Module 1: Introduction

Module 1: Introduction

Introduction – Dental marketing is a unique craft. It takes consistent effort, a strategic marketing plan, branding, and a successful advertising campaign specific to your practice.


a. Intro to Marketing, Branding and Advertising


Marketing is a process that educates your potential patients as to why they should choose your dental practice over your competitors. According to the Father of Guerrilla Marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson, “Marketing is Everything.” From the way your staff greets your patients to how your practice appears online, every aspect plays a role into how your practice is perceived. This will give your prospective patients the confidence that your dental practice is the right fit for them.


There are 4 Ps to marketing-- Product (Services), Place, Price, and Promotion.

Product (Services): Your dental office needs to clearly identify the products and services you offer. Do not assume that your patients have heard of the services you offer. For example, a patient may not know the difference between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics. It is your role to educate them; we will discuss further through the course of this guide.

Place: Research the demographics, psychographics, and annual income of the people in the surrounding areas to ensure that you can reach them.


Price: Most of your patients are fully insured. For those that are not insured, we recommend offering various self-pay options.

Promotion: It is always important to get a continuous flow of new patients; do so by putting out a new patient special. It could be a basic checkup and cleaning for a discounted rate. Throw in a free branded toothbrush to remind your patients of your practice every time they brush their teeth. Marketing, no matter how minuscule, makes an impact on potential clients.

Marketing Exercises


Think of every patient interaction and list them out:

What products and services does your dental practice offer?

Where are you located?

What insurances do you accept; what are your self-pay options:

What special can you offer to new patients:


Scott Bedburry’s book, A New Brand World, states, “Plato believed that behind and above and beneath everything concrete we experience in our daily lives is the idea of that thing, which gives the thing lasting, even everlasting, meaning.”

Your dental practice’s brand sets the standard for your reputation. If you concentrate on a specific market, you will be more successful than those who do not. We’ll explain further when we discuss your practice’s target market. Branding can be established through your logo, website, social media posts, and digital advertising. It is key to keep a consistent image.

In a commoditized economy, what differentiates your practice from your competitor? The goal is to build enough brand equity that the patient has a clear choice of dentist.


Branding Exercises


Do you have a logo? If so, does it represent your brand?

What is your tag line?

What is your company’s mission statement?

If your brand were a celebrity, who would he or she be?

What makes your practice different and better than those of their competitors?

What do people think when they’re at your practice?

What is your brand’s promise?

What is a promotional item that brands your company?


Advertising is an announcement to attract patients to your practice. It’s also an opportunity to build name recognition or emendate a preconceived belief of your brand. If your practice is new, establish the practice’s brand identity. If your practice is growing, demonstrate what makes your practice better than those of your competitors. Lastly, if you’re established, remind people why you are the best dental practice in the area.


Advertising Exercises

What is the objective in your advertising campaign?

What are your key performance indicators e.g. website unique visitors, social media engagement, contact form inquiries, phone calls, appointments, and walk-ins?

Come up with an advertising campaign that would appeal to your target market. Be Creative! Use imagery, sound, and video.

What is your advertising budget?

Where will you advertise?

Test the efficiency of your advertisement and its placement. Sometimes you might have the right ad, but it’s posted on the wrong social network. 

b. Target Market:    

Your target market is a pinpointed group of individuals that align with your products and services. These individuals can be partitioned by their demographics and psychographics.

Target Market Exercises

Describe your ideal patient:


·      Age

·      Gender

·      Ethnicity

·      Education

·      Household Income

·      Location


·      Attitudes

·      Aspirations

·      Lifestyle

·      Values

·      Hobbies

c. The Importance of your online presence

Before the internet, marketing meant brand awareness. Advertising was deployed through traditional media such as tv, radio, and print. Targeted messaging was implemented through direct mail and cold calling. Living in a digital age, everything has changed. Patients are more tech-savvy and inquisitive. Patients are hungry for information in which can be accessed in the click of a finger.

As an independent dental practice, you’re now responsible for your online presence. This includes, but not limited to: website, social media, online reviews, blogs, SEO, digital marketing, and emails.

As Constant Contact said, “Social Media Marketing is building your social network fans, followers, and connections using relevant and interesting content that is shared, allowing you to reach and engage more people and drive more business.”

As reported by leading authority on inbound marketing, Hubspot, “Inbound marketing is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant.” Through a premeditated website landing page strategy, you can educate your patients on your services and have them book an appointment.

With a well-designed strategy, your online presence should create a brand that your patients trust.