It’s a “Right” Numbers Game

Measuring numbers in your practice isn’t enough – you need to watch the right numbers. Lots of dentists spend too much money on numbers that truly don’t matter, like Facebook “Likes,” Twitter “Followers” and Google PageRank.

You can focus all day long on these numbers, but they don’t mean you’re ever going to get a new patient because of them. We help focus your vision on knowing and improving the numbers that matter … the ones that will actually lead to more and better patients.

Phone call tracking is the missing link between your marketing and your patients.

Facebook Likes, Twitter followers, PageRank, time-on-site, SEO and AdWords are all tools to get patients to make that phone call. When you start tracking your phone calls, making sure that your marketing is actually generating phone calls, you see what is effective and where you need to “trim the fat.”

A recent blog tried to defend social media marketing despite this inability to track ROI. The point of the blog was that lots of factors contribute to someone becoming a business’s customer, so you can never really know the ROI on anything.

For instance, people come across your practice in a variety of ways, so you can’t really track the value of a contact. Was it your website, a follow-up email, or a personal recommendation that convinced them to schedule an appointment?

Here are a couple of comments that stood out to me:

“Great social media marketing humanizes your business through social engagement and listening. It might not be seen to drive revenues but just like a friendly, helpful sales associate or a brightly lit window display – it is a very important strategy to make your organization more attractive and likeable.”

And “What is the ROI on your essential but non-revenue generating staff? What is the ROI on the cost of keeping your business premises clean and tidy? What is the ROI of public liability insurance or health and safety training?”

If you’re buying that, I have some magic beans to sell you. I can’t quantify the ROI on those either, but I promise they work!

That first comment about social media humanizing your business is great. Sure, you want people to like you. People do business with people they like. But you can do the same things by writing good blog posts, sending out regular emails, and having great videos.

The second comment, about the ROI of staff like receptionists keeping your practice clean and having health and safety training, ignores the fact that it is RETURN on investment, not REVENUE on investment.

You pay for non-revenue-producing staff because their time is cheaper than paying your revenue-producing staff to do the same work. That allows your revenue-producing staff to keep producing revenue.

You pay to keep your practice clean and train on safety procedures so as not to have to pay OUT for liability claims. There is a clear ROI on those things in decreased LOSSES by not doing so.

If you are a multimillionaire who has money to throw at EVERYTHING just to see what sticks, then you don’t have to worry about ROI. But if you are a hardworking doctor whose practice does less than $3 million a year, you need to know that you are spending your money wisely.

The reason these social media honks use this argument is because SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T GET RESULTS. If I couldn’t prove that what I’m selling works, I would use the same argument.




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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.