Not that long ago, you became aware that other dentists started offering services for sleep apnea and TMD treatments. After some consideration, you realized that you, too, wanted to get in on the game. Now, having attended the requisite trainings and invested in the necessary technology, it dawns on you that you have no idea what your first step should be to obtain new patients and start your sleep marketing. Don’t sit there with your chin in your hands, hoping an idea will appear out of thin air; check out what we believe your first step should be.
Make a Decision
What do you want to do with this newfound knowledge and ability? Do you just want to add sleep and TMD medicine to the list of treatments offered at your current practice or are you thinking bigger, like using it as a springboard for a separate practice? Undecided?
Here are some pros and cons for each approach as it relates to marketing:
- Keeping it under the umbrella of your general practice — Unless you’re just now getting your practice off the ground, you already have brand recognition, a positive reputation, and an established patient base, which are definite pros. All of these can be used to leverage your new services and help you grow what you’re already invested in. The downside is that if you ever do decide to open a dedicated sleep center, it won’t have it’s own identity and you’ll have to start from scratch. Another possible drawback is that by leaving it in your general practice, your intentions may be unclear; after all, not many people know that dentists can provide solutions for OSA or TMD. Imagine seeing an ad on Google for heartburn treatment then seeing the name “Best Practice Veterinary Clinic” listed underneath. That can be a bit confusing.
Trying to market for this treatment under the umbrella of your general practice can get hairy. Even if your message is clear, patients have to decipher what a dentist has to do with Sleep Apnea. The connection to TMD is more obvious, as it relates to the jaw and mouth, but having a dedicated center or practice for sleep and TMD treatment makes it much more clear cut.
- Starting a separate sleep and TMD entity or practice— Even if you start in your existing practice space and simply dedicate a day or two to treating sleep and TMD, there are major payoffs here. The big pros here are that you get to start from scratch. This allows you to build a new brand with a very specific name and message; unlike the example above, people expect to go to a sleep center for OSA treatment, not a dentist. This means your center would have its own website with clear and specific messaging, it’s own Facebook page with dedicated OSA and TMD information, and its own reviews. The downside? Well … it’s that you’re starting from scratch. Yes, we used it as a pro, but building a patient base, establishing a reputation, creating new marketing, and all of the other elements involved in building a business can consume much of your time unless you hire an agency to handle these tasks for you.
Ultimately, you won’t want to move forward until you determine what your specific plans are for sleep and TMD marketing. Once you decide, then you can develop a strategy that will help you grow, regardless of your decision.