Finding the Best Dental Marketing Agency for your Clinic
One of the biggest mistakes any dentist can make when growing or building a clinic is hiring a family member or friend to do the marketing. The reason you want to hire a family or friend is mainly because of trust. You also might have the illusion of cost savings while hurting your bottom line in the end.
Trust is the main factor in investing in marketing for your clinic
Trust is an important factor, which salesperson who all promises the moon can you trust? Even if your family or friend is well versed in local business marketing, they will not completely understand dental marketing. This will bring you poor results for many years until they finally figure out the marketing. Do you have several years to lose?
Having your family do your marketing will cost you more than you think
The second illusion is cost. You think you are saving money, but look at the opportunity costs, would you prefer to hire your family friend for $30,000 and generate $60,000 in revenue or would hire a marketing company for $50,000 and generate $200,000 in revenue? The million dollar question goes back to trust: how can you find a dental marketing agency you can trust and be confident can help you generate more revenue?
Selecting the right dental marketing company to promote your interests and get more clients is critical. Success today is reliant on the ability to raise awareness, gain recognition, continually change, and impress those looking for you and your business. The right company can drive you toward those goals while helping you generate more revenue as you move faster to opening the next location or taking home higher income.
But just how do you go about selecting the reputable, reliable, and result-oriented company that’s going to elevate your dental marketing and advertising? Here are some factors to consider when picking the best dental marketing agency:
Before you even consider looking for a dental marketing agency, you need to figure out what it is that you want. This means that at the very least you have to have or will have soon your clinic set up, have your target audience in mind, and, two goals, break even number of patients and target number of patients.
Now you have to figure out what you’ll want. Chances are, you’ll want foot traffic into your office, phone calls from potential patients, and an online presence to help you start building a following. You need to think about what you have seen in the past that has worked, and what hasn’t worked.
- Are you interested in increasing traffic for cosmetic dentistry?
- Do you want to bring in older people who need implants or dentures?
- Do you want to market to families with small children?
- What current patients do you already have?
- Why do they like your clinic?
- How did your current patients find you?
Your final goals will impact your strategy when it comes to how you do your marketing, so you will want to know what you want to get out of this experience, how much work you are willing to put in, what materials you already have, and how long you want the marketing test period to last. This will help you choose the right agency, but also help the agency know how to best serve you and your expectations.
Do Some Research
Finding a dental marketing agency that is qualified to meet your needs and price range is kind of like finding the right car – you need to comparison shop, and maybe even take a test drive or two before you can make an educated choice.
Your journey into finding the right agency could come from online reviews, referrals from colleagues, or tips from your mentors. It’s all up to whose word you trust and don’t trust. What you probably want to avoid is hitting up a directory and selecting the business at the top of the list, or worse, weeding through dozens of options with no easy way to narrow them down.
Confirm Experience and Knowledge
Once you find the company you want to work with, you want to make sure they are who they say they are. Ask to see finished products or talk to clients the company has worked with before you. Ask prospective service providers about success stories with businesses like yours and don’t hesitate to get references so that you can confirm successful marketing campaigns.
While you won’t want to copy what another person did, it can be helpful is giving you ideas of what is possible.
Be Aware of Salespeople!
If someone seems too good to be true, he or she probably is, and it is best to walk away. BEWARE of new salespeople and salespeople in general. If the person have been with the company for two years they will not know the scope of the service they provide. Do not trust salespeople in general, ask to speak to the project manager or the account manager, the people who are implementing your marketing. As you know salespeople will say anything to get the sale.
Talk Strategy and Forecast Results
Although a serious agency won’t give away all of the tips and tricks they’ve learned in your initial meeting, you should be able to get a feel for what they will do. You’ll want to find out what they’re going to do for your business, why their services are preferable to competitors, and what kind of results they intend to deliver.
Trust the plan not the price
Each company will have a different approach. The companies to avoid are the ones that talk about product. For example, they’ll promise reaching 50,000 patients for $5. Focus on the approach, each has a clear philosophy of how to get you patients. Trust the ones with the plan not the low cost.
Ask how many new patients you will get with your investment and ask them how he came to that number. If he knows what he is talking about he should be able to analyze and explain the process.
Reminder: Just be careful about taking the bait hook, line, and sinker from a flashy company. If one company is promising you the moon and others are offering more moderate results, you can probably assume that the outlier is too good to be true.
Look at the portfolio
Look at the portfolio of work for your specific agency as well as the individual you will work with. You want to make sure it’s the level you want. Don’t just look at the best portfolio piece, look at all of it. You can even make notes of what you want, and more importantly, what you do not want at all. Keep in mind if you go with a high end company they won’t be able to produce lower end more cost efficient products. And if you go with a low end agency and even offer them more money they won’t be able to produce high end quality work because they are not skilled in doing such work.
You will likely have many other dentist friends who have started their company before you, ask them about companies they used and their experience with them. There are also places online you can look for reviews from others. Don’t just take one opinion and run with it, double or triple check before you spend time getting to know a company that cannot offer you what you want. The cost is not just losing money on a bad company but the opportunity cost of making more revenue.
A good method in other industries is to call a few of the agency’s clients. Ask to speak to the person who deals with the agency, if they are happy with the agency they will take the time to speak to you and give the agency lot of praise. Be aware of non enthusiastic responses which means they are not delivering satisfactory results. Even worse are complaints about the agency, there may be a small chance that the agency is great and the clinic had too much of an expectation but you don’t want to take the chance, cross them off your list.
Ask their clients
Ask them for a list of customers or ask if they mind you contact some of their clients. Some might not be able to give you them, but if you look at the portfolio, you will have some ideas about who they worked with, and when. Anyone you want to work with will allow you to call around to check up on them. You will know what they really feel rather than reading prearrange testimonials.
A good method in other industries is to call a few of the agency’s clients without notifying the agency. Ask to speak to the person who deals with the agency, if they are happy with the agency they will take the time to speak to you and give the agency lot of praise. Be aware of non enthusiastic responses which means they are not delivering satisfactory results. Even worse are complaints about the agency, there may be a small chance that the agency is great and the clinic had too much of an expectation but you don’t want to take the chance, cross them off your list.
Ensure Adequate Customer Service
You want anyone you hire to work with you on any campaign you do that have your best intentions in mind. If you try to get into contact with an agency and they don’t respond for several days – run.
You need to make sure you have all of the options available for contacting your personal agent, including an email address, a phone number, and even live-chat channels. You might also want information like office numbers or locations if they are spread about. Even better, you should ask for a dedicated (and informed) representative to manage your account. Ask upfront what kind of response you can expect. If the response is generic such as “we will make updates to your since in a couple of weeks”, it means they don’t have a good formal system. If they provide a specific response then you know they will be on top of it such as “once you submit a ticket your account manager will review it within one business day and works with the developer on it, if it’s an easy fix it will be updated in 2 business days, if it is not then you will be notified the time it will take. You will have access to view the progress online.”
Be aware of low cost providers
There are many agencies that offer very low price for their products and services. Their goal is to charge you more when you need minor changes. They will also make it difficult for you to hire others as well as nearly impossible to migrate your services. This will cause you more headache in the long run. Since you are looking for longer term and to improve your return you will likely make many changes to your marketing services.
Use your intuition
You can know if the agency is right for you by following your intuition. It’s a long term relationship you have to feel confident and comfortable discussing with them. This should be the most important decision.
All in all, make sure you take the appropriate amount of time to really work on getting what you want. You will have to be wary when looking at your options. Don’t always go for the flashier campaign or the lowest priced. You might be tempted to choose the lowest cost company because if they fail to bring results then you lose less. This usually causes a vicious cycle, lowest cost usually fails because they cut corners or they are not effective, that’s why they are the lowest cost. Then when it fails you say “I knew it” and stop spending on marketing or try another low cost agency.
From experience attracting patients is not a difficult task for a good agency. Seek out someone who has your best intentions in mind. You want exemplary service, not a song and dance.
If you have any questions post them in the comments below.