Traditional marketing for Orthodontic Practices: To do or not to do?
Should your Orthodontic Practice be following the current trend for digital marketing or keeping up with traditional marketing? That is the question.
With a choice of dental practice marketing methods to choose from, practices now have lots of options to consider when choosing how to promote their practice, but which route should you take? Do you go for the traditional marketing methods of print advertising whether in local papers or magazines, or do you go with the popular and more cost effective digital methods such as social media and online advertising?
Well, in today’s modern world there is plenty of choice but it is important to choose what’s right for YOUR audience and YOUR practice. Look at your client base and consider who your target audience is and what you want to achieve in your community…this will determine where you want to place your marketing efforts.
You may find that your practice has lots of existing clients who you wish to retain and entice with treatment plans. Or you may want to grow your client base with younger, professional clients who could potentially expand your business as their family grows. If this is the case, then you could target your marketing to reach both audiences and use a mixture of traditional and digital advertising.
Some traditional marketing methods that you could look at include:
- Print advertising
- Recommend a friend
- Partnership opportunities
- Press and PR opportunities
You could then look at using some digital marketing methods such as building your website if you haven’t already, followed by implementing a tailored social media action plan to build your online community and promote your services online. As we have covered digital marketing in an earlier blog, we will concentrate on the traditional marketing methods here.
Print advertising is one of the most popular traditional methods around – it’s simple, visual and more importantly tangible. You can very easily target your clients with print adverts in local/regional newspapers and magazines. One effective way to monitor the response is to add a ‘call-to-action’ onto the advert so that you can see how much interest you are getting. This could be in the form of encouraging clients to bring the advert in to your practice to gain a discount off treatments or if you were using this to attract new customers, you could ask clients to book an appointment quoting a reference (seen on the print advert) in order for clients to get their first consultation free of charge with follow up appointments booked. If you were using print advertising to encourage and remind existing clients about your practice, you may wish to consider running a print advert whereby you offer a discount on an upgraded treatment or product. This would not only encourage clients to use a new service that perhaps they may not have thought about, but it is also an opportunity for you to profile them to see how receptive they would be to new services or products. An important thing to mention though is to promote your print advertising in your practice too so that you maximise visibility of your promotion at all times, after all, it doesn’t cost you anything to share information with your clients.
Recommend a friend
Recommend a friend postcards are great for using word of mouth to create new business – recommendation is key for any practice so it is highly important to ensure that your customers old and new are looked after from the very beginning. It doesn’t cost a lot to create and print these postcards and if you ran a competition linked promotion where you ask clients to recommend their friend where they would automatically be entered into a prize draw to win service based prizes or product based prizes in return for sharing details, you might find that people are more willing to share their friends/neighbours details with you. Reward the existing and new patients and everyone wins.
Partnership opportunities are often overlooked as sometimes practices are too busy within their own business to look ‘outside of the box’, however it’s always worthwhile to share opportunities with other non-conflicting businesses as you are often working towards the same target audiences within the same target area. An example is that your practice may wish to seek new clients and you may have a local gym or salon within the same community that is looking to increase their client database. Either way, both businesses are targeting clients who take care of their appearance, so it may be worth speaking to each other to see how you could attract each other’s customers. Your practice may want to have a poster on display within the gym or salon, be included in their newsletter/emails to their database or you may want to run an offer specifically for their clients – ultimately you want to run an offer to entice new clients to your practice. You would want to offer similar opportunities for their potential new clients too and promote their service to your client list to make it a mutually beneficial relationship. Either way – it’s a new target audience so there is potential for new business and you could be one of their recommended suppliers so you would get free promotion.
Press and PR
Press and PR opportunities – Think about what news you can share with your customers, think about what you can share with your community and do something about it. Sometimes, so much good stuff can happen in your practice that you can often forget to tell the world – this is where social media comes in as they often say ‘sharing is caring’! However for your clients or community members that are not so active on social media, they may be missing out on a ton of information. Whether your practice is celebrating its anniversary, or 500th customer, an award that you or an employee have won in the industry – now is the time to share your success! You should be contacting your local paper or industry trade magazine/journal and submitting your news – the more people that hear about you, the more they are likely to remember your practice when they need to make their appointment. Build a relationship with your community including local businesses, local and industry papers and keep dialogue open. Encourage them to come and see your practice, take photos, run a feature on a new service that you are offering. Your survival depends on sharing your news with your customers so value them and feed them with your good service. Strive to be the best in your community and be the key player within your industry.
These are just some of the traditional marketing methods that your practice could be doing to maximum effect – some are instant opportunity builders whilst others are investment opportunities, but mix it up with some digital marketing and you will find that you will be reaching out to a wider audience. Whatever you decide, once you have your vision – be consistent, be proactive and be open to trying something new.
To speak to us about your digital or offline marketing, contact one of our consultants today on 01296 748692 look what i found.