The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well
the product or service fits him and sells itself.
- Peter Drucker
It goes without saying that a good marketing strategy will attract new patients.
And every good marketing strategy is based on the identification of an Avatar (I’m not referring to the big blue aliens who have sex with their head tentacles).
Unlike Hollywood, in the realm of demographics your Avatar is the target personality for your practice’s marketing. Who exactly are you trying to reach?
In order to attract your prospective patients, you need to know everything there is to know about them. You need to flesh out your target “patient,” get familiar and reach the point where you can think of your target as a well-known buddy. That’s the way to streamline your aim and make it as focused as possible. That’s effective marketing and nothing gets wasted when you do it right.
Launching an investigation into who your target personalities are, and what they really want or need, takes a considerable amount of time and effort.
I know this because I’ve made target research my business for over 17 years of Practice Marketing. I know that it’s all about balance: and when you try to reach everyone across multiple regions, chances are that you’ll appeal to no one.
In other words, blasting your marketing message across the entire universe accomplishes little-to-nothing. It turns you into that drunk guy at the party who tells the same boring story again and again to people who couldn’t be less interested in what he has to say. They end up terrified to make eye contact when he lurches around the corner, lest they have to hear him speak again. You don’t want to be the loud, insensitive drunk. You need to be aware of your regional audience and what they want to hear before you launch into a spirited dialogue about yourself.
Instead of focusing on your story, focus on theirs. Educate yourself about the conversation already happening in their mind: What is your Avatar thinking about today? What is your Avatar like to hang out with? What do they worry about every day, what do they like to do for fun, what is their household income, what can they afford, what is their education level, what are their joys, what are their frustrations, how old are they, what are their family values, how do they think, what drives them?
When I create a Direct Mail piece, I tweak and test until it’s completely relevant to the Avatar I have in mind. For example, if I’m targeting Mom (who makes the appointments) I research which colors appeal to her the most, I make sure there are some relatable pictures of kids included in the design to catch her eye, and I tailor the copy so that it’s speaking directly to her, ensuring that it addresses her concerns, soothes her fears and appeals to what she needs for herself – and mostly, her children.
That’s just a small part of what I do when I target an Avatar. Income, how many children in the household, education level, profession and home values are just a couple of hot points in my research. I’ll even go as far as to give my Avatar a name. This gives me a personalized visual on my target, which means my specialized aim has laser-like precision.
Do you think you have time to do all that specified research, launch a targeted message effectively and run your practice while treating your patients?
The reality is that your routine can become more enjoyable if you appoint someone to take care of your practice’s marketing for you. You excel at being a Dentist. That’s why you’re in this game, right?
But if you have the time to “Dentist-it-up,” be your own marketing consultant, run the front lines of your office (and be perfect at everything you do) – that’s great!
Perhaps you can figure out the tricks, and all the ins-and-outs of discovering your Avatar while learning all the secrets to launching a proven, targeted campaign.
Or, perhaps you can leave that up to someone who specializes in practice marketing for a living.
In reality, 98% of your time should be spent doing Dentistry. The rest should be left up to your marketing consultant, and your staff.
That’s the most effective way to run any business.