How much should I be spending on marketing my dental practice?

24th November 2021 | | Marketing

For private dentists in the UK, marketing has always been important. Going into 2022 it’s more than just important, it’s a necessity. With more private dentists working in the UK than ever before it’s vital that your practice is putting its best foot forward. How? Through clever, effective marketing.  Whilst most dentists understand that they need to market their practice to maintain and increase a steady supply of new patients, the question I am asked more than any other is ‘How much should I be spending on marketing?’.

In reality, every dental practice is different, and there are too many factors to make any hard and fast declaration. However, as a rule of thumb, we tend to work on the premise that your marketing budget should be 10-12.5% of the revenues you would like to generate. For example, if you are trying to achieve revenues of £250k a year, you need to be spending about £25k on marketing, or around £2000 per month. That can look like a scary figure, especially if you are starting from a position where your budget is currently £0 but the old adage ‘speculate to accumulate’ is especially true in marketing. 

 I sometimes ask practice owners to visualise their budget as an employee. Imagine hiring a person who has the sole responsibility of marketing the practice and targeting that person to generate a quarter of a million pounds in revenue for the year. In effect, that’s what you’re doing when you pay a digital marketing company to undertake organic SEO, look after your social media, run Google Ads campaigns and so on. I’m pretty confident that if a member of staff told you they could generate that sum, you’d snap their hands off and make sure they never left! 

The other thing to consider is just how well set up you are to handle the leads that a solid marketing strategy will produce. A marketing company can do 90% of the work for you, but that final 10% is crucial. If the practice doesn’t do a top-notch job of responding to incoming enquiries, or have the ability to convert them, the investment is being squandered. Imagine every missed opportunity as throwing money down the drain, which in essence you are, and it will certainly motivate you to make necessary changes. 

It’s important to understand that when it comes to marketing there are two ways of doing it. Well, or not at all. If you want to increase revenues in the practice, don’t do it piecemeal and don’t try and do everything yourself. The marketing budget should include room to hire expertise and knowhow so that the money that’s being spent is seeing maximised potential. That marketing budget ‘employee’ needs to be qualified to do the job after all.

 In summary, fix a marketing budget, stick to it, get someone in who knows what they are doing and look for areas of improvement. This will give you the best possible chance of success, whatever budget you settle on.

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