DIY Marketing vs. Using a Professional Marketing Agency
Dental practices interested in expanding their marketing efforts or perhaps just venturing into digital marketing for the first time may be in the dark about some of the major differences and potential consequences of handling things in house versus trusting it all to a marketing agency. In fact, the differences can be quite significant, and it is important to know about them before making a decision on which direction to go.
First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room—cost. Expense is the most obvious difference between in-house marketing and partnering with an agency. Handling your own marketing can certainly save dollars on paper, but in reality there are other ways in which it can cost your practice that you may not be aware of. For example, it is likely that rather than hire a dedicated marketing manager for the office, a practice will turn to the office manager or someone in a similar position to handle marketing, which can include:
- coming up with ideas for Facebook posts, blog posts, monthly emails, etc.
- creating web content for new services and technology, blogs, landing pages for promotions keeping up with ongoing promotions and tracking results
- creating copy for ads, fliers and other promotional materials
- creating once or twice weekly Facebook and Instagram posts, including copy, photos, and videos
- shooting videos around the office and patient testimonials and then posting them on social media and the website
- soliciting, monitoring, and responding to online reviews
- following up with patients who have not committed to treatment
… just to name a few things.
The point is, regardless of how intense you want your marketing efforts to be, it can be somewhat time consuming to keep on top of it all, and the office manager or and staff may not have enough time to spare while still performing the other duties they are responsible for. This is not to say it can’t be done. In fact, some practices have in-office marketing specialists who manage everything and perform other sales-oriented duties. However, this is not typically the case. As an alternative, working with a marketing agency outsources every single one of those tasks on the list and then some, which means your staff has the time to focus on their jobs. Plus, a marketing agency is normally a cost savings compared to hiring another staff member to do solely marketing and sales.
If you are considering DIY marketing for your practice, you may also want to think about another important factor—knowledge. The fact is, most dental professionals are not marketing experts. It is also highly likely that no one else in the practice has significant marketing experience. Therefore, recruiting one or more staff members to tackle the marketing for your practice could be problematic because they may not understand the basics, such as where to start, which tactics work well, or how to track results. Chances are also that they won’t have a lot of spare time to research those things either. Knowledge is key in marketing, especially if you are looking for concrete results. Gaining such knowledge usually means a long process of trial and error for your practice. A professional marketing agency has already hired the people with the degrees so that you don’t have to. They have done all the research, have relevant experience, and can measure the results and their impact on your practice—because that is all they do.
These are just some of the most evident differences between DIY marketing and working with a professional marketing agency. Some practices are willing to go through the ups and downs on their own in order to keep their marketing in house. However, in our experience, most find the process frustrating and unrewarding, and will eventually give up, having gained little or no reward for their efforts.
When all is said and done, the costs of DIY marketing don’t usually measure up to the benefits of hiring a professional marketing agency. Fortunately for dental practices, there are professional marketing agencies that have done all the research, hired the knowledgeable staff, and will cost far less than hiring an in-house marketing specialist. And even more fortunately, there are specialized agencies, like My Dental Agency, that cater solely to dental professionals, which means that partnering with an agency like us will bring even more value to the table.