By Sarah Woods, Core Dental Solutions
Recently, I was on a dental forum and a dentist posted that he was looking for some help with his marketing. In the thread, a disgruntled dentist stated, “Marketing consultants are the worst, they will promise the moon, but leave you with crap.” I was taken aback by his comment, and was even a little insulted. However, I wasn’t surprised by his point of view — measuring marketing return on investment (ROI) properly hasn’t been clearly defined to many dentists. I’ve been in practices where their only marketing ROI measurements were monthly production or the number of new patients that come into a practice every month. These are the absolute worst ways to measure whether a dentist’s marketing efforts are working. Many factors outside of marketing affect this data. For instance: Was the prospect’s call answered? Did the team member use proper sales techniques to solidify that the patient would be seen in the office? Was the prospect scheduled within 24 to 48 hours?
Understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs) and the life cycle of marketing are both vital to accurately determine how effectively your practice is achieving its marketing goals.
Data from KPIs should be collected monthly and include:
- Sales revenue: again, many factors outside of marketing can affect this data
- Cost-per-lead: cost of marketing campaign and the production from each lead of the campaign
- Traffic-to-lead ratio: how much traffic is going to your website, social media and other marketing tactics, and how many calls from each
- Lead-to-customer ratio: how many calls turned into patients
- Number of calls (leads): the number of calls generated from marketing efforts
- Patient retention percentage: patients deactivated of total active patients
- Patient reactivation: how many patients were reactivated
- New patient source: this is VERY important and must be tracked accurately!
Understanding how to accurately measure whether your marketing is working will help when creating and adhering to your overall marketing strategy. These numbers will determine which marketing tactics are working and which are just a waste of money!
Sarah Woods is a marketing consultant and president of Core Dental Solutions, a full-service dental marketing agency that provides digital, traditional and inbound marketing to dental practice owners meeting them where they are in their life cycle. They approach dental practice marketing with a “holistic” mindset. Rather than incorporating “set-and-forget” marketing tactics to generate revenue and address shortfalls, they turn a dental practice into a well-oiled machine. Sarah can be reached at Sarah@CoreDentalSolutions.com.