By Daniel A. Bobrow, MBA (University of Chicago) & MBA (K.U.L. Belgium)
Congratulations! When you have read this Installment, you will have successfully completed Strategies, Tips & Secrets.
If you’ve read and applied the information shared in previous installments, you may reasonably now consider yourself a dental marketing expert! Does this mean you know all there is to know about dental marketing? In a word, no, but you should know enough to stack the odds in your favor as far as conceiving, implementing, and evaluating a dental marketing plan.
Depending upon when you subscribed to STS you may or may not have received our Dentistry Marketing Plan, Budget, and ROI Calculator. Whether you have or not, this final Installment is devoted to demonstrating how to put it to work to keep your dental marketing plan ‘on track.’
So, let’s review how to make this powerful tool work for your and your practice marketing.
First, download your Dentistry Marketing Plan. Next save your Plan with a name and at a location you can easily retrieve. Then open it again and prepare to save it by another name e.g. TODAY’S DATE DRAFT. That way, you can get comfortable using it without risking ‘messing up’ your actual Plan.
You will notice in the upper left hand corner of your Plan a place to enter your Annual(ized) Production, and under it, the percent of your Production you wish to allocate to marketing (this depends upon, among other considerations, your desired rate of practice growth). Once you’ve entered these, the program will automatically calculate your Derived Annual Marketing Budget.
The next step is to choose those tactics you wish to employ, and when to begin. Enter into Cell C10 the date (month) in which you intend to implement your Plan (in whole or in part). Column B, beginning with Row 12 is where to enter the descriptor for each tactic comprising your Plan. We’ve included a number of services, which typically comprise a dentistry marketing plan, as well as additional rows where you can add services and products not listed (you can also overwrite and replace the pre-populated services).
To help track both your cash flow and total investment, enter the monthly required investment for each tactic in the appropriate cell(s). Your Plan will automatically calculate your total Investment, and compare it against your Budget.
Beginning in Column P is the Return on Investment Calculator portion of your Plan. The first thing you’ll notice is that some tactics have ‘N.A.’ on their cells. This is because, try as we might, and hope as we may, some tactics do not lend themselves to ‘receiving credit where credit is due’ that is, having new patients attributed to them. How, for example, does one quantify the number of new patients attributable to enhancing one’s professional identity, implementing an dental on-hold message program, or even coaching the team on effective call handling technique? The answer is, you can’t (at least not consistently – someone may say that, were it not for how sweet Bill was on the phone, she would not have joined the practice, but this is the exception, not the rule).
In most cases, it’s simple to attribute new patients to a particular tactic thanks to tracking technology e.g. unique URLs and telephone numbers.
Row 17 on your Plan shows High Reach dental direct mail. Over time, you will be able to know total production and how many patients were produced by that tactic. Simply enter this information in cells P17 and Q17, respectively. Your Plan will automatically calculate your per patient cost and return on investment as of that point in time (because you’re a graduate of STS, you know that the longer you wait to calculate this, the higher it will be).
We hope you’ve both enjoyed and benefited from Strategies Tips and Secrets.
If we might be of any assistance in growing your practice more effectively, do not hesitate to let us know.
In any case, we wish you only the best, and acknowledge you for your commitment to Improvement that is Continuous And Never ending, in other words: