Understanding how much to invest in your dental marketing budget for your practice is not as hard as you think. Dentists go to school to be dentists. We often hear dentists say that they don’t understand marketing and don’t know what they need to invest in. So, we constantly see dentists take the shotgun approach – meaning they take their money and invest it in a lot of marketing mediums and not focus on a few.
How much should you invest in your dental marketing budget?
When we work with dentists we tell them that a great dental marketing budget should be between5% and 7% of gross revenue (collections). However, some marketing percentages can vary depending on your desired growth strategy:
- Stability: between 2% and 3%
- Moderate growth: between 4% and 5%
- Aggressive growth: between 5% and 7%
If you are looking to stay the same then investing 2-3% in your dental marketing budget might be a good option for you. But, keep in mind that you will lose a certain percentage of your patients. Patients move, go to another competitor, change insurance plans, pass away, etc. So, it is important to remember that you have to replace those patients. That 2—3% can keep you on a plateau. If your practice starts to your income or new patient number diminish, then you might want to invest more.
What about the competition?
Today, competition is intense in dentistry. It almost seems like there are a lot more dentists than patients. Therefore, it is vital for dentists to invest in marketing in order to promote their practice. And, it is important to take your competition into consideration as well. The competition for new patients depends on where your clinic is located. Therefore, you will need to adjust your dental marketing budget percentage depending on the degree of competition around your clinic. If competition is high and you’re in an area where there are a lot of dentists then you should probably add 2% to your marketing budget.
However, if your schedule is always full and you feel you don’t have the capacity to see more patients, then you can decrease your dental marketing budget and focus on one or two areas of marketing. We are not saying that you should stop your marketing. You always need to market your practice! And, we never tell dentists to turn away new patients.
In this day in age, you can’t rely on word of mouth. While referrals are important, new patient referrals should be 30-40% of your total new patients. The rest should come from marketing. We find that the most successful dentists are those who have a marketing budget of 5-7%. Remember, always keep marketing.
How much do you invest in your marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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