In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, we discuss the importance of combining your offline and online dental marketing efforts.


Podcast Highlights:

  • The problem with putting all of your eggs into one basket
  • Offline advertising’s effect on your online properties
  • Over-allocating budget to a specific service you provide
  • The expiration date on using PPC only
  • Avoiding the “niche trap”
  • Taking advantage of decreased competition in offline media
  • Reallocating budget to drive more family patients
  • Proper ad rotation strategies

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Well, hello, everybody. And welcome to our podcast. We’ve got we’ve got an interesting topic today, I think, Mark, we’re going to discuss the virtues and attributes of offline and online dental marketing and why you really can’t do much for the long run without both of them. It’s kind of like peanut butter and jelly. Yeah?

Mark: It is exact. Well, some people like peanut butter sandwiches, I guess, some people and some people like jelly sandwiches. But I think the majority of people get the greatest benefit of having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Howie: Absolutely.

Mark: Right. So, so here’s, and we get this question constantly. And in our work, when we’re allocating budget resources, so let’s just actually, let’s just use an example Howie let’s go through a actually a pretty common example, um, dental practices doing, I don’t know, 900,000 a year, wants to get to 1.1 million, um, you know, has a website, we can debate whether it’s a good one or not, but let’s just say they have a website. They have reasonable positioning for SEO. They’re not really doing anything, but online dental marketing, they’re just maybe they have a PPC campaign that’s a year or two old. So they actually that’s, that’s very common, they come to us. And they say, well, something’s broke, because it’s not, it’s not used to do.

Howie: I’m not getting all of my patients from my online dental marketing activities. What’s wrong?

Mark: Right. So we have to kind of slow them down a little bit and say, well, well wait, hold on a second. You know, virtually every successful online business that you’ve ever heard of, think about that for a second. That’s a pretty tall claim. Right? So cheese Mark, that’s a pretty bold statement. Every successful online company I know, like, little companies like Amazon.

Howie: Oh, how about Google?

Mark: And Google, and Yahoo, and let’s go with and, even Facebook. Right?

Howie: Yeah. What do they all have in common?

Mark: They all got to you initially offline.

Howie: Yep.

Mark: Every one of those companies initially interested you in their online product, or their online property offline. You probably saw it on TV, you might have heard it on the radio, seen it in print, maybe something was mail to you, whatever, doesn’t matter.

Howie: I still get Google mailings.

Mark: Right. So these companies, these large, large companies, companies, the size that you want to grow to. These companies got it a long time ago, they understood that their online properties would generate their own traffic organically when somebody search for the services they were offering. But they also realize that they can drive online traffic, or they can drive offline traffic, either to the phone directly without going to their website, or directly to their website from which they can do business there.

When a dentist comes to us and says, I have a $900,000 practice, and I have, you know, what I think is a nice website. And it looks like it’s coming up on the first page of Google. And when I do a search, and I’m, you know, I have a, you know, a PPC campaign for implants and Invisalign, and it’s just not working like it used to. This is becoming more and more and more and more we’re hearing this story, I’m not going to say constantly, but I’m going to say a lot more this year than we did last year.

I think it’s best for everybody to analyze first, why are we getting more of these inquiries? Well, reason number one is, is that you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. You never want to put all your marketing budget just into online dental marketing. That is the first mistake that was made. The second mistake is, with I’m not saying that PPC ads are a mistake.

We do them we manage PPC campaigns were obviously we don’t think they’re a mistake when used properly. But when you do PPC you almost have when you do pay for the people out there who are wondering what the heck PPC is PPC or short for pay per click where you pay Google or you pay Facebook or whatever to distribute your message when people search for it, or directly in the case of Facebook directly under the timeline of people immediately surrounding your practice.

When you pay for that, you almost have to promote one single element of your practice because you don’t have enough for room to promote more than one. So what happens is, is the doctor over allocates the majority of their advertising dollars for a very finite market share with a market like implants. For instance, that’s a classic example implants were Invisalign is another classic example. So if you take 50% of your ad budget, and you only promote implants and Invisalign, and you do that consistently in any US market, I don’t, it doesn’t matter what market it is, if you do that consistently in about 12 to 18 months, you’re going to see the top of that bell curve where you’re going to come sliding down to a crashing halt. Or if you’re successful at it, this is the best case scenario.

Actually, if you’re successful at it, other dentists around you are going to start doing the same thing driving the per click price up some more competition, there isn’t a PPC campaign, the higher your costs. So as your costs go up, and your results go down, you end up looking at everything at the end of the year, and then calling New Patients Incorporated.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: That’s what happens. That’s exactly how it all happens. It’s you

Howie: I mean, I mean, for that kind of a media that it looks bleak, you know, hey, your expenses are going to go up if you succeed.

Mark: Right. Right. So

Howie: and then you’re going to come crashing down. Right, you know, that’s a bummer.

Mark: That that is a bummer. So now there’s ways to mitigate this, obviously, because again, we manage, we’re not down on PPC campaigns, we’re certainly not down on the internet, we have an enormous internet department and kind of like a sub-department within that for PPC campaign, so it’s, and we manage them actively today. So, so here’s the point, the point is, is that you never want to put the majority of your online dental marketing budget into one or two little niches, you really want to put the majority of your marketing budget to where the consumer is. And the consumer, believe it or not, is still in family dentistry. The consumer never left dentists left.

Howie: Right.

Mark: But the consumer didn’t leave the consumer still sitting there going, you know what I want, I just want a really nice local dental practice that I can trust that I can bring my whole family to, whether it’s my children who are six and 11, myself or even my husband, when he stops whining about his, you know, the, the fear of pain of going to the dentist, or even my mom and my dad, and one of them has dentures, and one of them needs dentures, I just want one place to go. Where I can, you know, conveniently schedule my appointments. Someone I can definitely trust, and someone I can relate to. That’s what I want. And you know what, that hasn’t changed in the last 30 years?

Howie: Right. You know, we noticed this a long time ago, and we have a whole separate podcast about this, but we’ve known about it for years. We call it the niche trap.

Mark: Right.

Howie: Where you know, in and now the niche trap is all has basically moved online. So if all you’re promoting is implants and Invisalign, for example, in or sedation, dentistry or whatever, you know, that’s all that your target market is going to think that you do, or you’re limited to that or you only want those kind of cases and you’re ignoring that that vast and deep family market,

Mark: Right. And normally, the doctor will call and say, you know, hey, I’m doing a PPC campaigns for whatever let’s say Invisalign and implants. And I the questions always Well, are you getting enough implant and Invisalign cases? The answer is almost always Yeah, I’m, I’m doing my fair share. But the rest of my practice is tanking.

Howie: Right.

Mark: Well, that’s because you’re not promoting it. Okay. You’re only promoting Invisalign, right and implants. So. So obviously, the solution is, is to blend and orchestrate and have a message for family and then complement the message with family with a portion of your budget. For instance, when before this podcast, we went and looked. And our clients that do PPC campaigns spend no more than 25% of their annual their annual budget on PPC.

Now, if you talk to these dentists to keep calling here, it’s like 75, 80, 90% of their total budget is going into PPC campaigns. So I think what happened over the years is it, you know, because you can log on to Google and for a half hour, you can take a course on doing your own Google campaign. Right? So it’s easy, right? So dentists were logging on.

And they were all I can do this and they sit up there and they set up their keywords and their key phrases, and they put their budget in and they watched it, you know, they watch their analytics, and they Tinker and Tinker and Tinker and Tinker. And pretty soon they lose sight of what they’re really trying to accomplish. Until they again, you know, they call New Patients Incorporated. Hey, I’m getting my fair share of Invisalign and implant cases. But the rest of my practice is drying up. How can you help me?

And the answer is reallocate what you’re overspending on implants and Invisalign, and get that message back in the hands of local consumers to drive family practice family patients. Use the additional revenue as things turn around. And you can invest more money in PPC, if you want, if you want to do more of the fun stuff, or maybe even branch out into sleep apnea or sedation or some other niche, right. Um one thing we know for sure with PPC is that the more these niches you promote, the longer the bell curve is for the investment. It’s very similar to radio, like when we promote dentistry, on radio for dentists, we never have one script, we always have like five or six, and we rotate them in throughout the air time so that they don’t experience the sharp bell curve down.

Howie: Right. And the reason for that is that you can’t tell the practices whole story in one 60 second spot, you can’t even tell it in five, but you can tell more about the practice with a rotating rope five rotating topics all throughout the ad buy and this, this avoids, you know, placing you into that niche trap that we talked about.

Mark: Right. And there’s dummy there’s other reasons to like um specific for implants, implants are difficult, in that you almost have to like, in order to create a PPC campaign for dental implants, you almost have to be diagnosed and understand the benefit of dental implants before you would type it into your Google search screen.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: The percentage of people in the United States who have no clue what a dental implant is, is far greater than those who do. So I’m not saying it doesn’t work, because clearly works, right. And clearly a lot of dentists are doing it, but all they’re doing is driving up their bid for the click. And the conversion. It’s not it’s not, it’s harder than you think. Maybe that’s how I should put it, you know, it’s just, it’s more difficult than you think to create a consistent producing effective PPC campaign on one subject, the more subjects you add, the longer your bell curve will be in laughing.

If you’re if you have five or six of those subjects, let’s say an average bell curve for a subject is let’s say, six months. Well, if you promote implants for 12 months, then months 7 through 12, you spent either the same or more amount of money for less of a result, that’s the back end of the bell curve. But at six months, if you switched it over to Invisalign, and then six months later, switched it over to a sedation and six months later switched over to cosmetic dentures, and then six months later, you guys get the idea.

Okay, basically, you never hit the back end of the bell curve. You just have the beginning of each bell curve as each one grows, you can even do the simultaneously. That’s why most of the time, you know, you might be better off with a professional handling on either your Google PPC campaigns or Facebook, PPC, they’re more PPI campaigns pay per impression campaigns with Facebook anyway, the bottom line is, is that too many of you are way, way, way too far allocated into online, you’re ignoring offline and inevitably, you’re going to hit that result, you’re going to hit that bottom.

And you know, then maybe, you know, you’ll call or you’ll need to change direction, we can tell you where you need to you need to go back to offline, just like Google, just like Yahoo, just like Facebook, just like every other successful website company ever in the history of ever. And they’re still doing it. They were on the Super Bowl in their commercials. They’re driving online traffic via offline promotion.

Howie: Right. And it just makes sense. We’ve been saying this for years, whenever we say for example, we launch a mail campaign for a client. And what happens to the hits to to their website during that campaign? Well, they go up.

Mark: Oh Yeah,

Howie: They’re being driven

Mark: Right

Howie: They they’re being driven from the offline promotion to the person’s website, the dentist website. And it’s a direct correlation. We see it all the time.

Mark: Yeah. Now some of the things, some of the things that you can do is to, you know, just to kind of control yourselves a little bit is that is that number. I don’t know how many podcasts ago, probably 30 or 40 podcasts ago, we talked about budgeting. And I believe in that budgeting podcast, we talked about budget allocation. And I believe in that podcast, we mentioned that, you know, when you figure out your total annual budget, you multiply your previous 12 month revenues times 5%. use that as a use that as a goal.

Let’s go back to our scenario, doctors doing $900,000 a year multiply that times 45%, the end up with 45k doctors got 45K to spend next year on marketing, what you don’t do is put 45k into online, what you would do is maybe take 10% of that, go internal, and then split the remainder 50-50, you could do that. Now remember, you have a website that needs to be good. You have SEO that needs to be continual, as Google changes their algorithms.

You may want to, you may want a review and reputation management piece of your online dental marketing strategy. And, you may want online scheduling as part of your online strategy. You may want to dabble into social media and keep your social media properties up to date as part of your online dental marketing strategy. And then compliment everything with right offline promotion to drive targeted offline local consumers either to your phone or to the website or both.

That’s what you would need to do to fix the problem. Because when doctors call us with this problem, that’s I’m not going to say we do all of that with every one of them. But I’m going to say that’s pretty common. That’s a pretty common recipe for how we take those doctors who have gone way too far and balanced. All we’re doing is rebalancing them. They just they went too far left and we’re just balancing them and bringing them back to center.

Howie: Yep, that’s exactly right.

Mark: So if any of you on a couple of announcements. If any of you are on Facebook, and you would like to join the discussion, we have a new group. It’s called dental marketing mastery community. There’re actually quite a few people that are now almost 300 I guess. Conversations are happening. We have downloads there, we have podcasts there. We have access to all of our podcast properties are booked download. Everything’s there.

Howie: Or blog.

Mark: Yeah, everything. Yeah. And actually, I’d say at least eight or 10 of our team is there. To answer any questions you might have about anything, any kind of marketing that you’re doing right now, we had a discussion about internal marketing referrals, um, you know, how, when to ask, when not to ask, and how to, how to incentivize without, you know, feeling smarmy about it. And that was the last podcast we did I think Howie that was the

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: that was the social versus transactional relationship podcast that we did. So there’s all kinds of conversations going on. Again, it’s dental marketing mastery community, just look for us on Facebook, and asked to join and I’m sure we’ll get you right in.

Howie: Yep. Sounds good. Well, I guess that about wraps up this one, ay Mark?

Mark: Yeah, you. It’s starting to be spring here.

Howie: Yeah, actually, we’re going to be in the 80s here in Vegas by Friday. Haha,

Mark: Yeah, whatever.

Howie: Whatever. Anyway, thank you all for listening in. And we will see you again soon on our next podcast. Thank you.

Mark: Bye bye.

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