Making a significant technology investment in your dental practice is a critical decision; and one that can provide many advantages including better patient care, operational efficiencies, and a competitive edge. This is no small investment, and yet some practices acquire these technologies and either market them poorly or don’t market at all. This always struck me as odd, because buying the technology alone will not generate revenue or create a differentiator in the marketplace. Here’s what I mean. Apple did not market the iPad when the iPad was launched. There were teasers, leaks, and product reviews for up to 18 months before the iPad was released. Why? Because Apple recognized that if it marketed the iPad when it launched the iPad, it would already be behind the ball.
The same for your new technology and equipment. Here are 4 simple and cost-efficient ways to immediately market your new technology and equipment without breaking the bank.
1. Pre-Launch Awareness. Build a pre-launch awareness campaign for your existing patients. If you are a single practitioner with 1,000 patients, a group practice with 25,000, or a large DSO with 200,000 patients, every single patient needs to know about your technology. Remember, it’s cheaper and more efficient to market your services to your existing clients. You can do this via in-office announcements, email marketing, staff educating their patients about what’s to come, and distributing your campaign on your digital properties. Since frequency is the key success of any marketing program, start as early as possible, before you actually acquire the technology to raise awareness. Creativity is another essential ingredient to successful marketing and starting earlier will give you enough time to ensure proper messaging is developed correctly.
2. Budgeting. Ensure that you develop a budget that meets your campaign ambitions head-on. Going back to the Apple example, the company certainly would not have been successful if it launched the iPad without a marketing budget, correct? Now, marry that budget to your plans.
3. Train your staff to talk to your patients about the new technology and what it will mean to their patients. Staff education is vital in this case because it provides you with a “sales team” to help distribute your message. Don’t leave it to your staff to figure this out; training provides them with the right key marketing messages that will help create buzz before and after the acquisition of your technology.
4. Launch! Have a party, celebration, or “Grand Reopening” and invite all of your existing patients, influential patients, and community influencers such as the mayor, city council, chamber of commerce, and the local newspapers. Don’t disregard the local newspaper: they have websites and social media pages that can share your event with their followers, many of whom are local.
Marketing is a critical component of your dental practice in any business-lifecycle, but even more critical when you have an investment in technology. Remember, the odds of succeeding in marketing your practices are only as good as the constant drumbeat you create about your practice. Make them loud. Make them frequent. Make them smart.
About the Author: Abe Kasbo is CEO of Verasoni Worldwide, an integrated marketing communications firm. Learn more by visiting verasoni.com.