The Doctor's Role in Practice Success - Part 2

Using the steps outlined below, you can effectively refresh your marketing calendar.

Track the Response to Each Marketing Initiativedescribe the image

In order to properly review the effectiveness of your marketing plan, review the responses to each strategy monthly, quarterly, and annually. Track the referral source at the new patient phone call by asking “How did you hear about us?”. Tracked strategies may include participation in oral hygiene general practitioner appointments, “Like Us On Facebook” participation, dated events such as holiday parties and continuing education meetings, patient and family referral promotions, etc.

Keep responses for review and measure success of each strategy based on returned cards. As an example, in our office we receive an average of 20 hygiene cards per month. If that number dips, I know that the team has not promoted this initiative.

The Doctor and Team Develop Strategies Together

Determine the desired response to each strategy, review your current strategies, and place them into one of three categories:

Keep. Confirm through statistical review that the event remains effective.

Refresh. Add additional layers to create renewed excitement.

Eliminate. If the event does not draw the desired response it is time to replace it!

Annual Review with the Full Team

Doctors will meet with the full team annually and discuss tracking results. Keep evergreen events anticipated by your target audience and refer to the Keep/Refresh/Eliminate protocol for evaluation.

As an example, create a list of GP referral strategies. These strategies may include:

  • Refine target list of professional referral offices.

  • Design zones of 8-10 per area for simplification of rounds.

  • Plan message for each visit, such as OH program, hours, flu shot event, etc.

  • For the first six months conduct three visits to full target list.

  • Conduct two visits in the second 6 month period.

  • Complete a Microsoft Excel or manual spreadsheet of rounds, theme, message, and notes.

  • Theme may be a holiday focus; message may be an announcement or education about the practice.

  • Mail an appreciation drawing monthly. One winner for a $50 gift card or activity, and hand deliver the prize.

  • Hand deliver a lunch drawing form to each office visited, and select 1-2 winners monthly. Deliver lunch 30 minutes prior to staff lunch period. Include a thank you announcement placed near the food setup.

  • Design a winners spreadsheet sheet to avoid duplication of prizes.

  • Maintain a Doctor-to-Doctor lunch schedule based on your Doctor’s schedule. Aim for 4-6 lunches per month.

  • Select one additional dated strategy and follow the dated event protocol guidelines. (Flu shot clinic, OSHA seminar, social event, etc.)

The GP referral category is reviewed item by item to determine if the strategies are reaping patient referrals.

Develop New Strategies

Locate fresh concepts in a myriad of sources. Examples include Ortho2’s User Group Meeting, webinars, seminars, on-site training, articles, and team brainstorming.

Team Brainstorm 

I recommend instituting “Two Stars and A Wish…”

  • Two Successful Concepts (measure!)

  • One Suggested  Strategy


  • The team leader meets with full team. Each team member offers “Two Stars and A Wish” without the Doctor present.

  • All wishes are present to the Doctor.

  • Each wish is categorized as yes, no, or future. All Yes projects are assigned to a leader for implementation.

  • Team leaders for each approved project will meet weekly with selected staff for strategy implementation.

A thorough review of all strategies and decision making based on facts will result in an energized, dynamic practice growth program!

About the Author

Nancy Hyman is a speaker and practice growth consultant specializinNancy Hymang in referral systems and increased case acceptance. Nancy developed the Practice Representative program for Practice Builders orthodontic division and established marketing plans for their clients from 2003-2009.She now shares this same program through Ortho Referral Systems. Ortho Referral Systems focuses on developing a marketing team utilizing current staff. All aspects of Nancy’s training strategies have been tested in the office of Dr. William R. Hyman and other orthodontic offices. Contact Nancy via e-mail or by phone at (323) 308-9817.

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