7 Costly Habits That Keep Getting You Burned By Dental Marketing Agencies

Suppose you’re running a dental practice with multiple practitioners or locations and are, well, possibly looking for a dental marketing agency obsessed with getting you tangible ROI and helping you hold your team accountable so you can see this scalable growth. Trust me, they go hand in hand. Listen up. You’ll find this very informative.

I’m a, what you see is what you get kind of girl. I’ve been that way for 25 years, so what you’re about to hear is different than what you’re used to hearing.

By the end of this video, you’ll learn what to look for when looking for a strategic partner or a digital marketing agency focused solely on growing your profitable dental practices.

Here are 7 costly habits that keep getting you burned by dental marketing agencies.

Costly Habit #1: Lacking Operational KPIs

One of the most common mistakes in dental marketing is the lack of clear operational key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are crucial for measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies and ensuring that your team is aligned with your business objectives. Without them, accurately measuring success or identifying areas for improvement becomes a challenge.

Setting clear operational KPIs is not just a task, it’s a powerful tool that empowers you to track the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and ensure that your team is aligned with your business objectives.

It’s the key to your practice’s success, and you’re in control.

Without them, you cannot accurately measure success or identify improvement areas.

This lack of accountability can lead to inefficiencies, missed opportunities, and, ultimately, failure to achieve marketing and business goals.

What You Need to Do

  • Establish clear, measurable KPIs for the team that aligns with your business objectives.
  • Communicate these KPIs to all team members and ensure they understand their importance and role in making this happen.
  • Review performance against these KPIs regularly and hold your team members accountable.
  • Celebrate your wins daily, weekly, and monthly to build momentum for more massive wins and faster growth.

If they’re winning, trust me, you will win even more. It needs to be like what’s in it for me so they’ll benefit from it.

Setting KPIs for Success

When setting KPIs, let’s set next to them how the team will win individually and as a team.

Check out some of these benchmarks to hit for operational KPIs as some examples. It is incredible how much this can cost you money if we’re not answering the phones at 90 percent or above.

The majority of our groups judge this by their gut. They don’t know the numbers.

But if we pay attention to this, celebrate this, and set up these metrics with the team, we will see massive growth by changing these little levers.

By really being able to look at all of these KPIs, you can see that they are like little levers that you want to examine with your marketing agency.

Expert Tip

It’s important that your dental marketing agency takes an active role in setting up these KPIs. They should also help you establish a quarterly priority list. This approach not only prevents overwhelming your team but also ensures that everyone has a clear understanding of what success looks like.

This truly gives everyone clear success criteria. Your doctors, your associates, and the practices you’re purchasing, set them up to win before you bring them into full.

Costly Habit #2: Not Having Clear Targets

Here’s the mistake with that: If your marketing efforts lack clear, specific targets or goals, they will lack direction and a clear definition of success. New patient targets, production goals, increased high-ticket service offerings, calculated expansion, and other specific outcomes should be established and communicated every quarter.

CLEAR targets provide a roadmap for your marketing efforts and help ensure that Every activity is aligned with achieving desired outcomes. Otherwise, it’s like herding cats.

Without them, it’s challenging to evaluate the true effectiveness of your strategies or make informed decisions regarding adjustments, which there always are. Marketing is about optimization and split testing, as well as looking at demographics, messaging that needs to be changed, and competition that has come in.

There are so many different levers that we need to look at that in doing this, this helps the agency to win with you. So,

How do we do this, or what do we do?

  • Identify your pain points.
  • Define your growth and targets.
  • Recognize your strengths and opportunities.
  • Assess your threats.

You want to share this conversation with the marketing agency you’re interviewing and ask how they will help with this. How do they plan this out?

Hear what they have to say. The more agencies you interview, the more likely you’ll hear the same answers. Oh, you need a website, and then there’s dental SEO and paid ads. Oh my gosh, it’s so much bigger than that. Are these dental marketing agencies talking about strategy?

Are they giving you creative ideas to beat the competition and to use the team to help market the whole practice and grow? Are they breaking down growth targets and strategy into quarters to help you measure growth correctly? Are they supporting your internal and external marketing along with your team?

Let me just give you some examples.

We’d like to look at our strategic growth wheel. Each practice has unique needs, and if you have multiple locations, each has slightly different needs.

I mean, where are they coming in on their foundation? Do we need to look at new patient acquisition right away so we can afford brand messaging and cleaning all of that up? Or are they pretty well-established and doing pretty great? But they would love to. Let’s say they have a really big patient list.

Do they need to nurture that? Like let’s use, let’s leverage their relationship capital and get some funds coming in and get the hygienist busy again because it’s slow right now like that is our focus. So when we’re looking at this whole wheel, let’s look at the priorities.

Let’s send a nurturing and relationship-building sequence of emails and texts to the whole patient base. Did you just purchase a location? We want to look at that patient list, as we’re spending some marketing dollars cleaning up that practice, so we can afford that better.

As you’re looking at that wheel, we really need to consider what is the best use or strategy depending on where this practice is coming in. Startups are entirely different from established ones, and multiple practitioners and their desire to build out the practice are entirely different.

So we want to create a very organized way of knowing where each practice is in their organization. This is a brand or marketing strategy.

Costly Habit #3: Not Viewing the Agency as a Strategic Partner

It involves treating your marketing agency as a mere service provider rather than a strategic partner. It means not engaging with the agency to align their efforts with your business goals and not leveraging their expertise to enhance your marketing strategies.

It’s no longer about just a few paid ads and a pretty website. It’s just not.

You need everybody engaged: your doctors engaged, your team engaged, and your marketing engaged to make massive shifts, make enormous money, be successful, and take the best care of your patients.

  • Viewing your agency as a strategic partner fosters collaboration.
  • This partnership approach helps align strategies, improve communication, and achieve better results.

Without it, you may miss valuable insights, innovative solutions, and a cohesive marketing system and automation approach.

Tips for Engaging with Your Marketing Agency:

  1. Find a dental clinic marketing agency that’s willing to communicate openly and regularly about your goals or targets.
  2. Share your business goals and expectations with your agency and work together to align their efforts with these targets.
  3. Collaborate on strategy development and seek their input on these decisions.
  4. Treat the agency as part of your team and involve them in relevant meetings and discussions.
  5. Have them participate in the growth meetings.

Let me give you some real-life examples. You know, it’s never one size fits all.

  • Phase One: Prove new patient acquisition and attach metrics with known CPAs and average yearly value attached to a CRM.
  • Phase Two: Capacity utilization.
  • Phase Three: Centralized platforms and onboarding for new doctors or new practices.

In looking at the strategic wheel, we want to coordinate. You know, first, weekly, monthly, and then quarterly calls. And we want to have accurate tracking sheets that align with these targets. You’re not looking at actual numbers; you’re looking at what is going on with all of these targets and creating a partnership with this marketing agency—high-fiving and then moving on, determining that the next quarter plan is all good to go.

And then off to the races, you’re doing your job. They’re doing theirs.

Costly Habit #4: Falling for Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny object syndrome refers to being distracted by new flashy tools and features offered by different agencies that may not be essential to solving your primary marketing problems.

This can lead to overinvesting or trying to learn unnecessary systems and tools when you have bigger fish to fry. It is essential to focus on the core problem you must solve to ensure your resources are used efficiently and effectively. Getting sidetracked by non-essential features can divert attention from your primary goals and lead to higher costs without significant benefits.

Importance of Focusing on Core Tools and Systems

It is imporessentialtay focus on the tools and systems that directly contribute to achieving your key objectives. Remember, team training time and technical problems are involved in getting an entire team or multiple associates/practices to use these tools, which takes time and energy.

Key Points to Remember

  • Ensure all tools are a must-have and directly contribute to your primary initiatives.
  • Condense tools in one place to make them accessible for the team, speeding up progress on what matters.

Action Steps

  1. Clearly define your core marketing needs and objectives before engaging with a marketing agency.
  2. Evaluate tools and systems based on how well they address your identified needs.
  3. Avoid being swayed by features not directly related to your primary goals.

Ensuring Effective Marketing Systems

When evaluating your marketing systems, ensure they cover the following:

  • Sales and marketing pipeline
  • Conversion and online scheduling
  • Website, funnel, and social media integration
  • Centralized tools for team-wide use

Regular Reviews and Improvement

Conduct regular reviews of your tools and systems to ensure they deliver value—research market options for improvements in conversion and delivery.

System Examples

  • Onboarding Sheets: Keep marketing efforts organized for multiple locations.
  • Tracking Sheets: See all office marketing at a glance.
  • Systemize the Patient Journey: Improve treatment acceptance and appointment scheduling predictability.

Costly Habit #5: Misaligned Key Results

Here’s the mistake. Misalignment of key results means focusing on vanity metrics, like website traffic or leads, instead of metrics directly impacting your practice, such as new patient appointments, schedules, and treatment acceptance.

This also includes not using appropriate systems to track ROI accurately.

Misalignment of key results means:

  • Instead of metrics directly impacting your practice, you focus on vanity metrics like website traffic or leads, such as new patient appointments and scheduled treatment.
  • I am not using appropriate systems to track ROI accurately.
  • If a marketing agency only focuses on phone calls, they aren’t your right partner.

It has to be new patient growth. It also has to be showing that you’re omnipresent.

Proper tracking systems can help make data-driven decisions, optimize marketing strategies, and do it quicker than you think.

What to do?

  1. Ask the marketing agency how they attribute to new patient growth. How can they prove it?
  2. Identify and focus on key performance metrics directly impacting your business, such as new patient appointments. Did they accept treatment? Were they a proper fit for the practice?
  3. Implement systems and tools that accurately track these metrics and provide actionable insights.

Make sure your team is being held accountable to these systems, but you also want to use them to celebrate the wins and say, yes, we’re doing it. Let’s keep going. That kind of energy is what will build instead of, “Oh my gosh, you need to do this or that,” or “I can’t believe this isn’t happening.”

Do you have tracking sheets that walk you through the entire patient journey from lead to treatment acceptance? Sells a marketing CRM pipeline to see where your marketing dollars are going and an easy way to track your targets. Check-in calls with the team to analyze, optimize, and get results. I’m going to use Hylan Dental Care here as an example.

So they have three practices. And we onboarded one, and we’re onboarding, you know, two more. They’re getting new patients into the practice. We’re seeing the entire patient journey making adjustments, and now look at these texts. It wasn’t that way in the beginning. It took some optimization because they had difficulty getting their new patients to where they wanted to grow.

Costly Habit #6: Not Having a Holistic View of Marketing

The mistake involves not considering the holistic approach to marketing, which includes multiple touch points like:

  • Billboard
  • Social media
  • Community
  • Events
  • More

Relying solely on a few touch points undervalues how they can build on each other with your marketing efforts.

Why is this important?

  • You’re not just competing with the dentist down the street.
  • Users on social media have doubled, sometimes tripled.
  • Considerations like bathroom remodels and tight finances add complexity.

In the past, 8 to 10 touchpoints were needed to decide. Now, there are 15 to 21 touchpoints, a significant increase.

This exemplifies a true patient journey in 2024. The quicker you engage, evoke emotion, and connect with them, the better.

Strategies for Effective Marketing

Ask marketing agencies:

  • How do they handle an omni-channel presence?
  • Is holistic marketing part of their strategy?
  • How do they develop a comprehensive marketing strategy?

Our Approach at a Glance

We are a custom boutique agency with 50 experts. To cut through the noise, we:

  • Developed a 57-touch-point content playbook.
  • It transformed one piece of seed content into 57 touchpoints across all platforms: email, social media, ads, videos, blogs, etc.

Patient Acquisition Strategies

When discussing with a marketing agency, focus on:

  • Intricate funnel planning for leads, schedules, show rates, and nurturing.
  • Utilizing different retargeting ads tailored to each segment.

Optimizing the Patient Journey

To effectively optimize the patient journey, consider:

  • Moving away from direct website paid ads to video ads.
  • Implementing a video landing page and nurturing sequences.
  • Testing and optimizing qualifying quizzes for different areas.

It is crucial to have a systemized and automated patient journey to identify areas for optimization and improvement.

Costly Habit #7: Not Putting Enough into Relationship-Building Assets

The mistake is relying on generic rusty, crusty, dusty stock images and pictures of the doctors from 1997. No one wants that. They are on Instagram and need to be Instagram-worthy. They need to see the relationship. How is it going to feel when I come into these practices? Are they neighborly? Are they compassionate?

  • People’s psyche for trust is through the roof, especially for care providers.
  • They have to see faces. They have to connect with you.

You must find an easy way to create genuine relationship-building assets, such as real videos and photos of your office and team.

This can attract better patients, who are more likely to choose your practice and proceed with treatment. This is a huge, huge deal.

Two bonus points:

  1. Your competition isn’t doing it, so you’ll beat them. Ha!
  2. Google owns YouTube, and so videos are the first thing that they look at for SEO. So, it’s like, check, check, check.

Let’s kill three birds with one stone with videos and perfect photos.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Oh my God, I don’t have time for this. Or you’ll have team members wait until I lose 20 pounds. I need to get a perm. We don’t do perms anymore, but you know what I’m talking about. You’ll hear all the grumbling, time, and money it takes to do this.

An agency that simplifies creating and utilizing these assets can significantly enhance your marketing efforts. And in the long run, it will cost you less.

If you set up these foundational pieces correctly, your marketing costs per acquisition will drop dramatically. I promise you that. We see it every day.

So what do you do? Make videos!

Ask the agency how they get or create videos for your office. How easy is it? Do they write you scripts? Are they editable?

Partner with a marketing agency specializing in creating personalized, high-quality content and understanding the importance of relationship-building assets.

You must get content creation that gives you six to 12 months of marketing content in just one or two days. The team has fun, and the team is trained to continue that training.

We’re taking one of those videos, making seed content for that month or quarter, and creating 57 touchpoints. So you become an expert in dental implants and all an X and Invisalign, emergency dentistry, whatever it is that we’re concentrating on. We’re seeing what videos are hitting people, and then we make that the seed content that goes out. To all the different channels, omnichannel, omnipresent.

So essential and fun.

With proven scripts, you can also create videos in practice with some coaching on a Zoom call for the funnels and other things. We can also generate peer spaces and group meetings to facilitate multi-location and multi-practice associate practices.

Find the right dental marketing agency.

In conclusion, make subtle tweaks to these habits, and I promise you’ll find and choose the perfect dental marketing agency that will give you tangible ROI.

Suppose you would love a free strategy session with me and my team. I would love to meet you and see what you guys have going on and what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, your ts are, and just get an idea of what that looks like for your practice.

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