How to Set Your 2015 Marketing Budget

They always say you have to spend money to make money, and when it comes to online advertising that statement couldn’t be truer. As a dental professional, you’re probably used to spending money on things like yellow pages ads, maybe even TV commercials. Then there’s direct mail, branded marketing products like keychains and Frisbees; heck, you may have even shelled out for a spread in the Sunday newspaper. But then online marketing comes along and everyone wants to know – how much money do I really have to put into this thing? Isn’t social media free? Isn’t it free to send email? Do I really need to shell out thousands to reach people in my local area online? The answer is yes, you absolutely do, and you should if you want to reach locals en masse. Here is a breakdown of how you should be allotting your online dental marketing budget as we head into 2015.



Looking for More New HIGH QUALITY Patients? Schedule a Strategy Session Today: Click Here


There is No Cookie-Cutter Approach

The important thing to remember when it comes to setting an online budget is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You might have to spend $32,000 while a competitor only has to spend $11,000. Or a new guy in town could have to spend $50,000 or more to get the same results you do at $30,000. The way to determine how much you should allocate to your marketing expenditures is to gauge how long you’ve been at your current location.

New Practices

A startup dental practice needs to work hard to build up its clientele quickly. It’s said that the average general dentist will need to acquire 700 patients in the first year in order to productively support a thirty-hour weekly schedule. That’s just shy of 60 clients per month. For this reason, new dentists in town should seek to hit the ground running, and a heavy investment in online marketing will bring the practice much needed publicity. But how much is enough?

On average it costs about $80 to $120 to gain a single high-quality patient. If you need to build 700 new patients within the first year, a marketing budget of around $70K to $80K should not be out of the question.

Practices with Stability

Now let’s discuss practices that have been in the area for at least five years. These ‘bread and butter family’ practices are already somewhat known in the area, and so a substantial digital marketing budget may not be necessary. Instead, a budget range of 5% of TTM (Trailing Twelve Months) and 5% of goal revenues should be considered. For example, if we’re discussing a practice that earned $700,000 last year where the goal is $900,000, an online marketing budget range of $35K to $45K would be a very sound investment.

Owners in Transition

Let’s say you just took over a dental practice that has a healthy clientele. If the practice has been in existence for longer than five years, use the budget model listed above. Pick a range between what the doctor made the previous year against what you hope to make by this time next year. Keep in mind that, by the law of averages, you should expect to lose around 20% of that healthy clientele, and even the patients you do retain will likely ‘slow down’ their treatments for at least the first 18 months. This is known as the ‘getting to know you’ phase, and it should always be considered when establishing a marketing budget.

What Does a Marketing Budget Pay For?

Online marketing is an intricate business that requires constant (expert) attention. For this reason, digital marketing companies expect to be paid very well for the services they provide. From website creation to web maintenance to online advertising, these professionals will work daily to get you noticed around town. People using their computers or mobile devices to search for dental professionals will always see you first when you hire the right people for the job.

The lesson here is that online marketing is no different than traditional forms of advertising. Just as a yellow page spread used to cost thousands of dollars, and was a necessity for any practice that wanted to be seen and noticed, the internet is no different. Getting a professional website made, having effective online ads in place and gaining prominence on social networks takes time, attention, and a proper marketing budget. Start searching for professionals to help you now, and use the guide above to set your budget accordingly to get noticed and found this year.

Contact Us

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday

Contact Us