The principle of getting free or low cost exposure in your local area is highly relevant to dental practices. There are numerous ways you can increase the profile of your practice, professionally and at low cost. Whether you are a bundoora dentist or have a practice in Townsville, this will increase your ‘brand awareness’ locally and will help improve the results from any formal local advertising you are doing, plus will remind your existing patients that you are still there and that they should attend their next appointment.
The following is a list of suggestions you may wish to consider for your practice:
To rent a billboard can cost upwards of $9,000 per month, yet many practices I see have window areas that are equivalent to Billboards in both size and position, but have nothing more that the doctors name on the door. Now, as with every aspect of your marketing, the signage chosen must reflect the kind of practice you want to be known as. I am not suggesting flashing neon signs with a moving stick man completing an extraction (of course, if your next practice is going to be in Las Vegas you may wish to consider this). Signage technology has developed greatly in recent years and there will be a signage solution that will both get you noticed and also reflect the level of professionalism that you want to be known for.
#2: Uniforms and Business Cards
In the course of a week, you and your team will go to the bank, get coffee, and generally interact in your local community. A uniform with your practice brand nice and bold embroidered on the front, will get noticed and will engage people in conversation regarding your practice.
Also, business cards are so ridiculously cheap these days, why not have some made for every member of staff.
When a member of your team is asked what they do for a living at a party or other social event, they can simply pass a business card across creating a chance for a well-qualified referred patient… instantly! Business cards are also a great moral booster and an excellent way of letting everyone in your team know they are valuable to you.
Sponsoring the Sydney Swans may not fall within your marketing budget, however sponsoring a local school team or kids group probably does. Usually the team is just looking for a new strip, which even with your logo on will not break the bank and makes you an instant friend of all of the parents. Of course, it is nice to help a local club or school achieve their dreams, so a real win-win situation.
#4: Chamber of Commerce
Getting involved with your local Chamber of Commerce and charities can work and keeps your profile foremost within your local community.
#5: Office Block VIP cards
If you have any large companies in your area you will find they will be more than happy to promote your practice to their employees. When approaching an organisation you should offer them something special, not necessarily a discount, although this is the obvious choice, but it could be a value added service such as priority appointments or a free hygiene kit. The main advantage to the employer is that you are local and this should be mentioned. By being local and offering flexibility with ‘their’ employee’s appointment times ensures less down time for the employer. More and more companies have their own internal communication and if asked, the company may be willing to promote this new staff facility on a group e-mail.
It is easy to create a little VIP card for each their employees and if the relationship proves successful, you might find yourself being asked to do a group presentation or being invited to social events.
#6: Regular Dental Column
Newspapers and magazines are usually desperate for interesting stories and columns. We churn through so much information these days that publications are constantly in need of more editorial to keep their publication from becoming nothing more that advertising.
If you approach your local rag and suggest that you will provide a regular and interesting dental column that will be of great interest to their readers, they might just agree. The column achieves several positive things. Firstly it is in effect free advertising, and secondly it raises your profile and makes you the ‘dental expert’ in your area. Finally, you can use the column to raise the awareness of procedures you want to do more of. It takes a little effort to write a regular column but the benefits are well worthwhile.
If you would like any help or advice with any of your marketing requirements, please get in touch.