The main goal of any marketing campaign is to get potential patients to call in and make an appointment. However, the main value in a marketing campaign is simply getting your practice in front of potential patients as many times as you can for as long as you can. By focusing on this with your marketing campaigns, you will be influencing patients to choose your practice well before they even think about going to the dentist.

The reality is that patients don’t decide to call and make an appointment after a single introduction to your practice. Instead, it can take multiple communications regarding your business, including signs, mailers, websites, referrals from friends and, often, multiple interactions with each before they call, and a positive phone call before they appoint. In the marketing world, each of these points of exposure are called “impressions.” Here are some things to consider when marketing for impressions.

Selecting Media

At chrisad, we’ve done a ton of research on dental-only marketing, so we know what is effective and what is not. What we’ve found over 4 decades is that the most effective marketing is what we call active marketing, or marketing that unavoidably gets in front of your target audience. The idea is to grab their attention before they come asking about you. 

That means choosing media that will be seen easily and often. For example, your site sign, assuming 2,500 cars travel past your office each day, will generate 912,500 impressions per year!

Direct mail has similar advantages and functions like a mini billboard that is delivered to your best local patients. In fact, we’ve found it to be one of the most effective marketing media, even in areas relying heavily on digital marketing! With a regular mailing schedule and chrisad’s proven optimal messaging, backed by 40 years of research with Northwestern University, brochures and postcards build brand awareness, increase digital conversion and build loyalty in local patients that will stay in the practice for decades.

Cost per Impression

No marketing budget is limitless, so it’s important to focus your marketing efforts on campaigns that maximize impressions while staying within the limits of your budget. That means pursuing high value marketing, as determined by its CPM, or cost per impression.

There are many low-cost options that reach a ton of local patients. Even some marketing that feels expensive can have a very favorable CPM. Consider the site sign example above: Divide the high, upfront cost of your sign by those 912,500 impressions per year and you are paying pennies per impression.

We can help you craft an integrated marketing campaign that has a reasonable CPM to fit your budget. Plus, we use our decades of experience to help you maximize returns by measuring your results and optimizing internal systems as necessary.

Measuring Your Marketing

Of course, as with any business expense, you should make sure your marketing dollars are being used effectively. While your instincts may tell you to track specific marketing pieces, either by adding a tracking phone number or asking patients what made them call, that will give you an incomplete picture. Remember, it takes a culmination of many impressions before a new patient calls your office.

Instead, it’s far more reliable to gauge your marketing’s effectiveness by measuring your overall production and patient numbers. If those are going up, your marketing is working.