At Progressive Dental Marketing, we specialize in the creation and implementation of customized campaigns designed to convert high-dollar cases for dental clinicians. Although we use a variety of marketing strategies and techniques to help our clients achieve their unique practice objectives, education serves as the guiding principle our approach is built upon.
Overly focusing on the advanced features and clinical aspects of their services is a common mistake doctors make when discussing treatments with patients. You have invested thousands of dollars in advanced technology and continuing education, but it means nothing if you fail to educate patients about the impact a procedure can have on their lives. Educated patients will travel longer distances and pay more for services when they clearly understand the value you provide. They perceive you to be an expert in your field because you took the time to properly educate them.
5 Secrets to Educational Marketing
- Determine which issues are most important to your patients. Before you can create a marketing campaign, you need to consider what issues are most important to your patients. Are they most concerned about time, money, health, confidence, or convenience? These issues might not necessarily be the same issues that are significant to you, but that’s okay.
- Provide educational content. Since your website is often your first contact with a patient, it’s the perfect venue to start educating patients about your services and other issues related to dental and periodontal health. We purposefully design our clients’ sites to serve as an educational resource for their patients by crafting multiple pages of original copy on a variety of topics, including gum disease and gum recession causes as well as treatment options. It’s also advisable to use market data to support your treatments. Remember, market data is much more important to patients than product data. Here are some examples of market data:“50 percent of the population suffers from periodontal disease while only three percent on average get treatment each year.”“Periodontal disease affects your entire body in addition to being the number one cause for tooth loss. It has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and low birth weight babies to name a few.”
- Train your team. In order to educate your patients, you need to first train your team. In many cases, the first impression of your practice is your website. The second is the person who answers the phone. Through extensive dental marketing and advertising research, we have concluded that phone scheduling may be one of the most important areas for successful new patient acquisition and practice growth. If your appointments continually go unbooked, your phone scheduling protocol may be to blame. The way an initial call is handled by the front desk can make or break a case, so your dental team must maximize all opportunities at the initial point of contact with your potential new patient.
- Focus on teaching. When it comes to high dollar treatments like dental implants or laser gum surgery, holding a free educational class or seminar can go a long way to increasing your ROI for these procedures. During the seminars, it’s important to cover the benefits, particularly the emotional benefits, as well as the features of the treatments. In addition to going over the pertinent clinical information, you need to paint a picture of what life will be like for these patients after they undergo treatment. Yes, dental implants function just like natural teeth, but what impact will that have on the patient’s life? No more embarrassment due to ill-fitting dentures sliding around, perhaps the ability to enjoy all their favorite foods again? When you explain the emotional benefits patients will receive and couple it with a call to action, the chances of booking a treatment increase exponentially.
- Capture leads. If you do not implement a procedure for capturing leads, all of your marketing efforts, online or otherwise, will have been for nothing. Whether it’s on your website or at a live seminar, you must put a process in place for capturing and qualifying patients. Website conversion funnels are an excellent tool for attaining information from patients perusing your site. If you’re offering a class, consider adding a few qualifying questions to your registration or download forms to help you categorize patients by their potential needs and interests.
Education-based marketing is a multi-faceted strategy that, when done correctly, will allow you to:
- Dominate your competition
- Provide an invaluable resource for your patients
- Engage your staff members
- Establish you as the expert in your market.
So stop pitching and start educating! This educational-based marketing approach will ensure that patients are well informed and are focused on the long term outcomes.