In the first of what will be a regular series of guest blogs from industry leaders here on OrthoPundit.com, Angela Weber, CMO of OrthoSynetics has agreed to share her insight on how to identify and reach to your target market. In reading her excellent piece, I learned that “target market” is the appropriate term in the industry (as opposed to “target demographic” – the term I mistakenly used in the last post!). I love to learn new things and am thankful that Angela has agreed to contribute given her knowledge and track record of bringing in new patients for her clients.
As an aside, Angela and team manages our practice brand, does all our design, marketing, media buys and strategy for Arkansas Dentistry and Braces. Enjoy!
Discovering Your Target Market and Reaching Them
By: Angela Weber, CMO OrthoSynetics
With constraints on time and money it doesn’t make sense to market to everyone – you must be selective. Don’t worry about being everywhere, simply be everywhere you need to be in order to reach your target.
Taking the time to identify and understand your target allows you to market more effectively. I’ll be the first to say that all of this is easier said than done. That’s probably why most opt to skip this important research step and go straight to the production of marketing materials. But that’s a mistake as marketing messages that are too general often appeal to no one. Here are a few steps to help you begin identifying and understanding your target:
Start by developing a profile of your current patients from your practice. Utilize practice management software reports and distribute a survey through an online system like Survey Monkey. Gather basic demographic information including: gender, age, education, employment, household income, race, and number of children in the household. By profiling your current patients you will gain valuable insight on who your potential patients will be. You should also reference demographic data available from sources like the U.S. Census Bureau. With this combined data, you can refine your core consumer to be a more specific profile. (Example: Women 25-49 with children 7+ years and household income of $60K plus)
Psychographics are where things really start to get interesting. With this type of data you can market your practice in a way that resonates best with your target’s motivations and lifestyle.
Your patient survey should include a psychographic section with questions such as: What type of websites do you visit frequently? What social networks do you check most often? What age would you consider seeking orthodontic treatment for your children? What would prevent you from getting braces for yourself or your children?
Social media is another way to gain valuable information. Post questions on local mom blogs and/or social networks. Observe the comments and online discussions. Industry vendors are another great resource. Check with your sales reps to see if there are any reports on industry trends and buying behaviors.
The marketing team at OrthoSynetics relies heavily on a psychographic tool purchased by the company. The tool provides us with consumer purchasing habits and analytics pulled from hundreds of databases showing us the best customer, their location and areas for potential growth.
Review your competitors’ websites, social media and advertisements. Who are they targeting? What value are they offering? Is everyone saying the same thing? Start talking with your patients and potential patients. Anything they need or want that isn’t being provided?
If you find yourself in a highly competitive market you may want to go after additional niche markets that are not currently being served by the competition.
Don’t waste your time or money.
In today’s competitive environment, you can’t afford to waste time or money. Focusing your efforts on reaching your target market with a message that resonates will deliver the greatest ROI. Resist the urge to rely solely on your opinion and take the time to research. You can’t hit the bullseye if you don’t know where the target is.
If you’re interested in learning more give me a call, 504-620-3494.