You have probably heard many people tell you that your practice should focus on inbound marketing such as optimizing your website and driving traffic through social media. This is true. However, it is only half the story. Becoming a competitive force in your dental market does not mean giving-up tried-and-true marketing techniques such as outbound marketing.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Simply, outbound marketing is when your practice advertises to the community as a whole in search of potential customers. You are probably most familiar with this type of marketing. Examples include television commercials, newspaper/magazine advertisements, and radio advertisements. Opponents of this technique, say that outbound marketing can be expensive with a low return on investment and a lack precise audience targeting. However, a balance of outbound and inbound marketing will make your strategies more effective.
Although outbound marketing can be more expensive than inbound marketing, it offers a greater exposure to your surrounding community. A well-known community office may get more referrals, inquiries, and word of mouth advertising. By the same token, your office stands to benefit more from outbound marketing than a typical new business. Why? A highly desirable service such as a dental work can earn a high profit from an investment in outbound marketing (Bullseye Media). Lastly, another hesitation that offices may have is the limited use of niche targeting. Surprisingly in some instances, targeting a community rather than a niche can increase the brand awareness of your office in the area.
When customers first see your business you do not want them to think…
Outbound marketing allows your office to reach more customers at one time. For example, a billboard on a busy highway may attract more traffic than a Facebook ad (no pun intended) because more people will probably drive past the billboard than encountering your advertisement on Facebook. Even though many drivers on the highway are not in the market for a new dentist, they will be exposed to your name and unique capabilities. This enhances your brand by priming potential patients. Thus, increasing brand recalls the next time they see your office or advertisement.
In the same fashion, if your office has more brand awareness compared to competing offices, then customers may develop a heuristic, or a rule-of-thumb, around selecting your office. For example, if a community member previously targeted by outbound marketing has a toothache, they may refer to their ‘dentist that are trustworthy in town’ heuristic and visit your office first. Now wouldn’t that be great?!
Although an advantage of inbound marketing is its disruptive nature, it can also become a communication barrier. Outbound marketing uses a familiar medium such as television and print advertisements. At Lucent Spot Marketing we have increased our clients’ patients bottom line with unique yet familiar outbound marketing strategies. The advantage is that the message will seamlessly reach the audience without a button click or navigation interruptions. This can create a more positive attitude toward your product, result in higher views, and increase new patients.
So, should you give-up or decrease your inbound marketing efforts? No! Just remember that outbound marketing needs just as much attention as inbound marketing does. In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, it can be easy to become caught-up in only digital advertisements and social media feeds. All things considered, an effective marketing strategy needs balance, purposeful choices, and effective implementation.