All successful marketing - especially for a dental practice - starts with strategic planning. But what is "strategic marketing planning"? Essentially, it means that you are going to first separate your ideal patients into groups - hygiene / periodontal / cosmetic / etc - then create an avatar and specific plan to move each of those from "unaware there is a problem they need to address" through to introducing your practice and then converting them from a "prospective patient" into a "paying patient".
This is where the Lifecycle Marketing Journey comes in. The entire strategic plan is created by engineering the eight distinct "steps" needed to move the prospective patient and effortlessly become interested in the clinic's services, decide to patronize your clinic, then refer regularly and return back for more services.
The eight distinct steps are, in order:
- Target - deciding the WHO your practice wants to serve. For many practices, there will be multiple WHOs.
- Attract - what is it that will make the target raise their hand and say "Hey! That's me!"
- Capture - the mechanism that will be used to have the prospect volunteer their information so we can begin to engage with them and sell them your services.
- Engage - now that you know who they are there needs to be a process to convince them that your practice is the right solution for their problem.
- Offer - craft multiple unique offers because not all prospects will respond to a discount, but they might respond to something different like a premium or perhaps even something different.
- Close - not closing the prospect is like driving a football all the way down the field and turning it over to the other team 1 yard away from the goal line. Closing the sale - also known as getting paid - is the goal you must focus on to grow your business.
- Impress - the process of making your practice the immediate and only logical choice when someone asks a patient: "Hey! Do you know a good dentist?"
- Deliver & Wow - you have a new patient - that's great. Deliver and wow is the never-ending process of keeping your patients happy and eager to come back to your practice - time after time after time.
Much like individual bricks in a wall that all contribute to the final finished product, each of these marketing steps are essential to constructing a complete marketing system.
Unfortunately, the majority of businesses usually focus on two of these steps - usually #2 - Attract and #5 - Close. Doing so forces prospective patients to enter your marketing system randomly because you haven't defined WHO the prospective patient is nor how you're going to put your message in front of them. Then, the marketing pushes the prospect to immediately coerce the prospect to buy just like a pushy salesperson at a second-rate car dealership. Obviously, this is NOT the kind of marketing you would want your clinic associated with, is it?
But when you get this right, you not only convert a far greater percentage of your prospects into paying patients but you will also get a boost in referrals and your churn rate (patients that "disappear" mysteriously) will be significantly reduced.
If you'd like help with this process or would like to know more, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consult with Richard Bueckert HERE