Dentists Disagree on Which Dental Marketing Vector Works Best

marketing vectorsIf you listen to the buzz around the dental marketing on the Internet, dentists might be inclined to believe that traditional marketing channels such as direct mail, yellow pages and radio are dead.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While it is true that the rise and popularity of the Internet and dental search has changed the game, it has actually opened up greater ways for you to connect with more dental patients than ever before.

Dental practices should be looking at an integrated marketing approach utilizing a combination of marketing vectors, both new and traditional, for a more effective market saturation over doing one alone.

Here at the Wealthy Dentist we decided to ask dentists which marketing vector has been most successful for their dental practice.

Here are the responses –

  • Internet 28%
  • Direct mail 21%
  • Yellow Pages 17%
  • Internal Marketing 21%
  • Radio 0%
  • TV 7%
  • Signage 3%
  • Referrals 3%

Here’s what dentists had to say about marketing vectors –

“Internet, direct mail, and internal marketing have been the best marketing vectors for us. The best marketing vector is internal marketing.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“Patient referrals are first, then even tie between yellow pages and the Internet.” (California dentist)

“98% of our new patients still come from the recommendations of existing patients.” (Illinois dentist)

“We get some insurance referrals – we have one or two PPO’s.” (California dentist)

“Our direct mailer is supposedly still building up momentum…” (General dentist)

“As far as direct mail, Valpak has been surprisingly wonderful for us. I was very hesitant on doing Valpak advertising until I started collecting the data on our return on investment. Our Valpak ad has produced phenomenal results for our office!” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“I think the Yellow Pages are soon to be nonexistent.” (Oklahoma dentist)

Dental Marketing: Geo-targeted Local Search Strategies

Dental Marketing: Geo-targeted Local Search StrategiesAccording to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. A geo-targeted local search strategy makes it easier for your dental practice’s prospective new patients to find your dental website and your practice.

But what exactly is geo-targeted local search?

Local search happens when a person is searching for something specific online and they use a location with the search term. The location could be the city, neighborhood, zip code, the state, name of a street, or any geo-targeted term to help identify the location.

If a new dental patient is searching for a cosmetic dentist in a particular area, you might see search terms such as —

  • city name- teeth whitening dentist
  • city neighborhood name- teeth whitening dentist
  • teeth whitening dentist- zip code
  • teeth whitening dentist- area code

There’s also the ‘direct navigation’ method (Jupiter Research estimates that nearly 17% of users search with this method) —

  • www.citynameteethwhitening.com

This type of specific web address search behavior is said to produce more qualified leads for the business found in this type of targeted search.

What is the best strategy for a dentist to be found in a geo-targeted search?

By having dental websites with a geo-targeted domain names. Search engines place great importance on the keywords that appear in the domain name in determining where a website appears in search results. A geo-targeted location domain name helps search identify your dental practice geographically.

For example –

  • www.citynameyourbusinessname.com
  • www.neighborhoodnameyourbusinessname.com

A geo-targeted web address in today’s Internet dental marketing environment is a must for dentists who don’t want to suffer to consequences of having prospective new patients going to the competition just because they have a better local Internet presence.

The Most Important Dental Marketing Vector

The Most Important Dental Marketing Vector: Internal MarketingIn a recent The Wealthy Dentist survey, the respondents pointed to internal marketing as their most important dental marketing vector.

As dental practices have been forced to focus on increasing dental practice revenue, one of the key components, it seems, has been internal marketing.

Internal marketing relies on dental patient referrals. If the dental practice lacks in quality customer service, or does not build strong dentist-patient relationships, then any attempts at internal marketing will likely fall flat.

In the most recent the Wealthy Dentist survey we asked dentists what is the most important marketing vector for their dental practice.

67% of the dentist respondents answered that internal marketing is their most important dental marketing vector. 19% responded that Internet dental marketing is their most important marketing vector. 7% felt direct mail marketing was the most beneficial, while another 7% felt traditional media like newspaper, TV and radio were the most important.

Here are some of the comments we received from dentists on this survey:

“Internet and internal marketing are neck-and-neck, followed by direct-mail marketing.” (Arizona dentist)

“Internal marketing and word-of-mouth clearly bring in the BEST new patients for us. We receive the most new patients from Internet and direct-mail marketing. Printed dental phone book marketing is fast becoming one of the least important marketing vectors for us because the return on investment is getting smaller and smaller.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“How do you define important? The internal is the the most important, but the Internet brings most of our new dental patients.” (General dentist)

“Direct mail marketing but with more of a focus on growing online marketing.” (Minnesota dentist)

“Word-of-mouth marketing, with the Internet a close second.” (North Carolina dentist)

“Internal marketing followed by our dental website.” (Pediatric dentist)

“If you treat your dental patients like you would treat your family, then the best ‘marketing’ or good word-of-mouth takes care of itself! We really only market our dental practice by being active in our community and being very good to our patients and we get about 30 new patients every month.” (Alabama dentist)

“The newspaper works well in conjunction with our website and TV advertising.” (California dentist)

Internet dental marketing, but it should be referral from other patients and that does not seem to be happening.” (Illinois dentist)

“Word-of-mouth is always number one and under that would be focused direct mail marketing, although Internet marketing is catching up but the quality of dental patient seems to be always less.” (General dentist)

“Our website.” (California orthodontist)

While there are many dental marketing vectors, they have to be utilized properly to get the desired results. Remember, quality dental marketing combined with a quality dental practice are critical to implementing a successful dental marketing program.

Together, they will grow your dental practice, which ultimately leads to more dental referrals and greater profitability in the long run.

internal dental marketing and communications campaign

Check out The Wealthy Dentist’s full internal dental marketing and communications campaign for a 4-phase program designed to add 10 additional patients per month to your practice.

Dental Marketing: What Kind of Dental Practice Should Advertise on the Radio?

Dental Marketing: What Kind of Dental Practice Should Advertise on the Radio?Dental marketing is all about efficiency. It’s always best to keep doing the things that work and provide the most bang for the buck.

I’m one of the biggest proponents of radio advertising in the dental marketing industry because I’ve worked with so many practices who have seen great success from it. My company, Ridgway Consulting, is best known for our dental practice radio campaigns.

That being said, it’s not right for every practice.

Radio is a broadcast medium, like TV. This is significant because the radio signal often reaches a larger geographic area than what you might normally consider your practice’s base. Depending on the population in your area, you may mostly see patients that are within five, ten or twenty miles of your practice.

By contrast, some radio stations have the signal strength to reach listeners that are hours away.

The challenge with enormous “reach” of a broadcast like that is cost. When you advertise, you get what you pay for; in radio terms, that means radio stations charge you based upon the amount of listeners. So the problem is this: how can you be efficient when you are spending a portion of your marketing dollars to reach people who won’t travel as far as your office for dentistry?

The answer is simple – you need to have something that distinguishes you from the competition.

Radio only makes sense if you can offer something the other local practices are not offering. You need to give people a reason to pass by all the offices that are closer to their work and home, and make you their dentist of choice. That unique service, whether it be Invisalign, implants, sedation dentistry, or whatever, also needs to be a relatively profitable service.

It’s difficult to make an acceptable ROI when you advertise a low-dollar service like cleanings or whitening. Instead, use radio to advertise something like sedation. One big case, from someone who’s been away from dentistry for years, can pay for months of radio time.

Ed Ridgway has executed 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.

Your Gift… The New Patient Marketing™Machine

Your gift: The New Patient Marketing MachineJim Du Molin calls it the “New Patient Marketing Machine™“… and it’s his gift to you.

“I’d like to give something back to all the dentists who have helped make my life so great,” says Jim. “So I’m going to do something I’ve never done before…”

“I’ll give the first 1,000 dentists who sign up a general dental website… entirely free for one year. No strings attached,” he explains.

Enjoy the holiday season… and Jim Du Molin’s gift to you. Get your gift now!

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