AIM Dental Marketing

Tools to Make Reliable Marketing Decisions III

Part 3 of 3
By Daniel A. Bobrow, MBA (University of Chicago) & MBA (K.U.L. Belgium)

To date, we’ve presented five of the seven keys to success with implementing your dentistry marketing strategy:

1. Identify Your Objectives
2. Determine Your Budget
3. Perform Your Benefit/Cost Evaluations
4. Select Your Target & Frequency
5. Select Design and content

In this Issue, we present the Final Two, Implementing Your Strategy and Program Tracking and Evaluation.

Taking The Leap

Strategy Implementation is the “test,” which shows if we’ve done our “homework.” I often remind people that, when in school, scoring 95% means an “A” while, in Life, a similar score means FAILURE. Either it’s all right or it’s all wrong!

To ensure an error-free implementation you, or someone you trust, must take complete responsibility for coordinating all tasks and resources This is the case whether you plan to perform the strategy internally or with the assistance of one or more vendors.

When we implement a direct mail strategy for a Health Partner (client), we open a Health Partner Processing Checklist and Target & Schedule. To view modified versions of these for you to use click here and here.

Of course, your actual strategy tracking will vary, depending on what resources you use, which are implemented internally vs. externally, the tactic(s) in question, etc. The point is that, whatever your strategy, be sure you’ve considered (ideally, with input from other interested parties) the steps required to implement and maintain an effective Strategy. And speaking of tracking…

Track It!

If you think asking “Who may we thank for referring you to our office?” or words to that effect, constitutes a reliable marketing results tracking system, please think again.

Human nature dictates that people will typically provide the last place they saw your practice name as “the source.” Why, you may ask, does it matter? Consider that, if your direct mail program is causing recipients to consult their preferred provider directory for your name or, someone sees your billboard but does not recall the telephone number so they consult the Yellow Pages, and then cite that as “the source,” you are undervaluing the importance of direct mail and billboard advertising for your practice, which could lead to an incorrect decision to terminate a strategy yielding a positive return on investment.

A recent study we conducted showed that, for every patient attributed to direct mail as “the source,” another two patients actually received a direct mailing from the practice.
While it may not be accurate to credit 100% of the response to the mailing, it deserves at least partial credit. This also illustrates that people need to receive several impressions or “touches” for the same message before responding. To see this for yourself, just consider how many times you watch the same television commercial before you even know what’s for sale.

So how does one enhance tracking accuracy and reliability?

One way is to compare the addresses of all new patients with the addresses to which you are sending direct mail. Another way is to assign a unique telephone number to each marketing strategy. That way, the phone bill is your tracking device.

Daniel A. ‘Danny’ Bobrow,

AIM MarketingTools to Make Reliable Marketing Decisions III