IN TODAY'S WORLD, dental marketers are judged more harshly than ever before. As marketers, we’ve always understood the value of branding, even though in the past it was a challenge to quantify the true return on brand-awareness campaigns.
And ever since the digital revolution began 10 years ago, it seems that certain metrics—cost per acquisition and click-through rates, for instance—have become the new standard. These numbers dictate budgets and determine whether a campaign—or even the marketer him/herself—is deemed a success or failure. Branding has been undervalued as of late; yet we all know that it still matters. So what is a marketer to do?
It’s time to embrace full-funnel marketing
We can no longer afford to ignore the power of branding. Full-funnel marketing takes into account all efforts, from branding to education, lead nurturing to lead generation, to give a more accurate picture of the overall return on investment. This approach finally allows marketers to reliably quantify the branding side of the strategy as part of a complex equation, providing real data on how it supports lead generation, all of which can then be reported back to executives and shareholders.
Full-funnel marketing allows marketers to advertise to dentist prospects in all parts of the funnel: At the bottom are the lead conversions—a marketer’s holy grail—but it’s impossible to get those conversions without continually filling the top of the funnel. This is where branding is most effective.
Through technology, it is now possible to capture and quantify the impact that branding has on overall lead conversions. Marketers now have the data available to justify the budgets needed to create a truly profitable online strategy, one designed to keep the marketing funnel consistently filled from the top down.
Let’s take a closer look . . .
Currently, your company is likely using various tactics to attract new prospects into the top of your marketing funnel: perhaps a combination of SEO, Google AdWords, online advertising, email marketing, and trade shows, for example, in addition to traditional display advertising. It would be naïve to think that all of these individual efforts exist in a vacuum.
We as marketers understand that while some people may simply see an ad, and then click through to the landing page, and then fill out a form immediately, we know other users—dentists in particular—prefer to do more research before clicking the submit button on the form. They’re very likely to see an ad and later search for your company or product name, end up on the company website, and then fill out a completely different contact form on the website. But the fact that leads like these escape the path you’re trying to push them through certainly doesn’t render the ad or landing page ineffective. After all—that very ad may have been what put your product or service on their radar in the first place.
Accounting for second-wave marketing effects
Conversions like these are “second-wave” marketing effects: increases in brand queries, search engine traffic, direct traffic, and website form submissions that come during and following an online campaign. Whereas it’s easy to attribute leads that come in from a dedicated, dead-end landing page (a "first-wave" effect), it’s been hard to quantify these second-wave effects—up until now.
By using tools like Google Analytics, it is easy view the traffic before, during, and after a campaign to clearly determine ROI. At Doctor Distillery, we are able to implement a full-funnel approach for clients to measure both first- and second-wave effects.
A real-time example—with concrete results
Before coming to Doctor Distillery, a client reported receiving, on average, 10 leads a month via their company website. Six months into the client’s campaign, their website leads had jumped to over 100 per month—with no other advertising expenditure changes. That is the power of the first wave.
However, perhaps even more interestingly, several months after the campaign ended, the client still had 25–30 leads coming in through the website each month. While this was only 20%–30% of the volume of leads that they were receiving when the campaign was live, it was two to three times the number of leads that was typical for this company before the campaign started. Much, if not all, of this 100%–200% increase in “organic” leads can—and should—be attributed to the second-wave effect of the campaign.
Doctor Distillery clients have the advantage of not only seeing lead-conversion reports, but often they can see view and click attribution as well, as our proprietary technology allows for lead attribution to ads and landing pages—even if a dentist doesn’t immediately fill out the company’s campaign landing page form, but instead decides to conduct his or her own online research and follow his or her own path.
Marketers can now leverage the power of full-funnel marketing to quantify both branding and lead conversions and provide executive teams with a more precise calculation of the true reach and return on each campaign. We can no longer afford to ignore the power of branding.
Author's note: Connect with Doctor Distillery to design a more comprehensive, quantifiable and profitable online strategy for your dental organization. Visit doctordistillery.com.
More Dental Industry Marketing from Naomi Cooper:
- The industry's best kept secret for getting more dentists on the phone
- 5 pitfalls product managers can avoid when marketing to dentists online
- 3 simple yet strategic steps to getting better leads online
- 3 ways online marketing improves exposure and boosts ROI while simplifying implementation
Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions.
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