Marketing an essential part of running a dental practice

What’s marketing? To most dentists it’s a few ads in some dental mags and the local paper.

Marketing doesn’t seem at the top of the list when running a dental practice but it is invaluable.

I alway like to learn from the best so I talked to Russell Trahan, owner and CEO and President of the PR/PR public relations firm.

He says that the sweet spot for advertising is a mix of social media and print media. Although the allure of TV seems tantalizing for some he cautions that the ROI on that expense may not be worth it. Quite simply, radio or TV is here for a moment and gone the second it leaves the air.

Long term results lie with print and social media simply because after the first viewing consumers can return to them for future research. Sometimes they’ll even tear out a page from a magazine or newspaper - wherever they are. As for social media, the options to save content or bookmarking it is a very common practice.

Trahan also says the size of a practice doesn’t matter. It's all about name recognition.

Here’s perhaps the most important thing. You really can’t stop marketing and promoting your business. Dental schools are continually pushing new dentists into the marketplace, so new competitors are opening their doors monthly.

How much should you be spending on marketing? Trahan says between $1,000 to $3,000 per month. A good goal is to get your name to pop up when a viewer Googles a term like hometown dentist.

As for print media, local is usually better. But Trahan told a story of a dentist who once bought an expensive ad in Sport Illustrated. As he told it, it made his business profile pop. He was now a local dentist with an advertisement in a national publication. Because of that, he got new business from people who cited the ad when they came in. It was the proximity effect and his clients told him that as well.

So should you be planning your next advertisement in Time magazine? Well, probably not. But you need to continually market and advertise your practice. Because if you don’t, you’re not really open for business.