The Dominate Dentistry Series: Top 3 Mistakes Dentists Make When Marketing Dental Implants

Top 3 Mistakes Dentists Make When Marketing Dental Implants

Today, I'm going to share with you the Top 3 Mistakes that Dentists Make with their Dental Implant Marketing that are absolutely killing your campaign.


1.) Lack of Compelling Assets

One of the biggest mistakes that we see, by far, is advertising without creating assets first. What I mean by that is, usually when a doctor or an entrepreneur wants to increase their dental implants, the first thing they think of is...I need to advertise. I need to get the phone ringing. We need to get our name and our brand out there and do all these things, and all that is true. The problem is, their mindset completely switches to a tactical mindset. They’re looking at tactics. They're asking themselves, what should we do? Should we do pay-per-click? Should we do social media? Should we do television? Should we do direct mail? Should we do patient seminars? There are so many different ways to advertise.

What should I do, and how much is that going to cost? That's usually the first place that a lot of people think, and the reason why it's kind of putting the cart before the horse is because all of those different tactics, they can all do a good job in driving traffic but they're highly market dependent and they are highly budget dependent. So, what tactic you choose and what market is very, very important, but they can all do the job to drive traffic. Meaning, get eyeballs.

The problem is, what are the eyeballs actually seeing. When you're advertising, what are you showing people? Many times, I have run into a doctor spending a ton of money. They're spending ten, fifteen thousand dollars a month to advertise for dental implants and the landing page that they're sending people to is garbage. It’s some templated landing page that has absolutely nothing compelling. Then, they will say that the marketing doesn’t work, I didn’t get enough leads or the leads I got were unqualified.

The reality is, the vast majority of the time, the marketing is working just fine! It’s just that whatever assets you were driving them to didn’t work. You pay the TV station for commercials. You’re going to get commercials; you're going to get your impressions. But if your commercial is no good, then it doesn't matter. If your call to action is no good. If it's not compelling, it doesn't matter. All your marketing dollars do is drive traffic and get eyeballs. So, before you do that, you have to invest the time and energy and resources into creating assets that are compelling.

What are compelling assets that you can use over and over in different types of media? Patient testimonials and patient stories are great assets we can use for advertising. Your before and after photos work really well for marketing too.

Everything you want to do with marketing dental implants should have nothing to do with dental implants and should have everything to do with the clinical outcome that dental implants provide the patients, and how that clinical outcome can ultimately increase their quality of life. Everything needs to be about that. That's how you stay out of the commodity space. If you have zero emotional content, then what else is there? There’s just the dental implant itself, the procedure, the products, and the services. Those things can be commoditized and that's how you run into people that are constantly shopping price. Your competitors are charging less, and you end up losing leads to them. All because you never put in the time and effort to take good photography, to create compelling content, and create quality videos BEFORE you spent the money on advertising.

2.) Budget Doesn't Reflect Goals

Whatever you choose to spend each month MUST line up with your goals or the goals of the practice. The campaigns where that is not initially established, are campaigns that are just doomed from the start.

There should be a great deal of math associated with coming up with a budget. Many doctors ask, how much is this going to cost? It really depends on how many people you want to see your marketing, how much traffic you want. We can’t expect to close 10 arches a month but spend only $3,000 a month trying to acquire those cases. To actually close 10 arches a month spending $3,000 a month is absolutely an outlier. It is extremely, rare.

When you're advertising dental implants, you have to understand the population you’re advertising to. These are people that are edentulous. People that have terminal dentition, that haven't been to the dentist than a decade or more. These are people that, in a lot of cases, have financial concerns, and people that haven't had a great deal of value for their teeth. The problem is, there's a lot of those people that are going to respond to the marketing that weren't necessarily qualified to actually make a purchase, or they just can't afford it. You have to understand how many people you have to hit to generate X amount of leads and then, based on your close ratio, how many leads you need to actually close 10 arches.

A good rule of thumb is, if you can close, and you can close well, you should be somewhere around about $1,000 an arch in terms of what you're going to be spending to acquire one of those cases. We have clients that do better, but I don’t like setting that expectation because they close at such a high percentage. They have someone really good up front that's handling all the lead management. They have an awesome treatment coordinator that has been doing it for a while, that listens, that knows their stuff when it comes to financing options. They know how to bundle treatment. They know how to work deals. They know how to close people, and close people properly. So, you have to understand your budget and it needs to be an accurate reflection of what your goals are. You can’t do 10 arches a month and spend $500 a month. I'm sorry, I want a lot of stuff too. It's just not going to happen. So, you have to be realistic on your budget.

Keep in mind that should always be a conversation that you have with whatever marketing firm you work with right up front. That should come before, how much does it cost to market on social media, or PPC, or TV, or direct mail. None of that matters. It's what is your budget, and what's your market, and then it’s the marketing company’s responsibility to help you create a plan on how to allocate the budget.

Everything depends on what your goals and your budget are. I’ll take those things into consideration in your market and we'll put something together that makes sense, because not every marketing tactic works in every market.

3.) Inefficient Sales Process

We have just over eight hundred clients in the country and the majority of them are running dental implant advertising. We are a full-service agency, we help with coaching and training in addition to the marketing. One of the biggest problems our clients run into is starting marketing, but then having absolutely no answer for lead management. There's no answer at all for a sales process.

This means that they put the patient straight through the same system regardless of what they came in for. They have a patient calling up, saying they are new to the area and asking for a new patient exam. Then, they have a patient calling up asking for All-on-4. They put both patients through the same exact process.

You have to understand, if you’re going to seriously build your practice with implants, you want to do real volume, and you want to do big-multi implant cases, and do them consistently...you HAVE to have a sales process that is set up for triage.

Out of a hundred leads that you generate, 50 of them are not going to be qualified. Of that half, you may convert half or a little over half into appointments. You have to have a process for lead management. You have to determine who is responsible for the leads when the forms come in. Who is responsible for the phone calls? How much time are you going to block off on the schedule for doctor time versus treatment coordinator time to handle these new consultations? How are you going to pre-qualify them, so we don’t get a patient in the door, spend an hour and a half with them, and then they tell us they are on Medicaid. Or they’re on Medicare and they can’t afford even $500? Those are patients we need to refer elsewhere, but you need to find out that information faster. In many cases, dental implant marketing can bog you down with a lot of patients that aren’t qualified, and waste a lot of time if you’re not careful and you don’t have a really good process set up to close.

Dental implants are probably one of the most commoditized sectors of dentistry there possibly is. You have to have a sales process that's going to preemptively handle those objections and a treatment coordinator that understands how to bundle treatment and show them they're getting a great deal for the money. You have to show them this is a good buy, without discounting your fees. You can charge more and sell more than all your competitors, but you still have to show them that it's a good buy, that it's getting a good deal. If they look at your price and they don't know, if they don't think it's a good deal well, you're just done. They're just going to go somewhere else. If they feel the need to go shop around, nine times out of ten, you lose that person because nine times out of ten they're going to find somebody that is less. That doesn't mean they're offering the same thing or their treatment plan is just as good or it's the same quality. We all know that it usually isn't, but the reality is the patient's perspective usually is that a dental implant is a dental implant. People can talk themselves into believing one thing is just as good as another if it's $10,000 less. Very easy for them to talk themselves into that.

You have to have a sales process and training set up, up front for these big cases. It is worth it. They're big cases that can make a tremendous impact on the bottom line of your practice in terms of profit. Your hourly production can just skyrocket when you're doing more big cases, it frees up other work for associates to come in and ultimately gives my clients the opportunity to work less and make more.

Work less, make more, do bigger cases, become much more profitable. It's definitely worth the time and energy and the investment to do it the right way, but the vast majority of people that jump into it, have no assets, they go straight into the marketing. They're spending a couple thousand dollars, have no sales process, and then wonder why it didn't work. It didn't work because it was doomed from the beginning. It's as simple as that.

Need help with any three of these aspects?


Our dental marketing and consulting firm has Practice Growth Specialists who are dedicated to building custom marketing strategies for our clients. We have already done this for hundreds of practices, why not see what we can do for yours? Give us a call today at 727-286-6211 or feel free to explore our website further to see what additional services we offer.

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