Hopefully your marketing company is tracking this information, providing it to you on a regular basis, and ensuring it’s in-line with best practices. Because if not, you’re probably paying way too much!
A dentist I recently spoke with was in this situation. He had hired a ‘big name’ marketing company to run his new patient marketing for him. Included in the agreement was pay-per-click advertising. His monthly ad budget was $2,000 (not including management fees). So, how many new patients do you think he got for that $2,000?
Sadly, it was only two! And, to make it worse, those two new patients generated a total of only $70 in production (not profit mind you…production). So, not only was he losing money on his ad spend. He was also losing money on the new patients actually coming into his practice. And the advice he was getting from his marketing company was that he needed to spend more money. Unbelievable!
This example, while hopefully not the norm, does highlight a serious problem….and that is most dentists really have no idea how much money they are actually spending to get a new patient.
In the above example, this doctor was literally being told by his marketing company that the pay-per-click campaign was indeed working well because his $2,000 had brought in 24 calls. The problem was that over 90% of those calls were not leading to actual new patients. And the new patients the ads were bringing in….were not even profitable ones!
Look, as a dentist, you’re a busy person, and you simply don’t have time to be tracking all the fine details of your marketing. However, there is no excuse for not 1) ensuring your marketing company provides you reliable and timely information on your marketing performance, and 2) holding your marketing company accountable for delivering upon their promised results.
Take Action: Make sure you at least know your cost per new patient acquired. To get it, simply divide your total marketing spend (note: include ALL costs) by your number of new patients per month. And once you know this number, make sure you hold your marketing company accountable for delivering results!
About Kent Sears
Kent provides over 15 years experience in consulting and marketing strategy. His work has spanned the globe, in both public and private sector, with leading companies such as Microsoft and T-Mobile. He brings his corporate experience to help private practice dentists realize their full business potential through more effective marketing strategies to stay competitive in the rapidly changing world of marketing and healthcare.