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Measure What Happens - Don’t Expect What You Don’t Inspect

To some degree, all Practices market themselves in some way.  This can range from quite sophisticated ‘systems’ utilising online and offline channels to patients or less hi-tech but still the best – referral marketing i.e. word of mouth.

There is a Practice in London which is reputed to spend a £100k on radio advertising – I would suggest there is only one reason they do this …. They have the results that shows it works!  Where the graph of cost (of marketing) v gross revenue keeps going up then keep spending, until operational issues limit delivery of the service (we could talk about productivity another time!)

However, you do it, record how patients find you and why they came back (did that reactivation email work?)  It’s much easier to invest in marketing when you have the data that tells you it will work.  Your Reception Team need to fully understand the why (we collect data) and wherefores’ (what we do with it).  ‘How did you first hear about us?’ is the key question.  Was it a social media post (with a link to a landing page on your website), that caught their eye and brought them to picking up the phone or writing an email? 

You need codes for each ‘Source’ and you need to use ‘Promotion Codes’ to monitor specific offers or initiatives.  Then you need to review them each month and ask yourself, ‘What worked and what didn’t?’  ‘Do I drop it or tweak it?’  But let’s make these conscious, hard-nosed decisions and be focused on finding what marketing system will deliver us the required number of patients (new and returning), every month. 

Marketing is a key element of the operations within the Practice and it must be imbedded in the Practice Manual.  Let us help you create a structured approach.

Blog post by Richard Pearce: Dentistry NI

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