Something that we have been missing since 2020 is going to the conferences – the stands with all the smiling sellers and their innovative products and services, as well as the informative seminars that teach us new and interesting things. Now that in-person events are starting to return, we expect the conferences to return as well. While lecturing is fun, especially when it’s free loot, there are a few things to be aware of when it comes to which marketing agency (or agencies) will be vying for your attention.
The conferences attract large companies from all over the world, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Of course, they always show off their prettiest and brightest toys. At these events, marketing agencies will really turn on the charm, and often increase the pressure, to attract new clients, so dentists should always do their due diligence before taking the leap and hiring a marketing agency. from a conference. Getting into a relationship with an agency you don’t know well could lead to regrets down the road.
The best advice we can give to dentists is to meet with a potential marketing agency several times. Get the gist of the conference and make an appointment to sit down for a more in-depth conversation when the excitement of the event won’t be a distraction. This is an important step in getting to know the agency and how it works. If you have the option to speak via video conference or phone, you will be able to ask questions calmly and take the time necessary to understand if the company is a good fit for your practice.
You can get a better idea of the company’s work ethic, whether it is trustworthy, and whether you can work comfortably with it. A 5 minute trade show sales pitch isn’t enough to get all the information you need to get into a working relationship with a marketing agency.
In a conversation with a potential marketing agency, try to find out if the business matches your goals. Ask them to explain the types of strategies they use and what their general approach would be to market your practice. Make sure their products and services meet the needs of your practice, not just the short term. A good marketing agency should be able to come up with a well-crafted strategy that meets your short and long term marketing needs.
Each marketing agency offers a variety of services to market your practice, whatever you want. However, services aren’t the only thing you should be looking for. When it comes to partnering with a dental marketing agency, you want to understand their overall philosophy and approach. Services are definitely needed to get the job done, but without a strong approach to support them, they may not give you the results you want. So, before committing to a marketing services package, ask the agency what their philosophy is.
Purchasing based solely on services could be a mistake if the company’s philosophy does not match yours.
One tactic used by dental marketing companies to attract new clients, especially at conferences, is to offer introductory discounts. Saving money is always nice, but there can be a catch. If a marketing agency is cutting back on services, find out before signing up. We’re not saying the discounts are bad, but sometimes they’re just used to boost volume, and you end up being disappointed with their service, only to find yourself looking for another dental marketing agency after a few months.
Again, due diligence really pays off in these situations. Make sure the agency you choose to partner with checks all the boxes, not just the budget.
Conferences are a great way to find a marketing agency for your dental practice, as you can interview more than one on the same day. If a marketing agency makes a good impression at a conference, you should definitely consider their offer. However, you definitely want to find out more about them before you make your final decision, especially if you feel pressure to engage them immediately. In fact, if the agency’s approach is under great pressure, this could be a warning sign that you don’t want to ignore.
Your marketing agency should feel like part of your team, ready and willing to work with you and contribute to your success. Meeting with a marketing representative at a conference is a good introduction to the agency, but it is not enough to fully understand whether this business will be a good fit for your practice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over a decade of corporate dental lab marketing and brand development experience, Ms. Ulasewich-Cullen decided to take his passion for the dental industry and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency. Since starting her business, she and her team have helped a wide variety of firms across the country focus their message, reach their target audiences, and increase sales through effective marketing campaigns. She can be reached at (800) 689-6434 or by email at [email protected]