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Understanding Your Ideal Dental Patient

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Everyone needs dental care, so doesn’t it make sense to market your dental practice to everyone? While everybody needs to see the dentist, it does not mean you should try and get every single possible person to visit your practice. In order to reach the best patients and offer the most profitable products and services, you need to understand who your ideal patient is.

Increased Patient Understanding Means Increased Profits

The more you understand your ideal patient, the more effective your marketing will be. Ideal patients are the most profitable patients for your practice. They are the patients who will spend the most and visit you most often. If you understand your ideal patient, you’ll be able to reach them better with your marketing efforts, which means:

  • Better use of your marketing budget
  • Better return on investment
  • Better understanding of what your patients want

Yes, understanding your ideal patient can even tell you what products and services they are looking for. By understanding your ideal patient you’ll not only be able to market to them more effectively but provide better value to your patients as well.

Some good questions to start out with are:

  • Who will find value in my products and services?
  • Who will become loyal to my brand?
  • Who will advocate for my brand?
  • Who will spend more money more frequently?

How to Target Your Ideal Patient

After giving those initial questions some thought, you should have a general understanding of who your ideal patient is. Now it’s time to dive a little deeper and determine their key characteristics. Determining these characteristics will give you a better understanding of your patients and help you target them better with your marketing efforts.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is based on using quantitative and qualitative data to divide all potential patients into smaller, targetable groups. Typically, market segmentation is based on these characteristics:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, income, education, family status, occupation.
  • Geographics: Neighbourhood, city, region, country.
  • Psychographics: Interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, lifestyle.
  • Behaviour: The how, what, where, when, and why behind their purchase.

If you have an established practice, you likely know a lot about the demographic and geographic data of your patients already. The psychographics and behaviour might take some more thought, but knowing this information about your ideal patient will be essential as you move forward and create your patient persona.

Patient Persona

Your market segmentation information should have given you a pretty good understanding of your ideal patient. Now, we’re going to take that information further and use it to create a patient persona. This is a person who embodies all the characteristics of your ideal patient.

A patient persona not only helps you truly understand your ideal patient, but it also helps you create a marketing strategy that speaks to them in the best way possible. Through your patient persona, you’ll be able to figure out what your ideal patient likes, where they are located, and their behaviours so you can reach them better.

A patient persona is built around many attributes, including:

  • Personal background: Values, personality types, motivators.
  • Career info: Education, income, industry, title, business goals.
  • Challenges: Daily pain points or objections.
  • Goals: Aspirations, inspirations, personal development.
  • Decision making: Shopping, criteria, behaviour.
  • Daily influence: Their car, house, neighbourhood, responsibilities, what they eat, activities they do.

The more characteristics you can give your patient persona the better. A more in-depth patient persona means a better understanding of who your ideal patient really is. Something you might find helpful is creating a visual representation of your patient persona using an online image search.

Make Your Marketing Speak to Your Patients

At this point, you should have a true understanding of your ideal patient. Now you can use this understanding to begin tailoring your marketing messages to them. By creating your marketing around your ideal patient, you’ll be able to choose the right messaging, medium, place, and timing for your marketing.

Some additional questions to help you market to your ideal patients are:

  • How does their behaviour influence what kind of messaging will speak to them?
  • Where do they live, what do they do, what kind of hours do they work?
  • When is the right time to reach them and where?

Essentially, think about where your ideal patient would look for information. If your ideal patient is someone who works during the day, you shouldn’t be running TV ads that air at 2 PM. Similarly, if your ideal patient is a young adult, radio ads probably aren’t the best way to reach them. Always consider your ideal patient whenever you make a marketing decision.

Need help understanding who your ideal patient is? We’ve helped dentists across North America understand their ideal patient to create more effective and profitable marketing strategies. Make the most of your marketing budget and contact us today.

Written by Joe van Kampen

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