Wednesday, December 12

What Is Your Monthly Budget?

Q: I was just curious what other practices allocate for marketing every month? Normally, we designate 5% of production as our marketing fund.

The Athena answer: I am asked this question all the time, and my answer about how much should be spent really comes down to the amount you are comfortable investing. I've had clients on shoestring budgets do better than other
 clients who might have gone nuts with high cost marketing methods. In my experience, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the amount spent is more important than what that amount actually is. With that being said, my most successful clients consistently spend between 3-7% (in the real world, companies spend between 10%-20%).

5% is a fantastic number compared to the 1-3% the typical dental office spends. It’s also wonderful that you are not only asking the question but that you know what you are currently spending (that 1-3% I mentioned is usually being spent with no real vision, planning or tracking).

When I begin working with a new practice, they tend to initially be more focused on implementing a magic new marketing method rather than thinking first about the big picture and their vision for their practice moving forward, so I have to reorient them first. Start with a vision, then real goals, then decide your budget. Choosing a budget should always come before spending on any method, and spending on any method should always be followed by evaluating its effectiveness - not only in terms of new patients that walk in the door, but the type of cases they present and the amount of treatment they ultimately accept. Track this not only for your overall marketing plan, but by method as well, and you'll quickly find where you are succeeding and where you can make adjustments.

For anyone who is interested, email me at and I’ll send you a Marketing Plan Workbook to walk you through the entire process.

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