Digital marketing metrics - stop flying blind

Do you know if your marketing efforts are paying off? Stop Flying Blind!

Do you know if your marketing efforts are paying off?

Can you accurately track which phone call is the result of which marketing effort?

If the answer to either of these questions is ‘No’, then you are flying blind!

In this podcast, Mark & Howie discuss how to accurately find your digital marketing metrics. This will allow you to hold yourself, your staff and, most importantly, your marketing company accountable to ensure your marketing spend is working for you.

Podcast Topics:

  • Stop Flying Blind
  • It’s all about tracking where your business is coming from
  • Who is accountable? Anyone?
  • A good marketing company wants to know if something isn’t working
  • You want certainty!

Podcast Transcription

Hello, and welcome to the Dental Marketing Mastery Series. This podcast is brought to you by New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, is my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Stop Flying Blind

Howie: Hello, everybody. Welcome once again to our podcast. We’re glad that you’re out there listening to us. Thank you very much. Our audience is growing right, Mark?

Mark: It is. It is.

Howie: This is good.

Mark: Neither of our teams are in the Super Bowl this year Howie.

Howie: Yeah, yeah, we knocked you out. Then we got knocked out. So…

Mark: I know. I know. So, we have to watch anyway.

Howie: Yeah, we will. All right.

So, today, our topic is we’re calling a ‘Stop Flying Blind.’

And part of that has to do, well, a lot of it has to do with; how do you know the results of your marketing? How do you know if you’re being lied to? How do you know that there’s any accountability whatsoever?

Mark: Exactly.

Howie: So yeah.

Mark: So, yeah, technology has come an incredibly long way I think. Well, I don’t think – I know.

About, it was about 10-12 years ago that we really started to push call tracking on to our clients connected to their marketing campaigns.

Howie: Uhm. Yeah,

Mark: Partially.

And again, this doesn’t really have to do with just flying blind, how, that’s the theme of today’s podcast. It’s also to keep you and your team accountable.

Okay, so we’re going to come back to that at the very end; accountability and transparency. Transparency between the marketing firm and you, like what are you spending your money on? What is it getting you? How do you quantify your marketing spend and the results of your marketing spend, right?

So, over the years, and we’ve been, Howie you been at this for 30 years, me not quite so long, but pretty long.

Howie: Yep.

Mark: And really, really what we have is, is a, an evolution and evolution from remember back in the day? Well, what did your patients say?

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Like how many patients? How many patients mentioned the Yellow Pages? Right?

Howie: Yeah, right

Mark: A doctor would write it down and run over to the sales rep, take him out for a drink and give them five grand a month and he’d be happy. That’s basically the extent of the old marketing plans that were built.

And then now, I’m, you know, with the demise of Yellow Pages, the advent of the Internet, the advent of a Google search, which basically is today’s Yellow Pages.

We now have multiple points of contact that we need to track not just one. Dentists all over the place are investing in multiple channels for points of contact, and it’s never perfectly accurate.

But it’s a heck of a lot more accurate than, “Hey, Mrs. Wilson. Thanks for coming in for your first visit today. How did you hear about us?”

Howie: Yeah, exactly. I mean, they have nothing in it for them to remember correctly. And they very often don’t.

Mark: Exactly, exactly. They don’t remember, they only remember the last thing they did, which is 90% of the time they went to your website, checked you out and called from there. Okay.

So, um, so over the years, things have evolved. So, as things have evolved so heavily and so have our clients, and it’s really gotten interesting. Especially for a data nerd like me, who basically loves just poring through data.

We know what works, what doesn’t work, why? And how much you know how, how predictable and what revenues are coming out the back end, right? All those data points are incredibly exciting for us to be able to capture.

It’s all about tracking where your business is coming from

Well, now. Nobody has to fly blind.

So, let me let me take it back from the old days, the Yellow Pages and asking Mrs. Jones, how she found out about you all the way up to today.

So, I’ll give you some of the meat and potatoes without getting too deep into the weeds.

But let’s take kind of an average client practice of ours or actually almost the average dentist almost anywhere in the country. You know, probably has a website, might be doing some local optimization, might be doing some SEO, might be dabbling in some Google AdWords. Um, you know, maybe they’re doing a little bit on social media. Right.

That’s kind of the center slice of dentistry and marketing plans these days.

Howie: Yeah. Yeah, I’d say so. Yeah.

Mark: Right. So right, there’s what, seven data points? There are seven source points. Okay.

And, and, hidden within one of them is the Google ad campaign. The Google ad campaign itself could have 50 source points. That’s one of the beauties of Google ad campaigns, you can source them down to the most finite ridiculous data possible. Okay?

So now, if that’s the average cross section of American Dentist Marketing plans, whether they use us or somebody else, it doesn’t matter. Basically, most dentists eventually are going to end up doing a little bit of offline, a little bit of online and they’re really going to want to know; What is all this money getting me?”

When, when people inquire, “Are we answering the phones?”

Howie: Yeah, right.

Mark: If we are answering the phones, how are we doing? Right? How would my marketing company, that I’m paying a portion of my marketing budget to handle all this for me, how are they doing? Right?

Howie: Right. What are they looking at?

Mark: Exactly. Okay. So, you know, stop flying blind is you know, the title of this podcast.

Now we’re going to kind of focus in on you know, start flying like an eagle. Okay?

If it makes you feel better Howie, I’ll use Seahawk. Okay? How to fly like a Seahawk, right?

How to see like a Seahawk.

Howie: Right. Yes, that’s much better.

Mark: So, now you’re like, wow, yeah, I’m kind of in this cross section of dentistry. I do have a website, I probably have this local SEO or local optimization thing going, I’ve got this SEO guy. And maybe I’m dabbling in PPC and some Facebook stuff.

And man, it would be really cool. If all that stuff, all those calls all those responses were going somewhere where I could aggregate them and sort them, listen to them and report on them. Right?

Who is accountable? Anyone?

It would hold everybody accountable – the people I’m paying to help me with, you know, the marketing, keep them accountable. But it would also keep you know, Mary at my front desk accountable. Why isn’t she answering the phone at 10:28 in the morning on a Monday?

Howie: Yeah, exactly.

Mark: We’re open. Okay, or if I’m the dentist is that a signal to me?

Actually, Howie on a side note, I went to – not gonna mention names here, but I went to one of our buddies from the old days. I went to his dashboard today completely different subjects, you know, for a different reason. But I went in there.

And the reason I brought up 10:28 on a Monday is because a new patient was put on hold for a minute and 57 seconds at 10:28 on a Monday.

Okay, so now again doctors listening to this, you know you’re accountable too, okay. You can’t just leave your, your front desk bare on a Monday morning after four emergencies scheduled. And everybody’s getting ready for the whole week and you have a full schedule. And you know, you have one person who basically does 19 jobs and expect them to be able to, you know, bring in a patient, exit a patient and answer the phone and not put them on hold.

You just, you know, so some of this keeps you accountable. Hey, maybe Mary needs some help.

Howie: Yeah. Maybe she’s overwhelmed, overloaded.

Mark: Maybe.

Exactly. Maybe she’s overwhelmed and overloaded. And maybe this is where you’re burning some of your marketing dollars, right? Wouldn’t that be nice to know? Or put it a different way. When would you like to know that?

Would you like to know that like right now, or two years from now? When you burn 200 grand in marketing spend.

So, this Seahawk view of your marketing spend can really begin to get granular. And you know what, Howie, let’s use this as a pretty good break point.

Howie: Yeah. Yeah.

Mark: Let’s take a break. And then we’ll come back. And then we’ll start getting a little bit in the weeds. I’m not going to get, I know you’re on your treadmill, I know you’re probably driving to work right now. If you’re listening to this. That’s why we make them like 20 minutes long. I won’t get too deep in the weeds, but we’re going to get halfway deep in the weeds when, when we get back.

Howie: Yeah, so don’t go away. We’ll be right back.

Most dentists want three things when they delegate the management of their marketing budget to a marketing firm. They want results, transparency to see the results, and as few hassles as possible. If those are the three main things you were looking for in a marketing firm, we might just be the company for you. Visit and click ‘Get Started’ to have us build a marketing plan specific to your practice.

Howie: Okay, we are back. We’re talking about basically holding your staff and yourselves and your marketing company accountable.

Mark: Well, yeah, there’s this whole notion. Yeah, yes, that’s what we’re talking about. And there’s a whole other side to this too. Like, why wouldn’t your marketing company want to know if something’s not working?

Howie: Right.

Mark: I mean, you just ask yourself that question. ‘Yeah, that’s a good question Mark.’

A good marketing company wants to know if something isn’t working!

Like if something’s not, if something’s not working. Isn’t your marketing company the first person who should want to know that? Of course, okay.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: And, and as the dentist, you should want to be like a partner. And we say this all the time to people.

Actually, had this conversation yesterday with a dentist who’s you know, contemplating becoming a client. And I say this a lot in our conversations. You know, this is a 50/50 thing. This isn’t ‘Here, I’m going to hand all these marketing dollars over to NPI and make them accountable for everything and I’m just going to work on patients.’

That’s never going to work long term. All right? There’s, there’s accountability on our end, there’s transparency on our end, and there should be accountability and transparency on the dental practices end too.

So, if you want to be that Seahawk, or that Eagle, then the dashboard that we’re talking about is basically an inventory of marketing phone numbers. Okay, like call tracking numbers. And you would put one on, let’s say, your Google business page. That’s a great example. Your social media, your website.

Howie: Your mailers, definitely your mailer.

Mark: Definitely your mailers. Any different mailers, you’re doing postcards or trifolds or magazines, you should have a different number on them, right? And especially Google ads.

So, here’s where I start to get a little bit deeper in the weeds. And here’s where things start to get pretty granular.

Okay, so, and specifically, I’m going to talk about Google Ads right now.

So many of you are doing your own Google ads or you’re paying somebody else to do them, uhm, what have you. That’s fine.

Um, but it’s really difficult. It’s really difficult and takes a lot of time if it’s not automated properly in order to know which landing page and which ad set is working, which one isn’t working.

So, let me just fast forward to how we do things. And then you guys and gals can compare.

So, we set up a Google ad campaign initially, for each subject that we’re going to promote, let’s say, General Dentistry. Okay?

We set up eight ad sets and eight landing pages. For, for that, for that subject, excuse me, four for each subject.

So, let’s say General Dentistry and emergencies, that’s the whole campaign.

So, each of those subjects, General Dentistry and emergency, would each get four ads, four different ads and four different landing pages and they would read as people clicked on the ad, the next one up would rotate.

So, a different ad and a different landing page would be visible to the same person who typed in the same, let’s say, ‘dentist near me’.

So, what do you learn? And where does the phone number come in on this? Well, if each one of those landing pages has a different phone number – now you know which ones are the most effective at converting.

Your marketing company can look at that and say, well, what did they type in? They typed in ‘Dentist near me.’

Where did they – what did they see? They saw one of the four ad sets.

When they clicked on that ad set, what did they see? They saw this landing page variant.

And when they saw that landing page variant, what did they do? They called us and when they called us, because we listen to the phone calls, what did they turn to, they turned into a new patient.

See how it all goes connect, connect, connect, connect, connect, connect, connect, and nobody has to ask Poor Mary. And Poor Mary doesn’t have to remember. You know, nobody has too.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come. You know it’s, it’s taken a lot of investment, a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of you know focus to put all this stuff together and in a dashboard that we can look at and dentists can look at.

But it’s absolutely amazing what it – how it how it glues everyone together. It glues the dentist and the front desk together and the importance of marketing phone calls together, the marketing firm and the phone calls and so on and so forth.

So, so stop flying blind. Too many of you might simply be just now considering like call tracking for your first time. Okay, that’s great. That’s step one. That’s fine. If that’s all you want to do, that’s great.

But for the rest of you out there who may or may not be doing things on your own or may or may not be clients of ours, we wanted to take the time to explain to you what’s possible. And it’s really affordable too.

So, it’s like there’s no, there’s no cost battle, okay? It’s really, it’s really inexpensive.

But the cool thing to the dentist is, at the end of the day, really at the bottom line is if you’re a dentist, and you’re busy. And you, and let’s face it, dentists work in about a five-millimeter circle.

Howie: Yeah. Yeah

Mark: All day.

Howie: Pretty small world.

You want certainty!

Mark: Okay? And when they go, when they lift their head up, everything’s out of focus, they have to refocus. They go to the next patient when they focus again, it’s kind of crazy, right?

So, at the end of the day, what you really want is a little bit of certainty. Right?

Uncertainty causes stress. Certainty causes, you know, calmness.

So, what you really want is, “I’m spending money on marketing. Is it working?” Okay? There’s a cause and if it is working are we doing our part as the office? Okay, I can see there’s very few missed calls here. There’s one, you know, 10:28 on a Monday morning. But that’s okay. You know, one a week, we’ll take that.

And, and, and are these calls turning into new patients? And, and if not, can I determine why. Right?

And if they’re not on, can I feed that information back to my marketing firm? And the answer is ‘Well, sure.’ Absolutely.

I mean, if it’s, if it’s phone calls, that we’re not directly listening to, like with our Google Ad clients, um, then then yeah, absolutely.

Howie: Yeah. I mean, we can, we have the same access to the dashboard as the client does. So, you know, it’s all transparent.

Mark: Yeah, that’s and so basically the end of the day, you fire up a browser, you look. Cool, everything’s great. And then you know, it’s time to go home. You don’t, you don’t really have that overhead of uncertainty.

You’re not wondering if something’s working or not. You’re not wondering if Gayle is too busy at the front desk or was it Mary? I forget who it was – Mary. You’re not wondering if Mary is too busy at the front desk, you just look.

Now, if you’re a dentist that owns multiple offices. Okay, now, now maybe this is starting to come into even more importance for you because a lot of dentists now are owning one or two or three or four offices, maybe five or six. A lot of dentists are and it’s popping up all over the place.

And I can’t imagine wondering about six offices, let alone one. So, this might be a login and see how all six offices are doing whether, you know whether you were in meetings all day or a year at the Chicago midwinter or, you know, you were golfing.

It doesn’t matter, you just log right in, you know, and take a look and see how everything’s going.

So, the age of flying blind I’m hoping for all of our podcast listeners is way, way, way behind you. Um, and we wanted to share with you, you know what’s possible.

It is, we’re still working through it or not, we still have, we still have dream sequences to go through with it. Actually, they’re not dream sequences, their development that we’re further and we’re going to bring to the market, you know, down the road.

So, we’re not stopping but where we are right now is leap years ahead of where we are, by the way, no pun intended. This is a leap year, isn’t it?

Howie: Oh, yes.

Mark: Yes, yes. Anyway.

So, the dashboard is leap years ahead of anything that we’ve ever been able to, you know, to share with a dentist in the past. So, that’s why we just don’t even you don’t do marketing through us that’s fine. If you use somebody else, that’s fine. If you use three other people, that’s fine.

But get your call tracking numbers, get them aligned, get the results go into one page, make sure it’s sortable. Make sure you understand that. Make sure you can listen. I mean, you don’t absolutely have to use us to do this. Okay?

We’re just telling you what’s possible. It’s, it’s remarkable how it brings the marketing company and the client together – yep.

Howie: Yeah, sure does.

It, it gives peace of mind for a dentist to be able to know, you know, ‘Hey, what am I spending money on is, in this particular channel?’ It’s not working and I – you got, you can see it right now. Like you said, or two years from now. And so, you aren’t throwing your money away.

Mark: Yeah, so stop flying blind. Fly like an Eagle or a Seahawk, depending on which side of the country you’re from.

Howie: You got it.

All right, that about does it for today. We’re so glad that you tuned in and we hope that you tune in again next time. Until then, bye now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can get all of our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and, and on our website,

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