How to set realistic and achievable dental marketing goals

Successful dental practices establish clear short-term and long-term goals before establishing detailed and incremental plans to achieve those goals. Without clear goals, progress and success cannot be measured. What are your goals?

The aim of your marketing plan is to achieve the goals set by your business. Critical to your practice success is to have your business, financial, and marketing goals in alignment. The perfect scenario for practice success is when your marketing coach or consultant works in close collaboration with you.

Identifying your growth needs

The first thing to do is to identify your desired growth goals. Most dental practices fit within three specific growth models:

  1. Rapid Growth – This is generally for new practices, recently purchased practices, or practices that experience high turnover. The aim is to bring in a lot of new patients quickly.
  2. Sustained Growth – The majority of dental practices fit within this category. Growth is important, but not too fast. The goal is about steady, controlled growth.
  3. Patient Retention – This is for practices who are in the enviable position of not needing new patients and simply want to retain the patients they have.

Setting SMART goals

The key to successful planning is to set goals that are SMART:

  • Specific – Your goal needs to be well defined and be clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the practice.
  • Measurable – You need to be able to track whether your goal is being achieved.
  • Agreed Upon – There should be an agreement with the staff involved as to what your goal should be.
  • Realistic – Your goal must be achievable, with regards to the availability of resources, knowledge, and time.
  • Time-Based – Your goal should have an element of time, whether it be an established frequency (daily/weekly) or deadline (a certain date).

Example: SMART Goal

To get forty-five new patients by running a promotion for the months of June and July offering discounted check-ups for new patients.