If your practice believes marketing is an essential activity for growth, then you are among the vast majority of dentists in the country. Indeed, for practices to survive in today’s highly competitive environment, dentists need to dedicate time and resources to creating and implementing multi-faceted dental marketing campaigns. But how do you know if your marketing efforts are paying off? Why, with tracking, of course!
Coming up with interesting and creative ideas is the fun part of marketing. Implementing those ideas can also be quite exciting. Where many people begin to lose interest, though, is in the tracking. For a lot of people, tracking results can seem a daunting task, and many don’t really know where to begin.
Here, we must explain that some marketing campaigns are meant purely to raise awareness and do not net tangible results, so they cannot be tracked. However, many campaigns focus on promoting a particular service or attracting new and/or returning patients, which certainly has a clear and direct impact on revenue. For such campaigns, in order to understand whether they are working for your practice, you need to track actual outcomes. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money on campaigns that do not net the results you were aiming for, which can be especially frustrating for a practice that is trying to grow its patient base.
Tracking does not have to be a complicated process. In fact with this 5-step guide, your practice can easily track the results of any campaign you implement. Here’s how:
- Ask your marketing partner for a list of the people who responded to the campaign via online appointment request form or phone calls of interested new patients. If you are not working with a marketing partner, your office needs to have a way to record that information as it comes in. That means, for example, keeping a spreadsheet of all campaign-related phone and online inquiries.
- Cross reference the list of names with people who set and completed appointments.
- From this new list of patients who scheduled and completed appointments, note the total treatment plan cost for each one.
- Calculate the total revenue generated.
- Analyze the results.
If you had 100 new patient calls and online forms in a month but only 10 scheduled appointments, find out why. Consider how phone calls and voice messages are being handled. Look at the online submissions and calculate the average response time from your team. Are all inquiries being answered immediately, within a day, two days, or a week? Response time can be a determining factor in the success of a marketing plan.
If response time is in line with expectations, consider what else could explain the results. For example, sometimes, phone tag is the culprit. Your team responds to a message (either VM or online inquiry) right away, but they are unable to reach the patient on the first attempt. Does your team try again later that day or the next day, or do they wait for the patient to contact the office again? How many times does your team attempt to make contact with the patient before giving up? Again, this can be a determining factor in the success or a campaign.
Of course, there are other reasons a marketing campaign may not be working out as planned. Understanding why is a process of elimination and may involve looking into various aspects of the campaign to get to the root of the issue. This process is essential in order to avoid disappointing results in future campaigns.
As you can see, tracking marketing campaign results is not a complicated process. It does, however, take a bit of time and effort to do it effectively. In any case, tracking results is certainly worthwhile because it will give you valuable insight into how well your marketing is working and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. With this information, you can make any necessary changes to ensure even greater success in the future.