As a dentist, your number one priority will always be patient care. And yet as a small business owner, you’re also tasked with accounting, human resources, insurance, property management, and marketing, just to keep the practice functioning. When you carry that many responsibilities, it’s easy to succumb to the siren’s call of a marketing company who promises to lighten your load.
Most of us take the use of dental marketing for granted, yet not terribly long ago it was considered taboo for a practice to publish even a yellow pages ad. Thankfully, we have evolved. With that evolution has come a fire hose of shiny objects, self-proclaimed dental marketing “gurus,” and an avalanche of bad advice. It’s no wonder so many dentists distrust the hundreds of marketing companies angling for just a sliver of this billion dollar annual market.
I believe in the power of an informed consumer. As an educator and a passionate marketer, I want to raise our industry’s expectations for success. I want every dentist to treat the marketing of their practice no differently than that of a Fortune 500 company.
I have spent over 30 years as a professional marketer and worked with thousands of practices. As the spouse of a dentist, I have also experienced the practice challenges most of you face on a daily basis. Marketing does not live in a bubble. It is impacted by your leadership and your practice culture. A global understanding of how marketing functions within the business as a whole is necessary to maximize your results.
This column will teach you the inner workings of the dental marketing industry. You’ll learn how to find and partner with an agency that can deliver on their promises. You’ll come to understand marketing funnels and flywheels, and the importance of addressing every stage of the patient lifecycle. You’ll discover new strategies and learn how to optimize existing ones.
You’ll start to demand transparency from your marketing partners, tying your investment to a tangible ROI. You’ll quickly see where to focus your efforts and what no longer deserves attention. You will gain confidence and control of your business.
I encourage you to follow this column and use the comments to share your experiences with your peers. Challenge yourself to view your marketing with an objective and critical eye. Ask questions and seek guidance in order to improve the outcome of your efforts. The impact will not only benefit your business financially, but will allow you to impact more lives as you reach more new patients.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Xaña Winans is the CEO and founder of Golden Proportions Marketing, a dental marketing company dedicated to the growth of dental practices throughout North America. Founded in 2001, her agency provides strategy driven, full service solutions including branding, internal marketing, advertising and digital marketing. Goal driven results are at the heart of everything she creates.
Her passion for constant and never ending improvement led her to develop Smart Market Dental, the first dental marketing software designed to tie individual marketing strategies to resulting patients. The ability to measure marketing ROI in real time holds her agency to a higher standard, driving continuous improvement of their work.
Xaña is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and lectures nationally on the topic of dental marketing. She publishes regularly in Dentistry Today and Dental Economics, and is a frequent guest on industry podcasts.