Do you do an annual marketing plan or calendar?
If you do, then consider yourself part of the elite. If you are part of the elite, I have little doubt that you get more out of your practice in less time and with less stress AND help more patients versus those who “go with the flow” when it comes to planning the year ahead for their dental practice’s marketing.
Yes, the elite realize that barring catastrophic disaster or global financial meltdowns there is an annual dental business cycle that is fairly predictable and that can be planned for as part of your dental practices’ marketing and in fact can be planned a year in advance.
For those who don’t plan what will happen and when in the coming year related to your dental practice’s marketing, there are some predictable patterns that will inevitably play out related to peaks and valleys in new patient flow, desired case flow, and certainly cash flow.
Additionally, it’s likely you’ll be more stressed than necessary and take less time off to be with your family or to take much needed vacations!!
When I reference a dental practice “marketing calendar” for a sizable percentage of the profession “dental practice marketing” won’t even be about paid advertising. For the highly ambitious specialist or generalist and certainly for any practice with a focus on niche cases, paid advertising will be a major part of the mix of what constitutes dental practice marketing. For a bread and butter general dental practice or a routine specialty practice, where the goal is to “get in/get out,” there’s not much in the way of paid advertising that’s needed since one can focus on word of mouth referrals via online reviews and focus on internal marketing. As there are no free lunches, the former (the ambitious) take home higher incomes while the latter “just get me in and out” take home less stress. No matter which style of practice you are running now or have a goal to become, an annual plan is a big part of managing what you want the end result to be. In other words whether you “advertise” or not, putting what you will do for the coming year onto a calendar is an important component of your dental practice’s marketing.
By the way, if you want to understand what’s really required for an abundance of niche cases, then you have an assignment which is to digest the Amazon best-selling guide on the subject. You’ll find it here.
Think of the annual dental marketing plan as being like a map. Yes, you will probably make some detours during the year based on wants, needs, expectations, and outcomes BUT without the map, opportunities will slip by and you’ll be easily distracted by random occurrences that don’t really fit into communicating to the public the services you do best.
It’s human nature to be excited about what’s “new.” One need not be a rocket scientist to see this all around us in our consumer based society and dentists are no different. Without a plan to guide the year, “new” distractions that aren’t important detract from what is very important to get what one wants from the practice.
Regardless of how you currently promote, I encourage you to think about “your map” a bit for the year ahead in the coming 2-4 weeks and draft your map out as much as possible.