Why Your Advertising Isn’t Working

Why Your Advertising Isn’t Working

A Medical Partner help dental practices grow their clinics from marketing, guaranteed low price supplies and many more.


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When advertising isn’t getting any results, our first thought is typically something along the lines of, “The marketing business I hired isn’t doing their job” or “This form of marketing just doesn’t work in my location.” And trust me, I get it. In reality, though, there are a plethora of additional reasons why your advertising might not be doing as well as you’d like.

But in this essay, I’d like to narrow in on four of the most typical issues in marketing to new patients and offer solutions to each.


1. You’re putting all of your marketing eggs in one basket.

A silver bullet for advertising does not exist. There is no magic bullet for marketing problems.

Multiple complementary marketing efforts yield the best results. Web presence, user reviews, SEO, paid and organic search, social media, direct mail, billboards, etc. You don’t have to implement every single one of these steps, but you should work together.

When it comes to marketing, it’s not just unwise to put all of your eggs in one basket. Forget about succeeding in marketing if something were to happen to this single strategy.

One dentist I know gained almost all of their new patients from a nearby large corporate office since those workers were provided with excellent insurance. Things were going swimmingly at the office, and generally speaking, everyone’s lives were improving. till the company up and moved. They had suddenly lost their means of attracting new patients and were at a loss as to how to proceed.

Plus: Facebook advertisements for the dentist were producing excellent results. They pioneered the use of Facebook ads among local dentists and saw such success with the strategy that they allocated all of their marketing funds to it. Then a new dentist arrived and began competing with the established ones via social media. The majority of their new patients came through their Facebook page, causing a dramatic drop in their statistics.


Takeaway: Have a comprehensive plan for dealing with new patients.


2. You aren’t doing everything you can within the company to encourage word-of-mouth and back up your external marketing efforts.

It’s OK to invest in advertising, but I’d rather not pay for what I can obtain for nothing.

There are lots of things you can do on the inside that won’t cost you a dime but will bring in new customers. There are also a number of things that might be avoided that would be detrimental to your external marketing efforts.

Now, to illustrate my point, let me give you a couple of concrete illustrations:


Inefficiency in taking new patient calls and scheduling them. 

Failing to encourage clients to post reviews on websites like Google and Yelp. 

I rarely (if ever) schedule patients’ family members or ask for recommendations from existing patients. It’s important to do this several times a day. 

Increasing the percentage of your recall patients who become new clients (more engaged patients = more possible recommendations). 

Boosting initial patient buy-in for complex cases. New patients are affected by this, in case you were wondering. A lot. 

Maximizing performance in all of the aforementioned areas is crucial.


Imagine you are running Google advertisements and spending around $300 to bring in each new patient.

The cost of acquiring a new client has dropped to $150 from $300, thus it makes sense to train your receptionist to answer the phone like a pro in order to increase the appointment rate by 50%.

If the patient brings in only one (or more, it’s easy to do more), the cost per new patient drops to $50.

If you can convince a potential patient to undergo your full proposed course of treatment (rather than just the portion their insurer would pay for), you can effectively double your potential income from that person.

If you could reduce your patient churn rate in hygiene by half (which is quite doable), you would have effectively doubled the value of your new patients.


3.Your marketing budget is inadequate.

I understand how difficult it might be to admit, “My marketing isn’t working, so I should spend MORE on it!” Also, I wouldn’t want you to waste money on marketing that isn’t working, so make sure you’re measuring your ROI before investing more. 

I’m also concerned that you’re not taking advantage of all the low- or no-cost internal strategies you might employ to attract more customers.

However, all of this isn’t without cost, as external promotion requires financial investment. It’s an enormous cost that any company would do well to prepare for. To be successful, you need a solid marketing budget.

Marketing is typically given a low priority in dental practice budgets. It’s not something you need, thus it is labeled as a luxury. It’s unclear why this is the case; perhaps it’s the belief that “If I hang up a shingle, patients will come,” or the attitude that “We’re doctors, not entrepreneurs.” However, it’s important to remember that advertising is necessary for every business, not just medical practices.

Whether you are in an expansion phase (adding new operations, building a new office, etc.) or a maintenance phase (keeping the lights on) will determine how much you should allocate to marketing. Spending 10% or more of gross revenues on advertising is not out of the question during a period of rapid growth.

This idea of “skipping on your marketing” can also be applied to specific promotional initiatives. I know of dental practices who sent out several hundred postcards but only gained two new patients as a result. No new patients have been flooding in, of course. Numbers are everything in direct mail. To see any real results from postcard marketing, you’ll likely need to send out many thousand over several months.


4.You aren’t keeping a close eye on the success of each individual marketing effort.

The point is that you can’t use anecdotal evidence like “I don’t feel like we saw many new patients this month” or “Nobody mentioned Facebook when they walked in here” to determine whether or not your marketing efforts were successful.

In order to properly plan and budget for the future, you need to know the exact number of calls you received, the number of new patients you scheduled, and the total amount of money you made as a direct result of the campaign.

A dentist once told me they needed more new patients, but after we looked at their figures, we discovered that they were really seeing plenty of new patients already, and the real issue was that their recall program had deteriorated (easy fix). They felt they needed to alter their marketing in order to attract more patients without first conducting any statistical analysis.

Business success depends, in large part, on effective marketing. Large companies, as a rule, have an entire division devoted to marketing, which is regarded as a top priority.

If you don’t have a designated person in charge of this, you’re probably not giving it the attention it needs.

To some extent, this may fall on the owner-doctor in a solo practice. Given the time and effort involved, though, it’s usually preferable to delegate the task to someone else.

At the very least, somebody needs to be keeping an eye on things to make sure everything is running smoothly and effectively, that any outside firm you’ve contracted with is meeting its objectives, that any issues are addressed immediately, and that internal measures are being taken to supplement external marketing efforts.

A Medical Partner help dental practices grow their clinics from marketing, guaranteed low price supplies and many more.


Recently Published


We’ve also created social media groups that your colleagues communicate on for day-to-day discussions via Facebook, Whatsapp and Telegram. Recommendations, advice and solutions can all be found in these discussions. These groups are the most powerful tools you can take advantage of as all members in the group are here to help.”