Month by Month Marketing Calendar

Written by on April 4, 2012 in Practice tips - No comments
Autumn time
This three month sample marketing calendar details how to plan marketing efforts that maximize seasonal opportunities all year long. Use this technique to design a yearly marketing strategy in any medical practice, regardless of specialty.

By Edward M. Logan, DDS

Many dental practices have found great value in the design and utilization of a marketing calendar delineating various campaigns we anticipate employing throughout the year. Some advantages of scripting such a well conceived plan are: accountability in adhering to marketing goals, ability to track progress and accumulation of valuable return on investment data. Practices implementing such a plan are more likely to achieve maximum return on investment and a steady stream of new patients. Without a clear plan and outline of marketing tasks to accomplish it is easy to overlook the need for ongoing marketing efforts. An illustrative marketing calendar is demonstrated below.

JANUARY                                                                 

  • New mover mailings: The first month of the year is often a good time for direct mail. The holiday rush of mail has dissipated and many homeowners are stuck indoors as a result of inclement weather.
  • New year insurance benefits: – Use your direct mail marketing pieces, patient e-newsletter, social media outlets and website/blog to remind patients that they may have new insurance benefits with the start of the new calendar year.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Busy Day: Government, bank and school holidays provide the opportunity to easily fill the schedule with appointments for kids. This federal holiday is a very busy day in my practice. Parents and government workers look to take advantage of this day off to schedule their appointments. Train your front office staff to encourage parents to schedule their children on during these school closures.
  • Fourth quarter and end of year ROI:  Perform a fourth quarter and year end assessment of the return on investment (ROI) for each of your individual marketing efforts. Discontinue marketing programs that did not benefit your practice.
  • New year marketing goals: Take time to brainstorm and outline your production and marketing goals for this year. Research new methods of marketing that might be beneficial and talk with colleagues in other cities to learn what is working to promote their practices.

FEBRUARY

  • Successful new mover mailings: February is still a good time of year for direct mail.  In fact, studies on the effectiveness of marketing efforts recognize this month as the most valuable month to utilize direct mail.
  • National Dental Hygiene Month: – February is Dental Hygiene Month, so schedule your dental assistant and hygienist to visit area pre-schools and elementary schools. Kids enjoy presentations on dental hygiene that encourage their participation and always love diving into goodie bags containing personalized products that staff members leave for them. The expectation, of course, is that they will share these items with their parents, providing them the contact information necessary to appoint their family in your practice. Use your blog and social media outlets to pass along informative articles on dental hygiene this month.
  • Caution! Be aware of the February fizzle: The second month of the year is commonly accompanied by a reduction in appointment scheduling, making marketing efforts even more important.  Patients delaying year-end recommendations routinely complete treatment in January, thereby curtailing the rush to use new insurance benefits. Patient finances are traditionally squeezed at this time of year, resulting from credit card enhanced holiday bills.
  • Overdue recall reminders highlighting spring break: This is a good time to run your overdue recall report and send out reminder postcards or emails at the beginning of the month. Use these postcards to entice families whose children are overdue for recall appointments to come in during Spring Break.
  • Presidents’ Pediatric Dentistry Day: President’s Day is another busy federal holiday that requires us to open another patient column and gives my office the impression of that of a pediatric dentist.

MARCH

  • Spring break season is here: Hopefully, you took the opportunity in February to remind parents to schedule children who are overdue for hygiene appointments during Spring break. Continue these efforts and look to see if you may need to hire an additional hygienist during this busy time. Remember parents are typically very amenable to exploiting school closures to efficiently care for the needs of their children.
  • Extended FSA deadline: Some Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans allow benefits for the previous year to be used through March 15. Make your patients with FSA benefits and treatment plans aware of these possible provisions in their plans. Again, people tend to respond favorably to encouragement to spend benefits they may even have forgotten they possess. Remind your patients that this money, if not put to use, is essentially wasted as it will be absorbed by their company.
  • Baseball season is near: If your city has a Major League Baseball team, consider sending out magnets inscribed with the season schedule and your contact information.

*This is a sampling of our “Month by Month Marketing Calendar” that is available on the Dentistry’s Business Secrets’ Practice Marketing Tools CD. The actual file contains 12 full months of marketing ideas.

Edward Logan, DDS
is a general and cosmetic dentist practicing in O’Fallon, Mo. Dr. Logan graduated from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. After years of learning the business side of dentistry, Dr. Logan decided to write a book. “Dentistry’s Business Secrets”. You can read more articles by Dr. Logan at his website DentistrysBusinessSecrets.com.

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