Lately I have seen many questions on message boards about how to measure marketing. Why is it difficult to measure? Why won’t anybody give straight answers as to expected results? What will my ROI be on X marketing investment? The answer is that there are too many variables to guarantee results. There are over 46,636 different ways to promote any product or service – that is a lot. And yet, there are only a handful of mediums for delivering your message. A medium can be radio, TV, print, etc. In addition, someone needs to see, feel, hear and experience a message five to seven times before acting on it.
When you combine those two notions – the number of ways to promote a message and how many times someone needs to see your message – you can see how difficult it can be to measure it. You can have a direct mail piece that goes out, yet the message, offer, target audience, designs, etc. can all be different. To top it off, the way your team handles the phone can impact the results. So can the welcome packet, your website, your placement in search engine results and so on. It isn’t good enough to send out a direct mail piece. Now, you need a website to match the message. You must be found when someone does a search. Your name needs to come up when mentioned on social media. You must have superb phone skills. And finally, you must have a good reputation.
Are these complications unique to dentistry? No. Think about Diet Coke. Why do you drink Diet Coke? What commercial did you see that made you pick up the drink? What ad did you see? Who recommended it? Likely it was all of the above. The same can be applied to dental marketing.
Having said all that, here are some simple steps you can take. Your website should have Google Analytics. This is hands down the best free analytic tool and provides many measurements other webstat tools do not deliver sufficiently. If you don’t have it, ask your website provider to place it on your site. Once you have Google Analytics, you can measure the effectiveness of your website through different variables Google uses to evaluate success such as bounce rate, number of average minutes per visit, and average number of pages per visit. At Jameson, we believe good goals include seeing a 40% or less bounce rate, 2.5 or more minutes per visit, and 3 or more pages per visit.
But what’s the best way to measure your marketing efforts in its entirety? Track as best as you can in your office. Track EVERY new patient phone call. How did they hear about you? Track to see if they schedule the appointment, whether they keep the appointment and how much production per new visit (Jameson recommends on average $1,500/new patient) is generated. This will begin to give you an idea of what is working and what is not. Couple it with your Google Analytics. Draw a big picture of your stats. Are your new patient numbers increasing? Staying the same? Going down? By knowing where you started and where you are now, you can begin to tweak every aspect of your marketing to get the desired results. Bottom line – if your new patient numbers are increasing, the marketing is working; if they aren’t, it’s not.