Ask yourself – Is my 2015 marketing plan written?

With so few weeks to go to the end of the year, one might almost cry “too late!”.

So let me assume that your marketing plan isn’t written in stone yet (99% of the audience?) and offer some thoughts on how to plan over the next few weeks:

1. Understand what marketing actually is

I could simply say “read back over the 7connections blog posts in the last few months” because we have been commenting on this heavily, partly due to the quality and volume of questions from our clients and contacts, partly due to our own immersion in “the marketing of dentistry”.

Marketing is storytelling – about the people whose lives you change.

Perhaps the title this post could be:

“Is your 2015 storytelling plan written?”

2. Allocate your marketing budget for 2015

I have previously suggested 5% of gross revenues, subject to a minimum of £50,000 (!) but even if you can only allocate £10,000 for the year – read on.

3. Slice the pizza

Once you have decided on an investment level for the year, you need to allocate the spend between 3 main areas:

Word of Mouth Marketing
– print media
– digital media
– special offers
– open evenings
– referral campaigns
– Digital Marketing
– web development
– social engagement
– internet advertising and re-marketing (Google and Facebook)
– Lifecycle Marketing using automated email systems
– Direct Marketing
– print media
– digital media
– broadcast media
– Business 2 Business
– Networking

4. Decide on your themes and their frequency

You can decide to have 12 themes (one a month) or 4 themes (every quarter) but the secret is to change the themes on a regular basis so as to stimulate interest and demand from your community.

Gone are the days when you can simply say “we do dentistry of all shapes and sizes”.

Remember that those themes will contain 20% information about the products that you offer and 80% STORIES about the people whose lives you have changed using those products.

5. Build a calendar

It is now spreadsheet time.

Across the top – 12 months of your calendar or trading year.

Down the side – all of the tasks associated with deploying your marketing.

And then reading down each month, check boxes or coloured cells to indicate which activities will occur in what month.

A spreadsheet that can be referred back to constantly – a living document shared with your external consultants and internal team so that everyone knows what is expected of them.

6. Pre-book meetings in the calendar

Marketing review meetings:

Daily – what are we doing today (as part of your daily huddle)
Weekly – how was last week and how will next week look (as part of your weekly reflection)
Monthly – review the last month’s activity and results – make course corrections (as part of your monthly management meeting)
Quarterly – a complete marketing analysis, including ROMI (return on marketing investment) from each of your activities – and marketing goals for the next 90 days (as part of your quarterly training day)
Annually – the reveal to the team of next year’s plan (as part of your annual retreat)

7. Build measurement systems

Develop robust questions for all new patients to nail down EXACTLY how they found you – so that you can accurately measure and monitor ROMI on everything that you do.

Ensure that your TCO’s are accurately measuring the progress of every prospective new patient from enquiry to completion and the average treatment plan value

8. Build your marketing team

Decide who exactly is going to be involved in content creation (storytelling), content curation (repurposing external stories) and publishing (making sure that the messages get out there across multiple media channels).

Who will be involved in measuring?

Involved in research to establish what’s new out there?

Involved in liaising with your external suppliers of marketing support and making sure that they fulfil their promises and don’t drop you to the bottom of their priorities because someone else is shouting at them?

9. Decide who your external suppliers are

Digital marketing agencies
Direct marketing suppliers
Marketing consultants and trainers
Video film makers
Graphic designers

Who will they be?

What terms will you require from them?

What will you want them to do?

How will you keep in communication with them?

How will you know that what they do is working?

10. Or – join The Ultimate Marketing Academy 2015

• 7connections will make sure that all of this gets done

• we will supply the templates mentioned above

• we will train your team

• and

• we will give you your money back if it doesn’t work.

What have you got to gain?

And what to lose?

CLICK HERE to find out more


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.