Create a Patient Portfolio

As a Dentist have you really put a lot of time and energy into the types of patients you want your dental marketing to bring in?

When I do an initial marketing consultation with a dentist this is a big part of what I’m trying to find out. The majority of the time most dentists tell me they just need new patients through the door and they don’t care who they are. I know this isn’t true so that’s why I started asking questions about patient profiles so I could build out their future portfolio.

I know I’ve said this numerous times before but you need to view your marketing consultant like you would your financial advisor. You are taking money and investing it into your business to make it grow. For your marketing to grow you need to identify opportunities by looking at who your current patients are and then deciding what patients you would like to bring in. So how do you go about this?

Take a look at the following scenarios:

1. Dentist A is a few years out of dental school and has paid down their student loans enough to buy into a practice. This practice currently focuses their marketing on phone books, local magazines, and print. Marketing funds are limited and the new doctor wants to bring more patients in.

This practice identifies that 75% of their patients are 55+ and have been regular patients for many years. When new patients come in it’s usually by word of mouth from these patients and the limited marketing they do.

This practice doesn’t need to invest in the phone book or newspaper. They need to focus on families. Getting young families through the door will help generate a new population of patients that use different procedures and can bring in a new revenue stream. In this scenario, the practice needs to change their marketing to one of the following: Adwords campaigns, local sponsorship opportunities, movie theaters, and direct mail. Once you have saturated one of those you should have enough money to invest in other marketing to gain more new patients. Ultimately if you want your portfolio to be more 50/50 then you need to invest your marketing towards the families and less to the aging population.

2. Dentist B is a partner in a larger dental practice and sees the number of new patients falling off each year. They have done a good amount of marketing through patient incentives, online marketing, and receive a lot of new patients through insurance. Their portfolio relies very heavy on the insurance patients and recall hygiene and referrals. They want more Cosmetic cases and elective procedures.

In their case they need to look more at bringing in a higher end patient. At this point they need to identify additional online opportunities as well as focus on high-end print magazines, direct mail, and go over specific demographics. Ever thought about bridal shows?  These are individuals who want to look their best on their big day and have been given a budget. This might be someone you would want in your patient portfolio.

In conclusion don’t concentrate so hard on what you have and getting more of it, look at what opportunities are available and the marketing you need to take advantage of those opportunities.

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