Goals and Expectations
I’ve written out an entire dental digital marketing plan process if you’re interested. Part of it includes this step of setting goals and expectations. Many dentists evaluate their marketing annually, trying to assess whether or not “it worked.” They come to the gut-driven conclusion that “Meh, I think I could do better,” and go hunting for their new dental marketing company. They have reset their campaigns without even realizing it, potentially sabotaging themselves, all because they didn’t have a plan.
It’s like a hunter buying a box of bullets, walking out into the forest on opening day, and firing off every round in the box in every direction. Surveying the carnage, the hunter says, “Nope. I didn’t hit a thing. These bullets must suck.” The bullets were fine. It was just the approach to the hunt that was the problem.
What are you hunting for? Try to set SMART goals.
S-M-A-R-T Dental Marketing Goals
I am convinced this basic management principle could solve at least 25% of the marketing problems in dental offices. It’s hard mental work, but without it, how can you know if you should go through the headache of uprooting your marketing, trashing 90% of the momentum you had, and handing it to someone else? Maybe I’m an idiot for writing this, but switching to Pro Impressions Marketing is probably not what you need to do next in your marketing —instead, set some SMART goals.
Specifically, what do you want to get with your marketing? “More new patients” really isn’t specific enough. In working with a few DSOs, we find some disconnects between the new DSO and the dentist who has sold all or part of the practice. The DSOs tend to be focused on the number of new patient appointments rather than the type of patient. That’s fine in theory, but it’s a mismatch from what our long-standing client, the dentist, has told us in the past: “I want more patients asking for X and Y service.” Whether you want more X and Y, more dental implant and TMJ patients, for example, or just “more new patient appointments,” you won’t have created a SMART goal until you add specific numbers or time-based parameters.
How many new patients do you want, and over what period? If you add those to your goals, you can reverse engineer the required investment from that point before giving the green light to a marketing campaign. Adding numbers to your dental marketing goals also allows you to measure your progress toward those goals better. That can help you know whether or not your goals amount to pie-in-the-sky hopes or reasonable expectations of your dental marketing efforts.