August 12, 2019
by Naren Arulrajah, Ekwa Marketing
Modern technology has transformed dentistry in almost every way, from laser treatments to electronic medical records. It has also transformed dental marketing, with the growing popularity of inbound marketing. What is it, and how can you put it to work for your practice?
Push vs pull: the difference between inbound and outbound marketing
You’ve probably heard these terms, but you might not know exactly what they mean. They sound like just more buzzwords, but there is a distinct difference. One refers to aggressively pushing your marketing message, while the other pulls in the audience.
Inbound (pull) marketing
Think of inbound marketing like a magnet, which attracts new patients to your practice. This technique utilizes social media, SEO (search engine optimization), content marketing, and other platforms to attract attention. The marketing materials are more than advertisements; they offer some value to the end user.
Most commonly, inbound marketing materials seek to educate, entertain, or both. Inbound is sometimes called permissive marketing, because people are viewing or hearing your message by choice.
Outbound (push) marketing
This method includes some of the best-known traditional marketing channels, such as television, newspapers, magazines, billboards, cold calls, and radio. It works by spreading and broadcasting your materials to as many people as possible, essentially pushing your message into the market.
The primary tool of outbound marketing is advertisements, which offer the end user little or no value. People don’t seek out these types of marketing materials, but they see your message because it is where they are already looking. As an example, a commercial appears in the middle of a TV show the person is watching. For that reason, outbound is also known as interruptive marketing.
RELATED ARTICLE: Are You Using Online Reviews As A Marketing Strategy?
Why inbound is overtaking outbound
Inbound is a newer, more progressive style of marketing. It is also much better suited to today’s audience, especially dental patients. The benefits of inbound marketing include:
Why outbound isn’t dead yet
The same HubSpot survey mentioned above asked respondents if they think their current marketing strategies are successful. Among businesses using primarily inbound, 75 percent said yes. For those using primarily outbound, the number of positive responses was only slightly lower, at 62.
As you might have noticed, the percentage of professionals who express faith in outbound marketing is much higher than those who are seeing good ROI. Why are so many people dedicated to inefficient methods? There are a few reasons. One is simple dedication to the “tried and true.” Professionals have used standard outbound advertising for decades, and some are hesitant to progress. However, outbound marketing does still have some distinct benefits.
Putting it all together – tips for adapting your marketing strategy
How can you implement inbound marketing? Should you discontinue outbound? The best marketing strategy is customized to your dental practice, so there isn’t a universal answer to those questions. Here are some tips to help you evaluate and upgrade your strategy.
Very few dental practices use inbound or outbound marketing exclusively, but most have a strong focus on one or the other. A focus on inbound techniques can lower your marketing budget while improving results and building better patient relationships.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren.
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