Every week, I have the opportunity to talk with dentists that I’ve never spoken with before.

And I love having these conversations! I love them because I realize over and over again just how much room for improvement there is in the vast majority of dental practices out there. And marketing is always one of those areas!

I want to share a conversation I had this past week with a dentist. And I want to share it because I believe it highlights such a critical issue that most dentists are facing. So, my hope is that from reading this, you can recognize if you might be in a similar situation, and that you will take the necessary steps to address it.

We’ll call this dentist, Dr. Smith. Now, Dr. Smith had been a fairly successful dentist in his city. And part of that success was because he was a big believer in investing in his marketing.

However, over the past year, Dr. Smith had seen his new patient numbers stagnate, and recently even declined month over month for the past six months. He was quite shocked. He thought to himself…“How could this be?”. After all, he was investing more than $10,000 per month in his marketing. He just assumed that since he was investing more and more in his marketing, that his practice (and new patient numbers) would keep on growing.

Dr. Smith had a marketing company overseeing his multiple marketing investments. But, he really had no idea where all that money was going, or even what he was getting in return for his marketing investment.

I did an assessment this past week with Dr. Smith. We looked at where his marketing budget was going, the different activities that were being run, and we dug into the results of those activities. This probably won’t come as a surprise – but we found a tremendous amount of room for improvement!

We found investments that were not paying off very well. We found investments that actually were doing quite well and needed more focus. And, then we found activities that we simply could not pin any type of actual, quantifiable results to in any way at all!

In the end, Dr. Smith had an opportunity to cut his marketing budget by over 50%!

This was simply by getting rid of the activities that were doing next to nothing for him and his practice growth. And with that money, he is now able to re-invest a portion of it towards marketing activities that are in fact working well. But, he also has the opportunity to pull some of that money back and either put it in his pocket, or put it somewhere else in his practice that needs investment.

Here’s the two key takeaways I want you to have from this:

First, you need to know exactly where your marketing dollars are being spent, and exactly what you’re getting in the way of tangible results. While it is up to your marketing providers to supply you with the data. It is 100% up to you as the business owner to know how your money is being spent. There’s simply no excuse for anything less than that.

Second, don’t allow your marketing to be something you just throw money at and assume it’s being taken care of by your marketing company. I’m not trying to say that marketing companies are bad actors. No, the majority of them do good, quality work. But, at the end of the day, their incentives are not entirely aligned with your incentives. And you need to have strong oversight on what they are doing and where your dollars are being spent.

About Kent Sears

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.