I am always really happy to get to know dental practice owners or managers who are financially conscious. They always know how much their income is, how much they spend on materials, dental labs, human resources, or marketing. But I often get asked how much they should ideally spend on marketing in order to generate just the right number of new leads for the clinic. I do strongly believe that this is somewhere between 5% and 10% of the total expenses.

The more I spend, the more patients I will get. Or not?

You may spend fortunes or very little on your marketing activity. And you can do both right or wrong.

Obviously, you will need to seek ways to figure out how you can keep your expenses at a relatively low level while still getting the results your practice needs. This may be to increase the number of new patient enquiries, to make more locals recognize your brand, or to generate more income in general.

Marketing has always been more than just managing advertisements, but for a long time, ads were the only way to help you convey a message to possible new customers. Offline billboards, magazine ads, online banners were all popular amongst private health clinic owners but were (and still are) pretty pricey and not always effective.

Nowadays, social media offers a range of possibilities for you to upgrade your marketing game. If you’d like to use it right, you’ll have to invest. But this time, not money.

Keep telling your story!

Well, the good news is that an effective marketing activity does not require a major marketing budget. The treatments your clinic provides are based on the trust that forms between your dentists and patients. You can strengthen this trust by always communicating in a humble and honest way, being empathetic, open-minded, and ready and willing to interact with your existing and future patients.

I can’t even compare how much more powerful a cheerful photo can be of your team having a morning coffee than a photoshopped stock image of a perfectly beautiful lady biting into an apple. Try to look for opportunities to bring your patients closer to your team. A funny story, or a pic of a team-building gaming night may not be as perfect ad a professionally created advertisement. But those little imperfections will make your team likeable, relatable recognizable for your client base.

Have your own marketing ambassadors!

Today, traditional advertisements face a great challenge. Those typical ’too good to be true’ slogans can easily be debunked if you check out the customer reviews of Google or Facebook. More and more decisions are being made based on patient reviews. If a dental clinic with a great team and excellent clinicians can also invests some energy in online and offline word of mouth marketing, success is almost always guaranteed. Involving satisfied patients in your marketing strategy and make them your ’smile ambassadors’. Nothing can beat the credibility of an honest and truly positive patient review. And if that’s not enough reason – it is basically free for you.

Máté Zoltán