Dental marketing agencies come and go – don’t get left in the lurch
You may have seen the large increase in the number of marketing agencies trying to get into the dental space over the last two or three years.
These typically range from single-handed freelancers to digital agencies from other sectors who decide that dentistry *must* be lucrative and hence they’ll try to get a piece of the action. More often than not they fail, leaving their clients in a mess and without support.
There is a case at the moment where a new company appeared a few years ago and made a big splash at dental shows and and all over the web. This gained them a number of clients quite quickly, albeit the fees they were charging, on the back of huge promises, were significant. However, it would appear that the promises they made regarding huge influxes of new patients, didn’t materialise, resulting in clients slowly slipping away. Today, the company has ceased to exist with the bits and pieces being picked up by others. But as often happens in these cases, clients are being cherry-picked and lots of the smaller businesses are being cast aside.
You might think that this would be relatively easy for a dentist to recover from, after all business fail all the time. However, in this circumstance, significant assets such as websites, had been built using non-industry standard tools which made it nearly impossible for other marketing companies to step in with immediate support. This meant that those businesses which had been cast aside, needed to start from scratch with new websites etc. Time-consuming, costly and potentially disrupting for their businesses too. All considered, not a good situation at all and with lessons to be learned!
Do your homework before starting out with a new dental marketing company
The example above is not isolated. We see companies come and go in the dental marketing space all of the time, and no doubt often leaving their clients in a mess. This is why it is absolutely essential to check the experience and track record of the company you propose to use before jumping in. It’s very easy to build a swanky website, develop some fancy brochures and attend a few trade shows – understandably this can look impressive to a dentist who is looking around for marketing services. But more often than not, there is limited substance behind it.
You also need to check the financial stability of the company you are considering. A quick glance at Companies House will give you a good indication of the track record and also the stability of the key decision makers. You may well get a few surprises!
Due diligence is absolutely essential in a case like this, so as a minimum look out for:
- a long track record – not just a few months or years (here at Dental Media we are the UK’s longest dental marketing provider with over 20 years of experience)
- numerous, long-standing clients
- financial stability
- use of industry standard tools and best practice design (several companies use WIX, Squarespace and other DIY tools – you should avoid these!)
- transparent pricing
- no “lock-in” contracts
- prepared to provide references, including direct discussion with existing clients
- clear dental sector experience
There will be other factors you need to evaluate too, for example checking the validity of case studies, quality of designs and so forth, but the key is to avoid getting sucked in and signing up before you’ve completed your due diligence. If you get it wrong, you could easily end up in the lurch similar to the dentists mentioned at the start of this article.
The dental marketing sector is more of a minefield than ever before, with numerous new companies springing up, offering the “moon on a stick” and then often failing. Very often dentists are being seduced by glitzy presentations and fancy stands at trade shows and end up signing up without checking the validity and capability of the company carefully enough. Several months down the track and having spent thousands on assets such as websites which quickly become redundant, the duped dentist then has to start all over again.
To avoid such a scenario, it is essential to check very closely before diving in. Ensure that the company you choose has a long-track record in the dental sector, a great reputation for value and service and doesn’t want to tie you into onerous monthly service contracts.
Whilst this in itself won’t guarantee you get what you need, you will at least avoid the “cowboy” suppliers who are in it for a fast buck and won’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.
If you are seeking a new marketing partner with a long track record and excellent reputation, please get in touch with the Dental Media team on 01332 672548. We’ve been around for a long time and working hard to bring success for our long list of clients – we’d be delighted for you to join us too!Google+