Why Should Dentists Know How Marketing Generates Them New Patients?

Why Should Dentists Know How Marketing Generates Them New Patients?

by William Lawson October 22, 2013

When It Comes To Marketing For Dentists, Why Should It Be Just As Critical To Know How To Track Your Marketing As It Is Generate New Patient Enquiries?

Armed with this information they will be in a better position to make an informed decision as to which newspapers, radio stations and other online marketing initiatives to spend their marketing budgets’ on. Without this information many are wasting literally a small fortune over the space of 5 to 10 years, imagine ploughing £10K per year into an investment for ten years, at least you would want to have £150K back in line with inflation.Marketing Pounds

Recently I asked a dentist how many new patient enquiries do you get monthly from your newspaper advertising? He said, “The surgery feels quieter when I don’t advertise!” He decided to give advertising in his local paper some more thought. After realising, he was wasting £700 a month decided to pull the advert and explore other more sensible methods of obtaining new patients.

There is generally a problem with tracing dental advertising investments. Dentists are not alone; over 90% of UK businesses do not trace their marketing spending. The majority say “Oh well other businesses spend money here so it must work” competing with other local businesses without knowing if the advert made them a good return. For all they know they may have been better off buying a helium balloon and hanging it outside their business with an arrow to the door.

In the new economy it is more important to invest in marketing which yields you a return on investment, tracking this investment should be relatively easy  using these options –   

1) Train dental receptionists’ to ask the question “Where did you hear about our practice?” When booking in new patients.


2) You can use a call tracking solution, which can be a low monthly cost, depending on the different types of initiatives used.

Both methods will arm you with the knowledge as to which marketing initiatives are bringing in a good profit. This way you can of course spend more on the good ones and axe the others.

Many industry experts still encourage dentists to get on with enjoying their work without the need for them to understand marketing. We are slightly different in this respect and explain in plain English how it works to generate new patient enquiries and how to use technology to encourage existing patients to refer their friends and to minimise no shows.

Another dentist we spoke to had also wasted £900 to produce a leaflet for a localised mailing campaign.  An industry expert had it designed and had convinced him it was a great idea, it yielded his practice nothing at all. Zero new patients and a very upset dentist who could have taken his team to a nice restaurant instead of throwing his money away, maybe creating more patients from the team talking about him.

Utilising marketing for increasing profits is still misunderstood, some do not even advertise at all after bad experiences. Others throw hundreds if not thousands of pounds away each month on ineffective marketing campaigns. Some of the prime examples are mail shots, newspaper adverts, pay per click advertising with Google that is managed by the dentist himself who forgets about the campaign and has all the wrong settings and even social media management that is less social than a snail drowning in a Guinness filled pint glass.

1 in 3 cosmetic bookings are being done online and it is amazing how many dentists have no website or any idea as to where their marketing spending is taking them? If any marketing budget.

If they paid closer attention to their monthly figures and analysed everything for a return on investment. Instead of waiting until the end of the tax year and reacting by taking urgent action when their practice is being threatened by bankruptcy. There will be a lot happier dentists out there and a lot more good marketing companies like ours to thank for creating awesome initiatives.

By Nathaniel Schooler, GetWise Marketing


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  • Krishan Joshi

    Feeling could be result of existing patients seeing newspaper advert and booking in? Not necessarily new patients acting but feeling busier “yes”?

    • admin

      What exactly do you mean its been a long day Mr Joshi?

  • Madeline Yau

    Great article,

    I agree what you pointed out here “Many industry experts still encourage dentists to get on with enjoying their work without the need for them to understand marketing.” Marketing is the backbone of any given business especially now a days. Most social media have analytic build in to make it easy to measure the performance and traffic of any project or strategy. With so many free tools available online to help businesses many can now track transactions and conversion which it’s essential for them to understand what needs improvement.


    • admin

      Agreed thanks Madeline 🙂