On 6/18/20 AIM Dental Marketing president Daniel A. ‘Danny’ Bobrow and digital strategist Ari Banerjee sat down for a web-based, PACE-approved C.E. learning session to present the various ways dentists and their stakeholders can take firm control of their dental marketing plan by replacing: a fragmented system with an integrated marketing paradigm; un-measurable results with metric-based reporting and; inscrutable inferences with actionable marketing.
Danny and Ari addressed certain understandable, but misguided, mindsets concerning the new patient acquisition and retention process.
Case studies illustrating the benefits and payoffs associated with a fully integrated, real-time, reporting and analysis platform were presented, following which webcast attendees’ questions and comments were answered and addressed.
Depending on practice structure, there are two general ways the typical practice owner “relates” to his/her marketing.
An online poll revealed that:10% Have an in-house marketing team; 47% Work with a marketing agency, and 42% formerly worked with a marketing agency (1% stated they had no interest in marketing, which begged the question concerning their attendance at a marketing webcast).
The “hybrid model” means someone (either owner or owner’s designee) within the practice remains involved with at least the reporting and interpretation of data, and is an active partner in the decision making process, which, in the opinion of the presenters, represents the Ideal Paradigm for most practices.
The above-referenced challenges inherent in creating and maintaining an effective marketing plan were expounded upon, specifically, that Fragmented Marketing occurs as a consequence of the manner in which many practice marketing plans develop. Typically, that undesirable state evolves over time as an organic, and haphazard, process.
For those few practices who engaged in any form of dental marketing prior to the mid-1990s, there were few tactical choices. Accordingly, management was relatively simple. One could: secure a Yellow Pages Ad, perform direct mail, a billboard, tv, or radio, and that was it.
Compare that with today’s channels and tactics that include: SEO, paid search, social media, website maintenance, blogging, reviews generation, online chat, optimized press releases, lead nurture email campaigns, and a lot more, then consider how each of these requires its own unique skill set, and it’s no wonder so many dental practices feel overwhelmed and out of control.
John Wanamaker, founder of the first American department store, is noted for saying “I know that half of my advertising is wasted; the problem is I don’t know which half.”
When ones dental marketing is unmeasurable, it’s also non-actionable.
Knowledge is POWER. The true winners in the dental marketing game are those who are both aware of, and inclined to invest the time and effort to 1. gather the necessary data and 2. interpret its meaning.
Without a commitment to both knowing and interpreting, one’s marketing remains non-actionable.
Access to data represent but one part of the winning equation. The other part is having a system in place to efficiently and effectively act on what is learned.
Integrated Marketing means that one benefits from a single point of contact, accountability, and talent.
It also means your message and branding are consistently applied across all channels.
Metric-Based Marketing is one of the hallmarks of what is termed Performance Marketing. Simply put, it is the ability to measure results, and identify trends, which facilitates Actionable Marketing.
It’s what you DO with the data that counts. Effective analysis and interpretation, for example rigorous A/B testing requires both the data and the expertise to structure statistically robust testing that leads to actionable marketing decisions.
There are three components required to achieve a truly Actionable Marketing Model:
First is collection of the raw data.
- Tracking + Analytics
Next is consistent and accurate analysis of the data you collect
- Tracking + Analytics + Insight
This is where you evaluate and interpret the data you collect, which gives you the ability to make informed decisions about how and whether to invest your precious marketing budget.
At this point in the presentation, the audience was polled concerning its new patient source tracking protocol.
It was revealed that the majority of registrants relied upon what is termed anecdotal reporting, meaning new patients were asked how they learned about the practice. The presenters asserted "It not your patient’s job to tell you how well your marketing is working." Furthermore, even when the team does a consistent and thorough job of asking patients for this information, it is a notoriously incomplete and inaccurate source. The main reason for this is that patients typically only share the last touch point, which led them to contact the office. By way of example, a new patient might tell the practice’s team member that what led him or her to schedule their appointment was the practice’s sign. Yet, they also received 13 emails over the prior 7 months as part of the practice’s lead nurture campaign.
The second most cited tracking protocol was reliance upon Google Analytics, cross referenced against the practice’s call tracking platform and its practice management system. While this can lead to accurate and actionable results, it is a time-consuming process, and can lead one to “drown In data.”
The next most common tracking practice is no tracking at all, which means that, in terms of actionable marketing, such practices are “flying blind.”
We created the Dental Marketing Dashboard In response to the near universal need for dental practices to have real-time reporting, a single point of contact, and simple accountability to make informed marketing decisions.
The DMD offers the ability to preset and present up to 50 Key Performance Indicators, to place dental practice owners squarely in control of their Dental Marketing Plan.
The New Patient Funnel
At its core, the funnel illustrates the various relational stages one experiences along the process of becoming a new patient.
Because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, having data about these various stages is essential to ensuring all links in your ‘marketing chain’ are strong and in place: if any one of them weakens or breaks, the entire chain breaks.
What Should One Measure?
Awareness – Illustrative of this are keyword and key phrase rankings, whereby people searching for a dentist who are not yet aware of your existence are first introduced to you:
Interest – Once they are aware, because your organic or paid placement on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) is compelling, their choose to visit your website:
The above screenshot from the DMD provides insight into your website’s ability to hold the visitor’s interest, which an increasingly important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. It measures the User Experience (UX) by monitoring bounce rate, time on site, average session duration, and more. Insights into UX drive decisions concerning website design.
Desire/Action – Key metrics of desire include web form completions and telephone calls from bona fide prospective patients aka Website Conversion. Action is typified by appointments. Both are presented in the DMD screenshot below:
Another benefit of the DMD is its ability to track and report on Engagement and Satisfaction as part of its Social Engagement Section. For those ADM health partners (clients) who employ an automated review generation system, we include in their DMD a Reviews Report such as what you see here:
Note how in this case the Reviews Section demonstrates patient appreciation for responsiveness e.g. safety in wake of Covid-19.
Danny and Ari next shared four case studies in which various insights illustrating the DMD’s power to optimize results were shared. The first case study presented how the DMD identified weakness in one health partner’s Team’s proficiency with converting prospective patient calls into solid and kept appointments. By committing to a rigorous telephone skills coaching program the practice increased its Team Batting Average (call conversion %) from 36% to 83% in just a few months.
The second case study demonstrated how the DMD is able to optimized the practice’s spend on Google ads. By increasing the budget until the Search Impressions Lost statistic reached zero, the practice capitalized on all relevant paid search opportunities, resulting in increased new patient conversion while simultaneously reducing its cost per click (CPC).
The third case study entailed a practice whose website traffic had diminished over time. A website audit was performed revealing that indeed the number of unique visitors was trending downward. The solution was a site redesign:
Enhancements included: addition of calls to action, a simplified navigation structure and, to increase visitor engagement, procedure, custom, and patient testimonial videos.
The result was almost immediate. Within 3 days of the redesign, unique visitors, number of sessions, page views, pages visited per session, and average session duration all rose significantly, while bounce rate (a measure of lack of interest) dropped by nearly 30%:
Because of the dynamic nature of the web and Google’s frequent updates to its algorithm, even the best, most highly optimized website will eventually require an update. That’s why ADM health partners receive a new website every 30 months (sooner if their DMD reveals issues prior to that).
The final case study explained how the decision to continue, modify, or terminate a given marketing tactic should be based solely on whether the tactic met or exceeded the practice’s required rate of return, also known in finance circles as it’s Hurdle Rate. As Bobrow put it, “It’s not a horse race: it’s a high jump. Any competitor who can jump over the bar is a winner.”
In support of this statement, Bobrow first presented how to calculate Return on Investment (ROI):
Return – Investment
Investment = How much spent per tactic/period
Return = Ave. Lifetime Value x # New Patients
He then proceeded to declare that the value of a patient is independent of its source. Often, people confuse value with the ease of converting a prospect into a patient.
Bobrow presented two scenarios. The first is someone who is in pain, and asks their friend “Is your dentist any good?” Owing to an affirmative response, this person calls the office, and schedules an appointment. The second scenario entails someone who finds the practice online and calls the office asking the price of a crown. While the second scenario does indeed require a different skill set (see the section above on Telephone Skills Coaching), the key takeaway here is that, once both individuals become your patient there is, on average, no difference between their value to the practice. This is why average patient lifetime value is the most reliable, and logically defensible, way to calculate Return.
Bobrow offered to share his AAPCO Formula Worksheet to help practices perform this average patient value calculation.
Ari then shared how those who manage multiple practices can also take control of their marketing with the DMD.
The two presenters summarized the benefits and payoffs of an integrated, measurable, and actionable dental marketing management platform. These included: flexibility, transparency, reliability, real-time reporting, and the DMD’s role as “early warning system,” by identifying trends related to: call conversion, paid search spend, and user experience, etc.
The presenters concluded by fielding attendee questions.
View The Complete Webcast Here