Dentistry is one of the most attractive professions in America. In 2021, the typical dentist earned $155,600. Not only do dentists earn more than the average wage in America, they are in one of the fastest growing industries in the country. In 2020, the global dental services industry was worth $371.4 billion and estimated to be worth $698.9 billion by 2030, thanks to a growth rate of 6.8% compounded across the forecast period. Inevitably, competition for market share is huge. With dentistry attracting so many brilliant people, standing out can be very difficult. You need to understand how you can market your dental practice so you can thrive in this tough competitive landscape.
Know Your Customer
Every business has a “typical customer” and that is true also of dentistry. The first step a dentist must take before developing a marketing campaign is to figure out what their typical customer looks like. How old are they? What procedures do they generally come in for? Where are they from? What are their “jobs to be done”? For instance, do they come in for teeth whitening because they work in an industry where their appearance matters a lot? Or are they struggling with tooth decay and need dental implants so they can chew their food better? Ask yourself as many questions as you can to try and figure out what your typical patient looks like. Then figure out exactly why they come to you and not some other dentist. What do they believe your value proposition is? When you have a complete picture of your typical patient, their jobs to be done, and why they come to you, you can tailor your marketing campaign so it focuses on getting more of your typical patient.
A crucial question you should ask yourself in the first phase is, “Where did you hear about me?” If the typical answer is, “On Facebook”, then you need to have an advertising campaign focused on Facebook. If they say they heard about you at a local hospital, then your strategy changes. You have to go where your typical patient is. Invest in the platform that your typical patient uses the most. You want to be focused in terms of the kind of patient you are targeting, and in terms of the platform you utilize. Diffusing your message to attract a broader audience or across too many platforms, can dilute your message and lead to confusion.
Secondly, because you understand your typical patient’s jobs to be done, you can have marketing campaigns that focus on specific services. According to a study by Revenue Well and the American Dental Association of the most successful marketing strategies used by dentists, focusing on a key service service as teeth whitening, is a particularly effective way of marketing a dental practice. That implies understanding your customer. The study also highlighted the importance of making big, strategic decisions; switching service providers; reactivating inactive patients; and optimizing schedules. These are very powerful themes that can help a dental practice increase its productivity, lower overhead costs and rationalize operations.