Dental Marketing Dilemma

Posted on July 13, 2011 in Dental Marketing

To market or not to market? The dentist’s dilemma

As dentists, we‚Äôre all faced with the age-old business burden: how can I find time to promote my dental practice when I’m so busy running it? Preferred dental marketing strategies can include anything from direct mail campaigns, social media networks, print advertising, billboards, local trade association newsletters, and countless other vehicles to consider. Now more than ever, promoting our services can put overwhelming demands on our time.

Of course, that’s if we’re comfortable enough in our marketing skills to even attempt to take on that responsibility in the first place. One alternative is to contract out the responsibilities to a professional marketer or advertising agency, but that can pose high costs without guaranteed returns.

TheWealthyDentist.com recently asked a community of our colleagues how they approach marketing their dental practice, and the results are a mixed bag. Some dentists consider marketing to be helpful, and even necessary, in staying profitable. Others believe that sound dDental Work
Photo by Kyle Lease
ental practices and word-of-mouth are enough. Here are some of the surveys findings:

• 40% of those dentists polled view marketing as an extremely helpful tool in promoting their dental practice.
‚Ä¢ A quarter of those polled would prefer to not have to spend time on marketing initiatives, but consider them “necessary evils”.
• Another quarter wish they had the time and means to truly initiate a marketing campaign that could more greatly impact their bottom line.
• And 10% consider marketing unnecessary and that quality dentists can instead rely on their own skills and reputation to build a customer base.

It’s possible that any of us can achieve success as dentists even without the benefit of large-scale promotional drives. Some statistics indicate that as many as 90% of our patients are accumulated through word-of-mouth and peer referrals, so doing quality dental work should remain our No. 1 mission.

Of course, we all work in different markets, and some of us are forced to compete more vigorously for patients in a given area. Advertising efforts can be as intense and as time-consuming as we allow them to be. For some, internal marketing initiatives wherein we focus on retaining our current patients is enough. For others, there’s great benefit to continuing on with traditional print ad campaigns that have been moderately successful in the past. Others may even take the initiative to learn the intricacies of Facebook and Twitter to build our client bases. In the end, there is no right or wrong to the dental marketing dilemma, only what works best for you and your dental practice.

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