22 min readThe Jameson Files 116: Marketing – Where do I even begin?

Carrie Webber, Owner, The Jameson Group

Welcome everyone to the Jameson files. I’m Carrie Webber. And I’m your host for the Jameson Files podcast. I’m joined today by Jameson’s chief marketing officer, Nate Porter. So Nate, thanks for joining me today and thanks to all of you that are either joining us live in our live stream on the Jameson Facebook page. We do present the podcasts alive via Facebook every other Wednesday through the end of the year. So we invite you to, to stay tuned and join us live every other Wednesday for the podcast. Otherwise you are going to be able to access this as a recording on the Jameson Facebook page, as well as if you are subscribing to the Jameson files podcast or you’re interested in doing so. We invite you to find us on your preferred podcast outlet, whether it’s iTunes, Spotify, or Google play, we are there. So we do invite you.

Carrie Webber (01:12):

If you haven’t found us as a podcast to please do so and subscribe, we want you to stay connected with us, and we want to build this community and present information and thought provoking content that is important to you. So we want to hear from you as well on what you’re most interested in hearing from us. You can email us at [email protected] and share with us your questions, your requests, the guests that you want to hear from whatever the case may be. We want to build upcoming podcast episodes that are the right fit for our Jameson podcast community community. So we invite all of your feedback and we welcome it. So please do subscribe and Mark your calendars. If you’d like to be with us live, we are here live right now on Facebook. So thanks for being with us. And today, our topic is on marketing.

Carrie Webber (02:06):

Where do I even begin? And for those of you that may be familiar with Jameson as a coaching firm, we’ve provided business and hygiene coaching across the country and in multiple countries for 30 years. And in addition to that, what you may not know is that for well over a decade now we’ve provided marketing services. Nate’s now our chief marketing officer here at Jameson, and we have an extraordinary team on board right now. That’s doing extraordinary work in the world of dental marketing for our dental marketing clients. And I know because I talked to a lot of doctors week over week that are looking for solutions and support in various aspects of their practice. I know that marketing has been and continues to be a big topic because wanting to grow your practice with the right types of new patients for you is important. And oftentimes we get frustrated because we don’t know how to get the best results out of the efforts we’re investing in.

Carrie Webber (03:11):

And so that’s why I’ve asked Nate to join me is to not only talk to you about the great things that are happening with the Jameson clients, even in the midst of 2020 and everything that that brought to the table, I’m excited for you to share that with us, but we’re also going to talk about things that you can do for short term results. Right now, if you’re looking for some help and some ideas in that realm, but also wanting to give you some coaching on what you need to plan for and what would be worth your while to consider for that long term marketing effort and the results that you ultimately want to be achieving in your businesses. So, Nate, thanks again for being with me.

Nate Porter (03:54):

Yeah. Glad to be here.

Carrie Webber (03:55):

And what I want to start with is where we are right now, in terms of what practices we work with, what we’ve been managing to achieve when it comes to marketing in 2020. I think it could be safe to say that some may assume we know that dental practices are just struggling through getting new patients or whatever the marketing efforts may be, but actually that’s not really the case when we, when you do it right and you do it well. Would you agree?

Nate Porter (04:25):

Yeah. I think there were a lot of questions going into the COVID shutdown of, you know, what, this is something that’s kind of unprecedented. We’ve never faced this before. What’s it going to look like going into this and coming out? And so, you know, it was interesting to me to see some of the advice given in Inc magazine and other outlets, where they were giving advice to small businesses. And one of the things that they said was, you know, keep content, keep continuing with your marketing, or even maybe increase it through COVID, in order to see a result on the other side. and so, you know, a lot of people’s natural reaction was to sort of pull back, maybe, you know, do that kind of thing. And for the clients that we’ve worked with, who stuck with marketing through COVID, we pulled some stats from that.

Nate Porter (05:26):

And just to see a little bit of an analysis of how they did. And so our overall numbers in terms of our clients in general, ever everyone, we saw, that those who had marketing and stuck with it through COVID did much better than those who did not. and so as an example, those who stuck with marketing through COVID, if I take the first half of the year as a whole, the daily production of those clients was 138% higher than our non-marketing clients, but through COVID they were 241% higher. So they did better overall, but they did way better through COVID.

Carrie Webber (06:16):

That’s interesting to me because it, for anyone that has a curiosity that might be listening that has historically had a curiosity about marketing, you probably read case studies or heard stories about, you know, some of the most iconic brands out there of how they surpass the others when they choose to push through and continue to invest in their marketing efforts. Even in the difficult times, especially in difficult times, because if we start to shore things up and we don’t get the word out there, there’s a lot of things, you know, we’re already having to recover. Imagine having to recover that loss time and effort by shutting things down and everything that you just said proves all of those stories of history to be indeed the truth, that those, that choose to keep moving forward and staying as we read them in an inc magazine article, like those that choose to stay agile and adapt, but continue to make progress in their marketing efforts during the downturns are going to come out ahead. And that indeed appears to be the case.

Nate Porter (07:27):

Yeah. Well, one interesting thing about that is most of these, folks that we’re measuring these results from, they were doing marketing before. They were doing marketing for the 12 months prior to COVID,. But, you know, sticking with it really paid off

Carrie Webber (07:45):

Consistency was the key, don’t disappear, keep doing what’s working. Don’t stop. Keep going. Yeah, that’s so great. And it’s encouraging to hear, so for those of you that are listening, you may think, well, good for them, but what about me and what do we do right now, if you really realize that there’s an opportunity for you to adapt and adjust your approach to marketing, or you need a different kind of impact in your efforts? you know, there’s always that reactive time for those that maybe haven’t had a good consistently successful marketing plan in place. There’s always a sense of urgency in the beginning of I need, I need some results in the short term. So do you have any recommendations or some things that people listening could consider or implement that could get them a little bit of a short term result?

Nate Porter (08:40):

Yeah, absolutely. So, the thing to consider, more often than not, we have people coming to us for marketing when they’re, they really, really need it, right? So they need it now and they need it quickly. And, unfortunately short term results. If you want to get results, short term, most methods of doing that are very expensive. So they tend to be a lot more expensive to do that than to do a long-term strategy, but there are things that you can do, that you can do that you don’t need to work with a marketing company to, to achieve this. and that really comes from maximizing your, you know, engagement with your current patient family. So the most successful way to get new patients short term is to ask for referrals. So consistently human to human, asking for referrals, not signs, not emails, make that part of your verbal skills as you kind of go through your normal routine.

Nate Porter (09:51):

And then the other would be ways to reactivate or sort of maximize your existing patient family. You can do that through educational campaigns. So maybe through your patient communication platform, sending out an educational update through text message or email, just educating them on maybe services that you offer that they don’t know about, or they may not have heard of, or, time-based campaigns where it’s like, you know, we’re coming to the end of the calendar year, you know, use your insurance benefits before the end of the year, or, you know, come in for a fall checkup, those kinds of things. and you can do promotions with that. So leveraging your existing patient base and sort of, you know, reaching out to them is going to be your best way of kind of getting short term results without it being super expensive.

Carrie Webber (10:47):

Right? So it’s really, if you’re needing those new patients to start coming to you more quickly, and right now, internal marketing is always a key player for you in growing your practice. but in the short term, especially, taking a look at your internal efforts, are you doing any of the, any of those things that Nate recommended consistently? Are you doing them well? How can we do those better? And how can we work as a team to plan those types of communications through your patient communication tools. But most importantly, and I couldn’t agree with you more in a, about asking for referrals, a lot of you out there listening, probably say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, we do that well, okay. We’ve been in a lot of practices and a lot of practices say, yeah, we do it all the time and you do it sometimes. Let’s just get real with ourselves and take a look at how consistently and how well we’re doing that and making that a part of the patient appointment. It just, just as much of a part of it as anything else and practicing those verbal skills, as you had said, is key. And the more you practice, the more comfortable you get asking, and the more likely it will become a good, healthy habit for your practice and overall practice growth and new patient growth. So I think that’s great. Great suggestion.

Nate Porter (12:07):

Yeah. Another one, which may seem silly and obvious, but is answering the phone. So, you know, how many times, how many, you know, there have been studies that have come out that say like less than 50% of phone calls get answered in dental practices. So if new patients are calling, and they don’t necessarily have a commitment to you or your brand, that first encounter is going to be so important, and they’re going to just as quickly hit the back row and call the next person on the list. If you don’t answer the phone. So, you know, if at least at the very least kind of review how you’re doing in that area and see, you know, do you have a tracking tool in place to be able to see that you have missed calls or how many missed calls you’re having?

Carrie Webber (12:52):

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Because I think there’s a, there’s a lot of lost opportunity in the areas that we just aren’t even aware of. Our lack of awareness of what’s really happening in the dental day could be hurting us because we’re busy. You guys are doing, doing the work that you’re meant to be doing, but there are telephones ringing that could be that next opportunity of a lifetime patient and their patients. And that is short. So we want to get those opportunities when we can. And a lot of the tools that are out there make this more readily available for you, your dashboards are helping and tracking your marketing efforts, but also the, again, the patient communication tools are really amping up these areas of how they can help you. I know we, for example, provide this where it will show you when throughout the day the telephone is ringing in your practice. So you can see and be more aware, when do we need to make sure we have hands on deck to answer that telephone? When is the traffic of the telephone call, hi, and using those tools. So if you, if you have a patient communication software or a tool or telephone software, whatever the case may be, make sure you know, what those things bring to the table to help you in those types of respects, because it could be a difference maker in your awareness and how you ready yourself for the day.

Nate Porter (14:23):

Yeah, absolutely. So in summary, for short term, anything where you face or interact with someone, or you have a previous connection to them are going to be the best way to sort of maximize that.

Carrie Webber (14:37):

Yes, I love that. And so, the best thing you can do for yourself for the immediate is dig into your internal marketing efforts, gather up as a team in your next team meeting and make a plan of action that is really intentional and thought through in terms of how you’re going to educate your patients and how you’re going to communicate with them and how you’re going to ask for those very valuable referrals from within it’s always been the best approach for practice growth. So let’s talk a little bit more about the long term, those of you that maybe have worked in marketing in the past, or I’ve invested in marketing past to get lackluster results, or, you know, that you need to begin considering a more intentional approach to your ongoing marketing efforts, but you just don’t know what to be planning for, what works, and how to do that. Well, can you give us some insights and some recommendations in terms of planning for long term ongoing, consistent results?

Nate Porter (15:44):

Yeah, absolutely. So, like I was saying before, the most expensive marketing is the marketing that I need as a result in the next 30 days, that’s gonna, that’s gonna be the most expensive. and obviously, you know, the, the least rewarding as well. So, you want to avoid that if, if, if possible, when we talk to a lot of our practices that either are looking at marketing or, that sort of thing, we’ll do an analysis often of, you know, what does your overall online presence look like? Most people are, you know, finding you online, if, unless they’re coming through a referral. So, when we do an analysis of that, you know, often we’ll see that maybe there’s, you know, some coming through, your Google, my business listing, some will be coming through your website and, and that sort of thing about 85% of new patients typically come from online, come through, a Google search.

Nate Porter (16:51):

So, that being said, when we look at how we’ve done with our clients, usually, you know, we’ll look at one where we’ll take their website traffic from 200 visitors a month up to 2000 over the course of 12 months. But those first three to four months, they may only go from 200 visitors a month up to maybe three or 400 visitors a month, not a, not a huge jump in traffic. So it’s a slow climb. And most of that growth comes in, you know, months, four through 12. so when you’re looking at that, you want to always think long term, that’s going to be your most cost effective option. And then you really want to gear yourself towards organic traffic that you’re not don’t have, you know, paid ads for that kind of thing. Paid ads are great for camp short term campaigns, or they’re great for, you know, events, maybe that kind of thing. But what happens with ads, if that’s your whole strategy is you have this immediate jump and it’s still a much lower sort of percentage conversion than organic, but then it plateaus and even drifts off. even though you’re making the same investment in it,

Carrie Webber (18:08):

Explain a little bit to the listeners. What do you mean by organic? What are some examples of organic versus that paid?

Nate Porter (18:17):

Sure. So there’s really two tiers of organic traffic. The way that we look at it, the first year of organic traffic is simply somebody doing a Google search and you show up there in those map results. Maybe they’re searching for dentists near me, or, you know, family dentist in, you know, town, a certain town. and so you show up in the map results, it’s giving them a little information, like some reviews and things like that. but it’s fairly generic, overall. So that’s where you get a lot of organic traffic. That’s fairly generic in nature. They’re looking for a new dental home, and that’s the extent of what they’re looking for. Tier two traffic is organic traffic that is looking for something specific. Okay. Maybe they’re looking for a certain quality of service, for a specific procedure. Like maybe they’re looking for dental implants and they want to know who does it best or that kind of thing.

Nate Porter (19:18):

And those typically come from those results below them, after results below the ads, below them after zones, where, you know, you’re answering a question with content that they’re asking, and the way that you are effective with that is by being authentic in that. So they need to be able to, when they click on that feel like they can get to know you and understand why they should choose you for that service. and so, obviously, you know, those results get placed there based on the value that Google, you know, Google’s algorithm algorithm identifies that content to the searcher.

Carrie Webber (20:03):

And it’s also such a deeper connection in terms of if, if you’re wanting that that better fit of a patient for your practice, the people that are seeking something specific that you want to be found for, that’s what you’re finding there, right? So it’s important to understand that really good marketing involves you, where you get really clear on who you are as a practice, why you do what you do, what it is that you want to be found for the most, right. So really kind of uncovering for your own self, the less generic you are about your own practice, the better you, and, and the kind of content that you’re talking about creating and putting out there. So that those that are seeking out that type of philosophy and a practice or that type of service or procedure are finding you. And then you’re giving them through this kind of marketing, that meaty information. That’s educating that patient on a deeper level and building value for you in that patient’s eye before they ever even pick up a phone or click a button to S to talk to someone about scheduling an appointment. Right.

Nate Porter (21:20):

Right. Absolutely. We, so a good example of this, and it’s kind of a silly example, but it’s a good example. We have a, a client that recently had someone reach out to him, about a mouth guard and the person lived three hours away from this dental practice. And he said, I’m going to drive there to get a mouth guard for me, because he was so taken by the description of the process for creating this mouth guard. So, you know, it seems like a simple thing. There’s gotta be hundreds of dental practices closer, but he was convinced that this was the fit for him,

Carrie Webber (21:57):

But Hey, listen, it’s a perfect example of the ongoing sad story of combining what you were talking about in terms of internal marketing and educating our patients on what we do, and also educating your potential patients on what you do. Because we have stories of clients of the past that have had patients go have cosmetic procedures somewhere else, then come back for their continuous care with that doctor, because they didn’t know that that doctor provided that care. And it’s the same as that three hour mouth guard story, because they’re, yeah, you’re right. There were probably plenty of practices between their home and that practice, but nobody else was putting forth the effort to be found in such an impactful and connected way.

Nate Porter (22:51):

Yeah. Yeah. And so, you know, in a more serious kind of look at that, that client that we work with went from an average new patient production. When we started working with him for $300 for a new patient, and now he’s averaging over $2,000 per new patient because he’s getting a different level of patient, but that didn’t happen overnight. It took six, eight, 10 months before we started ranking for some of that and, and started getting that traffic.

Carrie Webber (23:29):

Yeah. I mean, we really have to battle our own desire for instant gratification, which is just a part of our society anymore, right. Amazon can get it to us in less than a day. Well, for in your marketing, if you want it to stick, if you want it to work and work well over time, it takes time, just like a really good, clear practice vision. You’ve got to think ahead of what this looks like in the future, and what are the steps I need to take to slowly get me there and let those results build that foundation. That’s going to help you for the long run. So what else, in terms of that long term, really, you know, setting your expectations correctly, that this takes time, and this takes an ongoing commitment to your marketing efforts. It takes authentic and original material and content, right. and you’re not just wanting to reach the masses and with a smattering of generic promotion, you want to connect with the right types of patients for the services you want to provide. Right?

Nate Porter (24:40):

Absolutely. Yeah. The clients that are most successful in marketing that we work with, it’s a partnership because only they know what makes them unique and what makes that patient experience unique. We do a good job of like, under, yeah. Asking them the right questions to understand that, and then turning that into engaging content. But it really is a partnership to bring, you know, really bring out that authenticity. And if you don’t have that, and it’s just generic, it doesn’t make that connection.

Carrie Webber (25:17):

I love that. And so for all of you just know, now is always a good time to start putting a healthier strategy into place for you in your marketing. And if you are a business, you are marketing, you may not be doing it well, but we’re all marketing one way or another. So what does right look like for you? And for that short term, just to recap, what, what Nate sharing there for the short term and the long term, the real success comes with a marriage of internal marketing and external marketing. I’m putting an importance on both and putting thought and intention into both. the more consistent you become in both aspects, the more you’re going to be growing your practice, healthily steadily with the right types of patients, for you and your vision for the type of care you want to provide.

Carrie Webber (26:13):

That takes a partnership just as Nate said, with a great marketing firm, with a great team and, and with you to do, to do the work and do it well, and really bring out the authentic version of you. people want to know who you are, and you have to play a role in that. And if your marketing looks like your neighbor’s marketing, which looks like your other neighbors’ marketing, it’s very difficult for a patient to differentiate and choose the right fit for great customer service. How easy are we making it for our ideal patients to get what they want or need from us. And your great marketing efforts can make that difference as well. So thank you, Nate so much for sharing your insights. Nate is actually the person on our team that does marketing discovery calls with potential clients and with doctors across the country, as he had mentioned, he does a lot of evaluations of the current state, practices marketing efforts, and gives recommendations on how they could do that better. And if you would like to have a call with Nate, you can email us at [email protected]. And we can set up a time for you to have a conversation with Nate. So, Nate, thank you so much. Thank you all for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with our next episode and until then be well, take care and we’ll see you soon.

Carrie Webber (27:45):

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Jameson virus, visit us online at jmsn.com. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google play music or Spotify. Do you have questions or topics you’d like for us to answer or cover on the next podcast? Email us at [email protected].

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