When looking for a firm to handle your dental practice’s marketing and dental search engine optimization, there are 3 things you should know:
1. You Can’t Judge a Book by its Price.
2. Who You Speak To May Not Be the Person Doing Your Work.
3. Not All Agencies Offer a Guarantee for Your ROI and You Could Be Stuck With a Long Contract.
So How Can You Know What To Look For? Here are the top 5 questions you should ask any dental marketing firm before you do business with them.
#1: How Do You Charge?
In reality there are a few ways that dental marketing/SEO companies make money and charge for their services:
- Markups and commissions: This will be money they make over and above what they charge. Outsourced work will quite often be marked up in price by the time it’s passed on to you and they may be making a commission on advertising, software or services that they recommend you purchase.
- Retainers: This is paid up front and adjusted as often as every quarter based on an estimate of your workload and what you actually used over the last quarter. Clients with a lot of work will find this works to their advantage for the short run but then get pummeled at the next review. Clients with minimum amounts of work are hurt by this scenario.
- Hourly Logged Time: In what would appear to be straightforward way to determine costs, this method gets dicey really quickly. What may have seemed like a simple job can get dragged out as there is no incentive for anyone to accomplish things on time. Also, work that has a high priority to you may not be to them because their hourly margins are different.
SmartBox Web Marketing almost always chooses to charge in a different way; by the project. Work to be done is carefully described and drawn up for each dentist client, closely estimated and charged accordingly. The encumbrance is then on us to meet your expectations in the time budgeted and within the scope of the original project. This also means our clients know exactly what the cost is going to be for any project with no markups or commissions, no overages and the margins are up to us to maintain. We feel it is the best client-oriented solution.
#2: Who Will Your Contact Person Be At the Agency?
When you call about your project who will you get? It can be pretty frustrating to always hear “he’s out” or “she’ll have to call you back”. It can also be aggravating to have your project passed off to someone other than the person you signed a contract in front of.
- Large Agency, Middle Level Contact: In large dental marketing firms the principals are the ones with the most experience, but rarely the ones who do the actual project work. They have risen through the ranks, know the most about target audience psychology and often are the most talented. But now they manage the firm they may have built and so your work gets passed to a middle level contact who then farms it out to entry level workers. Your contact becomes the middle level person you may have never met but they are usually available to answer questions and pass on concerns.
- Mid-Sized Firms, Multiple Contacts: Mid-sized firms are stretched tight. The owners may be your contact person but they are also out making sales making it difficult for you to talk to them. Work is passed to various people who have been hired for their expertise such as copywriting, SEO, and graphics design. Your desires, calls and concerns usually go through a receptionist and you rarely talk to those actually doing the work.
Boutique Firms, Top Level Contact: SmartBox is a boutique style dental marketing firm. We choose to remain small and client focused. While aspects of your work are given to the most qualified in our firm, our small size means the owner is always in charge of your project and knows every aspect of it.
#3: Who Will Actually Be Doing My Work?
Generally speaking, the larger the dental marketing firm the further down the experience chain pieces of your work will be passed to. In today’s economy this often means work is outsourced, frequently overseas for the least expensive rate. Experience may be taken into consideration but cost and expediency are also taken into account.
This makes it very hard for anyone in the firm to know exactly where parts of your project are in the process and for changes to be made quickly.
In smaller agencies the level of experience between the principals and the various people shrinks. In fact, in the smallest boutique styled agencies the staff may have more experience in one aspect of marketing than the principal which makes your project a collaborative effort – the best of the best offering you their best. The principal may have the final say but highly experienced people have given him or her their best input.
SmartBox Web Marketing is a small dental marketing firm that has the personnel to do your project with the best “hands on” experience in the business. We work together to give your project a cohesive feel and look. This means SEO will tie in with copywriting, design and your wishes so that when visitors see your site or do a search everything looks professional and not piecemeal. It also means that when you make a request the entire team knows the direction and scope of your project and changes can happen quickly from one professional to another.
Project Management: The founder and CEO of SmartBox, Colin Receveur coordinates everything on your behalf, offers project components to the best person in the office for the best results and makes sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to your needs. Founding SmartBox over a decade ago, Colin has the experience to translate your desires to those who work for him and will ultimately see everything is completed. He will also be rolling up his own sleeves on your project in areas of his own expertise.
Copywriting: Our copywriter has almost 25 years of copywriting experience; everything from print to web. He has been a copywriting consultant for national health insurance carriers and a business/marketing consultant for many hospitals, doctors, dentists and brick and mortar businesses. His approach to copywriting is to deliver results by focusing on what turns your public into active consumers without falling for fads or untested trends. This has led him to win many prestigious awards from all over the U.S. but his greatest reward is the conversion rate of your sales.
Video: Our video and creative director has been in the film and cinematographry industry for over 25 years. He is a master of creating visuals that look like a million bucks, all within the budget. He captures more than the moment, either in the studio or on location; creating believable and powerful imagery. His easy-going demeanor also makes any project more fun. His experience with film and video includes producing music videos, corporate training and imaging pieces, Public Service Announcements, network television shows, public-issue campaigns, and down-and-dirty local TV spots.
#4: Does Your Agency Have a Specialty?
All businesses, like all people, have their specialties whether they realize it or not. Most of the time this evolves over time as personnel are added and a core thrust of projects begins to emerge. It’s important to match your profession with their experience and job specialties. Our experience has led us to specialize our focus on dental practices and getting dentists highly qualified new patients for their specialties.
You should also know about the inadvertent specialties that become inherent in web and dental marketing agencies. What you’ll find quite often is that firms with 25+ years of experience started in a time when “branding” was all the rage. Print and television did not immediately cause the community to act. The emphasis was on keeping their products or services in the minds of consumers so that when they did need a particular service or product they remembered their “brand”.
You have probably experienced the expense and uncertainty of “brand advertising” if you have advertised in the phone book, newspaper, or on the radio. Many dental marketing firms offer you the same uncertain results and a “trust me this works” type of assurance. When things do not appear to be working their response is that it will take more time, trust, and unfortunately money.
Branding was for a time before the internet and has become somewhat outdated as the web has now brought together the busy consumer with the ability to discover information immediately. “Branding” is also very expensive, too expensive for most dental practices because the message has to be repeatedly delivered to the public via an expensive medium. Because of this little is known about how a particular campaign is actually performing and you cannot immediately know your ROI. Firms which talk about “branding” your dental practices should best be left to handle the marketing campaigns of large corporations (like GE & Pepsi) who must send a message out nationally.
SmartBox not only specializes in marketing for dentists, we specialize in “Direct Response” marketing on the web. Unlike branding, our quest is to cause your community members to act immediately upon seeing your message. This is the message most consumers today prefer. They make snap decisions and their buyer mentality looks at things branding never would have considered in the past: testimonials from other community members, video, being able to find you on the web and on mobile phones, and displayed expertise are just a few.
#5: How Do I Know What You Do is Working?
There are many things some dental marketing firms will use to try and demonstrate their effectiveness. Sometimes you’ll see them justify their expenses with “coupon” or “co-op” sales, counting the number of coupons actually used. Some will point to branding, but will always point out it takes time to build sales. Many internet marketing agencies will rely on “clicks” to your site to show that traffic, and hopefully conversions, are on the rise.
None of these are adequate measurements of ROI for the professional office. They are slow, expensive and the exact ROI of your advertising is never really quantified. The results many agencies show you are long after the fact, and long after you’ve spent a lot of money.
SmartBox Web Marketing takes a more direct approach, and one we think is more beneficial to you. We want to know actual results on an immediate basis. Although this keeps us on our toes, we feel quantifiable results are also what you deserve.
To accomplish this we have developed our own proprietary system of monitoring and phone tracking called “Zetetics™”. Zetetics™ pulls data right from your own office on a weekly and monthly basis. There is no guessing on your part. You know exactly how any ad or marketing campaign is working, down to the penny of revenue generated.
Zetetics™ assigns a unique phone number, which we supply, to each advertising campaign. When someone calls from an ad or from your website, it tracks the call and even records it automatically. This reporting gives you real data at your finger tips. Clicks may be fine to measure website traffic, but calls to your office are more important. They are a better indicator of the effectiveness of your advertising.
Zetetics™ allows us to show our dentist clients immediate and unalterable proof of our effectiveness and ROI. In our decade of service to dental professionals, we have never had a client disappointed with the results.
Additional Point to Think About
- Most agencies do not have the capability to effectively measure your ROI. In other dental marketing agencies where work is outsourced or done piecemeal, no one person can take ultimate responsibility for your marketing.
We Want To Be Your Partners In Success.
Your dental website is not just about colors, pictures, and text… A successful and profitable dental website includes a multitude of elements that help convert web visitors into paying patients.
- Why is it so hard to find a good dental website and marketing firm?
- How do you know that your rankings will improve?
- How do you know all your effort and money will result in phone calls and $$$ generated, not just “hits and clicks”?
- Most importantly, how do you know your marketing will attract the patients and cases YOU really want?
- Will you end up just wasting your dental marketing budget paying for stuff that doesn’t actually work?
Your marketing is not just about colors, pictures, and text. A successful and profitable website includes a multitude of elements that actually convert your web visitors into phone calls and paying patients.
Making significant improvements to your bottom line requires a commitment from both you and us. Whether on the web, in the postal mail, on the phone, or in your office, your success is our primary goal. We will be there to guide you every step of the way!
In order to get you Super-Human Results from your Dental Web Marketing:
- We have a scheduled monthly brainstorming & strategy phone call to review your marketing efforts.
During this call, we will review your stats, efforts, as well as other success factors, such as your staff’s phone training, your sales funnel, and any special offers you are running.
- We request your ROI stats monthly for both your online and offline marketing.
This allows us to not only optimize your marketing by how many phone calls you received, but also by actual dollars generated. The synergism between your newspaper ads, radio or TV Advertising and your online presence is essential to your success. We can help you fit the puzzle together.
- Use our Zetetics™ Phone Tracking to track all of your marketing.
By tracking your phone calls and $$$ generated, we can show you with precision exactly what works (and what doesn’t). You can use our phone recordings to train your staff. Many doctors are surprised to hear us say that most offices need weekly phone training to “stay on top” of the correct way to manage patients into your sales funnel. We can show you how.
- We will make suggestions for improving your total marketing efforts.
Whether on the web, in the postal mail, on the phone, or in your office, your success is our primary goal. We will be there to guide you every step of the way. Implementing our suggestions (and we’ll help you) is critical to your success.
If you have any questions about my guarantee, the services my company offers, or how internet marketing can benefit your dental practice, will you contact me directly?
My direct line is 502-509-1413.
Keep Moving Forward,
Colin Receveur, Founder & CEO
SmartBox Web Marketing
- Dr. Mitchel Friedman
- Dr. Ron Receveur, New Albany, IN
- Michael Abernathy DDS, Summit Practice Solutions
- Dr. Kevin McMahon
- Dr. David Bistritz
- Dr. Michael Abernathy
- Dr. Feder
- Dr. Mitchel Friedman
- Dr. Argeros
- Dr. Stiver
- Dr. Katie Post
- Dr. Hanson
- Dr. Porter
- Dr. Randy Schmidt
- Dr. Michael Abernathy
- Dr. Ron Steenkist, Dentist in Amsterdam
- Dr. Sean Hanson
- Dr. Michael “Yar” Zuk
- Max Gotcher, Summit Practice Solutions
- Dr. CJ Landry
- Dr. Takacs
- Dr. Kiehl
- Dr. Jonathan Gilbart
- Dr. Ivan Terrero, Bonita Springs, Florida
- Dr. Anderson
- Dr. Arthur Laos
- Pat Worcester, Mission Possible…Best Hygiene
- Dr. Avi Weisfogel
- Dr. Walter Hadley
- Dr. Leath
- Dr. David Maloley
- Dr. David Maloley
- Dr. Fuesting
- Corey Hurcomb
- Dr. Randy Schmidt
- Dr. Fox
- Dr. Woody Oakes
- Dr. Ron Receveur
- Dr. John K. Argeros
- Dr. Mitchel Friedman, Newman Springs Dental Care
- Dr. Matthew Burton