How to Choose the Right Marketing Agency for Your Dental Practice
Selecting an agency to help with your dental practice’s online marketing is a significant decision. The right dental marketing agency can help take your practice to new heights, increasing new patient volume and boosting profitability. On the other hand, the wrong marketing partner might be a drag on practice performance and profitability, potentially allowing your competitors to take advantage. You need to approach the process of finding a dentist marketing company carefully. But how? In this blog post, we’ll outline a simple but effective approach to selecting a dental marketing agency for your practice.
1. Assess Your Marketing Needs
Before searching for and interviewing a bunch of agencies, take an inventory of your current marketing efforts. What’s working and what’s not? What would you like to be doing that you (or your current marketing company) are not doing right now? For most dental practices, the “core” components of a successful online marketing plan will be roughly the same, including:
- Content marketing (e.g., blog content and email marketing)
- Reviews and reputation management
- Social media
But there are many, many other opportunities in digital marketing to grow your practice. From referral marketing campaigns to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, website design to patient reactivation campaigns, keep an open mind to other online marketing efforts you may not have already explored.
Identifying your marketing needs upfront will help you determine what kind of dental marketing agency you should be looking for (i.e., what their capabilities are). But be ready to be surprised… the right marketing agency for your dental practice will likely provide insight and recommendations you haven’t already considered.
2. Look for Data-driven Recommendations
The right marketing agency for your dental practice won’t operate on assumptions. What works for one dental practice may not work for another, and there’s a BIG difference between online marketing for general dentists and that for specialists like orthodontists, oral surgeons, endodontists, etc. That’s why it’s important to look for a dental marketing agency that leverages data to make its recommendations.
When evaluating a proposal from a dentist marketing company, pay attention to the data. Look for recommendations based on keyword research, competitive research, and other quantitative data, and beware of agencies that seem to operate on a “hunch.” Don’t hesitate to ask potential marketing partners why they’re making the recommendations they’re making. “Everyone does it” is not a valid answer.
3. Weigh Your Budget
Effective dental marketing is expensive, there’s no way around it. Before you meet with a potential marketing partner for your practice, consider your current marketing budget and what you may be able to support going forward. Keep in mind that even a significant increase in monthly marketing budget may be feasible when considering the results. For example, how many new patient appointments might you expect to get for an additional $500 or $1000 per month? Also, be sure to factor in lifetime patient value — that is, the average value of a patient over the course of their engagement with your practice, not just the first appointment.
That said, in searching for the right dental marketing agency, be wary of marketing proposals that are wildly out of sync with your budget expectations. The right partner will ensure that its recommendations are feasible, and also understand that scaling a marketing campaign can be done over time and should be dependent on results. In other words, the right dental marketing agency will be willing to prove their effectiveness and show you the value of an increased investment.
Finally, when considering investment in a dentist marketing plan, pay attention to your potential marketing agency’s plans to measure and report on results. Lead attribution will be critically important in adequately allocating budget to marketing. Ask potential dental marketing agencies how they plan to report on their results and hold themselves accountable.
4. Be Skeptical of Long-term Contracts
Some dental marketing agencies require a long-term contract. Be cautious of such proposals. While it is true that certain marketing efforts like SEO can take several months to generate significant results, it’s also true that long-term contracts can reduce an agency’s incentive to perform. At DentalScapes, we focus on setting client expectations upfront and ask for a commitment, not a contract. The right marketing agency for your dental practice shouldn’t get too comfortable — you want your dental marketing partner to do its best every single month, without the promise of continued work regardless of results.
5. Focus on Communication
The #1 complaint clients have about marketing agencies is that communication is lacking. That’s why it’s critically important to consider how you’ll be communicating when selecting a dental marketing agency for your practice. Ask potential partners about who you’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis and expectations regarding response times.
While every marketing agency has its own processes, the right dental marketing partner will make reasonable accommodations to adapt to your expectations for communication.
Searching for a Dental Marketing Agency?
Finding the right marketing agency for your dental practice is no small task. There are many things to consider before making the investment. Above all, it’s important that you and your practice’s values are aligned with your new marketing partner. At DentalScapes, we lead with our values and are ready to help however we can. Book a free strategy call today and let’s talk!