and regularly updated.
Panda is occasionally updated – in one instance to help small business websites do better within the Google search.
Penguin, introduced April 2012, hitting unnatural links that don’t follow Google’s quality guidelines. Whilst Panda is getting softer over time on it’s work against poor content, Penguin is getting stricter. This shows that Google is gradually lowering its tolerance of webspam. Black hat SEO tactics have been targeted e.g.:
- Keyword stuffing
- Link schemes
- Cloaking, “sneaky” redirects or “doorway” pages
- Purposeful duplicate content
Hummingbird, introduced August 2013, is about Google being able to catch users’ actual search intent and find the content that matches this intent the best. Using semantic search it works out the context of the search query, not just the individual terms.
Hummingbird is more than an update, it’s a new algorithm to ensure that Google understands your entire sentence, not just the words you used.
Pigeon, introduced July 2014, aims to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results by connecting web search and map search in a more cohesive way.
While it hits local businesses, Pigeon is also a unique animal because it allows Google to adapt to our behaviors and uses location and distance as key part of search strategy.
For more information about SEO tactics and creating great
web content get in touch via email or phone us on 0845 287 3051.
The answer is, many or even most, are not.
With businesses that are classed as SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees), research shows that investment in marketing is often too low and that this hinders growth. Private and ‘mixed’ practices without NHS contracts fit into this category.
Here are some facts about SMEs:
SMEs report that they could raise sales by an average of 15% if they maximise the impact of their marketing effort
The average SME only achieves 39% of their planned marketing activity
11% do NONE of their planned marketing
1/3 rate their marketing efforts at under 5 out of 10 yet 77% recognise it is important to the success of their business
Reasons for not doing enough marketing: 36% say there isn’t enough money, 21% there isn’t enough time
The average SME spends £23,810 a year on marketing
Every £1 spent on advertising benefits an SME 8 times as much as it would a larger firm
Of course, it’s not solely about making a larger investment to help build a dental business. It’s about spending it wisely through careful marketing planning and avoiding costly mistakes.
For a no-obligation chat about your objectives contact us on 0845 287 3051 for a free initial consultation.
Sources: Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) Advertising Association
Private dental practices, like many types of business, have traditionally set a marketing budget for say 12 months, if they have money reserved for patient recruitment and internal marketing at all. But putting a sum aside for marketing is really coming at it from the wrong starting point. The starting point is looking at the notion of buying patients.
The key question is: “how much am I prepared to pay for a new patient?”. If it’s a dental implant case worth say £2k, are you prepared to pay £100 for that patient, or £200 or £250? For general patients, who start with a £50 or £75 consultation and then go on to become a regular over 3 – 5 years, what are those patients worth to you and how much are you prepared to invest in each one?
The point of this is that once you have worked out those numbers, it’s easier to determine the best strategies for finding those patients, the media to use and the return on investment to plan for. And as new patients or referrals come into your practice, you can decide whether to increase or decrease the numbers of patients you are buying.
With this change in mindset, there’s a much clearer focus on what you are looking to achieve from any marketing investment and really helps practices to avoid making costly mistakes.
If this approach appeals to you, contact us for an initial chat about finding more patients for your practice.