There are two types of marketing a dentist can utilize – outbound and inbound, also known as push and pull.
Outbound marketing is by far the most common. It includes strategies like magazine ads, billboards, TV commercials, direct mail and radio ads. In other words, creating demand for your services by presenting them to people who aren’t currently seeking them.
The challenge with outbound marketing is that it generally has a low response rate and is typically expensive – both literally and from a return on investment (ROI) perspective. You have to put your message in front of a lot of people in order to identify the few who are interested.
For many businesses, their only option is outbound marketing because there isn’t sufficient demand for what they’re offering and therefore aren’t enough people seeking it out.
This isn’t the case for dentists. Because the demand is already there, people actively seek out dental services. For most people that means conducting an internet search.
To illustrate; last month there were 27,100 searches in Dallas for the phrase “dentist Dallas”. There were several thousand more for all the variations and procedure specific searches that occur each month such as “cosmetic dentist”, “dental office” “dental implants”, or “orthodontics”.
This is where inbound marketing comes in. Inbound marketing is the process of positioning yourself so that when someone is actively searching for dental services in your area, they find you.
Because the consumer is actively looking for your services vs. being interrupted by your marketing message, they are more receptive and more likely to respond positively.
Some examples of inbound marketing include: