Creating Innovative Dental Marketing Strategies for 2021
Guest Author: Jarvis Analytics

Change. That word is somewhat about cause-and-effect. And it's especially timely considering how dental marketing has changed in 2020. Change relative to positioning your dental organization going into 2021 is no doubt having an effect on your dental marketing strategies in 2021.

What's changed… what's timeless?

Perhaps a better perspective would be fixating on a few timeless values — those things that remain constant regardless of what's swirling around you. All things considered, 2020 will be remembered as the year that much changed:

  • How you do dentistry
  • How you interact with patients
  • How you position your practice(s) and organization for the future

It's a good idea — especially relative to your dental marketing — to find the unchanging core. And once you do, measure your efforts by it. COVID-19 will create ongoing challenges and changes. Marketing in this new era will require an emphasis on the timeless value of reassurance.

Dental marketing designed around long-term value

Carl Sewell understood a long-term view of customer service. He embedded a “lifetime value perspective” into his Dallas Cadillac dealership. By his calculations, he found that “the lifetime value of a loyal customer in terms of automobiles and service was $332,000.”1 This perspective was instilled into the culture of his dealership at every level — from the sales floor to the service bays.

In essence, his team(s) was expected to provide a reassuring level of service that respected what could, on average, produce $332,000 worth of customer loyalty. What if you applied that same level of service and value reassurance to each patient across your practice(s) and organization as a whole?

Design your dental marketing strategy around what you've learned in 2020 and attain lifetime patient value
  1. Pivot your dental marketing narrative while continue to embrace COVID-19 “fallout”

    Though our society is turning a corner on some issues relative to the pandemic, you'll likely be dealing with it (and the fallout) for months to come. Much of your ongoing embrace will surround the reality that dentistry could remain a low priority for the general public, despite the substantial energy you've given across your organization to infection control, investment in new levels of PPE, and other touch-less, patient-facing protocols. Your marketing narrative will rely on improving and maintaining patient confidence in those protocols and dentistry's value to overall health and wellness.

    • Turn up the volume on patient communication. Present a friendly, calming, assuring “face” on every promotional or communication initiative.
    • Stay front-of-mind to give your patients reasons to return sooner rather than later.
    • Create trust and appeal through organic content instead of “slick,” predictable, and standard marketing collateral. The unexpected, personal touch via useful content helps create a “safe” space for cautious patients.
  2. Focus your dental marketing on a sustainable patient experience

    Carry the idea forward that the pandemic has altered your patient interactions, and it's your opportunity to help them sort through the changes. That said, it's perhaps even more vital to evaluate every patient-facing connect-point in their journey from pre-appointment to appointment to post-appointment follow-up. At every point along the way, understanding, confidence, and perceived safety and security is essential.

    • Make appointment availability and scheduling efficient and easily accessible.
    • Provide procedural guidance for in-person and virtual appointments that accommodate patient preference and comfort.
    • Highlight digital, contactless solutions that enhance safety and patient convenience. This includes your website navigation, voice/phone communications, personalized email and text messaging, mobile applications, and online business listings.
  3. Frame your dental marketing with empathy and timeliness

    Tone-deaf marketing communication will fail in this era of dentistry. It's vital to keep your communication ever-sensitive to the stress the public and your patients are continuing to feel. Keep in mind if there's any sense that you're focused on production over their general sense of well-being, trust will be lost! That said, the more you instill confidence through informative content, sensitive answers to their questions, and a safety-focused patient experience, trust will increase.

    • Craft your marketing message around a theme of safety and sensitivity.
    • Show what a calming, safe, comfortable patient experience looks like via visual content such as images and brief videos.
    • Market your services with transparency and authority. Present your practice(s) as caring experts and encourage patients to provide reviews relative to your patient experience.
  4. Revive your dental marketing investment with “the new normal” in mind

    It's reasonable that you paused a percentage of your organization's marketing spend during the pandemic. But now it's also necessary to reboot your investment around what's becoming an acceptable norm in dentistry.

    • Re-engage your marketing with organic content. Search tactics have (and should) shift a bit during this era, but content will consistently deliver as it's sensitive to patient need.
    • Assess your local SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Confirm that your Google My Business listings are thorough and present the essential details about your practice(s).
    • Answer the questions patients are asking via online search with relevant, useful, on-topic content. Revive your blog pages across your organization and keep the content flow consistent with informative content.
    • Engage patients via social media, and consider investing a portion of marketing dollars in paid ads — especially themed around demographics and relevant service promotions.
  5. Deploy new technology that gives patients a real-time connection to your services

    Patients are returning to dentistry, but they're quick to communicate about their concerns regarding comfort and safety. Keeping up with their inquiries can be a daunting task for your team(s). Innovative technology can help your team increase and sustain their workflow efficiency. Plus, your patient experience will improve as those seeking your services will have additional points of contact with your practice(s).

    New technology solutions can include:

    • Live chat via chatbot technology. Patients can ask questions, receive answers, and be connected to a staff member when necessary.
    • Tracking and data analytic software platforms. You can track KPIs and other patient-facing metrics that reveal how, when, and why people are connecting with your practice(s).

    Furthermore, Jarvis Analytics' Marketing Matchback with Call Box's integration is an innovative technology to assist in boosting dental marketing performance and production in 2021. Jarvis Analytics' Marketing Matchback module tracks your patient journey from lead to production, and Call Box's integration presents transparent phone insight that fills in the gaps of what happened on that appointment opportunity phone call. After all, isn't dental marketing an ongoing journey leading to what could be lifetime patient relationships?

So, what is a “matchback”?

A matchback occurs when a new or existing patient visits your practice within 60 days of his or her first contact. Matchbacks assist you in assessing the dental marketing campaign that generated the most patient production and how those patients found you (e.g. Facebook, a referral, etc). The Jarvis Analytic Marketing Matchback tracks key metrics such as:

  • First Visit Revenue (FVR): the production from each unique marketing campaign to the patient's first investment.
  • First Year Revenue (FYR): the production from each unique marketing campaign to the patient's first year investment.
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): total cost calculation of the marketing campaign divided by the number of leads.
  • Matchback Visit Production (MVP): calculation of the total production generated by all matchbacks.

The Jarvis Analytics platform and the Marketing Matchback module with Call Box's integration helps ensure you're tracking the most important metrics and staying on track with your goals as your dental practice and/or DSO grows and expands. To learn more about Jarvis Analytics, visit https://www.jarvisanalytics.com/. To learn more about Call Box, visit https://www.callbox.com/dental.

1 Jemes L Heskett, W. Earl Sasser, Jr. Leonard A. Schlesinger, The Service Profit Chain, p65.