This month we are talking about where to start with our Ground Marketing!
Now, this question comes to me prooooobably a dozen times a week. We all want to start Ground Marketing but, where do you start?
Do you just start giving out fruit baskets to your neighbors? Do you hand out your pamphlets and business cards to the shopping strip across from you?!
I put it this way:
Let's say you are hungry and you go to the grocery store, with no grocery list, and no budget... what happens? Well, since you are hungry you probably tend to get the foods that look the most appealing buuuut are they the healthiest options (probably not). Then you start to get random groceries even like, chips, some fruit, maybe some uncooked salmon, some deli meat, and bread ( in case the salmon doesn't come out right you can make sandwiches, right)? Then you go to checkout and realize the total of the groceries is a lot more than you expected... but you pay anyways. You go home eat the bag of chips and some sandwiches and then your'e no longer hungry.
So, what groceries do you have for the rest of the week? Salmon, fruit, and bread. Now, you have realized you over spent on your grocery budget, didn't get food that made sense to your health goals, and you didn't get enough food for the week.
What should you have done? You should have created a grocery list BEFORE you started getting hungry, created a budget for the groceries, and gone out to get the groceries for the week.
Same thing... if you go blindly, thinking you are Ground Marketing to the right places and businesses, you start doing random things like "dropping off gift baskets" because you think this works here and there, ... then you'll just be spending time, money, and energy on things that won't produce real results or long term results (new patients in your practice).
So, in this article we will learn where to start with Ground Marketing.
I am going to teach you how to start with three basic steps…so are you ready?
STEP ONE: PLAN AHEAD.
Have you heard the quote by Benjamin Franklin: “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”?
This is so true.
But why is this important?
You need to always know the locations/ business you want new patients from ahead of time. This way you know the exact strategies to use when it comes to Ground Marketing.
For example, in the Ground Marketing Course we have many strategies. It wouldn’t make sense for you to use the Restaurant Strategy on Apartments. These are two different kinds of businesses! No one strategy works for every single business.
Also, you don’t want to blindly try and get into a business, spend a ton of time and energy getting in, only to figure out that the business you’re Ground Marketing too only has employees that want the cheapest and lowest price in town (unless you want to be that dentist)!
You also can’t just go out and drop off freebies and hope people will see the freebies and call you to make an appointment.
THIS IS NOT GROUND MARKETING!
You need to know why you are wanting to visit these specific locations/ businesses.
Maybe you want to get into these businesses because they have great dental insurance, or maybe they have no dental insurance, or maybe they are high income earners… whatever the case is… you need to know who to talk with, what to present, what to say, and how to attract the right patients from this business to your practice.
So, preparation is key!
You need to ALWAYS be strategic with your Ground Marketing. So how can you do that? How can you be specific and strategic with your Ground Marketing?
You need to create something we call a “Starter List” first!
STEP TWO: Create Your Starter List.
Download Starter List Instructions & Template here.
What I want you to do is gather together with your team (or it could just be you too) and start brainstorming.
You need to brainstorm on the type of patients you want in your practice. If you have existing patients, think about your favorite patients…
Where do they work?
Where do they live?
Are they homeowners or apartment/ loft people?
Do they have kids?
Where do their kids go to school?
Where do they shop?
Do they like coffee?
What coffee shops do they go to?
Think of as many of these questions as you possibly can, brainstorm, and answer them as specific as possible.
If you don’t have an existing patient base, still ask yourselves these questions. Ask yourself “what type of patient do I want in my practice? Where do I want them to be shopping?Where do I want them to live? Where do I want them to work? etc.”
All of the answers to these questions must be accurate and specific locations in your community.
So, don’t just say “I want them to live in luxury apartments”. I want you to name the luxury apartment complex you are thinking of in your community. That’s how specific you need to be.
Once you have the answers to this… now you have a “STARTER LIST”.
This list is your guide/ starting point for knowing what businesses/ locations you need to START targeting with your Ground Marketing.
So, for example let’s say you said: “my existing patient works at a WELLS FARGO BANK”.
Write “WELLS FARGO” down. This is one business you will be Ground Marketing too! Wells Fargo is now on your “Starter List”.
Then you move on to the next question.
“Does my existing patient love coffee?… Yes! They do!...What coffee shop does he/she go too?... Hmmm I remember seeing a Starbucks cup in their hand so… Starbucks!”
Write down Starbucks on your “Starter List”.
Now you are creating a list of the locations you will be Ground Marketing too.
You are starting to have a much better idea of who you are targeting, the types of businesses you are going into, and now you know you will be attracting more of your ideal patients!
I actually created instructions and a template to create your Starter List!
You can download the Starter List Instructions & Template here if you’d like!
What would be awesome is if you shared your “Starter List” with us! Share it with me on Instagram (@thedentalmarketer) OR you could share it in the Ground Marketing Facebook Group!
Next is our last step…
You need to not only locate the businesses on your StarterList, but you also need to find more similar businesses in a matter of seconds and check to see if they are too far and possibly not worth your efforts and time.
STEP THREE: Community Research & Radius Checks
Community Research and Radius Checks help you to LOCATE the businesses on your Starter List and find more similar businesses with great potential!
So, for example, let’s say on your Starter List you have written down schools, coffee shops, surgeons, banks, etc.
I want you to expand your list and start thinking of other businesses that are similar but probably a different corporation/ company. For example, let’s say on your list you have “Chase Bank”… well why not also put “Wells Fargo Bank” if you know there is a Wells Fargo near you. Continue to do this with all the businesses in your Starter List.
Now, let’s find these locations/ businesses and see if they qualify for Ground Marketing!
The way you will locate these businesses, find their numbers/ address, and check to see if they are near you or around your community is by doing what we call Community Research & a Radius Check.
There are basically 3 ways to do this.
Watch this video that I made just for you. In this video, I show you the 3 ways. I also show you step by step how to do Community Research and a Radius Check for each way.
As you can see, in the video I showed you three simple, basic, and effective ways to find as many businesses (like the ones in your Starter List) as quickly and effectively as possible.
1. Community Research on a desktop. Use Google and MapQuest.
2. Community Research on your smartphone. Use Apple Maps or a smart GPS app.
3. Drive around your community for about 30 minutes to an hour once or twice a week.
This is how you get started with Ground Marketing. You have a full plan now! You have specific businesses you MUST go see and ground market too!
If you want to hear the full run down of this article along with some more commentary and my thoughts feel free to listen to this podcast episode:
162: Where To Start Ground Marketing
Now, I know you’re probably getting pretty excited now and thinking:
“Awesome! Now, how do I get into these locations and get these employees/ customers/ residents/ members to become our new patients”!?
No worries… we will get there in the next upcoming articles! Each location has its specific strategies, specific scripts, specific people we must talk to first and so on…
However, if you want to know NOW, if you want to start bringing in new patients immediately, and get all this information along with training videos, templates, scripts, on-going support from me and my team, and more then feel free to check out The Ground Marketing Course!
In the Ground Marketing Course, we cover everything, from learning how to get new patients from schools and gyms, to getting new patients from senior homes and small business.
Also, feel free to join my newsletter! We discussed all of this in the month of August! And next month we will discuss "Ground Marketing to Children Centers" (such as schools, day cares, etc.). So, feel free to join my email list here.