Marketing for the 21st Century Practice

Ever heard the old saying “Plan your work and work your plan!”

Seems easy enough; however, most dental practices don’t follow this crucial piece of advice. Most practices we work with either change their strategy monthly or don’t have a strategy at all.

You have to look at your marketing strategy the same way you would your own personal investment strategy. Look at the best options, diversify your investments, monitor them, then make good decisions.

This article is for any dentist. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, have been in practice for a while, or you’re in transition. You need to have a solid strategy in place to bring in new patients. If you’re thinking about it I can promise you the numerous dentists around you are thinking about it too.

Consider that:

  • 92% of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.
  • 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.
  • 50%+ of persons 12+ have listened to online radio in the past month.
  • 80% of non-referral based patients come from online research.
  • 93% of adults found it more convenient to find answers online.
  • 63% of adults use smartphones to go online.
  • 72% of internet users ages 30-49 were active on social media.
  • 47% of Americans say that Facebook is their No.1 influence for purchases.

All of this data adds up to a simple truth, a comprehensive marketing strategy is critical for any business in today’s media world.

Online: How do I Sell Myself and My Practice?

Consumers are confronted on a daily basis by pop-ads full of flash and no substance. This renders people numb to these gimmicks. To differentiate yourself keep your advertisements informative and simple. Online marketing is more about making yourself an expert and a resource rather than an advertiser. Pay Per Click ads are still important to your media mix but published articles on your website that focus on single-issue topics are most important. Your entire online presence should focus on people building trust in you and your practice. Make sure any ads you do link to reviews and testimonials. Publish a ton of content so when people have an issue they see you as the expert and contact you for help.

Offline: Does this Matter Anymore?

Building trust online is very important but very limited. You still need new patients and there are numerous people in your area that need a dentist but haven’t taken the time to search for one. Beat them to the punch and use intrusive mediums to remind them you are their local dentist. Direct mail if done correctly is a great source for local marketing. Online radio is a great avenue to be intrusive to people going through their daily routine. There are numerous others these two are just hot right now.

How should I put this together?

Start with your website, make it great and then put together a comprehensive strategy online and add in traditional as you build your presence out. Look at your marketing as an investment, not an expense and know some media is going to work better than others. If you want help getting started please feel free to reach out to me. Talking is free and hopefully, we can get you on the right track to developing your marketing strategy.

Ben Shaver
Lead Strategist & Consultant

Ben Shaver is a dental marketing consultant for Dental Inbound. He works with practices of all sizes.

His main focus is to develop strategies that provide congruency between traditional media sources and new media platforms.

You can email him at