Episode 87 – Marketing ROI is BS

Having a marketing company get you 100 new patient calls means nothing if your office can’t convert them. Most marketing ROI is BS. ROI is really a reflection of the health of your office. Today, I’m going to give you an overview of why getting high ROI on your marketing is much more than just your phone ringing:

  • The importance of budgets
  • Training your team to support the marketing efforts
  • Offering financial options that allow patients to say “yes” to treatment

Would you like to know if your marketing dollars are really working for you? I’ve asked PDA’s Success Advisor to open some time on her schedule to go over your marketing needs with you: Schedule Time Here.


Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird, with the Productive Dentist Podcast and this is episode 87. Hard to believe we’ve done 87 of these episodes, but a lot of fun, a lot of fun. And today I’m going to be talking about marketing. And in the past I’ve talked about I’ve talked about train wreck marketing, I’ve talked about marketing, you know a little bit about what type of marketing we do and all that type of stuff. But I’m not really going to talk about that today. 

Probably one of the hardest companies that you could build, which would be a marketing company 10 years ago, productive dentist Academy started marketing. And the reason we started a marketing company 25 employees now that are part of our marketing team. But the reason we did that is that we would refer and I’ve worked with lots of different marketing companies over the years through lecturing and teaching and everything else that I do. But one of the things that, you know, we would we believe at Productive Dentist Academy in a budget, we believe you run your business on a budget, and most of you know that we recommend 8% marketing budget, that’s marketing and consulting budget, it’s all in that, at that in that one piece of 8%.

 And I tell people to start that 8% early in their practice, make that your Education Fund. And as you do more education you become and a percentage of that for coaching and that type of thing. Even early in your practice, always, always work with cousin we work with nine different coaches over over my career, different coach about every four years. Why because I want different, different perspective in in looking at that. So the 8%, early on in your practice for education turns into your 8% marketing budget, as you become more skilled or excellent in more procedures, you know, perfection versus excellence, you know, you want to continue, continually be better this year than you were last year. 

And if you’re doing that, then you’re really you know, you’re gonna reap the benefits in your career. And as you become more productive, you have choices, you can begin to work less if you want, spend more time with family, spend more time with friends, spend more time doing whatever the heck it is you want to do. And it does not affect you financially. But the reason we started our marketing company is because we would send people that had a budget, and the marketing company would oversell them some ridiculous, you know, two year marketing budget that totally, you know, to your marketing plan that totally blew their budget. And we just got sick and tired of that over a period of time. 

But one of the things that I told Victoria early on, I said, you know, one of the hardest things about marketing is going to be there’s a whole lot to marketing besides just getting the phone to ring. Yeah, I mean, the phone rings, and what happens well, so what can a marketing company do for you? Well, pretty much of that they’ll help you build your brand. 

Great. They’re gonna pick your colors, good, they’re gonna maybe build you a website, they’re going to sell you all kinds of shit. You’re going to do all kinds of stuff. And if the phone doesn’t ring, then you know, none of that really matters. None of that matters if your phone’s not ringing. So let’s look at let’s look and see what happens when the phone rings. So and let’s talk about something specifically that every dentist out there, this is how you judge your marketing company, or what’s my ROI because you read it in some magazine, you know, or you heard some consultants say, well, what’s your ROI on your marketing? What’s your ROI, ROI ROI? Okay, so what is your ROI? 

Let’s just say I’m going to give two examples. No, I’m going to give 10 examples. Let’s say you have, you’re working with a marketing company. And they get your foundering. I mean, you see this on on LinkedIn all day long, oh, I can bring you 25 new patients, I can bring you 50, I can bring you one hundred new patients. Great. That’s awesome. But is it awesome? 

Well? Are they going to bring them in your door? Are they going to walk them? and get them in your chair? Are they going to give them a treatment plan and talk to the patient about it? Are they going to have the financial arrangements that allow that patient to get the work done? Is that what they’re going to do? No, they’re just going to bring you 100 new patients, that’s what a marketing company does. The question is, what are you going to do with them? Step one, they call your front office. And you know, there’s one consulting group out there very successful that would record your front office. 

I say they were very successful, I think it was more of a scam than it was anything else. Because I charge 100 grand, for some bs stuff that they would recommend on how to train a front desk person, which could be done in about two hours. With the right with the right help. But bottom line, he listened to your friend ask, they’d listen to him and say, these are the things they need to do better. So that you know, and they weren’t even a marketing company. They’re just that’s how they sold. So john, they’re consulting. But bottom line was okay. Your front desk? Are they skilled? 

Now, I will tell you, I’ve listened my my wife, Cynthia came into the office and listen to the phone calls at our front desk. And I said, Oh, I want to hear and she goes, No, you don’t know you don’t. And I said, Yeah. Do I want to hear him? So I heard about, and I’ve got a great team. And I heard about five minutes, I thought I was gonna throw up. I mean, it was like, what are we doing here? 

You know, we have people call, they would ask for one app, for instance, because we do train wreck marketing, we mark it for specific procedures, an app user separately carrier laser laser, and one of the team at the front desk said, Oh, and our average new patient, mind you comes from 6070 miles away, and we see 100 plus new patients a month. And my front desk person said, Well, where do you live? They said, Oh, I live over in mesquite, Texas. She goes oh my gosh, that’s a long way. Yes, but I heard you guys do do the the laser gum surgery? She has we do we do? You know, but I bet there’s somebody closer to you that has it. And she actually pulled it up online and found somebody over closer to their office or their house so that they could go to that office, I about blew a main gasket. 

Okay, so, so what would be my ROI on my marketing, if I did not have a front desk that was properly trained, which is one of the things productive dentists does. I mean, we don’t just in marketing for you. We don’t just send you patients, we also listen to your phone calls help train we have team that trains your front office that trains them how to answer the phone, and they’re not doing it. They’re they’re lovely people. But they just you know, they don’t have the kind of experience and the kind of verbal skills that many of them need. Now, if you have that, awesome, so now you get them in, which is which is amazing. 

Or they at least call the front desk. I’ve actually had front desk person say, yeah, any other questions now? Okay, well, just give us a call when you’re ready to set up an appointment, they call to set up a fricking appointment. Don’t let your team tell them, okay, answer all their questions and say, you know, do you take our insurance? Just say yes, yeah, we take all insurance. We’re a non restricted provider, meaning I can take insurance from anybody, it’s out of network. But I want to get these people in the door to see my facility to meet my people to meet us. That’s what I want to do. 

And so that this ROI, alright, so we have a great ROI. Or we have a lousy ROI. What if you have a lousy ROI? Whose fault is it? Well, it’s the damn marketing company. Look at this. I’m a four to one, quit doing that. Don’t send out any more of these mailers. These guys suck. And I see it on Facebook all the time, don’t do it and they just suck or whatever. The deal is you got to look inside yourself. You got to look at your own team. You got to look at your own self. Do you have the verbal skills so now you get the patient in the chair, they show up for the appointment. Everything is beautiful. The facility is great. Everything is awesome.

Great equipment, you know you’re doing everything and they get back in your treatment room. And then you go through your exam process. And the average dentist, I mean, we’re engineers and you can go back to all of my communication skills podcasts that I’ve done. But, you know, most of us are anal retentive, you know, where I want to explain to you every single detail, I don’t really, I’ve never really learned the verbal skills to be able to get somebody to say yes to treatment. 

And so I’m going to look at my marketing now, as I bring in 40 new patients. And we do, I don’t know, 40 new patients, we do $40,000 worth of dentistry. Now, some of that could be verbal skills, some of that could be the amount of experience the dentist has. So if if a dentist only has one year out of school, that treatment plan is going to be MND, a great communicator, in fact, I would take a dentist right out of school, that’s a great communicator, comparing them to somebody with 10 years out of school, and the one that’s a great communicator is probably going to be more dentistry, meaning their ROI on marketing is going to be higher. I would also say that the more experience you get, and the better you get at communication, the higher your treatment plan is going to be. If, if your treatment plans aren’t growing, then you’re not learning. 

And that’s just that’s just the way it is. So you’re looking at this saying, Oh my gosh, that, you know, this ROI for this marketing company just suck, you know, don’t do and you’ll hear it don’t do direct mail, they suck at direct mail, no, they don’t suck the if your phone’s not ringing, they suck. Okay, if your phone’s not ringing, if they’re not coming by and bringing coupons then use, you know, they suck. 

But when you’re getting the phone ringing off the wall, and I’ve had this happen, we’ve done marketing deals where we got 80 new patients, but all of them came in for some offer that was made that I was like, Well, that didn’t bring any and these patients were just shocked. But that’s where having a having a marketing experts and a marketing coach to help you not just help you get new patients in the to call, but to help your team convert them to get you to be able to comfortably do comprehensive treatment planning, not just the one and done club or the one did the crown of the year club, you know? And finally, you know, what kind of financial arrangements do you have? 

And who are you marketing to, you know, if you’re marketing to people in general, and all you have is care credit, or a third party financing, they’re going to approve about half those people, the other half, you’ve paid for the marketing, you’ve got them in your office. And now they ended up having to go to the cheapo depot because you know, you don’t have any decent financial options. That’s where something like compassionate finance can play a huge role. Now you’re doing more dentistry, on more patients that are coming in. 

So don’t just look at ROI, as being this Holy Grail. That, that measures the marketing company, I can tell you a marketing company is good if they get your phone during your ROI is good. If your front office answers the phone, you know seamlessly if you do treatment, planning and help patients and have that caring attitude and the whole nine yards, your team has that same attitude, and that you have great financial arrangements to help those patients and that you’re marketing to the procedures you love. These are all things that you have to do. 

So it’s not about ROI. ROI is BS. ROI, unfortunately, is a direct reflection on your office or my office. And trust me, I’ve been through it and I’ve looked at it and I go go late. Don’t ever let me listen to those phone calls again. Now we’ve trained our team, you know, so it’s better. So hopefully, hopefully this has been a good a good podcast for you.

I look forward to the next one. And stay safe. Good luck and good luck in your marketing you can always call productive dentist if you want to really if you really want to superpower your marketing throughout the process. Then give us a call.

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