Home Aesthetic Dentistry What to Expect From Your Marketing Partner – Dentistry Today

What to Expect From Your Marketing Partner – Dentistry Today

by adminjay

We’ve all seen infomercials featuring expensive products that promise outrageous results, and most of us understand that it’s a sales tactic. Some people optimistically buy the product and are disappointed when it doesn’t deliver as promised. It’s not the consumer’s fault that the company overinflated the effectiveness of its product. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve all bought a bargain product, expecting it to be as good as its name-brand counterpart, and ended up spending more in the long run because the product was exactly as advertised: a bargain brand. The same thing happens with marketing agencies and their clients. Why do we place unreasonable expectations on the products and services we buy?

The answer is slick advertising and a drive to get the biggest bang for our buck.


Businesses exist to make money, and that is true for dental practices as well as marketing agencies. Just like there are bargain and niche dental practices, there are bargain and niche marketing agencies. A reputable marketing agency will represent and price its services accurately, with the aim of providing value for clients while making a reasonable profit. Many of the services marketing agencies offer are intangible or difficult to quantify, and that can make it hard for a practice to see a concrete connection between marketing and results. As a consequence, it can be hard for the practice to understand what to expect.


Marketing is not magic, although some companies would have us believe they are magicians. An experienced and reputable marketing company knows that marketing is as much a science as it is an art. Additionally, just because one client gets exceptional results in their market does not mean that all markets will produce the same. While there are tried-and-true strategies that every marketing company uses to generate sustainable results, there is also nuance to each market.

For instance, what works in downtown Cincinnati may not resonate in rural California. Any company that applies the same strategy to all its clients regardless of market is not putting in the effort to research and study the markets in question. Likewise, a dental practice in a rural location cannot expect to receive the same level of engagement as a practice in an urban setting, and a brand new practice cannot expect to draw in the same amount of revenue as a practice that has been established for 30 years.


This is a delicate topic, but one that needs to be addressed. The old adage “the customer is always right” does not apply to everything, certainly not dentistry, as patients are rarely qualified to make clinical determinations about their oral health, and not marketing, for much the same reason. Dentists, even those who have owned their practice for decades, normally do not have the expertise needed to make effective marketing calls in the digital age.

A client’s input is essential because the marketing company needs to understand their goals and learn about their past experiences. However, the marketing agency has the specialized knowledge to formulate effective strategies, implement reliable campaigns, and track results in a meaningful way. When a dentist hires a marketing company, they must be willing to loosen up on the reins. That doesn’t mean giving total control to the marketing agency but respecting the expertise the company brings to the table. After all, in most cases, the dentist hired the company after realizing that they need marketing help. To find success, the dentist needs to trust that the marketing partner they chose knows what they are doing.

On the other side of the coin, if a marketing company completely ignores a client’s input or is unresponsive, the client should absolutely question their choice. Engaging a marketing company is essentially taking on a partner who is expected to contribute to the bottom line as a team player while also working autonomously in their specialty. There should be mutual respect and trust, and most of all, open communication on both sides. If a client’s expectations are not being met, the marketing agency should be willing to hear them out and produce real statistics to either corroborate or contradict the client’s claims and make changes if needed.

The client, on the other hand, should acknowledge and accept any evidence proving that the marketing campaign is producing results rather than making decisions based on feelings. They should also listen to the marketing team when it is laying out its initial strategy and pay close attention to any timelines and projections. These are going to be based on hard numbers and thorough research and should therefore be realistic, neither pie in the sky nor vastly underestimated.

If the marketing company is doing its job correctly, it will be meeting those projections, and possibly even exceeding them.


A differentiating factor of any marketing agency is that it can acknowledge the competition and find ways to differentiate its client to stand out and attract the type of patient they want. A reputable marketing agency will be honest about the initial expectations and have a detailed plan that outlines immediate and long-term actions to achieve the best possible results. Additionally, the marketing agency should schedule periodic progress checks and be willing to make adjustments to the plan based on tracking and statistics. A big red flag would be ignoring that there is competition in the market or not strategizing how to deal with it. Another red flag is the unwillingness to change tack if necessary when a marketing campaign is not producing the desired results. A giant red flag is not being able to produce the data to justify staying with a marketing strategy or making a change.


It’s easy to find a marketing agency that will undercut its competitors. For a practice that wants a quick hit, this might even be the right kind of company to hire at a given moment. However, most dental practices looking to engage a marketing company also want sustainable results. Just as corporate dental practices are different from private practices, corporate marketing agencies are different from the boutiques. The difference is quality, across the board. The corporate agency may require a smaller investment, but the service quality is less likely to meet expectations.

A boutique will:

  • provide customized services
  • offer a high level of flexibility
  • be open to collaborating on projects and strategies
  • take a personal interest in the practice
  • encourage ideas and feedback
  • track progress
  • proactively reach out to update or adjust plans.

This high-touch approach may require a larger upfront investment, but the quality of the results should net a higher return for the client, creating more value over time.


If a marketing company is making big promises, they should be able to back them up with real examples of the results achieved with other clients. If a marketing company is hesitant to set any type of expectation or sets very low expectations, that signals a lack of confidence and possibly experience. If the price point doesn’t match the level of service promised, whether it’s too high or too low, it should be cause for concern.

As a business owner, a dentist knows when something is off. Just like there are dental practices that overcharge and underdeliver, there are also marketing companies that do the same thing. It is always important to use good business sense to vet a new marketing agency and do your due diligence.

In a perfect world, every dental practice would be able to attract all the patients it wants organically. Until that happens, though, they need marketing and marketing agencies to help them get it right. When a practice views engaging a marketing company as a partnership, the chances of a successful relationship are much higher. And when the marketing company sets realistic expectations, the practice will be much happier when those expectations are met.


With more than a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Jackie Ulasewich-Cullen decided to take her passion for the dental business and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency.

Since starting her company, she and her team have helped a wide variety of practices all over the nation focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase their sales through effective marketing campaigns.

She can be reached at (800) 689-6434 or via email at jackie@mydentalagency.com.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Ariya J/Shutterstock.com.

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