Importance of Understanding your Patient Demographic when Marketing your Dental Practice
As a dentist you want the best results from your marketing efforts. You put a lot of work into search engine optimization, designing an attractive website that’s also highly functional, and creating swag that gets your name out there.
But dental marketing is so much more than just putting your logo on an item and hoping it gets out there. It’s so much more than creating a website and optimizing it in hopes that a few interested potential patients will come by, become leads, and eventually convert into paying patients.
Before you start any marketing plan for your dental practice, you’ll want to know who your audience is; what their demographics are. A solid understanding of demographics is the only way to create a truly effective marketing strategy that gets you the most bang for your buck.
What are demographics?
Demographics are statistical data relating to a specific population. This could include average age, race, income, and sex. Studying this data will help you understand the motivations of the demographics you’re serving, how you can appeal to them, and what their unique needs might be.
What demographics should dental marketing focus on?
Prior to beginning any marketing campaign you’ll want to gather patient demographic data. This data is a key part of all dental marketing strategies because it helps you get into the mind of your patients and potential patients.
When gathering data you’ll want to know whether they have children or are empty nesters, their marital status, average income, and any physical barriers that might impact their ability to get to your dental practice.
Knowing the average income, along with your cost of doing business will help you develop a fair pricing model that will generate a profit for you, but still be affordable for patients. An understanding of whether patients are mostly male or female can help you choose the best images and language for your marketing campaigns, while average age can give you an idea of some of the most common procedures and treatments patients will need.
How to Get Demographic Data
Demographic data is valuable and can be attained through a variety of avenues. The most important thing is to avoid getting bad data.
Make sure any data you get is recent. In the online world things change very quickly, and as a result getting data that is current (less than six months old) is crucial to staying up on your audience.
One of the best ways to get data is to set up Google Analytics. This will help you understand who your audience is and how they behave on your website. As you begin to study this data you’ll realize what content appeals to your audience, what doesn’t, and how you can utilize that information to develop solid dental marketing ideas.
Demographics Save Money
By studying your demographics you can save a lot of money in your medical marketing efforts. Why spend money trying to reach people through the spray and pray method. Understanding your demographics gives you valuable information that allows you to target only the people who are most likely to be interested in your services.
So what does this mean to you? Let’s say majority of your demographics are women with children whose average household income in 100k or more. Knowing this you can begin to craft a medical marketing plan that’s truly effective.
You’ll know that these women are likely looking for a dentist who can serve both them and their families. You might want to offer pediatric services or partner with a pediatric dentist. You’ll also want to ensure your office is equipped to be both luxurious for the parents, but also practical and entertaining for children.
Each of these becomes selling points that ultimately help you attract your audience through SEO and PPC. And because you know who you’re targeting you’re able to keep your budget in check.
Demographics Help With Web Design
Imagine trying to build a house without blueprints. If you’re diving into the incredibly overwhelming task of developing a website, but don’t have a plan or understanding of your audience, then you’re essentially building a house without blueprints.
Knowing your demographics make a big difference in marketing for dentists. Consider the age demographics of your audience. If your demographics are older, then you’ll want to ensure the font and layout is appealing to those who might have poor eyesight. The imagery you use on the website should reflect that age of those you’re targeting. A 65 year old woman isn’t going to relate to an image of a 25 year old woman.
As you’re designing your website you’ll want to incorporate your brand colors. Knowing your audience will help you choose the best colors for your business. A pediatric dentist who focuses on tweens will likely choose more wild and outlandish colors and themes than a dentist who deals with empty nesters.
As you begin to cultivate your audience, you’ll collect their email addresses to stay in communication with them. Studying your demographics will help you develop an email marketing strategy that speaks to your audience and maximizes engagement.
This might mean using the data to segment your list, then creating content that appeals to each segment. Retired men would get a different email than busy moms. Each email might have an offer that was designed to appeal to each unique audience and their needs.
Online Data Can Translate to Offline Data
The online data you gather can play a large part in how you market your practice offline. Billboards, television, business cards, stationery, and all other non-digital marketing pieces can be a part of an effective marketing strategy.
Who your audience is will tell you how to create designs and offline content that appeals to them. An empty nester might want a pocket mirror with your logo to carry around, while kids might prefer a yo-yo or fidget spinner. Whatever appeals to your audience, you can take this data and make it appeal to their needs.