People are demanding when it comes to customer service. Expectations for better experiences are driving competition in every industry, forcing businesses to compete more aggressively.
In dentistry, standing apart from your competitors can be especially tough. Communicating what makes your practice different while navigating your dental college’s advertising regulations adds an extra layer of complexity. Whether it’s your team, services, facility, or community efforts, the most powerful marketing strategies are founded on a clear definition of what makes your practice unique.
So, how do you get your message out?
On top of evaluating your past marketing efforts, optimizing and planning for the following year, we recommend enhancing your strategy by looking at innovative marketing ideas to support patient retention and growth. Below are three strategies to help you achieve this.
- Understand the relationship between marketing and team engagement
Your team can be your best asset when it comes to patient and community engagement.
Each team member brings his or her own personality, which makes your practice and patient experience unique and special.
Involve your team in the development of your marketing strategy. Each member has a unique perspective, creative ideas, and a connection with your patients. Asking for their input is also a gesture that will help them feel committed to making your marketing initiatives work.
A well-rounded marketing plan includes at least one opportunity to engage with the local community. Your practice could support a local children’s hockey team or sponsor a booth at a winter fair. To maximize the impact of these types of initiatives, leverage your team’s personalities, enthusiasm and excitement to promote your practice at community events.
- Know and communicate your strengths
Know your practice’s strengths and weave them throughout your marketing strategy and communication pieces. What might seem ordinary to you may be exactly what potential patients are looking for.
What are your value-adds? Below are a few top patient comforts that consistently receive positive feedback:
- Convenient location, parking and extended hours;
- Family-friendly dentists, a play area for children or a Cavity Free Club;
- A waiting area with snacks, coffee and water;
- Multi-media options for patients in the chair, and in the waiting room; and,
- Flexible financing options.
- Explore new approaches
In a competitive environment, it is important to try new things and step out of your norm. Think about your practice objectives and consider innovative marketing ideas to form an action plan that achieves your goals.
We have identified a few “out-of-the-box” marketing ideas that have been recommended to practices who were looking for a new approach:
- Challenge other neighbourhood businesses to a community food drive over the holidays;
- Start a book drive to support a local school in your community; or,
- Develop a targeted digital ad campaign to connect with a specific demographic looking for a new dentist in their area.
Make it easy for existing and prospective patients to recognize the value you deliver.
While you’re competing in the same market as the practice around the corner, knowing your strengths, and having an openness to new ideas can get the right messages in front of potential patients and keep your practice top of mind during their selection process.
Julia is the Vice President of Marketing at dentalcorp. In her role, Julia is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic marketing initiatives to drive the growth for dentalcorp’s network of Practices and the corporate brand. Julia has a strong background in advertising, marketing and communications for international brands. She also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree specializing in Marketing from Carleton University and completed her MBA at EDHEC Business School in France.