Now we’re coming to the end of the year it’s time to start reflecting on what worked and what didn’t, Jan Clarke says.

We are well into the last quarter of 2018, it is, therefore, a great time to reassess your marketing activity so far and start to consider the activities you want to take into 2019 and beyond.

At this stage you should be able to see your financials quite accurately. Which were your best months, which months bombed, and get a good idea on the business as a whole. You don’t have a full year of information but it’s certainly worth considering all these points so you can confidently plan your marketing activity for 2019.

Marketers like to talk about return on investment and now is a good time to assess this. Let’s look at some areas you may have been marketing in.

Website

Your Google analytics account will allow you to receive some fairly detailed information on your website:

  • How many visitors you have had
  • Where the visitors originated – organic search, social media etc
  • Which pages were accessed
  • How long visitors stayed and particularly the ‘bounce rate’.

When assessing your ROI for new client enquiries you will need to know:

  1. Your actual spend on your website
  2. How many new clients came to you from the website.

One is fairly easy to calculate but two is more difficult. If you have a fairly proactive receptionist/new patient administrator then they will be asking every new patient how did they find you. If you don’t already do this, it is a good idea to start.

Often it can be quite difficult to confirm how a patient found you, they may have seen your social media posts and then checked out your website, or perhaps a friend mentioned you and then they checked out the website. These enquiries would be marked as social media and referral not website.

If, when calculating your ROI, it doesn’t look too healthy don’t worry, this is only part of the picture and why it doesn’t always pay just to look at ROI.

If you did your calculations and it looked like you had no ROI for new enquiries, what might you do? You may realise your website needs a refresh with perhaps a focus on attracting new patients. Decide on new activities for 2019. Perhaps it’s finally time to consider the blog aspect to your website or electronic transfer of data? Also look at SEO – is your website being found and where does it appear in a Google search? Whilst SEO may seem a dark art there are plenty of essentials you can put into place that will help your website immensely without a big spend.

  • Putting a blog into place with regularly updated content
  • Using social media to drive traffic to your website
  • Reviewing the content of your website and ensuring it is written well and with enough key words to keep Google happy!

Social media

If your website hasn’t been too proactive on attracting new patients it is highly likely your social media hasn’t been either:

  • Are you on the right channels to attract your ideal client?
  • Number of followers?
  • What is your engagement like?
  • What is the competition doing and what are their numbers compared to you?

When considering a refresh of your social media strategy, remember to factor in your website and attempt to drive traffic to your website via social media. We know that potential patients who arrive at your website from a social media link are much more likely to stay and browse through your website, hence your bounce rate will be lower.

Your team

You may not think of your team in marketing terms or as return on investment but certainly all your team are definitely responsible for marketing. A good job carried out by your dental hygienist and delivered for a patient will improve your reputation. This doesn’t just stop with the providers of your clinical work, it extends to the whole team.

  • How friendly are your receptionists? How accommodating are they and do they manage and solve problems or just create them?
  • What about your nursing team? Are they helpful and empathetic, seeing problems with patients before you do and stepping in when necessary?

These are some of the areas that you could start to look at before the last quarter is finished. By understanding these activities and analysing them with a marketing mindset you can be confident that when 2019 comes along you will be ready with your new plan and will hit the ground running.