So you hired a digital marketing agency for dentists? Now, just invest in (thousands) of reais in Google Ads campaigns and sponsored posts on Instagram and wait for your schedule to fill up, right? WRONG!
Gone are the days when digital marketing for dentists worked that way. When digital marketing tools for more traditional dentists such as Google and Facebook began to be used by dental professionals, the algorithms were different, the delivery of the message was more assertive, and above all, there were few advertisers.
Today the reality is quite different. There are many dental clinics and offices investing in digital marketing and a potential patient just needs to enter Google and type in any dentistry related term like “dentist near me”, “Orthodontics” or “dental implants” and he will receive a flood of responses from Google .
This is great for patients who are just a click away from hundreds of potential options for solving their problems.
For clinics and dental offices, this scenario requires a new dynamic in attracting patients.
Undoubtedly, investing in digital marketing in dentistry is essential. It’s not about “whether” or not you should invest in digital marketing to attract patients, it’s about how you should make your strategies work for you.
Digital marketing attracts leads to dental clinics
Imagine that you are thinking of taking a trip abroad next year with your family. You want to go to Rome in Italy.
You enter Google and start typing terms like: “Rome area ticket”, “Rome hotels”, “Rome restaurant recommendation”. Is it so or is it not?
But I ask you: Are you going to buy your air ticket right now? 99% of people who start with such broad searches are still far from the moment of purchase. They are in the famous “I’m just researching” phase.
Well, if this happens with travel, I’m sure it happens with dentistry too.
The big mistake of most dental clinics is to hire a digital marketing agency for dentists that will be able to fill your schedule, but it will generate, at most, leads.
Leads are people who have seen your advertisement (as in the case of the hotel mentioned in the example above) and who express an interest in knowing more.
As a rule, what happens next? Your receptionist or someone from the commercial area of your clinic gets in touch and desperately tries to schedule the appointment. But the visitor is not yet ready, or as we say in sales, he is still not “hot” enough to hire your services.
How to qualify a potential digital marketing lead from your dental clinic?
Qualifying a lead is the act of understanding 3 aspects:
What is the person’s desire or need?
How urgent is he in solving that need or desire?
If he is able to pay for your services.
Understand that not everyone, in fact a very small part of the people who become leads in your dental marketing campaigns are not ready to buy your services yet.
Therefore, understand the sale of the dental service as something that will happen in phases.
These phases are usually linked to the purchase journey of your potential patient. These are the phases that every person goes through before hiring a service or buying a product:
Identification of your pain or need (“Oops, I have crooked teeth”)
Search for more information (On Google the digital person “How to fix crooked teeth”)
Identification of possible solutions to your problems and needs (Do an orthodontic treatment with traditional braces or an invisible aesthetic device).
Supplier search (search Google for orthodontists or related terms).
Selection of a service provider
Hiring (consultation and approval of the treatment plan).
You see, many people can go through this sort or funnel of steps very quickly and finish scheduling an appointment on the same day as their initial research. But those are not even 3% of the total leads from marketing campaigns.
The vast majority will be searching. How will you identify which stage each lead is in? Asking.
For people who are already at the time of purchase, they will probably go to your clinic to schedule an appointment.
For those who are in the solution search and service provider selection phase, the questions will be more generic, such as: “What is the price of root canal treatment?”
Realize that there is a difference here. Lead is not patient. And digital marketing for dental clinics can’t put patients in their chair directly. It takes an interface, a dialogue between the moment someone sees your digital marketing campaigns and finally schedules an appointment.
This intermediate phase is called lead qualification. Qualifying a lead is basically getting from him the 3 fundamental information listed above: Pain, urgency to solve the pain and financial condition.
How to know the lead’s pain, urgency and financial condition?
Through specific questions for each item. Let’s give some examples:
To know the pain/need/want:
What are you looking for?
Why do you want to do the XYZ treatment?
To know the urgency:
How soon do you intend to start your treatment?
Is this treatment a priority for you?
Are you just searching?
Are you ready to start your treatment this week?
Do you intend to carry out your treatment in up to 15 days or will you need more time?
To find out about the patient’s financial condition:
What’s your profession?
In which neighborhood do you reside?
What budget is available to invest in this treatment?
Do you need installment payments to carry out your treatment?
Of course, there are dozens of possibilities to qualify a lead. It directly depends on your target audience profile, your market positioning, etc.
What cannot happen at all is you and your potential patient realizing that your work proposal does not match the patient’s needs/capacity at the time of the consultation.
Whether your clinic is popular or aimed at a high-income audience, the fact is that you must make it very clear what your lead can expect from you in terms of quality, price and value to be received.
Qualification makes you waste less time with those who can’t buy
A lead only becomes a potential patient if he meets the 3 conditions below:
Have a need, pain, or desire that you can resolve.
Has the authority to hire you (is the decision maker).
You have the financial capacity to pay for your services.
So, now you know what lead qualification is and the importance of this step within the sales and marketing funnel for dentistry.
Dental clinics that believe (still) that a digital marketing agency for dentists will put patients right in their chair are living an illusion.
It is increasingly necessary to implement a complete end-to-end business process, from the beginning of the marketing process to the end of treatment, after-sales and patient loyalty.
Senior Consulting is the market leader in dentistry in Brazil and has offices in the US and Europe.
Based on our know-how in management and marketing of dental clinics, we created a methodology called Senior Leads that helps dental clinics and offices that have already invested in marketing and were not successful.