Marketing in today’s dental landscape: How do you measure success? (Part 2)

Part 1 of Marketing in today’s dental landscape: How do you measure success? was published yesterday. (For the full article, go to News Bulletin Online

Made to measure

Measuring the results of a campaign is essential to know what was achieved, and one of the keys to effective tracking is to include the measurement as part of the overall campaign. Specifically, define the objectives and target audience to determine the metrics and then a specific call-to-action and associated landing page can be created to yield trackable results.

But this is when taking figures only on face value can be misleading, Carolyn Dean advises.

“It’s not rocket science, but I still find a lot of clients do not understand this,” she says. “It comes down to focusing on two numbers – the cost of the marketing and the return it produced. You cannot do one without the other.”

Dean cites the example of a local letterbox pamphlet campaign in the area around a practice that cost $200, and only attracted one new client. “But if that new client is worth $600 of business in the first year and then becomes a lifetime client in the years ahead, then that campaign was a great success – even though it only attracted one new client.”

A simple measure Dean suggests to clients is keeping a comprehensive spreadsheet for each campaign, highlighting how all the numbers stack up when compared to each other. “The spreadsheet details what the marketing is, what it costs, how many clients it got in, the value of that client and the return on the investment,” she says. “All the numbers are there, and easy to compare and determine if the results were worth the effort and cost. It’s a simple approach, but it works.

Keeping it on track

CJU Marketing’s Caroline Ucherek believes tracking online results is far easier due to analytical data available through Google and social media platforms. It can be as simple as looking at clicks on a ‘Contact Us’ page or following the number of leads GoogleAds directs to a practice website.

Where the tracking process can collapse, she explains, is when the figures are not recorded and conversion levels fail to be determined. Having one person in the practice to track campaign results can centralise the whole experience.

“Determining where that new patient has been attracted from can be as simple as the receptionist asking when they call in,” Caroline says. “Whoever is responsible for dealing with patients needs to make it part of the procedure. There has to be a system in place, maybe as part of the practice management software or even a tally on a piece of paper next to the phone. If your staff keep good records, you can tell what the return is on your investment.”

Another tactic is to have different landing pages or different email subject lines, and then to measure which one has a higher conversion rate. This way, determining which ad copy, images, or target audience most resonates and leads to new bookings can easily be determined.

“You can’t manage what you are not monitoring,” Brett Miller says. “It is critical to understand the impact your marketing is having, and knowing where to find the data of where new patients are coming from.”

The power of Google

Understanding the impact of Google is essential to measure marketing results, Angus Pryor insists. “Virtually every piece of marketing you do will be put through the lens of Google at some point,” he says. “If somebody sees a flyer or there’s been a recommendation from a friend, the potential new client will Google your business. This is why the Google My Business page is critical to have in order, as that’s where a client can tell everything they need to know about your business.”

This is when, he adds, assistance might be in order to achieve optimum results.

“There is a level of sophistication with this now that often requires specific direction. To be frank, I’ve never met a dentist who’s really dominated Google by doing it themselves.”

Word of mouth

According to a report by global measurement and data analysts Nielsen, 92 per cent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of marketing. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging.

“More than anything, always remember word-of-mouth in a service-based profession drives your business,” Brett Miller says.

Which is why making sure the ‘house is in order’, with good practice systems, welltrained staff, highly-skilled practitioners and a strong workplace culture and brand are vital. Carolyn Deans says these areas need to be taken care of well before embarking on any new campaigns.

“If there are internal problems to iron out within your practice, no amount of good marketing will fix that,” she says. “Be sure what you are promoting is in order, so you are a business people are talking about – for all the right reasons.”

Giving it time

Angus Pryor says of all his conversations about marketing with dental clients, there’s one theme that emerges most of all. “I’m so often asked about the silver bullet that is going to fix this and how quickly it can

be done,” he says. “But effective marketing takes time and patience and a consistent strategy that adds up over time to make an impression of the kind of a business you are.”

The laws on dental marketing

Guidelines covering marketing and social media policies are available at the Dental Board of Australia, in the Policies, Codes and Guidelines section.

It is important members are fully and consistently compliant with AHPRA regulatory stipulations regarding advertising (see page 14).

/ADA Public Release. View in full here.