Marketing agencies are everywhere, but not all are created equal when it comes to dental practices. If you want the best chance at success, your marketing agency shouldn’t just be a company that you do business with occasionally. It should be a strategic partner and an asset to your practice. That is why it’s important to find an agency you can really work with closely, one that shares your values, and one you can see yourself working with over the long term. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up spending hard-earned money to get little benefit. How can you know if you’ve chosen the right marketing agency for your practice? Look at three things: approach, philosophy, and the quality of new-patient leads.
You know you’re dealing with an expert marketing agency if they believe in taking a comprehensive approach and are not just concerned with a single marketing channel. Employing multiple channels will ensure the best chances for successful campaigns. This type of approach is highly customized and targeted to generate quality new-patient leads. So, for instance, if a practice is only interested in developing a killer website but doesn’t also want to drive new patients in using additional channels, a marketing agency that looks at marketing as a 360°strategy, like MDA, may not be the right choice for that practice. Of course, there are plenty of marketing agencies that will gladly just focus on helping you optimize your website, which may be great for a dental practice that isn’t quite ready to expand its digital presence further. However, a truly distinctive marketing agency will want to focus on building a long-lasting and deep relationship with your practice that is not simply transactional in nature.
A marketing agency’s philosophy towards its customers is also a distinguishing factor to consider. The best agencies create true partnerships with their clients, which means that they are always striving to achieve the best possible results for each individual practice. In other words, not only should the agency help the practice grow its revenues with creative and interesting marketing campaigns, it should also be there to listen, solve problems, find opportunities, and provide support. Before making any recommendations, an expert marketing agency will get to know your practice—the doctor, the team, and the patient base—looking beyond the surface to assess what assets it already has at its disposal. Then, it will use its know-how to enhance what’s already working well, adding new channels of communication to expand the practice’s online presence and impact. If you want something more than cookie-cutter campaigns and call center style service for your practice, this type of partnership philosophy is very important.
Another aspect that differentiates one marketing agency from all the others is the quality of the new-patient leads it seeks to generate. Sure, it’s great to get new faces in the door, but if those new faces don’t turn into long-term patients, then the practice is not actually growing sustainably. Quality trumps quantity in the dental industry. It takes a lot of effort to draw in quality patients, and a marketing agency that really wants to make a difference will do the work and the research to determine where and how to find high-quality patients in your area. People looking for a “dental home” are more apt to become loyal patients who refer friends and family, thus contributing to the real growth of your practice. And that’s exactly the type of patient your marketing agency should be working to attract.
These are just some of the things that make a marketing agency unique. Among others are looking beyond the statistics and studying the end result, conducting market testing, and reliable tracking of outcomes. These are all key ingredients in a comprehensive marketing approach that is meant to attract quality patients into your practice over the long term. And when you’re getting all these things from one agency, you can be confident that your marketing budget is being utilized as efficiently and effectively as possible.