Want to hire a dental marketing agency, but aren’t sure where to start? Our Account Manager team is here to help with 10 essential tidbits you need to know when looking for the perfect fit–and what you can do to make marketing success a reality.
#1: You Went to School to Become a Dentist–Not a Marketer
It may sound simplistic, but you aren’t expected to know everything about the digital marketing ecosystem–you’re expected to know how to properly treat patients and guide their oral health journey.
Marketing professionals have the experience and knowledge in crafting effective, data-driven campaigns. The right marketing agency can help you showcase your dental expertise.
#2: Results Take Time–But All Worthwhile Things Do
Like your practice’s reputation, a strong marketing program isn’t built in a day. It takes an investment of time and money to build your brand and see results, especially with a service like Search Engine Optimization. Any agency promising you overnight results is not only unrealistic but also unreputable.
#3: Understand Your Marketing Goals
Typically, you wouldn’t invest in a Roth IRA unless you have goals tied to this investment. In the same way, you shouldn’t invest in a marketing agency if you don’t know what your end goal would be with this investment.
What Do You Want to Accomplish by Hiring a Marketing Agency?
To get the exact answer, ask yourself the following questions.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Where do you want your practice to go, and how do you envision a marketing agency helping you? For example, are you hoping to increase new patients annually by a certain percentage or increase production of the practice by a certain percentage? This will influence the services and investment you require.
How Do You Want Your Brand Promoted to Potential and Current Patients?
You must have an idea of who you are as a practice and how you want to present to prospective and current patients before an agency can develop a strategy that helps you market yourself.
What is Your Marketing Budget?
Knowing your goals is critical to establishing your budget. Are you in a competitive market where you need an extensive marketing plan? Are you hoping to clean up your digital presence or are you looking to aggressively grow your practice? This will determine the percentage of your annual revenue you must invest for desired results.
At Whiteboard Marketing, we recommend clients invest between 3% to 5% of their annual collections if they want to maintain a sound digital footprint. For clients shooting for aggressive growth, we recommend 6% and upward.
#4: Know What Makes a Credible Marketing Agency
The success of your business is highly dependent on the abilities of your marketing agency. You need a team of highly competent, trustworthy professionals handling your data, marketing investment and brand awareness.
What Questions Should I Ask My Marketing Agency?
Think of hiring an agency like a job interview. Ask these essential questions and pay close attention to the answers.
Can You Provide Examples of Success Stories Among Current Clients?
What goals do their current clients have, and can they demonstrate clear results and success?
Are You Knowledgable in My Industry?
Even if an agency has the necessary expertise, they may not know your industry. A marketing agency exclusively focused on dental practices knows the specific needs of oral health professionals.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
Do they have a history of success, and have they had the appropriate amount of time to hone the craft of marketing strategy?
What Are Your Core Values?
If you’re going to trust an external team with telling your story, you need to make sure they understand who you are at your deepest level. Work with a team that shares your core values, ethics and morals.
What Would the Team I Work With Be Like? Who’s Executing My Services?
Is your agency of choice relying on a network of freelancers, or do you have a designated team of full-time employees who regularly talk to each other and have a shared goal they work towards for your business?
#5: Know Your Own Responsibilities in Marketing
Yes, your agency will take a significant amount of the marketing work off your plate. However, this is still a professional relationship–and like every relationship, you need to put in the effort and do your part to make it work.
Be an Active, Committed Partner and Communicate
Your agency will need you to regularly communicate with them and be as transparent as possible about the inner workings of your office.
At Whiteboard Marketing, we ask our clients to remain committed and curious–committed to investing in their relationship with us, and curious about what we’re planning to do together next. The difference between a successful and struggling client is the level of engagement they have with us and how committed they are to the process.
Treat Your Marketing Agency as a Member of Your Staff
Since you trust your agency to handle managing your brand voice, they’re ultimately an extension of your staff and business. Keep them in the loop on all major developments and changes around your office, including new staff hires, new technology investment, changes in hours and new services offered.
Align In-Office Staff Training with Marketing Efforts
So much of your marketing success depends on cooperation with your staff. For example, if you’re investing a significant budget into Google Pay-Per-Click advertising, your staff must be adequately prepared to deal with the influx of new calls this will bring to your office.
#6: Use Multiple Marketing Channels and Services to Accomplish Your Goals
Marketing doesn’t work in a vacuum–just having a solid social media presence or a large amount of five-star Google reviews won’t equate success. Rather, you need a well-balanced plan that targets potential patients all across the internet.
A Full-Service Dental Marketing Agency Can Provide:
- Pay-Per-Click advertising
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Reviews and Reputation Management
- Website Build and Maintenance
- Local Search and Business Listings Management
- Experience and expertise in your industry
#7: Closely Consider How Cost-Effective it is to Use a Marketing Agency
Working with a full-service marketing agency eliminates the need to work with external vendors for all the different aspects of your marketing. Instead of spending time, money and energy on contractors, you can hire one marketing department with the resources to help you across the digital marketing ecosystem.
Our team at Whiteboard Marketing estimates that hiring a marketing agency is half the cost of hiring a full-time marketing manager for your office–and we come with far more experience and expertise.
Like so many dental practices across the United States, if your office is experiencing a staffing shortage, hiring a marketing agency cuts down on your workload and saves you money from not having to hire a full-time practice marketing manager.
#8: Recognize the Skill Set–and Limitations–of Your In-Office Staff
Your Front Office staff was hired to manage the administrative and customer service side of your practice–not the intricacies of your digital marketing presence.
While Front Office staff are a vital part of working with your practice marketing partner, they simply don’t have the skill set to handle every aspect. Expecting them to isn’t setting them up for success.
On the other hand, a designated dental marketing agency knows how to build, execute and manage the necessary processes, plans and strategies to meet your business goals. They’ve invested the time and have the experience to know what will work for you.
Agency professionals also have easy access to advanced dashboards in Google, Facebook and more, and participate in continuing education that grows their professional skills and knowledge.
#9: The Data Doesn’t Lie
Marketing professionals are proficient in analytics and know how to interpret data for building your specialized strategy. They also have the ability to compile and track data from all across the internet for you.
For example, at Whiteboard Marketing, our clients make informed decisions because we educate them on what the data is telling us and how it relates to their goals. Transparency and education build trust and ensure campaigns are always aligned with client goals.
#10: Know When It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency–And Make Sure They Can Grow With You
It’s always the right time to hire a dental marketing agency–whether you’re a brand-new dentist who just opened a practice, an experienced professional or looking to retire and sell your practice to a new associate.
Hiring an agency right as you’re starting out allows them to grow along with you, learning the ins and outs of your business model and brand to fill your appointment book and increase your annual revenue. Choose an agency with the adequate staff, experience and resources to make this growth possible.
Looking for a Data-Driven, Results-Oriented Dental Marketing Partner?
At Whiteboard Marketing, we specialize exclusively in digital dental marketing solutions for dentists across the nation. No matter what stage you’re in as a practice, we can meet you where you are and take you where you want to go by growing both your patient base and practice revenue. Schedule a consultation call with our team to learn more today.
Written by Anna L. Davies, Digital Marketing Specialist at Whiteboard Marketing, with assistance from Sean White, CEO + Owner; Christine Crooks, Managing Director and the Account Manager team.