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Are you making some of these mistakes when it comes to marketing your practice?

Podcast Highlights:

Mistake 1: Not calculating or adhering to a marketing budget.

  • Definition of a budget.
  • Percentage of revenues that should be dedicated to marketing.
  • An example practice and its marketing spend

Mistake 2: Starting and stopping

  • The value of staying consistent.
  • Under and overspending.
  • What to do when your practice is doing well.
  • How peaks and valleys can be stressful.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.

Mistake 3: Budget Allocation

  • Not letting yourself be the dentist who has to work on a full set of veneers you didn’t do.
  • Which mediums to spend your budget on.

Mistake 4: Impatience

  • Understanding that your practice’s success depends on a ratio of dentists to population.
  • How year 2 looks compared to year 1.


Choosing the right promotion methods and media types will bring you quality new patients, whereas a few bad decisions can cost you money and cause you to drive away potential new patients. In this blog, we will discuss some common dental marketing mistakes that you should avoid as a dental practice owner.

Mistake 1: Not Calculating a Marketing Budget

A marketing budget is what you plan to spend on the promotion of your practice or to get new patients. It’s not your task master, it’s simply a spending plan. We advise that a budget should be at least 5% of trailing 12 months’ revenue to 5% of your goal revenue. For example, you made $600,000 in the last 12 months. So, 5% of your last year’s revenue will be $30,000. This will be your lower limit. Now, if your marketing goal is to improve your revenue from $600,000 to $800,000, then 5% of your goal’s revenue will be $40,000. This will be your upper limit. It means you spend at least $30,000 for marketing in the next 12 months, but not more than $40,000.

Mistake 2: Being Inconsistent with Dental Promotions

Consistent dental marketing is the key to finding new patients throughout the year. Dentists tend to stop dental marketing when the market is high, and they are getting a good number of patients. But then when the new patient flow falls off, they find they don’t have enough money to promote properly. This causes peaks and valleys.

Moreover, a dentist who starts and stops marketing always spends more money than they have to. Every time you start a new marketing campaign, you must pay upfront for every advertisement to reach your audience and create the momentum to make your marketing campaign work. And suddenly when you stop your marketing campaign, the momentum stops and in short order your new patients fall off. Continually starting and stopping marketing is very costly.

Mistake 3: Budget Allocation

As the saying goes – Never Put All Your Eggs in One Basket. Make sure you properly divide your marketing budget and avoid spending your entire budget on a single marketing medium. It will help you get great results and improve ROI as well.

For a dentist, internal marketing is very important. I am sure you don’t want to be a dentist with an existing patient walking in with brand new dental veneers that you didn’t do. Right? And to do that, you need to pay special attention to your internal marketing. Every existing patient that walks through your door must be aware of the dentistry that you can provide not only for them personally but, perhaps for their children, their parents, or friends. You can use TV screens in your reception area that shows the services you offer and the technology you have. To do this, consider allocating somewhere between 5 and 10% of your annual budget. After internal promotions, consider allocating 15% to 20% budget for your website and 10% to 15% budget for SEO & digital marketing.

After internal and online marketing, direct mail marketing is something that can bring you a good number of patients. Consider allocating some budget for local radio or TV promotion if you are in a highly competitive area.

Mistake 4: Impatience

Most great marketing campaigns require time to deliver results. Being impatient after a few efforts or just a year can cost you severely in the long run. There are no magic bullets in marketing. It’s risky business but you can win by being slow, steady and persistent. Be the tortoise, not the hare.