In the new dental economy, dentists operate businesses in intense competition for a smaller number of patients. Those who recognize the importance of promoting their practice strengths will gain the advantage and see their production and income multiply. As CEOs, dentists are ultimately responsible for protecting and enhancing the practice's brand -- which is essentially the image of the business and everything associated with it.
Determine what sets your practice apart from the competition. Before beginning marketing activities, you first have to determine what messages you're promoting and which characteristics will most successfully motivate your target audience. When these differentiators have been identified, the next step is to promote them. In short, you want to be known for something. Your team, your patients, and your entire community need to know what that something is.
Don't engage in expensive market research. Most dental practices can't justify the cost of market research. Instead, ask current patients why they chose you and what they like about your office. Since they actively interact with your "brand," surveying them will give you a clear picture of what to promote.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at www.levingroup.com/gp.
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