dental marketing case study

“What are you working on?”

These are the words that started our dental marketing agency. I was in a chair at Dr. John Barroso’s office waiting for my annual exam and working on a digital marketing strategy for a Fortune 300 company on my laptop.   He noticed my work while washing his hands behind me. His practice had been […]

These are the words that started our dental marketing agency.

I was in a chair at Dr. John Barroso’s office waiting for my annual exam and working on a digital marketing strategy for a Fortune 300 company on my laptop.  

He noticed my work while washing his hands behind me. His practice had been struggling for the last few years and he was starting to get concerned about the future of his practice, and all the people it supported.

Over the previous few years, he watched his New Patient number steadily decline down to an average of 15 new patients a month. Dr. Barroso was an “old school guy” who had been avoiding digital marketing for a long time.

legacy dental texas client

After we talked about what I was working on for a bit, our discussion changed on how the dental market was shifting:

  • Large corporations with big marketing budgets had been entering the market
  • His new customer acquisition had fallen to under 15 patients a month
  • Customers were moving away from traditional marketing such as newspapers and Yellow Pages™
  • Profits were falling

After understanding his struggle, I gave him a few pointers on how digital marketing works at big companies:

  • They segment customers by point of need and tailor marketing messages to each of them
  • They track and measures their advertising dollars
  • They take a multi-channel approach including Facebook, Google, Yelp, and other Internet resources to research their target customers

This conversation led to other conversations… and after some time later, Dr. Barroso became the company’s first client!

Let’s Start With The Results

If you are reading this page, you are likely interested in growing your practice, perhaps even hiring a dental marketing agency.

What does growing your practice mean? In our world, it means converting marketing efforts into actual results.

At Pain-Free Dental Marketing, we define results as comprehensive exams or D0150s.

So before we dive into this case study, let’s take a look at how John’s practice was doing before we started working with him on January 2015, and how it has grown since then:

New Patients

You may be asking yourself, “What did you do, exactly, to get these results?”

The answer is simple, yet complex. In essence, we applied the same marketing principle I learned when I worked at bigger companies:

Champion Challenger Marketing Model

The Champion Challenger Marketing Model (CCMM) is the idea of taking the current ad or campaign as the “Champion” then spawning off “Challengers” in an attempt to beat the current champion.

If a challenger does eventually outperform the champion, that challenger then becomes the new champion and new challengers are then created.

Rinse and repeat.

The CCMM strategy takes the guesswork and gambling out of dental marketing and makes it a numbers game.

As you can see, it is a simple concept.  What makes it complex is being able to define what “winning” is and how to measure it. If you can’t properly track the results, you can’t crown a new champion with confidence.

Now that we have the big picture framework in mind, let’s talk about some specific things about doing dental marketing for Legacy Dental Texas (LDT) that made a big difference for Dr. Barroso and that every practice needs to understand. Starting with this:

Every Practice Has A Geo “Footprint”: You Need To Learn And Embrace Yours.

When we got started, the common advice in the dental marketing space was that most practices draw patients from a 3-5 mi radius around the practice and that as a marketer, that is where you should target your advertising.

But once we dug into the practice data, we realized that for LDT, that was not the case at all. Dr. Barroso has been in practice for 25+ years and had a huge area of patient influence:

legacy dental texas patient map

To us, this was proof that the “conventional wisdom” or “popular advice” in our industry wasn’t always accurate. By changing the areas we were targeting for Dr. Barroso, we were able to reach a much larger number of perspective patients.

On top of that, by following the data and targeting areas he was already successfully attracting patients from, it made our marketing efforts more effective our and our dollars went further.

Once we had our patient maps in hand, we looked at the areas where he had a large concentration of patients and wanted to understand what unique characteristics those “pockets” had in common.

The hypothesis being that, every dentist appeals to a certain type of patient and as such, we needed to understand what Dr. Barroso’s patients were like from a demographic standpoint and what they cared about. This leads us to our next tip:

Know Your Existing Patients And What They Care About

We started by surveying all the existing patients.

  • Why did they choose Legacy Dental?
  • What do they care the most about when choosing a dentist?
  • What features did they like having on the website? And much more.

We also partnered with some survey companies to get similar answers around those “pockets of success” we found when mapping the existing patients. Putting those two data sets together, along with some census and demographic research, this painted a really clear picture of who the ideal patients were for John’s practice and how we could reach out and talk to them.

patient research survey

Once we knew where to target, what to say and how to determine what is working, getting new patients to Legacy Dental became a lot easier.

At this point, you may be thinking…

I can do this on my own”

Yes, you can, but you won’t. Not because you are not capable of it, but because you don’t have time. We do. There is a reason why a dental marketing agency can be built around the job. And even if you did have some spare time, your focus should be on training and growing as a dentist, not on being a marketer. Your passion is dentistry, not marketing.

Having said that, you shouldn’t ignore marketing either. Avoiding marketing until your practice is starting to decline is a big mistake and one that is hard to recover from.

Would you recommend your patients with identified tooth decay hold off on treatment until the pain can not be tolerated any longer? Of course not! By the same token, don’t wait until your practice is down to 5 new patients a month to start thinking about marketing.

A thriving practice needs a healthy existing new patient base to fuel the internal referrals and once that base is gone, it becomes a much tougher foundation to rebuild. Having a dental marketing agency handle your marketing, ensures that it happens so your practice can consistently grow.

Still not sure? Hear it from Dr. Barroso himself.

If you want to talk to Dr. John Barroso about his experiences with us, please give his office a call at 817-447-6040. Stephanie will schedule some time so that you can ask him anything you like. All we ask is that you be respectful of his time as he is a very busy guy these days!

And when you are ready to have us do for you what we do for him, give us a call.

Let’s grow your practice. Together.

Contact us today to learn more about what our dental marketing agency can do for you.