Dental specialists frequently wonder what type of marketing budget would be appropriate for their practice. How much money should they budget for marketing and growing their dental business to keep the patients and revenue coming in? How much does their competition spend? These are common questions when trying to determine a marketing budget. Every dental practice will have its own unique financial goals, situations, and local markets. However, all practices require new and existing patients to keep their dental business operating.

Not many dental specialists have a whole lot of knowledge and experience in dental marketing budget planning. Many are too busy with patient care that they don’t have time for marketing and budgeting, so they hire a professional marketing team to help them with these types of business essentials. Still, it’s not a bad idea to get some knowledge about the proper way to set up your marketing budget, and we will dive into that here.

How Much Should You Spend on Marketing Your Dental Practice? 

The answer to this will vary depending on your overall business goals and the location of your practice. However, here are some simple steps you can follow to determine your marketing budget, such as:

1. Define the Goals of Your Dental Practice 

Have you noticed a large number of patients dropping off your schedule recently? Do you notice large gaps in your schedule? If so, evaluate a little and determine what you want your local dental practice marketing and growth to look like. Are you aiming to reach and maintain a specific number of patients, or are you looking to increase this number and grow your business exponentially? These are goals you need to define.

2. Determine Your Patient Turnover 

Assess past data to get an idea of what your patient turnover looks like and how many patients you’re losing every year. This can give you a potential number of new patients you’ll need to bring into your practice in order to expand or maintain its growth. According to Dental Economics, most single-dentist practices bring in around 12 to 20 new patients each month. However, a good number for profitability would be around 70 each month.

3. Look at Your Online Patient Reviews 

Before you spend steep amounts of money on your marketing efforts, check to see the reviews patients are leaving about your dental practice. See if you notice any service aspects that are having an impact on your turnover rate, and see what you can do to make improvements in these areas. 

After you’ve incorporated the feedback, it’s essential that you begin marketing your dental practice again so people can see that you’ve made improvements to your practice. Once they notice the improvements, it just may encourage old patients to come back and ensure new potential patients aren’t put off by older negative patient reviews.

4. Figure Out Patients’ Lifetime Value 

Calculate your average spending for new patients in the first year, along with the spending for current patients. Then, multiply the number you come up with by the average number of years that patients stay at your practice. For example, if your patients tend to use your dental services for 10 years and they spend around $1,000 on average, then you would multiply 10 x 1000 to get their lifetime value of $10,000. After deducting your practice costs, you’ll then know what you’re willing to spend on bringing on a new patient. 

What Makes Dental Specialists Spend More Than Average on Their Marketing? 

Many dental practices that serve the same location want to attract and earn the loyalty of the highest number of local patients. Many patients look for long-term, reliable dentists they can count on for years.

This high level of competitiveness generally means your marketing budget must also be competitive with other dental specialists’ marketing budgets. You should also keep in mind that patients don’t typically drive far for their initial examination. This makes the competition between dental specialists for the same patients even higher. Patients prioritize convenience, which is why you’ll have to show them why you stand out from the other dental practices that could be closer to these patients. 

How to Create a Dental Business Marketing Budget Plan 

There are many dental businesses that will spend lots of money to build their dental brand, but they don’t create an accurate and efficient marketing budget plan that will help fund this objective. Other dental practices aren’t sure if they’ll be able to sustain their dental marketing plans because they’re worried they might not have the budget for it down the road.

It’s extremely vital to have a marketing budget plan in place to avoid impulse spending decisions and failure to accurately track what’s spent on all marketing channels. You need to allocate your financial resources effectively. When creating your marketing budget plan, you need to:

  • Set and clarify your marketing goals
  • Determine the proper dental marketing strategy
  • Design the patient journey
  • Set your marketing budget and revenue expectations
  • Decide on the dental marketing approach you’re going to use in your marketing budget plan
  • Test your marketing campaigns
  • Measure dental marketing ROI

An experienced and professional marketing agency can help you create your marketing budget plan.

Traditional vs. Digital Marketing 

With traditional marketing, you can’t target and segment your audience. Therefore, you’re squandering your money away when you promote your dental practice to individuals who aren’t within your target audience. Also, traditional marketing ROI is much lower than the ROI of digital marketing. So, even though you would end up spending a big chunk of your marketing budget on traditional marketing mediums like print ads, you would still end up with an insignificant volume of qualified leads and conversions.

Here are some other differences between traditional and digital marketing:

  • Traditional marketing involves mass marketing with no real means of pinpointing your target audience, while digital marketing lets you segment your audience based on their interests, location, and demographics
  • Traditional marketing is much more costly than digital marketing
  • You gain more and spend less with digital marketing
  • Digital marketing allows you to analyze and measure the performance of your campaigns in real-time
  • Traditional marketing is becoming less and less popular
  • Around 80% of consumers do their shopping and research online

You can speak with a marketing professional to learn more about the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing.

Let the Pros Help You With Your Dental Marketing Budget 

Ultimately, you should determine your marketing budget by the competitiveness of your growth goals, the market you’re in, and your budget. Market My Market is dedicated to helping you put effective and highly customized marketing strategies in place. You’ll find the proof in the numbers. We are obsessed with data and analytics and make it our priority to effectively communicate results to our clients. 

If you seem lost when looking at your marketing budget and would like to speak to us about how we can help you, call us at (866) 270-2250 or fill out our online form to speak with a professional today.