By Susan Richards
Are your patient acquisition tools cutting-edge or old-school? The current means and techniques available for marketing to new dental patients are often shrouded in confusing terminology and misleading expense-to-value ratios. It can be daunting for even the most business-savvy dental professional.
In a recent DOCS Education Elite Learning Series presentation, Dr. Michael Silverman, president of DOCS and RAMP: the Results-Driven Advertising and Marketing Professionals, clarified the eight key marketing elements in the age of artificial intelligence – or AI.
“No practice that I’ve ever seen fits neatly into a single silo like another practice,” Dr. Silverman said while sharing real-life case examples that left viewers better equipped to make intelligent marketing decisions for their businesses.
With more than three decades of experience marketing for himself as well as hundreds of dental practices, Dr. Silverman is immensely qualified to cut through the confusing jargon of advertising and PR professionals and demonstrate how to avoid the carpenter’s paradigm: If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and if all you have is SEO, everything looks like Google.
Eight Key Elements
To stay on top of advances in marketing, it’s crucial to orient yourself to the current state of technology and what is on the horizon with AI. Dr. Silverman also explains the importance of combining your old-school marketing – think radio or direct mail – with the latest programmatic techniques that are “amazingly impactful and super affordable.”
Don’t stop what you’re doing if it’s working, but digital tools can supercharge your marketing for a small investment. Here’s a brief overview of the eight key facets of a successful strategy.
1. Identify your target audience.
2. Recognize your unique demographic and geographic pathways.
3. Analyze the balance of various marketing methods and how to allocate those techniques.
Dr. Silverman does a deep dive into the programmatic tools that may work best for you, including keyword retargeting, geofencing, SEO, and more.
4. Rethink budgeting because the old 5-10% standard no longer applies.
“Most marketing takes about six months to see a favorable return on investing,” said Dr. Silverman, urging dentists not to ‘chicken out’ because they’re budgeting for the long term.
5. Impressions matter, whether from drive-by traffic, social media, or patient referrals, but your website is the most important.
6. Collect customer service data and engage on your website for improved patient relationships.
“Good customer service stands out!”- Dr. Michael Silverman
7. Explore analytics and adapt accordingly for happy patients and a healthy ROI.
8. AI grows every day by the input of data. Acquire a growth mentality by reinvesting in your practice.
Dr. Silverman reminds doctors that their practice is unique and to avoid cookie-cutter marketing plans. Another word to the wise, “Whoever is doing your marketing internally must be as committed as you are and have the capacity to learn it.”
In addition to four decades of experience as a general dentist, Dr. Michael D. Silverman is a globally recognized lecturer, education, and patients’ rights advocate. His extensive dental background and entrepreneurial spirit led to the development of DOCS and RAMP. In November 2015, Dr. Silverman was inducted as a Fellow of the International College of Dentists in recognition of his exemplary professional accomplishments and devotion to improving the practice of dentistry.
If you’re interested in learning more about AI-Driven Patient Growth: Effective Strategies for Success, it’s now available online for home study and free for a limited time. You’ll also find a handy and informative Digital Marketing Glossary to download.
To watch this course, click here. You will earn 1.5 CE hours.
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Author: Susan Richards is a staff writer at DOCS Education. With over 20 years of experience in local journalism and business marketing, Susan’s career includes award-winning feature writing, as well as creating content with context for a wide variety of industries.