4 tips to make your internal marketing efforts successful

Jan. 23, 2012
Have you ever thought, Who has time to market? Dr. Roger Levin says most general practices will find it challenging to grow in a difficult economy without a structured internal marketing program in place. Here are four tips to make your efforts pay off.
By Roger P. Levin, DDS“Who has time to market?” is a common complaint I frequently hear from dentists at my practice management seminars throughout the country. The question certainly does not surprise me. When dentists need to provide patient care, maintain office productivity, manage their staff, and perform other business functions, time becomes a precious commodity. In this scenario, internal marketing usually takes a backseat to other activities. That is a mistake. Without a structured internal marketing program in place, most general practices will find it challenging to grow in a difficult economy. To find more time to market their practices, dentists cannot promote the office themselves. That is the job of an internal marketing coordinator. To make internal marketing efforts pay off: • Hire an internal marketing coordinator (IMC).Find someone who can work specifically on internal marketing for your practice. When a practice has a part-time IMC in place who implements effective internal marketing strategies, the office is positioned to increase patient referrals, production, and profitability.• Take an organized, systematic approach to internal marketing.Internal marketing represents the best way for dentists to grow their practices. External marketing, such as direct mail, is not only expensive but often produces limited results. To create the best long-term results, IMCs must implement consistent internal marketing strategies, motivate patients to refer, and develop the practice brand using established protocols.• Be frequent and be consistent.The old saying out of sight, out of mind holds true in marketing. That is why dentists need to have an effective internal marketing program that promotes their practice often and consistently. • Make internal marketing a long-term business strategy.Internal marketing is just as important as the operational aspects of the practice, such as collections and scheduling. To grow their practices, dentists need to have a strategic internal marketing plan in place at all times.Many dentists wonder how they can afford to spend money on marketing when production is down. In truth, how can they afford not to spend money on marketing? Potential patients need to know who you are, where you are, what you can offer to them, and why they should choose you. An ongoing, internal marketing program using proven strategies will enable dental practices to grow year after year.To learn how to run a more profitable, efficient, and satisfying practice, visit the Levin Group Resource Center at www.levingroup.com/gp — a free online resource with tips, videos, and other valuable information. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (Levin_Group) for learning strategies and sharing ideas.
Author bioDr. Roger Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the chairman and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice management and marketing firm in the United States. As a leading authority on dental practice management and marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method that will increase practice production and profitability, while lowering stress. Dr. Levin has authored more than 60 books and over 3,000 articles. He presents 100 seminars worldwide each year.