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Marketing vs sales as a cosmetic dentist

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Planning is important to any business. And one of the key parts of a plan is to define the end goal or the objective of the plan.

When we talk about marketing and sales, we are talking about two different things. Ultimately, you want to convert an interested person into a paying customer or paying patient. Marketing is the way that you are going to capitalize on that interest and move them from a lead into a sale.

In a nutshell, a good marketing plan will establish some plan parameters and then show your product to a targeted number of people who are qualified to purchase your teeth whitening service or braces or any other service that you’re selling.

While it would be great for people to click on your ad and immediately buy your service, conversion is a process. We need to be able to hone down your message so that it resonates with the right people. This is true no matter what you are selling.

How do you qualify a customer?

The number one qualification is that someone must have a present or a near-present interest in your dental products and services. They could be a couple of weeks out from needing your services, or a couple of months out. It is not five years.

Although it would be great if you made a good enough impression to be remembered years down the road, the immediate goal is to get a paying customer through the door to keep the lights on and pay your staff and expenses.  

Secondly, your ideal customer will be able to afford your dental products and services. You aren’t doing this work pro-bono at the present time.

By identifying people who have a need for your services and who can afford them, we can start to transition those potential customers into paying customers.

What do you show qualified customers?

Now is the time to show off your products and services to the targeted audience. If you know who your audience is – that is the demographics of current or desired patients – then you have a better idea of what might appeal to them.

Think about the truck commercials we see on television all the time. In those commercials, 90 percent of the time you’re going to see males driving these trucks. It doesn’t mean that women don’t drive these trucks, it is simply the audience the ad creators choose to focus on and they do it for a reason. Males of a certain age are their key demographic.

That is not to say that you can’t expand your target market too. Think about Dove. In the last five to ten years, Dove has chosen to show a diversity of ages, ethnicities, and body types in their ads. The people in the commercials are mostly women, but they are all different kinds of women. The takeaway? We see you as you are. We have a product or products made for you in mind.

Think about your existing demographic. Think about how you might want to expand on that. You have a limited advertising budget. You have a limited window of people’s attention. You want to make every dollar count.

Start paying attention to the ads in your daily life and consider who is being shown to you and why. It will help you with your own marketing plan to reach out to your intended customer and move them to where you’d most like to encounter them – in your lobby, ready to take advantage of your product or service.


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