Your external marketing is directed at prospective new patients who do not know you. You need, therefore, to create a consistent marketing message for use in your external communications that takes this into account.
It starts with knowing the wants, fears, problems, and needs of your target market and ends with crafting a message that speaks to those issues in a compelling and believable way. The result is an irresistible hook that makes your prospect want to know more.
Many practices are confused about their marketing message. Some think it’s their slogan and others think it’s a regurgitation of all their awards and how long they’ve been in business. Still others think it’s their vision and mission statement. It’s none of the above.
The biggest marketing message mistake that practices make is talking about themselves and not about their patients.
Your marketing message is what grabs your ideal patient’s attention, tells them how you can solve their problem, why they should trust you, and why they should choose to come to your practice over and above any and all other choices they might have.
The steps to go through are as follows:
1. Identify your target market
The first step starts out by asking, ‘Who is my target market?’ Refer back to your ideal patient profile. Your marketing message needs to be written to this target demographic.
2. Identify the problems your target market experiences
Ask yourself, ‘What problem does my target market have and how does it make them feel?’
You need to understand the experiences of your patients to identify their problems and the pain and suffering they feel as a result of those problems. What does your ideal patient want from a dentist? What do they care about? What do they worry about? What is stopping them from coming to a dentist on a regular basis?
Remember the old saying, ‘People don’t care about you until they know you care’. Making it your mission to identify your market’s concerns tells them that you understand and empathise with them.
3. Present your services to your market’s problem
Ask yourself, ‘What do I offer that solves the problems of my ideal patient?’
It is very tempting to talk about your services, e.g. teeth whitening, crowns, etc. But you need to present your practice in terms of solving people’s problems.
4. Identify the benefits of your services
Now, identify all the benefits of your services and how those benefits could impact your ideal patient.
5. Explain what makes you different from your competitors
Ask yourself, ‘How am I different from my competitors?’
Potential patients are looking for you to communicate your differences. And those differences need to have perceived value to the prospect. They need to be things they care about.
Do this in such a way as to explain what you stand for and what you can do rather than a direct statement, such as ‘We are better than 123 Dental because…’
Need help developing a winning marketing message for your dental practice?
This article is an extract from ‘Fully Booked – Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book’. Find out more or buy the book here.
Carolyn Dean is the author of ‘Fully booked – Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book’ and is the managing director at My Dental Marketing. Carolyn is a widely known seminar speaker and dental marketing consultant working with over twenty-five years’ experience in sales and marketing, working with some of the largest global IT organisations.