Most business owners hate working out marketing plans and strategies, yet at the same time they are aware that if they fail to plan, they plan to fail. Consequently, anyone who can provide them with a workable marketing strategy template will earn their undying gratitude. It is easy to talk about the importance of developing a marketing strategy, but because it is so hard to know where to start and what information is required, many companies put it off indefinitely – which can be fatal.
In essence, a marketing strategy simply consists of setting goals – specific and measurable ones – and then making a plan of action to achieve those goals. A marketing strategy template basically sets out the essential categories of information you need to capture, before you can set the goals and develop the plan of action. These categories will usually include target market, offering, competition, pricing, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), and specific tactics that are appropriate for reaching your goals.
One type of business that has often found it hard to know how to market itself is the dental business. Dental practices are there to serve people, but they are businesses too. A dental marketing strategy, as for all businesses, has to focus on the specific circumstances of its service offering and target market. The target market is almost exclusively in the local area, and the business must know the demographic of the local population. Users of the service have to be physically present. Therefore, while the Internet can certainly be part of marketing, it is not as major a part as it is for some other types of business.
A dental marketing strategy therefore needs to concentrate on tactics that are appropriate to this type of business. These must include relationship marketing, since dentistry is a personal service. Traditional methods definitely have a place in a local service – direct mailing, brochures and newsletters are important, and word of mouth probably the most important of all. In addition, offering discounts to existing patients for referring others can be very successful.
Dental practices can be as guilty as any other business of avoiding the effort of creating a marketing plan. Marketing strategies are specific to individual businesses, but they have basic elements that are common to all. A marketing strategy template will identify these essential elements, and provide a way of getting started on the vital task of planning for the future.
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