Our team isn’t just experts in digital marketing–we also pay close attention to emerging trends in the world of dentistry, too. This directly influences our marketing solutions and plans for your practice.
As another year draws to a close, we’re ready to set you up for marketing and business success in 2023. Read on to discover 10 essential trends in dentistry to watch in 2023–and how marketing can help.
Trend #1: Dentists Dropping Insurance Plans
More and more dental practices are transitioning from dental insurance to a fee-for-service and in-house payment plan model to achieve financial stability, provide five-star care to patients and offer a personalized in-office experience.
In-House Payment Plans
Are you replacing traditional dental insurance with an in-house dental membership plan? Make sure you communicate clearly with your patients regarding your timeline for ending contracts with insurance companies and the processes to join your membership plan.
Trend #2: Outsourcing to Solve Hiring Challenges
Hiring shortages continue across industries, including dentistry. If your practice is experiencing shortages severe enough to negatively impact your business and ability to provide patient care, consider outsourcing some positions.
Human Resources and Billing
Some dentists are outsourcing their finance, billing and HR departments if they are not filling front office positions. Research a reliable company that can help meet your office administration needs.
Did you know that hiring a marketing agency is half the cost of hiring a full-time marketing manager for your team? Agency staffs also specialize in mastering the digital marketing ecosystem and using it to your optimal advantage, making them a valuable resource for both building your brand and generating new leads.
Trend #3: Getting the Most from Your Office Technology
If you’re investing in a Patient Management System (PMS) or Patient Communication System (PCS), you should get the full range of benefits. Take the time to educate yourself and your staff about your systems–and if you’re between systems, closely evaluate which will be best for your needs. When learning how to use the system, lean on the software provider for proper training so you can get the most out of it.
Trend #4: Prioritizing Patient Convenience
Today’s patient wants to know that their convenience and busy lifestyle matters to you. They don’t just want a dental practice, they want a full experience customized to their preferences.
Our clients who invest in modernization features for their dental practice website see higher rates of conversion and patient retention than those who don’t. Just remember that you must make sure to market to patients that you have these features, too.
Online Bill Pay
Give your patients the flexibility to pay their outstanding balance anytime, anywhere with a secure online payment portal.
Gone are the days of simply calling your neighborhood dentist for an appointment. Patients want to book an appointment on their time and around their schedule. Online scheduling gives them 24/7 freedom to do this.
Dental Insurance Checker
Is your practice in-network with multiple insurance providers? Is your front office overloaded with calls about what insurances you accept? A dental insurance checker feature on your website can fix this–and provide patients with a clear idea of how to finance their treatment with you.
Not only do online forms simplify the new patient onboarding for patients themselves, it also eases your team’s workload. After patients fill out their forms, the information will automatically load into your Patient Management System.
Trend #5: 24/7 Leads from Live Chat
Does your website use live chat? This website feature can generate leads for you 24/7–whether your practice is open or not. You can virtually convert patients to your practice while you sleep.
Think About Your Area and Your Patients’ Lifestyles
What does the everyday life of your current and prospective patients look like? Does your current patient demographic include ages who regularly use technology and would use technology like live chat? Are you in an area where patients often work second and third shift and can’t call you during regular business hours?
Potential patients can message your practice 24/7 and get answers about services, insurances or payment plans, open appointments and more. Some clients even see leads come in at 2 in the morning!
Trend #6: Differentiating Your Practice and What Makes You Unique
Not only are independently-owned practices feeling the competition from other independently-owned practices, dental service organizations (DSO) are also putting increasing pressure on smaller practices looking to cut ties with insurance companies and offer a more unique, personalized experience.
What Sets Your Practice Apart?
It’s critical that you accurately identify what makes you different as a practice and why patients should choose you over a DSO or a competitior. What actually sets you apart and makes you worth a patient’s investment? Why should they choose you?
Developing a brand voice and narrative–and communicating it to patients across the digital marketing ecosystem–is something we specialize in here at Whiteboard Marketing.
In particular, utilizing Reviews and Reputation Management helps you gather feedback from patients and get a better understanding of why they choose you. Patient reviews reveal both blind spots and hidden strengths of an office’s team and processes.
Trend #7: Evaluating Your Career Goals
Planning for the future is essential for both personal and professional success. When you think of your career as a dentist, do you see yourself purchasing your own practice and operating it independently? If you already operate your own practice, do you see yourself staying there for the entirety of your career and passing it on to a fellow associate? Or do you one day plan to sell your practice?
Your long-term goal will influence your short-term business investments, like how much you want to spend on your marketing. Position yourself to get the most out of your business investments.
For example, at Whiteboard Marketing, we work with dentists all across the span of their career. From recent graduates who just bought a practice to dentists preparing for retirement, we build customized marketing plans that set your practice up for success and meet your revenue and patient goals.
Trend #8: Growing Your Business Acumen
Our Account Managers hear it all the time–dental school does a great job teaching you how to be a competent dentist, but it doesn’t teach you how to run a business.
Successfully Managing a Practice Requires:
- The ability to market yourself and your skills
- The ability to hire and manage a support staff
- Understanding of insurance, billing and human resources
Working With a Marketing Agency
If you want to focus solely on treating patients and providing them with five-star service, consider outsourcing tasks like marketing to an agency well versed in building practice brands and generating new patient leads.
However, you’ll need to know what you’re hoping to get out of these partnerships and what you want for your practice before you hire an agency.
Trend #9: Know Your Patients and What They Want
Like the example we gave with live chat, knowing your neighborhood, community and where your patients live online–and what times they’re looking for you and your services–is of utmost importance for how you communicate with them and market to them.
Keep a finger on the pulse of growth in your community, too. If you’re in a rapidly expanding area, this can be a wealth of new patients to tap into.
Remember Your Current Patients, Too
While generating new patient leads is important, it’s equally important to engage with your current patients. Are you targeting, talking to and supporting them as much as you do your prospects? If you’re not, a competitor will.
Trend #10: Keep Moving Forward and Learning in the Digital Age!
When you think about your 2023 marketing strategy, ask yourself: Do you want the same results as last year or do you want to grow your practice? If you want to grow, don’t get stagnant in your digital marketing strategies. Invest strategically by working with an experienced professional.
A marketing partner can be an excellent asset for implementing new strategies, and can answer any questions you may have throughout the process. Marketing agencies are also trained in understanding algorithm updates across digital platforms and can stay ahead of updates for you. Start planning now and be patient with the process.
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.