Independent dental practices will face increasingly competitive marketing challenges after the pandemic is over, according to a benchmark study from DMscore. The data and marketing company expects dental service organizations (DSOs) with bigger marketing budgets to increase their marketing activity, driving these challenges.
“Our unique technology weighs key digital marketing factors and allows both small and large dental practices to see how effective their digital marketing efforts are,” said DMscore CEO Rand Schulman. “With this data, they can refocus their practice in a changing and competitive environment.”
The company lets dental practices calculate their own DMscores, which evaluate their marketing success, online. Independent practices should take key steps now to improve their marketing, Schulman said.
“As practices reopen post-COVID, they can use DMscore to target their marketing mix, which may include paid search, SEO, and digital directory presence,” he said.
Like a FICO Score, the company said, DMscores are constantly changing based on new data.
“Dentists may want to emphasize new realities like ‘touch-less dentistry’ in a post-COVID world,” Schulman said. “What worked last year won’t work this year.”
“The growth of the DSO segment is outpacing that of the solo practitioner, and they continue to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions,” said Brian Colao, director of Dykema Law’s Dental Service Organizations Industry Group.
However, Colao said, “digital is becoming more critical for both DSOs and individual practices, requiring appropriate and effective post-COVID-19 communications, and knowing your DMscore can help you compete and the actions you take.”
The DMscore study found that large networks are on average 20 times more effective in reaching local markets, but individual practices can still compete. DMscore ranks the marketing footprint of practices, compares them against their local competitors, and provides recommendations to improve their marketing strategies.
Also according to the study, only 1.5% of individual practices have a DMscore of 70 or higher out of 100. Of practices with at least 15 locations, 15% have DMscores of 70. Organizations with more than 25 offices fare best, with 38% scoring better than 70.