A few days ago, I was speaking with Matt, a general dentist in Michigan.
Matt, like many dentists, was struggling with his marketing and new patient growth.
He’d been bouncing around from one marketing company to another. He was in constant search of something new. Something that would quickly get him growth. A new website here. A new social media package there. Several new digital ad campaigns. Multiple iterations of postcards and mailers. And the list went on and on and on.
Matt was on the constant lookout for something new and exciting when it came to his marketing. He wasn’t afraid to spend money and try new things out. But he had consistently failed to get results with this approach.
When we spoke, he said to me – “Kent, I don’t understand why this stuff isn’t working. I’ve literally done everything there is to do from a marketing perspective. Website, SEO, digital ads, social media, online reviews, patient referrals, yada…yada…yada. So, what do you have for me that’s new?”.
My reply to Matt was simple. “Nothing.”
I continued on. I said – “Matt, your issue isn’t that you need yet another marketing tactic, or product, or package. In fact, you’d probably benefit from doing fewer things all at once. Your real issue is that you need an actual marketing strategy, and to see these things through in terms of implementation before just checking the box and moving on to the next new and shiny object.”
In listening to Matt share his story, it reminded me of my kids who will open our refrigerator, packed with food, just a few days after we’ve completed a huge run to the grocery store, and tell me how there’s nothing to eat. When, actually, the problem is that there’s more than enough (perhaps even too much) to eat. But they’re simply looking for the next new shiny object (or in their minds, something that looks really delicious, which they can grab and eat without any effort to prepare it).
It’s just like the ‘check the box marketing’ approach from Matt. Is it new and exciting? Great, let’s do it!
And let’s be honest, this ‘just grab whatever is new and exciting’ approach is, of course, much easier than pulling together several ingredients and preparing a coordinated meal that will actually deliver real results — whether results mean nourishment for my kids, or new patients for Matt’s dental office.
I shared this with Matt. And, truthfully, I half expected him to end the conversation right then and there. I wasn’t telling him what he was used to hearing. You see, Matt had been sold to time and time again by marketing companies. They’d tell him whatever he wanted to hear in order to get him to buy their new, shiny product. These marketing companies never took an interest in explaining to Matt that it wasn’t yet another marketing product or package that he really needed. They didn’t care. They don’t make money on giving sound marketing advice. They make money on selling generic marketing products over and over. And Matt just kept on buying those products. Checking the box. Over and over and over again!
Matt and I ended up having a really productive conversation. And he now has an actual pathway in front of him to increase his new patient inflow. And it doesn’t involve more ‘check the box’ marketing products. Rather it involves prioritizing his marketing campaigns, into a holistic and coordinated approach, and really focusing in on the steps necessary to ensure their successful implementation.
I fully expect that Matt, like so many other dentists who have finally stopped their ‘check the box’ marketing approach, will see much improved results coming his way in the weeks and months ahead now that he has an actual marketing strategy and execution plan in place.
Looking for better results from your marketing?
Grab some time and let’s discuss your growth goals and what success looks like to you. I’ll walk you through what’s needed to get there, and we can determine if it’s a good fit for us to partner together in making that happen.
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I look forward to talking with you soon!
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.