Much of the focus on marketing today is on the Millennial generation (typically considered those born between 1977 and 2002). Online marketing is a hot topic, and Millennials are among the most digitally adept group there is, so it is no wonder that companies strive to capture the Millennial audience. And there is no doubt that with their size and influence, Millennials are a consumer group that dentists will need to focus on in the years ahead.
However, in terms of marketing your practice, don’t forget one very significant portion of the population: Baby Boomers. There may not be a more powerful group than the Baby Boomer generation. Inside Dentistry just released an article highlighting the importance of preparing your practice for the Boomer generation and it’s worth taking a read.
Here are a few statistics from the article worth noting:
- A Baby Boomer turns 50 every 8.5 seconds and for the next 18 years, Boomers will turn 65 at a rate of about 8000 per day.
- Boomers not only have high household incomes (on average $70,000+), they also have high accumulated wealth.
- Baby Boomers account for almost half of all consumer spending.
So what does this mean for dentists?
Baby Boomers are interested in feeling good and looking good – and that goes for their smile. They take better care of themselves than their parent’s generation and they are working far longer as well. So not only do they have the disposable income for dentistry, they also see the value.
According to the article, between 2000 and 2010, dental spending increased among Baby Boomers, where as it flat lined in all other demographics.
Also interesting to dentists: Most Boomers are used to having dental insurance as after having this benefit throughout their working years. Upon retirement, they are left without coverage. Among adults older than age 45, only 41% reported having dental insurance.
So here is a group of people who want dental care, with the means to pay for it, but who do not have dental insurance. Welcome Baby Boomers into your practice with open arms and give them a way to pay for their preventive care with discounts on restorative and cosmetic procedures! QDP can do just this for you and for your Boomer patients. Turn their value for dentistry into real growth for your practice.
We talk a lot on the blog about the benefits of an in-house dental membership plan (see here, here and here). If you’ve made the decision to go ahead and implement such a program, congratulations! It’s a meaningful first step to take on a path to practice growth and freedom from third party hassles.
While you are determining critical components of the plan such as fees and software integration, don’t forget to also consider how you will spread the word about this new plan to patients. Having an “if you build it, they will come” mentality might work in the movies, but it doesn’t bode well in dental practices!
The good news is that marketing an in-house dental membership plan doesn’t have to be difficult or even expensive. Dental consultant and industry guru Mayer A. Levitt, DMD recently wrote a blog with terrific advice for dentists looking to promote their plan.
A select few membership plans (such as QDP) offer a host of marketing templates to member dentists; however most plans come with little to no comprehensive marketing support. Regardless if the plan you choose to for your practice offers marketing solutions or not, and especially for those developing their own plan, Mayer’s advice is particularly helpful for dentists across the board.
Whether you are building your own dental membership plan from scratch or implementing a proven system, marketing will play a big role in spreading the word about this new patient opportunity. Don’t let it fall to the wayside; make sure the plan is set for success from the very beginning!
I hear from many fellow dentists who feel that all dental marketing seems the same. They get frustrated when the same-old marketing techniques fail to produce any real growth, especially when the competition is offering the exact same thing. Discounted tooth whitening and a free toothbrush – does this really excite patients? Not likely.
The problem is that these types of promotions are the exact same as everyone else’s. If everyone else is doing it, then it’s impossible for your practice to stand out from the crowd. There’s nothing compelling enough to attract patients to your practice.
It’s time to change your approach to dental marketing. You don’t want incremental growth. You want double-digit growth. Make your practice original and offer patients something new.
Not every dentist offers an in-house dental membership plan, especially one that trumps insurance benefit maximums. Quality Dental Plan allows you to offer unique patient membership programs that increase practice revenue while helping patients afford the dentistry they need – without giving up all of your profits in promotional discounts or reduced fees for insurance companies. And with geographic exclusivity, you can be sure that no one else in the area is offering anything similar.
What’s more incentivizing to patients: a free toothbrush, or a way of affording a year’s worth of preventive care for the entire family? With QDP, you have a new message, a leg up and a way to break away from the pack.
It’s a different world out today for dentists, one that has probably changed since you first started practicing. Dentists are forced to grapple with the often frustrating bureaucracy that comes with dealing with dental insurance companies. Decreasing reimbursements and increasing hassles have come to make accepting dental insurance quite costly – both in time and money – for your practice.
Finally, there is a solution for dentists looking to reduce their reliance on dental insurance companies – a genuine alternative to dental insurance. A dental membership plan can yield huge dividends for the dental practice while providing dentists with the freedom to operate their practice the way they first dreamed of doing.
Here are just a few of the benefits of a dental membership plan:
- Eliminating third party influence from your practice
- Increasing practice income
- Decreasing overhead
- Set your own fees and keep 100% of the profits
- Improving treatment acceptance by providing patients with actual benefits
- Instilling patient loyalty
If you are fed up with the insurance company hassles and are ready to make a change, consider the positive impacts a dental membership plan can make in your practice, and get back to running your practice in a way that benefits you and your patients.
Members-only stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club have revolutionized the retail industry in recent years. Professors from Harvard and Columbia Business Schools recently conducted a study to find out exactly what consumers find so appealing about these types of stores. The study indicated that it’s more than just low prices; it’s the presence of membership fees alone that lead shoppers to often buy more goods than they can fit in their car. They believed that the rise in widespread popularity of stores like these demonstrates that consumers:
- Equate membership plans with savings
- Consider these retailers more exclusive
- Perceive added value in members-only stores
So how does the study impact dentists? Our dental patients are consumers too! Just as a Costco membership taps into proven buyer behavior, a dental membership plan in your practice can help build value, foster loyalty and increase case acceptance leading to meaningful practice growth. Implementing an in-house dental membership plan signals to patients that your dentistry is valuable, a value they know they will not get at any other practice, leading to increased patient loyalty. And because of the money they are able to save on preventive care, they will now be able to afford more treatment, increasing case acceptance.
A Costco-style dental membership plan can grow your practice by reinforcing the value of your services while making sure your care remains affordable and accessible to your patients. Now that is buyer behavior worth tapping into!