July 12, 2023

Custom Marketing to Drive the Digital Patient Experience and Growth

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In the age of digital transformation, personalized patient experiences and targeted marketing have become vital elements driving the growth of multi-site dental practices. As competition stiffens, simply offering quality services is no longer enough. 

Practices need to reach out to patients strategically, understand their unique needs, and deliver tailored experiences that meet and exceed their expectations. This is where custom marketing fueled by an intelligent practice management system (PMS) comes into play. 

In this article, we’ll explore how you can leverage these digital tools to enhance the patient experience and consequently, drive growth for your practice.

The Importance of Custom Marketing in Today's Digital Era

In the digital era where patients are increasingly becoming active consumers of healthcare, the traditional 'one-size-fits-all' marketing approach is fast becoming obsolete. The adoption of digital marketing in healthcare has revolutionized how practices interact with their patients, opening doors to unprecedented levels of personalized communication.

Custom marketing, which involves tailoring marketing strategies to suit individual patient preferences and needs, is at the forefront of this transformation. By delivering relevant content that resonates with patients, practices can enhance patient experiences and differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. The ability to deliver personalized, value-rich experiences can significantly increase patient loyalty, attract new patients, and ultimately drive growth.

Leveraging Practice Management Systems for Personalized Marketing

PMS serves as more than just a tool to streamline your practice's operations —it can be a vital asset for your custom marketing strategies. PMS's can capture, organize, and analyze large amounts of patient data, providing practices with valuable insights into patient behavior, preferences, and needs. This rich data source can help practices segment their patient base, allowing for highly targeted marketing efforts. 

For example, you can identify patients that are due for their preventive hygiene recall and send them a custom message to automatically schedule their next appointment right from their cell phone.  Your PMS should support custom marketing campaigns with system generated coupons that can be marketed to specific patient demographic groups that align to your marketing strategies. These campaigns can be easily tracked and provide insights to determine the success rate and ROI for future campaign planning. 

Additionally, in selecting the right, practices can streamline their marketing efforts by automating communications, tracking patient responses, and optimizing strategies based on real-time feedback. The right PMS not only enables personalized marketing but also makes the process more efficient and effective.

Essential Metrics to Monitor

Monitoring the right metrics is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of your custom marketing strategies. While specific metrics may vary depending on your practice's goals, there are several key indicators every practice should monitor. It’s also important to notice that no one DSO or dental organization is the same and one should think about agnostic metric monitoring capability in any PMS selection.  

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics like click-through rates (CTR) and open rates can give you a sense of how well your messages are resonating with patients. High CTRs and open rates typically suggest that your content is relevant and compelling to your audience.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rates, whether it's booking an appointment, signing up for a newsletter, or availing a promotional offer, can indicate whether your strategies are effectively driving desired actions.

Patient Acquisition Cost & Lifetime Value

Patient acquisition cost is another crucial metric, helping you assess the cost-effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This, coupled with the lifetime value of a patient, can offer insights into the overall return on investment (ROI) of your marketing strategies.

Patient Feedback

Patient feedback can provide qualitative insights that enrich your understanding of quantitative data. Regular patient surveys can help identify areas of success and potential improvement in your marketing efforts. This can also include how many referrals you receive each month and what your online reputation is. By tracking referrals and monitoring online reviews, you can gain deeper insights into what your brand reputation is out in the market and if it needs to be adjusted. 

Preparing Your Practice for Custom Marketing

To successfully implement custom marketing strategies, a practice must be ready to embrace the data-driven culture. Training staff on the use of PMS for marketing purposes and encouraging a mindset that values data and analytics is crucial.

Here are some steps to take:

  1. Start by clearly defining your marketing goals. Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve helps guide your strategies and provides a benchmark against which you can measure success. This can include production per day, new patient goals, and reactivated or recalled patients, which are the foundation of revenue goals related to customer marketing.
  1. Next, ensure your PMS is set up to capture the data you need. This might involve customizing your data collection methods or integrating your PMS with other digital marketing tools. Be sure you have benchmark data on the KPIs listed in step 1, then select a time frame to come back and measure against them. 
  1. Finally, be prepared to experiment and iterate. Custom marketing is not a 'set and forget' strategy. It requires continuous monitoring, testing, and refining to optimize results.

What’s Next?

As multi-site practice owners navigate the digital landscape, custom marketing emerges as a powerful strategy to enhance patient experiences and drive practice growth. By leveraging the rich data within an effective PMS, practices can deliver personalized, value-rich experiences to their patients, setting themselves apart in a competitive market. 

The journey towards custom marketing may require a shift towards a more data-driven culture, but the rewards in terms of improved patient satisfaction and practice growth make it a worthwhile investment. We encourage all practice owners to explore the potential of custom marketing and the role moving to the right PMS can play in it. The future of your practice might just be a few data-driven decisions away.


ResearchGate. (January 2017). The adaptation of health care marketing to the digital era. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316017652_The_adaptation_of_health_care_marketing_to_the_digital_era

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