What’s the first business that comes to mind when you think about kicking off a Ground Marketing strategy? Many dentists will immediately think about ground marketing to the large corporations they either frequent themselves or the huge companies that have become household names.
While there are definitely huge benefits that come with ground marketing to larger-than-life companies, you shouldn’t rule your local, small businesses out of the equation.
Here are 3 benefits of ground marketing to small businesses, especially when it comes to increasing your patient numbers.
3 Benefits of Ground Marketing to Small Businesses
Small businesses may not have the same global footprint, reach, and employee roster as large corporations such as Starbucks or Walmart. But that doesn’t mean they don’t provide powerful and fruitful opportunities for you and your dental practice.
Don’t forget - your dental practice is, at the end of the day, a small business too! And ground marketing, to simply put, is the process of networking, providing ample value to your community, and therefore establishing you (and your practice) as the trusted go-to business for your community’s dental care and needs.
That being said, ground marketing to small businesses is a great way to get more involved with your local community. But if you’re still thinking “what can ground marketing to small businesses offer me that ground marketing to larger corporations can’t?”, then you clearly aren’t aware of the 3 benefits of ground marketing to small businesses.
So let’s dive deeper into benefit number one.
Establish Mutually Beneficial Referral Sources
Have you ever visited a local coffee shop to see a pamphlet or coupon on their counter promoting a product or service from a business just a few doors down? Most of us have!
Now, imagine the same scene taking place in a Starbucks or Coffee Bean. While there’s definitely a possibility of there being a flyer or pamphlet, especially if they have a community pinboard, most large chains don’t often promote local businesses the same way small businesses do.
Ground marketing to a small business such as a local coffee shop, beauty salon, or mom-and-pop shop, provides a mutually beneficial referral source (or pipeline) between your dental practice and their business. This makes ground marketing to your local small business a win-win for everyone involved.
Think about this… you approach and ground market to your local coffee shop. You put together a few hygiene kits for the employees along with a sign-up sheet to collect the employees’ contact information. Then you ask the manager if it’s okay for you to set-up a small booth near the front so while people wait for their coffee, instead of the customer waiting and staring at the barista, they can go to the booth to get their complimentary hygiene kits! Then you can sign-up the customers too!
On the other hand, you grab a couple of pamphlets from the same local coffee shop, maybe even a few coupons that they offer specific to your patients, and you display them in your front office.
You’ve just established a pipeline between your business and your local coffee shop where you’re both actively gaining leads and customers for both businesses involved.
Fewer PPO Patients (If You’re Dropping PPO)
One of the major differences between small businesses and large, corporate-owned businesses is that small businesses typically don’t provide insurance for their employees. This provides you and your practice with the opportunity to take on fewer PPO patients, increasing the likelihood of getting paid fairly for your services.
In fact, many dentists are considering dropping PPOs altogether, since accepting them means writing off 20%-50% of their total cost. But since dropping PPOs entirely can be an intimidating (and potentially lengthy) process, ground marketing to small businesses that don’t provide insurance for their employees is a great place to start.
P.S. If you’d like to get a head start on dropping PPO Insurances from your dental practice, we have an article that walks you through our proven step-by-step process.
Boost Sign-Ups to Your In-House Membership Plan
I get it - dropping PPO insurance seems like a great idea, but then you’re hit with the very real fear that your new, potentially uninsured patients might think your services will cost an arm and a leg.
This is where your in-house dental membership plan comes into play. In fact, even if a small business does provide insurance for their employees, your in-house membership plan might offer more benefits than their insurance covers.
Since your in-house membership plan is a subscription-based bundle that includes a selection of preventative services at a discounted rate, it’ll be an enticing offer for both the employees and the customers of the small business you’re ground marketing to. Add in the fact that in-house membership plans are a great way to increase patient retention, and you have a recipe for success.
By the way, we go much more into depth on how to market your in-house membership plan here:
Don’t Be Afraid of Going Small and Going Local
The benefits of ground marketing to large corporations are undeniable. In fact, there are many great corporations out there to ground market to. However, the power and benefits of ground marketing to small businesses should not be ignored.
Not only will they provide you with ample opportunity to capture new leads and grow your patient base, but they’ll also provide you with more intimate ways of connecting with and serving your community in a more impactful way.