Marketing Your Dental Practice – Commit, Monitor and Grow

Robin Morrison, President at RLM Healthcare Marketing; Dental Consultant Connection Founder & CEO

As I talk with clients about marketing their practice, especially new clients who don’t know exactly what we offer at RLM, I find myself getting so passionate about dentistry and the possibilities of growing their practice.  And the possibilities are endless! Can you tell that I just finished speaking with a new client?

I began marketing in dentistry way before the Internet boomed (it was something we only heard about and had no idea what it really was). But even then, which was 1987, we found ways to bring in 60 – 80 new patients a month in the dental practice I was working in. Pretty amazing, right?? We were literally pioneers in dental practice marketing. I think it was good that we had no road map to follow.  Otherwise, we would not have been as creative as we were. We took chances (and raised a few hairs on the necks of other dentists in our community). I still speak with dentists today who fear marketing because of how their colleagues will perceive them.

So, what did we do to attract so many new patients? By the way, these new patients were great patients who accepted comprehensive, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. We committed to a sizable budget and stuck with it. In 1987 in a solo practice, we spent $40,000 in the first 6 months just creating our campaign, which included advertisements in the newspaper and Yellow Pages, and an excellent direct mail campaign. And, guess what? Some of it worked and some of it flopped. Thank goodness we monitored our results meticulously, or we would have wasted a lot of money, and our return on investment would not have been very impressive. So, no rocket science here … we did more of what worked and dropped what flopped. Within 2 years, half of the revenues received in the practice, came from patients who responded to our marketing campaign. I kept thinking to myself, “what if we had not done the marketing?” Our production would have been half of what it was that year. It was a scary thought, but it motivated us to keep on marketing.

Now, 25 years later, just look at the marketing opportunities dental practices have … the Internet, social media, e-marketing, networking, internal marketing, print ads, and yes … still direct mail campaigns, and much more. Just remember that marketing takes commitment, monitoring and money. You must consider the money you spend marketing as an investment. A very worthwhile investment if done well.

Want to be happy in dentistry? Then I say: Stay passionate. Stay current. And do what it takes to become more successful. It’s really up to you.

Learn more about Robin Morrison on the Dental Consultant Connection (DCC) website –

5 Reviews

  1. I love your emphasis on monitoring the results. If you don’t pay close attention to the data then its basically the same as going to a sports game where they don’t keep score. Great article!

  2. I completely agree. I think that monitoring results is key if you want to progress and grow your business.

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