Below is the book foreword written by Dr. Phillip Palmer CEO Prime Practice.
If you had asked dentists in the graduating classes of 1970, 1980, or 1990 what marketing they were doing for their practices, the answers would have been very short.
They might have placed an ad in the Yellow Pages. There might have been a sign hanging down from the awning in front of their strip-shopping practice. There could have been a brass plate if they were in a professional building.
But that would have been it…at the most.
Marketing was actually even frowned upon. It was not only seen as the last bastion for dentists who couldn’t get patients any other way, but also deemed inappropriate by the dental authorities.
The world of dentistry has changed.
The world of dentistry has changed a lot in the past few decades.
Those years have coincided with:
- The creation and growth of the Internet.
- An increase in the number of dental schools.
- An overcrowded marketplace, with most members of the dental profession thinking that there are too many dentists in practice.
- A rise in corporate dentistry, creating a whole new market of competition – one that is more able to cut its costs, especially in marketing. Many of the corporate entities in the dentistry business are owned by insurance companies. These companies market directly to their members…who just happen to be your patients.
All of these factors have changed the world of dentistry as we knew it, especially when it comes to marketing.
The overcrowded marketplace and rise in corporate dentistry mean that new practices are fighting hard to attract patients. It is no longer a matter of just opening the doors and waiting for the patients to find us.
The dental marketing shift.
Luckily for new practices (and older practices willing to adapt to changing technologies), there has been a simultaneous shift to the Internet when it comes to management of many aspects of business, especially marketing. This has meant that, provided a dentist can find his way in the world of digital marketing (navigating website design, pay per click advertising, search engine optimisation, blogs, forums, and algorithms), it is possible to establish a successful practice – even in a crowded marketplace.
However, being knowledgeable in the ways of digital marketing is a full-time job in itself, with rules constantly changing and a unique skill set required. The challenge of staying on top of this has become more and more sophisticated and is increasingly the realm of digital marketing specialists.
In my thirty-five years as a dentist, and more recently as Chairman of Prime Practice P/L, I have worked with many clients whose practices have benefited greatly from working with marketing companies that understand their needs and goals. I have also seen what can happen when a practice doesn’t pay enough attention to what is now a vital part of running a dental business.
The importance of having a dental marketing strategy.
As the marketplace becomes more saturated, dental practices need to be proactive about having marketing strategies that not only make them stand out from the crowd, but also increase their patient-base and retention rates. Knowing who your market is, what they are reading, and which social media sites they are visiting is central to any marketing campaign. If you’re putting out the right message, but it isn’t reaching your audience, then the effort and time spent in crafting that message is wasted.
Conversely, if your audience is hearing the wrong message, that can have a detrimental effect on your business’s success. Knowing how to market, and to whom, is an integral part of running a successful, profitable practice in today’s dental industry.
Why you should read ‘Fully Booked’ by Carolyn S Dean
I can thoroughly recommend ‘Fully Booked’ by Carolyn S Dean to any dentists who want to get to grips with their dental marketing and understand the essential elements required to promote their practice in the most effective manner.
In my experience of working with Carolyn and recommending her services to Prime Practice clients, I have found her to be an ethical, knowledgeable, and excellent consultant who specialises in dental marketing.
The steps outlined in the chapters to come shine a light on topics such as marketing touch points, practice branding, internet marketing, blogging and all the different types of internal and external marketing needed for a dental practice operating in today’s competitive environment.
Using this knowledge and following Carolyn’s advice will enable you to raise your business above the bar, increase your patient-base and stay ahead of your competition.
Whether you wish to outsource your marketing activities or improve them within your practice, arm yourself with the expert guidance in ‘Fully Booked’ and follow the steps to dental marketing success.
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Dr. Phillip Palmer ran a successful dental practice in the Sydney CBD for 34 years.
He has been involved in teaching dental practice management since 1995 and he is Chairman of Prime Practice Australia P/L.
Through Prime Practice, he has helped thousands of dentists to reach their goals, increase their income, and enjoy their practices more. He has lectured around the world on practice management topics and has a deep understanding of all the different management, financial and professional issues that face dentists. He is regarded as Australia’s leading expert in the business of dentistry.