What is your core market? How do you build this foundation of patients? We explore this concept and more in our latest episode of Dental Marketing Mastery.
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Podcast Highlights
  • Understanding your core market
  • Getting to this market before your competitors
  • Patient families
  • How your core market produces 11x more ROI than any other market
  • Finding the marketing mediums to reach this core
  • The folly of doing online-only marketing
  • How your online reviews affect you
  • Managing your online reviews
  • Online scheduling now mandatory
  • How online scheduling affects new and existing patients
  • The five channels you need to invest in
  • The staples of dentistry
  • Promoting staples before the fancy stuff
  • Where to put your budget while claiming your market
  • How long does it take to claim your core market?
  • Building a niche practice from a family practice

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com 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 once again, we’re really glad to have you here. For our podcast or weekly visit with you guys. How you doing, Mark?

Mark: I’m doing fine, sir. It’s actually the end of June. We went to we went to go see a comedian on Friday.

Howie: Oh, that’s right.

Mark: Yeah. If any, if any of you ever have the opportunity to go see a guy named Ryan Hamilton or he has a Showtime special. Go see him. And if you anybody’s listening to this, if you had the opportunity to watch already, Orny Adams. O-R-N-Y A-D-A-M-S. Orny Adams

Howie: I’m glad you spell that.

Mark: Yeah, no. I’ll get I’ll either love or hate mail either one. So anyway, that’s just free advice from your uncle, Howie and Mark. So

Howie: Okay,

Mark: Yeah. Now is very good. We laughed our collective butts off. So

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: You know, good solid humor, not trashy humor. So it’s good. It’s good. Anyway. Oh

Howie: Excellent, excellent.

Mark: Okay, so all right. Last week, we discussed staking your claim. Claiming your market? Yeah, yeah, we’ve discussed the universe that you will live in for the rest of your career. If you’re if you keep the same location, right. I mean, or we may be talking to people with five offices, each one of those offices has its own little, you know,

Howie: exactly.

Mark: Right. So it’s like a kind of a circle. That’s what we call your mad, that’s when we, when we build dental marketing plans, yeah, I’ll take a step back here, when we build marketing plans for brand new people who come to, they’re not even clients, yet, they’re thinking about becoming a client. And I tell all the advisors that our primary responsibility when a brand new person comes in, and we build a marketing plan for them is to do everything we can with whatever budget they allow us to use, to secure their core. And, and, you know, you can make an analogy out of exercise, too, right. So the people who are listening to this, that exercise, you do arms, you do legs, if you don’t do core, then your arms and legs might be strong. But you know, your balance might be off,

Howie: your back might start hurt,

Mark: your back might start her career might start hurting. How are your side so I so you always have to kind of you know, you have to give attention to your core. And then from a dental office marketing standpoint, the core really is. You know, that’s what we’re trying to claim. We’re trying to say. These are mine. It’s like the old medieval days where they were right up on a horse with metal all over him. Right. And they put their spear in the ground. This is mine, right?

Howie: Yeah, we claim this for England,

Mark: We claim this. We claim this on behalf of our sir client, right? So when we do that, there are very specific strategies and how we do it. Because almost we are almost always Actually, I’ll just remove almost we are always restricted by budget by our clients. Right? No client ever comes to us. It says here you go. Spend as much as you want. That never happened. Right?

Howie: We dream about it, but it does not

Mark: but it never happens. Right? So. So we always have this balance of budget restrictions, which is fine. We’re used to it. And at the same time, securing the core of a market that we’re very, very, very familiar with. We know the core of everyone listening, we know with the core of everyone listening to this podcast, we know the core of your market. These are moms who will not choose the healthcare provider based primarily on a price incentive. That’s the definition of everyone’s core listening to this. Okay. The reason why we say that is because those are the humans in your in your core market that you want to claim before any other dentist claims?

Howie: Yeah, they’re the best. They’re the top end of the market.

Mark: Right? They are. They’re not supermodels and CEOs. That’s not what we’re saying. Okay. They’re not, you know, recent divorcees with large settlements. Okay. That’s not what they are. They’re just regular old, you know, Mom, right, just mom who just won’t choose a health care provider for her family based primarily on a price incentive. And if you really think about that, if you really think about that phrase, you’re probably going well, it should be most moms, right? Most moms shouldn’t choose a health care provider for their family based primarily on a price incentive, you ought to make a decision like that based on a little more information than a deal. And we agree with you. And what we’re saying is, those are your mom’s. Okay. Those are the core. That’s what we’re trying to claim.

Howie: So that’s, that’s the profile of a great patient family.

Mark: Oh,

Howie: you know,

Mark: and they build tremendous dental practices.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Right, without roller skates on your feet, without a bunch of admin overhead, without herky-jerky marketing budget, without all the things that tend to create stress for a dentist. Right? There’s a million reasons why that’s your core market. But for the most part, you know, if you just want to look at this from a pure business standpoint, there’s 11 times more ROI in that market segment than there is in the other half.

Howie: Yeah, that’s called getting lots more out of your marketing dollar.

Mark: Right. So now, they also have some downsides to them. Right. And one of the downsides is it takes longer to attract them.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Right. You have to do it more consistently. Right? It doesn’t mean it’s not gonna happen, it will happen. It just takes more to do it. Right? Not more money. Just more time and more consistency.

Howie: Yeah, persistence,

Mark: Persistence, right. So anyway, so let’s get back to staking your claim because over the years; if you’re familiar with us, and you’re familiar with our teachings back in whatever, ’05 – ’06 – ‘07, maybe even the beginning of ‘08. You heard us talking about the core staples of a dental marketing plan being really three things dental internal marketing so that your patients always know the breath and the scope of what you offer. So that they don’t go to some other dentist. For stuff that you do. Okay. And it’s cheap. And it’s, you know, it’s really easy to do, right..

So always dental internal marketing. Absolutely. 100%, dental clinic website, and dental direct mail marketing. Those are the, those are the three staples, and they continue to be the three staples of what now there’s more staples. Like now we’ve added a few things to this mix. Partially because they became available, partially because the consumer shifted, and partially because the business of dentist dentistry shifted. Okay, it’s good right now, those lines between the top and the bottom of the market are no longer faded. They’re no longer cloaked; you can you can see who is promoting to the bottom. And you can see who is promoting to the top.

Okay, and believe me, the market can see that as well. Right. So, so let’s go back to the core staples, the core staples have changed. We’re still the internet, we’re still offline online, offline, you have to have an online and offline presence and you have to do internal, internal. Offline 95% of the time is the way we do mail and obviously a website because the mail is going to drive people to your dental clinic website.

If we do dental SEO to your website, that’s going to drive people to your website. And if you end up doing Google AdWords, or Facebook, or social media, or any of the other ways online, that you can drive patients to your website, you can drive patients to your website, you have to have a dental clinic website. Right? You have to have internal and we’re still telling you that you if you want to be like every other successful online property on the internet, you will use offline promotion to drive qualified local traffic to your website, in the case in dentistry is case that’s not TV. It’s not radio, it’s man.

Howie: Yeah, that that’s a mistake that we see often, you know, and have for the last few years dentist, some dentists mistakenly think well, they’ll they’re just going to get their all their patients from the internet and not have to do anything to drive it there. You know, to write website, but that’s just not true. Right, you have to be very active offline.

Mark: So let’s add to the core staple list. We have internal we have mail, we have a website, let’s add reputation. Let’s add reviews and online dental reputation management, I think that’s becomes important to enough to actually be able to interrupt offline and online promotion. And what I mean by interrupt I mean, if you take the time to let’s say, let’s say you invest in an AdWords campaign or a Facebook campaign, that person checks you out online, and you have a Google review score of 4.2. And you have 13 reviews, and the next office down in town has 137 and a Google review, score 4.9.

Your online review and reputation could interrupt the efficacy, or the effect of the you know, the overall effectiveness of all your other marketing if you’re not careful. So review and rep management has become a course staple. It’s something that you don’t spend a lot of money on it. But you do need to pay attention to it. It should, it should be something that you care about, it should be something that you spend, you know, tiny, tiny bit of money on, we’re certainly a little bit of time on with your team. And that should solve the problem.

Howie: Yeah, and it’s become very easy to manage that

Mark: become ridiculously simple to manage that. Okay, so that’s a staple. Now it’s no longer, we can skip it. And we can’t skip it anymore, because everybody’s not everybody. But lots of dentists are waking up to the power of the review. On a Google business page, and the consumers mind, remember consumers. Hopefully this isn’t lost in the discussion. But armed without any additional information about your dental practice. Purpose hesitation dental consumers can make a decision about you. Well, let’s look at a Google review. It’s 1-2-3-4 or five visual stars. And a number that’s as personal as it gets at decision time for some consumers. Another reason why offline promotion works because you’re actually introducing information into their head rather than then making a decision based on four or five stars and a number. Okay,

Howie: yeah.

Mark: Okay. So anyway, online review, and rep is one of the core staples, and we’re going to throw another one in here. Because honestly, we’ve seen we have seen felt enjoyed, and in some cases hugged the result? I’m going to say, online scheduling is now our core.

Howie: Yeah, I would agree.

Mark: Yeah. Online scheduling integration with your practice management software is no longer. It’s no longer something that you consider doing. It’s something that you just put on your list and you do it. Okay, it’s not unless you have a website that net, the only people that see it, are you your staff and your mom, okay, nobody ever visited for any reason. And you know, you’re not part of six months, miles, you’re not a part of any insurance companies. And you know, in other words, you don’t have a Google business page. You don’t have Facebook, you don’t have any of this stuff. Okay. For you. You don’t have to get online dental appointment scheduling, because it’s not going to work.

Howie: Nobody’s going to visit your what website anyways. Yeah, exactly. Nobody waste the money.

Mark: That’s right. Don’t waste the money. For everyone else on Earth. Okay, that he does have an internet presence does have a social media presence, and does perhaps some offline promotion or other online promotion? I mean, we put those widgets, right on the landing pages for our Google AdWords campaign clients. Okay. And, you know, just imagine the better, you know, the better click through rate and the better result you’re going to get for the same ad dollar. Right.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: So, um, and that’s just for new patients. We’re not, we’re not even calculating the benefit of having established patients like overdue reshare patients being able to schedule online. Okay, we’re just talking about new patients. So, online dental scheduling now is it’s a staple. It’s not. It’s not something that you sit back and you say, Okay, well, let’s, you know, let’s see how many my friend Fred. How it works out for Fred. Okay. There’s, there’s 4000 friends already worked out just fine.

Howie: You know, now’s the time. So by adding those staples, I think everybody’s expectations should be there, their bar should be raised slightly. Great. We’re gonna take a short break here, Mark, then we’re going to come back and talk some more about this subject. So don’t go away.

Hey, Mark, how would our audience find out about getting more good reviews? Well, first step is to understand it. There’s a minefields in the dental business right now. So let me give you the four keys, one has to be simple for your staff, they can actually call in sick, and it’ll still work to it has to be ridiculously simple for your patients to leave Google reviews. Three, it has to be able to separate out the not so good reviews from the great reviews and only send the great reviewers over to your Google, Facebook or Yelp.

And for and this is probably the most important only send reviews to platforms where your reviews cannot be taken away. If anybody has any questions about this, it’s called NPI Crusader, you can just send how he and I and email or actually you can log on to new patients Inc. com, and you can schedule your very own appointment to see it in an online meeting, that usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. So most people do it over a lunchtime.

Howie: Alright, we are back. We’re talking about the core staples of your dental practice. And, you know, in…

Mark: The marketing strategy, the core staples of an overall marketing strategy are internal, offline and online. Online being a website, offline in most markets being mail for at least the way we do mail and review rep review, dental reputation management and online dental scheduling. Now, those are the core staples. So if you haven’t, if you’ve been investing in marketing your practice for years, and you don’t have one of those five or two of them, get them. Those are the next two that you invest in, okay, or next three or whatever, whatever you don’t have invest in it, because that’s where your money will be best spent.

That’s what core staple means. Because when you’re going out to stake your claim, doesn’t make any sense. Like it doesn’t like it, we used an analogy in part one, the Gold Rush, right, you’re, you’re a miner, and you’re looking for gold and you’re running around and little creeks and little holes in the rock, and you’re panning and you’re trying to stake your claim and in this case, um, these are the tools the first five tools are internal promotion, external online, external offline, review rep online Scheduler.

So that’s, that’s the order in which you apply your budget. Now, we recently went through a recession and I think I thought, I hope that this puts it into perspective for everyone listening to this when we talk about staking your claim and sticking to your staples. So we got a little story to tell you. And this is a real story. This is a true story. Actually, it’s a true story times a hundreds, but back in March of 2008.

We recognized what was coming and we moved well, over time over that year, we moved all of our clients, whatever they were in, whether we were internet department or in mail or in print, or whatever they were in, we anywhere from slightly to radically change the message from what they were promoting, to promoting the core staples of dentistry as they were at that time. The core staples of dentistry This is where we go from core staples of a marketing plan to the core staples of dentistry the core staples of dentistry always has been Family Dentistry. But back in 2008, Howie how many of our clients were doing quote-unquote cosmetic dentistry?

Howie: Well, yeah, too many,

Mark: all of them are fat and happy man. It was. It was the Wild Wild West. Everybody was going nuts. Right?

Howie: Yeah. And then the sheriff left town or something?

Mark: Yeah, yeah. Then Then. And then all of a sudden guys moved in. Yeah, all of a sudden the recession hit. And none of the consumers wanted to buy cosmetic dentistry anymore. Amazing how that works?

Howie: Well, it’s not that they didn’t want to so much. So they met you know, what happened to my house money with, you know, our equity in our house with what happened to all this stuff?

Mark: Down? Oh, no. Yeah, I can’t pay off my credit card this month, like I did last month with equity. Right. So yeah. So that’s what happened; you know. I know everybody listening to this thought it was your incredible treatment plan discussions. But it wasn’t? Well, partially it was let’s go there.

Let’s just say it was half and half unlimited supply of money and your treatment plan. So, anyway, so what happened was, after March of 2008, we moved all of our clients into the core staples of dentistry. This is different than the core staples of your marketing plan, core staples of dentistry is family; Family Dentistry. And this absolutely pertains to claiming your market. This is this is staking your claim, part two does not lose sight of what we’re discussing here. The reason why we’re bringing this up is because they’re further away, you move from the core staples of dentistry, which is Family Dentistry, right? The further away from really staking your claim. You’re moving away from that objective.

Now. Let’s add, let’s add a piece to this called time. So if you’re your first or second year of promoting your practice properly, you don’t want to move hardly any money outside of Family Dentistry, you’re still you’re still claiming your core, you’re not even, you might not even be halfway there yet. Okay, you shouldn’t be spending any money on a niche like implants, you may mention implants in your website, mail, whatever, whatever you’re promoting, you can mention them. That’s one of the eight or nine reasons to choose you, it’s a great reason to choose you.

But you wouldn’t really focus a percentage of your marketing budget on just one or two aspects of the work that you do. Not yet. You need a good solid, you need 18, 19, 20 good quality new patients a month per GP, per 32 hour GP hours in your office a month. Before you can, you know say all right, I’m going to get fancy, I’m going to start to promote, I don’t know Invisalign, sleep apnea, six months smiles, you name it, sedation, implants, whatever.

Whatever you feel at that point in your career will be a really cool thing to expand. You don’t want you don’t ever really want to do that until you stake your claim. You’ve solidified your core, you’re getting those 17, 18, 19, 20 really good new family patients a month. Then on top of that, if there’s room leftover in the budget, well, then you can then you can get fancy. Right. And there’s all kinds of different ways you can get fancy you can get fancy on Facebook and get fancy on Google AdWords, you can get fancy we do senior mailers.

My God most of the people call us about implants, we don’t even really do anything. Specific singular, two implants, we talk about Adult Dentistry. And within that just happens to be that implants are integral to almost everything there. Okay. So, anyway, so there’s, here’s the point, when you’re staking your claim. your budget is when you’re initially staking your claim, maybe for that when I say initially, let’s say in an average market for the first three to four years, when you’re still staking your claim.

Howie: Okay,

Mark: I know, I know, it’s upsetting that everyone doesn’t take a immediate action on what you present to them. Okay, but, but that’s what it takes to really say, Okay, this part of this dental market is mine. I, I state this claim, these people are now familiar with me, they’re familiar with 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 reasons to choose me. on their mind, their perception in their perception of my office and their mind is that I’m not the cheap dentist in town. I’m the good dentist in town, even though they may not even be my patient. That’s the perception in their mind about my dental practice that could take you easily three, four, maybe five years in an average market? Don’t Yeah, don’t do anything outside of Family Dentistry until you’ve done that.

Howie: Now you can what you know, you can obviously introduce these niche type services to your patient base.

Mark: Oh, yeah, that’s internal. That’s internal.

Howie: That’s how you build that that market. You know,

Mark: right. Yeah. Back in in. And we got the question all the time. In the old days, I want to get more cosmetic patients. Yeah, you and every other dentist in America. And it was it was always a fight was always this long discussion we had to have with dentists the same cheese Bob. Think about the last three or four big cosmetic cases you did? And Bob would think so. Okay, I got them in my mind. And I would always say to them, when were they new patients? Were they new patients a week before they became a big case? Or were they patient of yours for 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 10 – 12 – 15 – 18 years? Okay.

Howie:  Yeah,

Mark: right. And it was always the ladder. It was always I know, they were they started out as family patients,

Howie: right

Mark: And then all of a sudden, in their mind, it clicks. And they say Oh, you mean you build an implant practice from a family practice?

Howie: Yeah, that’s a progression. Yeah. Yeah, you do?

Mark: Build a cosmetic practice from a family practice. You go Yeah, you do. You like about your smile. What do you dislike about your smile is to really easy questions to ask every patient that you see no matter why they came in. Anyway, everybody knows why they initially came in because they can’t feel the gaps between your teeth and they want their teeth cleaned again. They don’t know anything else. Besides that. It’s your job to tell them and ask them every year after that. So anyway,

Howie: there you go.

Mark: staking your claim part to the core staples of a marketing plan and the core staples of dentistry. Now we have par three coming next week.

Howie: Yes. So be sure and tune in for that. But for now. We’re very happy to that you’re up there in our audience. We probably she had it very much and come back again next time. Bye now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel, on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, dentalwebcontent.com and newpatientsinc.com.