Many Doctors and front office staff may not know the difference between dental marketing and dental advertising. Do you? Some may be confused regarding the two terms. Without proper knowledge of the difference, dental practices (including yours) could be missing out on a host of valuable opportunities to attract, retain, and treat new patients.
The Dental Marketing – Dental Advertising Difference
Dental advertising is like renting an apartment and dental marketing is like owning a home.
Before you stop reading thinking I must be off my rocker, here’s how it breaks down. A house and an apartment both provide shelter, which is a fundamental human need. Likewise, dental marketing and dental advertising both provide new patients, a fundamental practice need. So what’s the difference?
An apartment, unlike a house, is a quick solution to finding shelter. It doesn’t take very much to get started. Often times a security deposit and first and last months rent is all you need and your off to the races. An apartment will quickly satisfied your need for shelter and will continue to do so as long as you keep paying the rent. You often can “try” (short month lease) apartment living and if you are not satisfied, stop paying rent and move on to another apartment and so on and so forth all while continually fulfilling that need for shelter.
Owning a house, on the other hand, is different. It still provides shelter. However, owning a home requires a much larger down payment. Your commitment, as well, is much larger. You’ll have regular upkeep, maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and investments. You won’t be able to just walk away without ramifications. But here’s the difference; you own your home. You have choices when it comes to paint color, design, remodels etc. But perhaps most importantly, from day one you start to accumulate wealth, long-term value, and even equity.
Dental advertising is like your apartment. It provides quick fulfillment of a vital need. Your basic need for patients is almost always filled to at least some degree (as long as you are using known proven advertising mediums). Likewise, you can always try different advertising options – there’s a ton of them. You can take advantage of trial offers or special one-time pricing…see if it works…if it doesn’t you can simply move on to another apartment. Keep in mind one big caveat: once you stop paying the bill – you stop gaining exposure – stop gaining new patients – until you find another apartment.
Dental marketing is more like owning your home. Building an effective marketing infrastructure takes an investment and a larger commitment, but the end result is equity, value, and sustainability. Brand equity, free ongoing patient and social driven advertising, organic search results, word of mouth, brand awareness, and an internal culture of marketing. While this ideal practice is not built in the short-term, building it will lead to continued equity and wealth accumulation.
Simply put: Dental advertising is a single piece of a successful dental marketing strategy. But advertising alone will not lead to long-term, equity-rich wealth accumulation (patient loyalty and referrals) that your practice should be seeking. Likewise, advertising alone will always require more and more money all while never accumulating a significant sustainable value.
You have to find shelter. You have to advertise. However, to take your practice to the next level you’ll want to invest in a more complete dental marketing solution. One that not only drives new patients and appointments to your practice, but one that builds long-term sustainable relationships. This requires a dental marketing plan and a “real estate agent” (practice coach) who can show you the ropes.
The SmartPractice Difference
For more than 40 years, SmartPractice has been committed to effective dental marketing solutions. Our award-winning dental marketing services offer you advice, products and services to market your dental practice for the long-term. The roof may need some work, the faucet may leak, but after our knowledge and friendly SmartPractice dental marketing consultants work with your practice to implement a successful dental marketing strategy, your practice will begin to thrive and accumulate that much sought after wealth.
Get started today by contacting one of our dental marketing consultants for a FREE consultation. Call 800.522.0800 or fill out the form below.
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