Before we even begin: did you do your homework? If not go back to Dental Marketing from scratch part1. Doing your dental marketing homework and applying the principles you learn in these blog entries will greatly increase your chance for success.
Last time we talk about dental marketing attributes that best resonate with your customers. We learned that price, technology and distance are the three major (not only) marketing attributes to focus on. Hold on there cowboy, you’re not quite ready to go buy those 5000 postcards just yet. We are going start to go more in depth with each one of these dental marketing attributes and discover the truth behind effective dental marketing. Let’s get started!
Sidebar: This is still important
Before we dive into the top dental marketing attribute (price) it is important to remember that regional, geographical and demographic differences can and will apply to each of these. These principles are in no way your silver bullet, but dental marketing principles you should apply to every campaign. Ok, let’s get started, for real this time.
Dental Marketing: Price vs Perceived Price
Price is one of the most commonly misunderstood principles of dental marketing. Many doctors avoid advertising any kind of price, or they assume price refers to low price, as in cheap and unnecessarily advertis
e $29 x-rays or Free exam. Are you guilty of this? You might be shaking your head right now…don’t worry, we can help you. When we talk about price I will always refer to perceived price. Perceived price is the price of dental services relative to the market price of those same services.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say I get a acquisition mailer from my dentist in Phoenix, Arizona (and yes the weather is beautiful right now). He advertises among other things $799 implant. Now, would you say that is cheap? Is that a value to potential patients? Would patients call off that ad? Some of you reading this will say, “that’s so expensive!”, other would say that price is spot on, and a few might even say, “that’s way too cheap” (Manhattan, NY for example)
It’s hard to tell whether or not the advertised price would be effective without first also knowing that other dentists within my geographic area advertise $999 for a dental implant. The perception is then that by switching to the advertised dentist I would save $200. Sounds like a great deal! This dentists has obviously done his homework, he understands the market price for dental services within his area and advertises below that price to create perceived value.
Here is a perfect example of 4 different dental offices advertising a common service all clamoring for my business. Notice how each are within a perceived price range. Although if I had to choose…$19 sounds pretty good to me. This is why doing your homework is important. Know your competition as well as you know yourself.
Sidebar: This one is really relevant
Not all patients will make the decision to go to a new dentists based on price. Studies show it is about 50/50. For those 50% that will make the decision based primarily on price, these principles are critical (Note: A lot of dads and families fall into this category.)
It’s also important to note that if other dentists within your geographic area are not advertising price for implants at all, then there is no perceived market price. This means that you could say $1000 or Free and it would make no difference to potential patients because they don’t have a benchmark to match it against. Choose commonly needed dental services that have a known market price to avoid missing the mark completely.
Introspection: Do this often
Now that we got that out of the way, go back through your advertisements from the past 6 months or year even, what services are you offering? do other dental offices in your area also advertise this service? Compare prices. How does your practice compare in terms of perceived price/value.
Homework: Competitors Challenge
You need to start collecting other dental offices adverts. Have you, your staff and even your best patients if willing, to start collecting every dental mailer or adverts they see. Note the prices for services and plan your adverts accordingly.
Next time we will dive more in depth on the second top dental marketing attribute: Technology – you’re doing it wrong.