4 Megatrends That Affect Dental Marketing
A constant flow of new patients is the lifeblood of a dental practice. Experts in dental practice marketing use a benchmark of 24-60 new patients per month for a single dentist—a goal that should be easy to achieve if you look at some recent market developments:
- Dentists top the list of physicians Americans wish they saw more often according to a Delta Dental survey.
- The global cosmetic dentistry market is projected to experience substantial growth, according to a Grand View Research report. By 2024, the market is expected to hit $27.95 billion.
- A rise in dental tourism, a growing geriatric population and a rise in esthetic dental procedures have spurred market growth.
- The global single-tooth implants and dental bridges market will reach $4.7B by 2019, according to Becker’s Dental.
- The medical profession is recognizing dentists as oral health specialists and are collaborating more to diagnose and treat sleep problems, oral cancer, facial aesthetics, periodontal health and whole body health.
So why aren’t patients lining up at your door? How can you incorporate Emotional Involvement Marketing techniques to attract new – and better -patients? We’ve boiled down the current wisdom (backed up by research, of course!) into four megatrends that you should take into account while you are developing your marketing strategies.
We know that the population is getting older and more diverse. Those 65 and older represented around 13 percent of the population in 2010; by 2030 that number will rise to almost 20 percent. Unlike their predecessors, thanks to improvements in childhood dental care, Baby Boomers are more likely to retain their teeth and are less likely to have dental coverage, since Medicare does not cover most dental services. In addition, population loss in this age group will shrink the market further.
Generation X’ers and Millennials have less dental disease and, therefore, have less need for restorative care. And today’s children are the beneficiaries of extensive fluoridation in the water supply, along with positive changes in public attitude toward oral health care, making the need for ‘routine’ pediatric dentistry a lower priority for many families. These demographic changes will result in different disease patterns, treatment‐seeking behavior and ability to pay.
Rise in consumerism
Americans no longer view themselves simply as patients. They now want to be regarded as healthcare ‘consumers’ who are more astute buyers of healthcare and seeking value for their money. In an interview with Becker’s Dental Review, Aspen Dental Management Chief Marketing Officer Mark Censoprano says that patients today “have the same expectations for their dental care that they have for other areas of their life – and as a result of the recession, they are more cautious with their hard-earned dollars, which unfortunately is leading to a decline in dental visits among adults.” Thanks to online resources where they can research dental symptoms and treatments, patients are more educated than ever before. They can also evaluate the online reputation of your practice and your competitors.
Changes in the ‘social contract’
This emerging “consumerism” is more prevalent among younger patients, who are more apt to prefer “high tech” interactions where they can comparison shop through social media. Older consumers generally prefer “high touch” interactions, which include personal experiences with providers. That said, however, Baby Boomers may become more price‐conscious as they face spending more out-of-pocket costs for their care.
Gender impact on buying decisions
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), women make more than 90 percent of all dental buying decisions and other research has shown that women make purchasing decisions differently than men. Women want a lot of information before they purchase so they can make the right decision for their families. They also look for value and benefits over products and features.
Obviously, there are a variety of micro-trends that will affect your ability to attract new patients successfully, including your geographic location and accessibility, range of services, staff size, ability to offer the latest dental technologies and procedures, marketing resources and budget, and more. However, no matter what kind of practice you have—single dentist, specialty or multi-specialty practice, there are proven ways to attract new patients.
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Please join me every Wednesday in April for a dialogue style webinar series based around industry hot topics. The idea is to learn and grow together, exploring new and exciting ways to improve your patient experience, optimize your business outcomes, and increase your Return on Involvement. I look forward to learning more from you.
CEO & Founder, Iconic Orange
WEBINAR TOPICS WILL INCLUDE:
DEFINE YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS: DISCOVER A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO MODERN DENTAL MARKETING | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5 Learn new ways to attract and retain the right patients for your practice by leveraging technology and the principles of Emotional Involvement Marketing.
CREATE A PREMIUM PATIENT EXPERIENCE: GO BEYOND FISH TANKS IN THE WAITING ROOM | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 Discover keys to delivering a premium patient experience. A discussion on where to invest time and money to reap the greatest rewards.
EARN PRACTICE-TO-PRACTICE REFERRALS: LEVERAGING PEER-TO-PEER RELATIONSHIPS TO GROW YOUR PRACTICE | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 Discuss new ways to earn peer-to-peer referrals and gain revenue streams from shared technologies and services.
WHAT’S NEXT IN DENTISTRY TODAY: A CANDID DISCUSSION ON PRACTICE GROWTH AND EXIT STRATEGIES FOR SOLO AND SMALL GROUP PRACTICES AND THOSE IN CORPORATE DENTISTRY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 Understand the changing face of dental practices today. What does it take to survive and thrive in today’s competitive market.
References/resources (including those not specifically cited in this article)