Measure your marketing
Whether you spend $100, $1000 or even $10,000 a month on your dental marketing, what’s the point if you don’t measure its success? How do you know what works and what doesn’t?
For example, when the local advertising you do for your practice or your Yellow Pages online advertising is up for renewal, you’ll be asking yourself the same question we all do – is this spend worthwhile?
The only way you can really answer that question is by:
1 Measuring the response from that particular spend
2 Calculating a cost per lead or new patient
3 Comparing that cost to your other marketing spend options
For example, at Connected Marketing, we’ve found that investing the time and money in organic SEO (search engine optimisation) is by far and away the best long-term cost per lead, compared to the return on many forms of advertising.
What’s organic SEO?
The highest ranked ‘results’ on search engine listings that aren’t pay-per-click ads
Where to spend your marketing $$$
Each different category of marketing spend – whether it’s your website, Yellow Pages, social media and Facebook, or advertising in the local newspaper – has its own unique purpose or use, pros and cons and, of course, ‘return’ on your spend, or what in the biz is called ROI (return on investment).
So how do you figure out the best way to spend your marketing budget to give you the maximum return of new and existing patients to your business? (This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it?)
The answer is:
It’s a continual process for 3 reasons:
1 Different options There are a myriad of options on which you can test your marketing spend, but few small businesses have the time or budget to do all of them all at once
2 Changing results The results from any given marketing choice will change. For example, the ROI on Yellow Pages or Facebook advertising will be different this month compared to this time last year
3 Integration effects The success of one marketing option you’ve chosen can be dependent on the other marketing channels you’ve invested in. What does this mean? If you choose radio advertising, this will rarely work well if your website isn’t great, or your Facebook advertising will be pointless if you aren’t posting to your Facebook page
But I don’t have time to measure!
So we know what you’re thinking: I spend my days looking after my patients and do my marketing at midnight. I don’t have time to measure my marketing spend.
Well, our response to you is that marketing is an investment.
As with your team members, the practice’s dental equipment and even your lease, you can’t afford to plough your money into something that isn’t working for your business.
If you’re juggling too many types of marketing balls, our advice is to spend less and measure more. You’re better off spending $1000 well than $2000 on things that don’t work, and the only way you can tell is by measuring the ROI of your marketing.
“What gets measured gets improved.”
Peter Drucker, ‘inventor of modern management’
Essential tools for measuring
1 Patient forms How did you find our practice? Online? Advertising? Facebook? A friend? Talk to your patients – new and returning. On your patient forms, tailor the tick boxes to the marketing that you actually do. Reception staff are key: if a patient ticks the Advertising box, you need your staff to say, “Oh, I saw you heard of us through an advertisement. Where did you see that?”
2 Website analytics A number of services can tell you how people get to your website – and how many – this month compared with last month. Google Analytics is free and you can look at as little or much as you like.
3 Reporting from companies you hire Some advertisers like Yellow Pages or AdWords suppliers can provide you with an ad report based on your spend.
4 Telephone systems that allow different incoming numbers for your practice So for a local ad or sponsorship, you can track how many phone calls come through that ad, and if that ad is paying for itself.
For a consistent, overall measure, you need to compare apples with apples – whether it’s cost per click or cost per call – and someone to pull all this information together (your practice manager or marketing specialist). Yes, there’s a cost that comes with measuring, but this leads to more informed decisions.
Want help to measure your marketing?
We have the know-how, so you can stop burning the midnight marketing candle! Contact Connected Marketing and find out exactly what’s working – and what’s not – for your business.