Can Advertising Still Work
For Your Dental Practice?


Are your advertising campaigns draining your marketing budget without adequate return on investment? Do you feel like each commitment is a shot in the dark? Stop wasting money and start realizing the full potential of advertising done right.

myDentalCMO can help dispel the mysteries and put you on the right track when it comes to navigating the costly and risky world of ad-spend! Contact us today to find out more about what channels will yield the highest ROI for your individual practice.

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What is Advertising?

The word “advertising” is often mistaken by practice owners as interchangeable with the word “marketing” — but in fact, advertising is just one facet of any good marketing plan. It’s “external marketing”, true, but even that includes more facets — such as promotions, public relations, and social outreach.

Advertising is more commercial in nature and includes such avenues as are typically paid for by the practice:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Newspapers (Ads / Classifieds / Paid Editorials)
  • Local or Regional Print Magazines
  • Movie Theatre Ads
  • Custom Publishing (Dear Doctor)
  • Yellow Pages
  • 1-800-Dentist
  • Direct Mail
  • Billboards
  • Other Outdoor Media (Bus Stops / Digital Signage)


Why Do Practices Use Advertising?

Advertising can be expensive, but (when used properly) can generate a significant return on investment (ROI) for a practice. Advertising is commonly used by two types of practices for two similar reasons:

  1. New dental practices in order to grow a new patient base and create brand recognition.
  2. Existing dental practices in order to attract a “different type” of patient and expand their brand.

Mature practices which have achieved their goals in regard to an optimum, mature patient base can often maintain and grow using other areas of marketing (primarily word-of-mouth and public relations/community involvement).


Are You Doing Advertising Wrong?

Dentists frequently waste large chunks of their marketing budget by using advertising tactics incorrectly. Common examples of ineffective advertising include:

  • Spending money without understanding exactly what you are buying. If you can’t clearly see what the benefits of an advertising campaign are, you’re better off stepping back and asking more questions until you are satisfied that it is a good investment of your marketing dollars.
  • Using advertising as a reactionary technique to an empty schedule. If you don’t think about marketing until there are holes in your appointment schedule, throwing money into a knee jerk advertising campaign is often not the most efficient or cost effective solution.
  • Copying advertising tactics from other practices without a clearly defined need for such tactics. If your colleagues are spending money like mad on full page color ads in a local magazine, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right move for YOUR practice. Don’t be sucked in and convinced you are “missing out” based on what someone else is doing.


Does this Mean Advertising is “Bad”?

Not at all! One of the biggest myths about advertising is that only unskilled dentists use advertising, or that buying an ad makes you look desperate or “needy” for patients. Advertising can be a powerful tool when used properly, and shouldn’t be ignored any more than it should be considered a staple. It all comes down to whether or not YOUR practice needs it or not.


Does MY Practice Need to Advertise?

If your practice attracts enough new patients to meet your production and personal goals without advertising, then advertising isn’t needed! Many mature practices utilize internal marketing, community involvement and social media tactics so successfully that they never need to use “advertising.”

Other practices, specifically new or declining ones, need to include advertising as a part of what they do every year. It all comes down to knowing how to analyze your practice’s goals, insurance participation, and attrition rate, and taking into account your patient base, cost-of-acquisition, ROI, demographics, and treatment planning philosophy when making advertising decisions.*


How can myDentalCMO Help?

We have a concrete understanding of modern advertising techniques coupled with years of experience both on and offline. myDentalCMO can assist you with analysis of your needs and opportunities, and help you select the right advertising tactics and channels for your practice. Contact us to get started today!

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