By Luc Wade, Marketing Director at Hive Business

Few businesses and very few dental businesses are good at assessing their capabilities and identifying skill gaps. Why? It’s hard. I really hope you’ll be able to take away one of the five ideas below and try it out in your practice. If you want to do more, a Diagnostic Day is a good place to start.

1. Know your numbers
It’s just silly that many practices couldn’t tell you their new patient enquiry rate, treatment conversion rate or average patient value. it’s a fact that knowing them at the start of a growth programme will make a difference. You won’t know if you’re making the right decision otherwise.

For example, if you miscalculate your average patient value you’ll favour unproductive marketing campaigns and stop ones that were actually making a profit. If your competitors calculate this value accurately they’ll have more budget to outbid you and steal market share. Despite the heavy time resource, knowing your numbers is your most worthy marketing investment.

2. Be open about the direction of the business. Tell the team.
Simplify your goals down to six metrics. Share these KPIs so the whole team can see how they’re doing. Making this highly visible will help with morale. If you don’t have these systems in place you risk slowing down growth and looking at marketing as a series of one-off events.

3. Avoid one-off events
They negatively impact growth. They are essentially any marketing effort that lasts for a limited period and feel gimmicky. They display a lack of confidence. I find that practices which focus entirely on this type of marketing hurt growth because they force their teams to scramble around getting campaigns ready, launched and promoted, only to earn a return on that investment for a limited period.

This type of marketing investment, for instance on monthly promotional deals, isn’t scalable over time and you’re only as good as your last offer. To grow faster, focus more of your time on a blend of brand building and sales activation campaigns that are unaffected by time and won’t expire.

4. Love the bottom of the funnel
This is about loyalty and advocacy, including efforts to retain patients and generate more word of mouth referrals and increased patient value. Don’t hesitate to ask for testimonials and online reviews across all the digital channels available to you.

By spending more time on the bottom of the marketing funnel you’ll generate additional revenue from every new customer without extra advertising costs. This will allow you to spend more at the top of your funnel too, building market share and growing your business faster.

5. Don’t move slowly
This holds back so many practices. How quickly you make business decisions, get new initiatives live and test them is of critical importance to your commercial success. Slowness seems ingrained in many dental practices and it can be hard to change. Read up on the difference between managers and leaders if you feel stuck or give us a bell on 01872 300232 or email [email protected].