There are many ways to measure the success of a marketing campaign: some practices track the number of new patients brought into the practice, while others determine the cost per contact (phone calls from prospective patients) and the cost of acquiring each new patient. Another option is to track how many new patients become active patients that schedule recurring visits.
No matter which method(s) you use, it’s a good idea to track the cumulative impact of your marketing efforts so you know how many prospective patients they bring into the practice and how many of those individuals become active patients of record. Many marketing experts recommend measuring the success of a campaign by tracking these factors:
- The number of prospective patients who are interested in services and have the potential to book an appointment
- The number of prospective patients who inquired about coming to the practice
- The number of new patients who actually walk through your door
- The number of returning patients
Marketing, like dentistry, has a steep learning curve, is a highly specialized field with many specialty areas and represents a blending of both art and science. The art of marketing relates to the intangibles like thoughts, feelings, perceptions and fears while the science refers to the data or metrics produced by analyzing the results of a campaign.
As you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing plan, keep in mind that you may need to stay the course for a while even if you believe you’ve identified a shortcoming or some type of problem. It’s important to be patient since the plan needs time to take hold, build interest and achieve results. Also keep in mind that problems you identify might actually be the result of something other than the marketing plan. Continue to monitor the campaign’s results, assess any problems, identify their causes and then find and implement solutions to fix them.
As time goes by, you’ll likely notice patterns and develop a sense of what is and isn’t effective. You’ll also have the benefit of having hard data to help you gauge your marketing success, making it possible for your marketing plans and strategies to evolve in order to meet your goals.