Advertising and Marketing.

They’re the same thing, right?

Most people would answer yes.

But, no. They are most definitely not.

Yet, this is an all too common misconception in dentistry today. And a source of tremendous frustration.

Here’s why….

When dentists hear the word ‘marketing’, they tend to think about websites, pay-per-click ads, mailers, flyers, etc.

Isn’t this marketing you ask? Well, yes.

But, more precisely…these are specific forms of advertising. And advertising is only one component of marketing.

You see, marketing is much broader. It includes everything from your business strategy based on data and research, which in turn drives your brand identity…enabling you to stand apart from your competition….and sets your model of patient care and every element of the in-office experience you provide your customers. 

Marketing also involves the coordination of several differing promotional activities, aimed at both acquiring new patients and retaining existing patients, to ensure everything is executed in the right sequence and delivered in just the right way, and at the right time, to drive optimal results. 

And last, but certainly not least, marketing includes the reporting and performance management of these activities to understand what’s working, what’s not, and where adjustments need to occur to optimize your return on investment and consistently deliver growth to your practice.

So, it’s no surprise that frustration surfaces when dentists hire out for what they think are ‘marketing’ services, when in fact they’re actually just hiring out for ‘advertising’.

The simple truth is that you can’t just write a check for your marketing. And, if you don’t have a comprehensive and well-coordinated marketing strategy in place to catch the efforts of your external advertising spend, then all you’re going to see are poor results and lost investment.

You may have witnessed this first-hand. You write a big check for thousands of dollars each month to a marketing agency for external advertising. You wait and wait. But the new patients don’t show up at the levels you’re expecting. And your money is literally wasted. And that is when the confusion and frustration kick in full force. Sound familiar?

And that is precisely why you have to think beyond just ‘Advertising’ (and simply writing a check to an agency each month) when you are considering your new patient marketing strategy.

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.