Meeting with a dentist in Vienna, VA on Friday, I was asked a question that I am amazed no other dentist had asked before. You see, this practice was a start-up that opened this year in April and they had spent a ton of money marketing the business yet nothing seemed to be working.
The question was so simple – “Why Do Online Marketing Campaigns Fail?”
What an easy question at a high level but the reasons behind the failure of any marketing plan, especially one focused on online marketing, cannot be attributed to JUST one thing. So I gave it a lot of thought and came up with the 4 main reasons why.
Thanks for reading and feel free to join the conversation. Today’s blog is a high level overview but in the upcoming days and weeks, I will expand on each of the 4 reasons with their own dedicated blogs. You can agree or disagree with my findings after being in this digital space for 16 years, I am good with that. I think this is an open discussion that is beneficial to any practice so comment away.
- First and the most obvious – Campaign strategy and setup.
In my opinion, you need to hire an expert who has managed these types of strategies over and over. If not, you are taking the risk of throwing money down the drain trying to figure out what works and what does not work on your dime. Experts can shorten the “learning curve”, saving you money for sure but more importantly, helping you to ramp the business quicker. Every day that goes by trying to figure things out costs you money and the opportunity to use that budget towards actual new patient production. Trying to do it yourself is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a practice. The money you will “save” will end up cost you tens of thousands of dollars a year in new patient treatment and that’s a conservative number. In the upcoming blogs, we will dive into the different strategies and the goals they can accomplish as well as the timeline to be truly effective and optimized.
- Second is your website.
Is your website as good as it can be? The primary purpose of a dental practice website is to give enough information to get that consumer to take action – call your office or request an appointment online. When it comes to website development, I cannot stress the importance of investing well in this online salesperson. You went to college for forever to be a dentist, you opened your practice with hundreds of thousands in loans, DO NOT BUY A CHEAP WEBSITE ! I have seen campaigns that were setup flawlessly, tank, because of a bad website. If your website is not responsive, has original content, hopefully some amazing new patient incentives and ask the consumer to call you – you have set yourself up for a trip to online marketing purgatory. In the upcoming blogs, we will dive into what to look for when it comes to a website and more importantly, what to avoid.
- Third is your team and office setup.
If you have a voice prompt system, before a patient gets a chance to talk to a real person, please throw that in the trash now. By far, this is my biggest pet peeve and one that WILL BE disastrous to your marketing efforts. If your staff is not friendly when they answer the call or are not properly trained to be part customer service/part salesperson, your office will not see as high of a new patient number as you could. Answering the phones with a live person that is smiling, yes you can hear that over the phone, is important. They should know how to answer all of the basic questions (hours, insurance, directions, etc) and always be asking for the appointment. Always! In the upcoming blogs, we will discuss this in greater detail and give some examples of how internal systems and staff have harmed my client’s campaigns in the past.
- And the best for last, YOU.
OK, I did my job and brought local patients looking for a new dentist to your website. Your website converting them to take action and call and then your friendly staff made them feel comfortable enough with your practice to schedule a consultation. Now they are in the chair, your chair. Their initial experience in your practice is critical to building your business. If a patient feels rushed or pushed into a treatment plan they cannot afford nor understand, they are not coming back. More importantly, they will be telling their friends not to go to you and they may even go online and bash your practice. Go slower on the initial visit, make them feel like you truly care and they will help spread the word to their sphere of influence. In the upcoming blogs, we will discuss this as well.
About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as a Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $4,200,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.