Why Dental Marketing Requires Long-term Thinking

Dental Marketing Requires Long-term Thinking Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear that dental marketing results will take time. When dentists spend thousands of dollars on something, it’s only natural to want a return as soon as possible.

But marketing is really more of a marathon than a sprint.

The best results come over time.

It’s not unheard of for an advertising campaign to produce an immediate return, but that’s usually the exception to the rule. We hope for short-term response, but we plan for long-term results. Keep this in mind when you choose among your dental marketing options.

Once you pick your method, give the media enough time to produce. In most cases, the approach of “I’ll do this for a couple months and see how it goes” is a mistake and a waste of money.

Why are dental marketing results better over the long run?

One of the main reasons is because patients are likely to need multiple exposures to a message before they respond. Radio advertising provides a good example. Radio is a frequency medium, which means it works best when your ad makes repeated impressions on the same listener.

It can be expensive to make multiple impressions on a listener, especially in the larger markets, so it’s important to buy a station that you can afford. If you can’t afford to commit for at least six months, then you need to pick a less expensive station or put off radio until such a commitment is realistic.

One good media buyer I know tells his clients, “In the first month, you’re going to lose a (heck) of a lot of money. In the second month you’ll lose a little less. By the fourth or fifth month, you’ll start breaking even. And after six months, you’ll start making a lot of money.”

Now that first part might sound a little bleak, but if you’re planning long term, your investment won’t be evaluated by early results. At the end of the year the aggregated profit over the months should more than make up for a slow start.

I’ve seen dentists get multiple new patients the first day they ran a radio ad. That’s great for morale, but it’s not necessary for a successful campaign. Some of the best campaigns I’ve seen have started slow and built up over time.

Make sure you choose dental marketing methods that reflect this reality, and that your decisions are made for the long-term.

Ed Ridgway has executed dental marketing campaigns for hundreds of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. He is nationally recognized for his ongoing campaigns with many of the top dental practices across the country.

How Dentists Deal With Dental Practice Burnout (video)

How Dentists Deal With Dental Burnout (video)It has been argued that dentistry can be a stressful occupation.

Possible root causes are demanding patient interactions, negative perceptions about dentistry, financial pressures from running a dental practice, challenging workloads, ever-changing new dental technologies, and lack of resources needed to create change.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey to ask dentists if they have ever suffered from professional burnout.

A Massachusetts dentist responded, “Burnout to me is mainly the result of negative light in which most people view the dental office experience.”

4 out of 5 dentists in this survey answered that they have experienced professional burnout in their dental careers.

One dentist offered his solution to avoiding burnout, “Taking continuing education courses to learn and improve technologies rejuvenates my dental practice. It keeps me fresh.”

To hear more of what dentists had to say about professional burnout, Click Play to watch the following video:

Have you experienced burnout with your dental career?

For more information about burnout see: Dental Practice Burnout: 5 Symptoms and 5 Remedies

Dental Practice Management Survey: What’s a Typical Dentist Work Week?

Dental practice management work weekIn this dentist survey, The Wealthy Dentist asked about the typical work week, time spent on patient care vs. dental practice management, and whether dentists enjoy how they’re spending their time.

We found that 67% of dentists in our survey work a 4-day work week.

The remaining dentists reported as follows:

  • 17% work 3 days per week
  • 13% work 5 days per week
  • 4% work 6 days per week

None of the dentists work all 7 days; and none work only 1 or 2 days per week.

When it comes to allocating time between patient care vs. dental management, there’s a wide range. But the most common responses were 32 hours per week caring for patients, and 4 hours per week managing the practice.

Here’s an anlysis of the responses:

Hours per week spend on patient care:

  • range = 11-45
  • avg = 31.5
  • median = 31
  • mode = 32

Hours per week spent on practice management:

  • range = 1-15
  • avg = 6.5
  • median = 5
  • mode = 4

An Alabama dentist  made this interesting observation: “I would work more Fridays if patients would show up to their appointments. Patients have good intentions of making Friday appointments, but when it boils down to it, they are not very good about following through with them.”

This Arizona dentist is working a lot of hours now, hoping he won’t have to later:  “I never in a million years thought I would work this many hours. However, at the age of 46, I don’t want to be…STILL working at 66, or 70, or 75, or older.”

On the other hand, this older  dentist has found a way to enjoy work: “65 years old so LOTS of vacations! I take about 8 weeks a year.”

One Pennsylvania dentist gave this insight into what creates dentist career satisfaction.  When responding to whether he enjoys how he spends his time, he said, “Its great; perfect staff.”

What does your typical dentist work week look like? Do you enjoy how you’re spending your time?

Could You Run Your Family or Dental Practice This Way?

Could You Run Your Family or Dental Practice This Way?

The following was passed on to me by one of our readers . . .

Interesting Perspective on the American Debt

If you’ve been watching the world news lately, here’s some math to consider…

  • U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
  • New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
  • Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  • National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  • Budget cut: $ 2, 100,000,000,000 ( CBO estimated )/ Annualized over 10 years (210,000,000,000)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the family budget for the fictitious Smith family.

  • Total annual income for the Smith family: $21,700
  • Amount of money the Smith family spent: $38,200
  • Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Amount cut from the budget: $210

So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the SMITH family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $210 from its annual budget.

What family would cut $210 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending?

Now I believe that this does not take into consideration the interest on that credit card!

It is an obvious expression of the frustration almost all of us have with the current political process and the resulting economic mayhem that we are being forced to endure.

At this point the market collapse has seen over one trillion dollars of American investors’ capital investment and dentists’ retirement funding vanish in the last two weeks.

Dental Practice Management and the Affordable Care Act (Survey Video)

Dental practice management and the Affordable Care Act

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they think the Affordable Care Act will help their dental practices.

Most doctors would prefer the government stay out of their dental practice management

Only 9% of the our dentist respodents are optimistic that the Act will help the dental profession;  72% of the dentists surveyed fear their dental practice will be hurt by the new law.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss dentists thoughts about the Affordable Care Act:

“If you don’t think we are paying for the uninsured now you have your head in the sand. Obama stated that dental benefits would be included in the health care act, and I think it will increase utilization. More demand, less supply… you figure it out.” California dentist

“People will be tuned in even more to the idea that everything should be paid for by insurance. On the other hand, the current system is broken and crazy. I hope we aren’t just trading it for more broken, crazy, and unaffordable.” Washington Dentist Anesthesiologist

“”I believe that the increased tax burden on all Americans that directly results from this Act will significantly reduce discretionary dollars for virtually everyone, and will eventually lead to a single payer system that will be even less efficient and more wasteful than the current system,” said an Illinois dentist.

How do you think the Affordable Care Act will affect your dental practice?

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