Dentists And Marketing: How Much Should You Be Spending?

Using PPC & SEO Together To Help Your Dental Marketing

There are a lot of different costs to consider when it comes to running a dental practice, but one area that is often overlooked or the first to face cuts is the marketing budget.

Many dentists struggle to determine how much they should be spending on marketing and sometimes wrongly believe that throwing money at their marketing alone will help them get more patients.

However, marketing is much more complex than that – so how much should you be spending on marketing?

Here we are going to be taking a look at dental practices and marketing to see how much you should be spending and what methods are some of the most cost-effective ways to attract more patients to your practice.

So, check out the information below!

Why Marketing Is Important For Dental Practices

Many dentists underestimate the power of marketing and then are left scratching their heads when their business starts to fail after making massive cuts to their marketing, even stopping entirely in some cases!

But marketing is the key to success in all businesses, not just dental practices. Without effective marketing, you will be unable to keep your patient load at a level that allows your practice to be successful.

Statistically, dental practices lose nearly a quarter of their patients annually and must attract roughly 40 new patients monthly to keep their practice up and running.

Of those, these numbers can fluctuate depending on other factors such as competition in your local area, the quality of your services, and your practice’s reputation, but the above statistics just prove how important marketing is.

Without an effective marketing plan, dental practices cannot attract enough new monthly patients to keep their practice open.

With too few customers, the business will not be able to make enough money to thrive and so it’s super important that you pay attention to your marketing.

The issue is that marketing is not cheap. You will have to fork out thousands of dollars in order to run multiple marketing campaigns and schemes to try and spread awareness of your practice and its services.

So – just how much should you be spending on marketing for your dental practice?

Marketing Costs: How Much Your Practice Should Be Spending

Dentists And Marketing: How Much Should You Be Spending

As we said earlier, there are lots of different factors that can affect how many patients you lose a year and how many you need to gain each month to keep your patient load at a steady level.

As a result, each practice should spend different amounts of their budget on marketing depending on their situation.

Here we have pulled together a list of the different ‘levels’ of marketing spending. Each level is relevant to a different phase your dental practice might be in.

So, check out the information below to find out how much your dental practice should be spending on marketing ranging from brand-new businesses waiting to flourish to already well-established practices with a loyal client base.

How Much New Dental Practices Should Spend

If your dental practice is just starting, it just makes sense to spend much of your budget on marketing.

After all, you need to attract as many patients as possible to try and set up some patient load to bring in an income and turn a profit.

Marketing campaigns are super important at the start of your business, but dental practices are also heavily restricted in funds due to debts, loans and bills that they first have to pay off.

This is why so many new dental practices struggle to put enough towards their marketing and sometimes end up struggling to find their feet.

The recommended amount of your budget that you should put towards your dental practice is roughly around 20%.

If you have worked out that you can spend more, then great! 30% is a desirable amount to spend, especially if your practice is based in a big city or somewhere with a lot of competition.

In this case, you will need to spend more to make your business stand out against the rest – but where you have little competition to worry about, around 20% of your projected gross revenue is a sensible amount to spend on marketing.

You will need to spend this marketing budget on effective campaigns that will make an instant impact. There’s no point in wasting money on campaigns that don’t reach your audience.

So – what can you do?

Setting up a professional website is the first step many dental practices take. This instantly helps with your search engine optimization (SEO) to help you climb to the top of search engine results.

This way, people in your practice area can find your practice online and book an appointment.

Social media accounts and reviews can help set up those and convince your first clients to upload reviews. While this campaign works its magic, pay-per-click ads can also help your SERP results.

To learn more, check out our other articles discussing marketing ideas to attract new patients.

How Much Established Dental Practices Should Spend

Dentists And Marketing: How Much Should You Be Spending

If your dental practice is already up and running, you are probably still looking for ways to grow your patient load.

A good marketing campaign will help keep your SERP results high and your reputation in a good light, and thus more patients will come to your practice every month.

This will help you keep up with the competition and stop your business from falling behind.

However, you won’t need to spend as much on marketing as you had when your business started.

This is because your practice’s reputation will speak for itself and word of mouth will be a great (and free!) way to get more patients.

You will still need to spend some of your budget on marketing to keep up with the competition on SERP results, so put aside around 5 to 10% of your gross revenue for marketing.

This will be enough to help you pay for an SEO program, update your website, and keep your SERP results high so new patients can easily find your practice.

You can even try different, more risky marketing campaigns to try and get more niche markets to sign up to your dental practice.

Campaigns like mail campaigns may seem dated in this technological age. Still, elderly patients or those without internet access can benefit from an alternative way to find and contact your practice.

So, don’t give up on marketing altogether just because your practice is up and running – keep it that way by building your brand and always searching for new patients.

How Much You Should Spend If Your Practice Is Shrinking

Losing more patients than you gain is a situation every dental practice fears, as it’s a sign that your practice is beginning to shrink.

If your practice is shrinking, you may need to spend more than 5 to 10% of your revenue on marketing.

This is only a short-term situation, and you will need to look at why patients leave your practice to solve the real reason behind this. Is there a new competitor on the scene with more competitive prices?

Are your services poor quality and ineffective? Do your clients hate your staff and find them rude?

Solve the issue and invest as much as you can spare into marketing to try and boost your practice’s reputation once more.

Final Thoughts

So, marketing is definitely important to your dental practice and shouldn’t be overlooked.

However, when it comes to figures on how much you should spend on marketing, you should aim to spend a certain percentage of your revenue depending on your practice’s situation.

How much you should spend on marketing comes down to if your practice is just starting out or already well established. Check out the above guidance and apply it to your dental practice today!