Marketing Channel Analysis

Marketing Channel Analysis

What is it and why should dentists prioritise it?

Regular readers of this blog will know that we are extremely keen that dentists understand exactly how their marketing campaigns are working so that their return on investment is clear and that any maintenance can be done quickly to maximise effectiveness.

A key part of this is an understanding of where new patient enquiries came from, i.e. which channels actually delivered them. By ‘channels’ I mean the routes or paths the patient travelled along before they actually made contact with you. For example did they find you via a Google search, a paid advert on Facebook, an ad in the local paper or perhaps word-of-mouth?

Drilling down further (no pun intended!) we can also measure what we call ‘channel attribution’ which is where we work out just how much credit can be assigned to each touch-point within the conversion path. In basic terms, this means working out which bits of your marketing efforts worked best!

There are lots of studies on this type of work, some quite detailed and mathematical; however that is beyond the scope of this article. Today I’m simply trying to illustrate how important this type of channel analysis is and how you can get the basics in place without breaking the bank or studying for a degree.

Let’s take a look at the basic monitoring which allows this and which should be in place for any dentist using the web to promote dental services.

Google Analytics

This is a free tool which allows the comprehensive monitoring of website performance. It is hugely detailed if you want it to be, but on a more basic level it will allow you to easily see where your website traffic came from, when it came and how much there was. If you set up goals (conversions) it will also tell you how much of this traffic resulted in tangible enquiries.

Installing a small piece of tracking code on your website will allow the collection of huge amounts of valuable data which can be analysed and used to inform your marketing campaigns. You can also integrate your analytics with paid ad platforms so you can see how much traffic those campaigns are generating, and indeed if they are resulting in enquiries.

Oh, and very importantly, Google Analytics is free to use, so there really is no excuse for not using it.

Facebook Analytics (Page and Audience Insights)

Similarly to Google Analytics which provides in-depth website analytics, Facebook also provides a suite of analytics tools to allow you (or your marketing team) to see what is happening on your Facebook business page and also how any Facebooks ads you’ve published are performing.

There is a vast array of information available, just like Google Analytics, but you don’t need much of it to get a clear idea of how your social media is performing. From post reach to demographic stats and engagement information, it’s all there and often with visual tools to allow you to see trends over time.

Telephone Analytics

One of the “black holes” in a typical analytics set-up is the monitoring of telephone calls and how they convert. Whilst Google ads allow you to use trackable mobile numbers which allows some degree of analysis, it’s very difficult to see much outside of that. This is where dedicated telephone analytics packages come into play.

These systems allow you to present unique telephone numbers on your website and also on more traditional assets such as newspaper adverts, which can all be tracked. The web system is very clever in that it presents a unique number to each new user of the site which then acts as a marker as they navigate your pages. If this ultimately ends up in a call, then you can track it and also what the source was in the first place.

This type of system, whilst not free, is essential for practices with broad marketing campaigns where telephone calls will be a key success criterion and hence need to be monitored and analysed.

Analytics dashboards

As business owners we are all likely to be super busy and possibly don’t have time to drill down into all of this data and understand what it all means. This is where visual dashboards come into their own.

A visual dashboard allows you to select the most pertinent data and build a clear display of key information – ideal for a dentist to see at a glance how their campaigns are progressing. Here at Dental Media we integrate all forms of analytics into bespoke visual dashboards for practice owners and managers. We also provide commentary and recommendations based on the data so there is complete clarity for all concerned.

Summary

Measuring the performance of your website, social media and paid ads is essential if you are to understand how they are performing and to avoid throwing money into the void.

A range of tools exist, many of them free, to facilitate this and to allow you to see exactly what is happening across all of your marketing campaigns. If you don’t have access to this type of information already, then really you should be asking why.

If you need help with understanding the performance of your own campaigns, please get in touch on 01332 672548. We’ll be pleased to evaluate any information you already have and make recommendations as to how it, and the campaigns it supports, can be enhanced.