Now that the holidays are behind us, and we are fully back to our regular schedules, we are now realizing that our February schedules aren’t looking so normal! That means it’s time to fire up your marketing efforts…right? But before we just jump back on the hamster wheel of marketing, I want to share a few measurement (ROI) concepts with you before you fire up that marketing machine! Take a minute to learn what’s REALLY important when measuring your ROI…and you may just be one campaign away from your best year EVER!
Let’s talk about the continual improvement of wealth and the relationship you nurture within your dental practice.
Firstly, in recent weeks I’ve really been trying to focus on those areas of influence that I’ve talked about in previous episodes of my podcast and how we affect and also impact those areas of influence. Likewise, also how we learn to not worry about those things that are outside of our area of influence. We need to keep in mind this particular method of understanding that our thoughts become feelings, feelings become actions, and our actions become results. Recently, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to Neuro Linguistic Programming courses when building this program that helps really break down the last four podcast episodes I did in 2019.
This particular vein of psychology, it’s working with certain types of techniques so we can have breakthroughs that we need to have to move forward. We talk a lot about tactics, but oftentimes it’s not the tactical knowledge we’re lacking – it’s ourselves who are often standing in our own way because of fear. When we reach an area of discomfort – When we first step outside our comfort zone, this is where we learn our greatest lessons. But, it can be difficult to make that decision to step outside of it. It’s so easy to say “Let’s wait another day,” then that day turns into a week, that week turns into a month, and so on. Then these things you were planning never materialize because something always came up and stopped you from taking that step. That’s the thing though, we’re never short of things to do. There’s always something that can stand in your way if you let it because it’s easier for nothing to ever happen (good or bad) than potentially making a poor decision. I had a mentor who always coached people with the phrase “progress not perfection.” You know you have a good idea of where you’re going and you work your way towards that goal, but the important thing is to not wait for things to be perfect before you take that first step. Start taking that first step, because you can always make corrections to the course as you proceed forward. There are always going to be things that try to blow you off course from your path, but that doesn’t mean you just quit. As you move forward, you correct these small errors that are blowing you off course so you can slowly work your way back toward the straight line you’re traveling in.
The real reason I want to discuss today is the importance of marketing after the holidays. That’s the big focus starting January, isn’t it? Things slow down in December because you really only have two full weeks where you can fill up your bookings. Then, January is overflowing with people wanting to take advantage of their benefits that were renewed on the first of the year. However, you notice your schedule slowing down when you get to February and March. You get tied up in the busyness of the holidays that you disregard marketing efforts until you’re panicking, and wondering what you need to do to bring in new patients to fill up your schedule. You now may be focusing on not only what needs to be done here and now, but also looking at the performance of what’s been happening. At Innovate, we have some new tools and technologies where we’ve been able to offer our clients better ROIs and reporting. That way you can really get a better picture report for investment purposes. In my book, Find Your Voice, the last section talks about the return on investment with these (now outdated) reporting methods. With our new tools, we’ve been able to introduce a new technology that identifies the opportunities in your investments. What I mean by that is the opportunity of what you’re currently investing in, which also links to your return on investment and what you’re getting, as well as what other opportunities you got in your market.
There’s always an opportunity for growth. For example with direct mail, you’re always gonna run out of money before you run out of potential households to mail to. What we’ve been focusing on is providing similar reports to you that are similar to what you get with your online advertising. It’s not instantaneous, but within 3-4 weeks you get a good sample size, but it really depends on our client on how often we’re able to pull the data. Let me explain how it works: We look for street addresses and zip codes so that we’re able to match the addresses that we mailed out to, all HIPAA compliant as we’re not pulling personal or treatment information. As we get this information from our clients, we’re able to do hatchback, which is where we compare that data to the list of addresses that we mailed to and be able to provide a clear report. This report will tell you all the households we mailed to, the new patients you received, and where these patients came from (whether from direct mail or other marketing methods.) In the past, practices and dental service organizations have relied on tracking this information from the office manager. It sounds easy in theory, but not so much when you’re looking to transfer that data and make value from it, it becomes more tedious when compared to our new tools. Especially if you’re doing multiple forms of media, then it gets even more difficult. It’s one thing for it to live on a sheet of paper and another for it to actually end up on your ROI report. Another thing is that oftentimes the person capturing this information versus the person measuring it are not one and the same. Meaning that the person capturing this data probably isn’t as diligent as you’d like them to be. With this match-back reporting, we’ve been seeing a massive upside. We have a client based in Austin, Texas, and we were able to get a more accurate report of their growth than their call tracking did. They got 12 calls after spending $1500, but we figured out that those 12 calls brought their business 25 new patients. We found out with this match-back reporting that multiple people from single addresses were coming in. So long story short, this match-back reporting helps us tell a better story and have a better understanding of what your media is performing to.
Say, for example, you spent 1500$ and got 25 new patients, and you’re able to figure out that cost per acquisition. Now that we have a number to benchmark, we can see what that ROI is as well when we send out mail next month. We reach a certain point where we can get a good forecast to see the average cost acquisition and find it to be accurate because we’ve seen proof of it. We’ve been doing it during all times of the year, with different messages, for the same client, and for the same clientele. Once we know the average cost acquisition then we can have better conversations on what to do. We can ask questions like how many new patients you want and determine how much you need to spend to achieve that goal. If your average cost acquisition is $130 and you want 10 new patients, then we know that will cost $1300. Now that we can have more educated conversations on what to do, we can now tie that into the methodology of “the business that spends the most money to acquire a customer wins.” It sounds ludicrous but it’s true because once you get these metrics then you can determine the return on investment of every media that you have. You reach this point where you start to ask these better questions and determine the smartest way where you want to put your money to build your business.
Now here’s the accelerator: I’ve been talking about cost acquisition but what I’ve yet to mention is where we’re able to offer you this match-back reporting where we can link production numbers to it as well. The average return on investments with this average being about 8:1, meaning for every $1,000 you spend, you’re gaining $8,000 back in total. If you’re spending $1,000 every month and you’re generating $8,000 in profit, then that’s a net of $7,000. It’s exponential, this is a report that we’re able to provide you with actual numbers. This is how we’re adding value. My 8:1 ratio is also conservative, we’ve seen it as high as 18:1. Now, you probably won’t ever see 18:1 but 8:1 is also a home run. Even 4:1 is a home run because that’s cash flow and cash flow is king. This is modeled by the revenue cycle management that’s being done at all these other practices, especially with these larger DSOs. There are whole teams that are entirely focused on revenue cycle management, which if you don’t know – is the management of cash. With this marketing I’ve been talking about, it’s a whole new spin. We’re taking this from being an expense to actual priming of increased cash flow. Once you have your baseline and those numbers, you can yourself or find someone who can help you make value from those numbers and use them to build and improve your practice. With this new technology, we can tell you how to take those numbers and turn them into a way to forecast a more abundant future.
It’s a more proactive way of marketing and having that return on investment. I think a lot of people have a mixed relationship with marketing, they know they need to do it but don’t understand how to connect the dots and how to tie value from it. The thing is, it’s not just tying value like in cost acquisition, it’s tying cold hard cash. We’re able to successfully tie that cold hard cash to that so that you’re aware that for every dollar you’re spending, you’re getting x amount back. It not only validates the marketing decisions you make, but it also helps you do better forecasting to create a better abundant future for yourself and your team.
So many people get hung up on the spending, that they aren’t counting the cash flow that’s linked to the spending. As a result, they live in scarcity in their mind instead of taking that money and reinvesting it. They just leave it in their accounts and continue to think “I think it worked but I’m not sure it did,” and they truly don’t know. They’re not trying to intentionally live in scarcity or trying to not market, they’re just not tracking it. They have no clue, it’s only if you have these tools in place that help assign value to these numbers that you’re measuring. Then once you have that set in place, you can make better decisions moving forward and know that we’re here to help you with that.
I want to plant this seed with you, now that you’re thinking about marketing and seeing lots of opportunities in your schedule. I want you to think about reaching out to a company like ours, Innovate Dental Marketing, to assess what you’ve already been doing and see how to better forecast for the future. Once we have that road map, we can make course corrections to further improve it. If I’m trying to fly from Houston to Dallas – Fort Worth and the wind tries to blow me over to St. Louis, I’m not going to stop flying. I’m going to learn how to make corrections in my course because there’s always going to be wind. There are always going to be those variables, whether they’re in messaging, demographics, or whatever. There are different times of the year when people are more receptive to different types of marketing and different messaging, but you don’t have to do the guesswork in that. There are people like us who can help hold your hand and guide you to that appropriate return on investment and that type of forecasting I’ve been talking about.