When it comes to dental marketing services there are many available. In fact, I run in to new ones all the time. So which ones are worth using, which ones are not and which ones are more or less a sales gimmick?
First, it helps to categorize the dental marketing services into groups to better understand their function. Below you will find a list of advertising services, marketing service and online services you can use for your dental practice.
But first we will look at the definition of marketing and adverting approved by the AMA, American Marketing Association; to help distinguish between these terms which are often erroneously interchanged.
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
The placement of announcements and persuasive messages in time or space purchased in any of the mass media by business firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals who seek to inform and/or persuade members of a particular target market or audience about their products, services, organizations, or ideas.
Print: Magazines, newspapers, preprints, journals, shoppers, catalogues, coupon books
Direct Mail: Post cards, letters, packages, door hangers, shared mail (multiple ads within one package)
Electronic Mediums: Television, cable and radio
Online: Banners ads, pop ups, directories, maps and pay-per-click ads
Billboards: Stationary, fly overs, sporting events, banners and yard signs
Directories: yellow pages, product specifics
Misc.: A few of the main ones are: Signage, store display, point of purchase, bill stuffers, product packaging
Evaluation: Description of biggest marketing challenge, current marketing conditions, competitor websites, marketing plan, marketing budget, marketing calendar, and contact information
Surveys: In person, focus groups, mail with return form, handout to complete on spot, online, by phone, suggestion box, electronic: Arbitron, Neilson
Marketing research: Use survey data, analyze sales data, analyze competitors, and analyze positioning, target market’s behavior, demographics, geographic, and psychographics
Marketing strategy: Use survey and research to determine target market, competitors positioning and companies differentiation to form gap analysis and formulate messaging, branding. Analyze mediums to determine which match target market.
Graphic design, logos, art elements, design taglines, branding
Design, proof and print business card, letter head, thanks you notes, marketing kits, and online presence, including misc. office documents, signage, invoices and forms.
Marketing Kit: Content, marketing story, differentiation statement, ideal client statement, services and products, case studies, testimonials, customer list, presentation folders, tri-folds,
Market planning: Developing advertising campaigns, negotiating and buying media, setting up billing, tracking, measuring, analytics
Now we have a new sheriff in town, online marketing with a whole host of its own marketing services:
Website development: Content for pages, site design, call to actions, landing pages, white paper and/or case study development, lead nurturing, lead generation and lead conversion, blogging, email marketing, e-books, e-zines.
Content Generation: listening stations, blogging, white papers or reports, tips, social media posts
Search engine optimization: keyword search, backlinks
Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Goggle +, You Tube…
Online advertising: PPC, directories, reputation management
Mobile: Text, QR codes, geo targeting, local
Analytics: Tracking and measurement of online traffic
There are also a lot of online advertising programs being developed by companies trying to capture your ad dollar. I have looked into quite a few of them and I don’t see the benefit to using the majority of them. Most are sales models, using an army of telemarketers to get you to buy their marketing service and don’t even practice what they preach.
You can also add a number of the online directories to the mix. The actual directory is hard to find because the sites are arranged by who spends the most in advertising dollars with them. Rarely does location factor in; for example, you put in your location and your search will show a practice 15 miles away.
The online programs are delivery vehicles, where you can plug-in and play for $300-$500 a month and you will have patients pop out the other side. They don’t have any of the bones of good marketing work, they are gimmicky, and I don’t think they are good business.
A lot of these programs are set up like traditional advertising mediums, to make easy money. They are unilateral in development, with little if any thought of generating a ROI for you. They are built on a possibility of results and the sales person who makes a living off selling you the ad has done nothing more than hand you a pair of dice.
With all these services available, which marketing service or combination of services makes sense for your dental practice? It depends on your dental marketing strategy…. Who your target patient is and how your practice is different than every other practice.
To find out which dental marketing services may be good for you, go to redstarmarketing.com and take your no cost dental practice marketing audit.