It may seem obvious, but it is one of the most commonly neglected element of dental marketing: know your audience. Many dentists assume their target market is simply the people who come to their practice, but there could be a whole range of potential customers in the local area who are being ignored.
The key reason for becoming familiar with the demographics of your local area is so you can tailor your marketing specifically to the people who live closest to your practice. These are the people who are most likely to use your services, so it is important that your marketing is focused on attracting them.
For example, if your practice is situated in an area with particularly high levels of deprivation then it is not usually a good idea to market your practice based on expensive cosmetic procedures such as tooth whitening. This will seem excessive and frivolous to many in this type of location.
Instead, you should be focused on the high levels of tooth decay that are often found in such an area. Think about how to encourage people to take the best possible care of their teeth, rather than advertising procedures that many people may not be able to afford.
You could also tackle the common perception that the dentist is a scary place, as fear of procedures often prevents people from visiting for checkups, and can keep them from coming to your practice even if they are suffering from toothache. In deprived areas with high levels of tooth decay, projecting a friendly, welcoming image is a key part of good dental marketing.
In wealthier areas, different tactics can be used. If you know you are situated in a location with large numbers of well-off people, then it can be a good idea to advertise the wide variety of procedures available to your patients.
People with a good amount of disposable income will be more inclined to opt for cosmetic dental procedures, and providing them with a wide array of options to choose from can help to convince them to opt for one. Utilising dental posters entreating patients to love their smile can help here as well.
You might also want to think about the image you want to project to an area like this. If you are dealing with wealthy professionals, they may be more invested in the quality of your work rather than your perceived friendliness. In this case, it might be better structuring your marketing around professionalism.
The demographics of your local area can affect all sorts of choices when it comes to your practice. You may find that lowering your prices slightly will make your services affordable to the people who live nearby, for example, and will therefore bring in more than enough custom to make up for it.
Equally, the precise makeup of your area can change what you offer. If the people who live nearby are mostly young professionals or retirees, for example, then you would not be best served offering braces for children.
Getting to know your area, therefore, can have serious benefits for your practice and can really help you find a direction for your dental marketing. It is definitely worth researching, even if that simply means going for a walk and meeting the people who live nearby.