Photos of several WPI newsletters

2013 Dental Marketing Barometer Survey—Full Results and Analysis

March 28, 2013

Report breaks down 2012 dental practice spending and revenue, forecasts 2013 projections

WPI Communications, Inc., a content marketing firm specializing in helping dental specialists, dentists, medical specialists and other practices increase revenue through professional referrals and patient contact, released its 2013 Dental Marketing Barometer Survey results this month. The only national survey focused exclusively on dental marketing, the report details 2012 spending, 2013 projections and overall practice revenue shifts. This year's survey asked respondents about their Internet marketing and social media activity, and to self-assess their dental marketing success. The complete report is available here.

Respondents included 256 dentists, including endodontists, general dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, pediatric dentists, periodontists and prosthodontists. Findings include reported revenue from the past four years, as well as 2013 projections. Real spending and projections are provided, by specialty, for various marketing methods, including direct mail, “lunch-and-learns,” newsletters to referring health care practices, patient newsletters, practice brochures, print advertising, radio, Web sites, yellow page advertising and other marketing methods. Internet marketing tools such as Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube were also measured. Internal and outsourced marketing resource allocation and the importance dentists place on marketing plans were surveyed as well.

Again in 2012, nearly half of all practices reported higher annual revenue than the year before. Meanwhile, 19% reported a drop and 35% reported no change. Compared with 2011, periodontists, general dentists and endodontists reported the most revenue increases, representing a mix very different from 2011. For 2013, a full 60%, led by general dentists, project a revenue increase.

Five marketing activities increased in overall use in 2012: Web sites, practice brochures, patient newsletters, newsletters to referring practitioners, and lunch-and-learns. Web sites were the most widely used marketing tool once again. Facebook was the second most used method. The volume of practices using Facebook, across specialties, is a significant trend to watch, with 65% expecting to use Facebook for marketing this year. Almost all other Internet marketing categories are projected to climb measurably, with Google+ to increase the most dramatically in 2013.

Respondents project that they will increase their use of most marketing activities. The biggest jump planned is newsletters to referring health care practitioners, to be leveraged by 43% of all practices surveyed. Patient newsletters will be the next biggest jump, led by pediatric dentists and general dentists.

More than any other category, respondents characterized their marketing efforts as “good.” The next most common category was “fair,” followed by “very good,” “exceptionally good” and “poor.” 

“This year’s survey results point to some very interesting dental marketing trends that specialists and general dentists can use to make informed decisions about their marketing budgets,” said Steven Klinghoffer, president of WPI Communications. “While social media and various Internet marketing categories are projected to climb significantly, referral-generating newsletters and patient newsletters will further increase in 2013. The take-away here is that to achieve and maintain visibility with their patients and colleagues, and grow their practices, many dentists understand that both social media and content marketing must be part of their marketing mix.”

All dentists who completed the brief survey were entered into a raffle to win an Apple iPad with 9.7-inch Retina Display. Congratulations to the winner, Matthew Brock, DDS, MSD, of Southeastern Endodontics, Chattanooga, TN.

Vincent Gragnani
Assistant Managing Editor
WPI Communications, Inc.
55 Morris Avenue
Springfield, New Jersey 07081
Tel: 973-544-0409 | 800-323-4995, ext. 1018
Fax: 973-467-0368 | 800-677-9742
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