Read time: 8 Minutes
Jonathan Fine from Fine company joined our CEO, Neil for a chat recently about private dentistry, marketing and how DenGro helps his clients’ growth ambitions.
Hi Jonathan. Thanks for joining me today, could we start by learning a little bit about Fine Company?
Sure, Fine Company is a management consultancy that specialises in dentistry. We don’t work in any other categories and we work in the UK and Ireland, including the Republic of Ireland. We tend to work with owners of a growing business, either in one very large practice or a mini group.
At what point do you introduce DenGro into your discussions with clients?
Well, I have over 12 years’ experience in dentistry, I’ve learned how to make a profitable dental practice much more profitable and capable of expansion. I designed a marketing system, the purpose of which is to enable the practice to grow its patients and its high volume treatments and what sits at the centre of the system is DenGro.
DenGro enables us to understand exactly what’s happening by channel, by treatment category, what conversion rates are, whether the spend levels should be adjusted and so on.
The first step I take is to advise the client that we need to have a management system. “I’ve been working with DenGro, it does everything. “I want it to use it here in order to help you grow your business”
Sitting at the centre is usually Treatment Coordinator, but they’re really sales managers. They’re being given a budget to sell so many implant treatments or composite bonding, or whatever it might be and using DenGro to manage that process.
Ok, and they’re the key person using DenGro and accountable for keeping it up to date. Are they reporting upwards? Do you collaborate with them in terms of looking together at the marketing and pipeline reporting in DenGro?
DenGro is the information system that determines how you’re going to plan your next month’s or your next quarter’s marketing. We come up with a shopping list of what that practice can deliver in terms of treatment. So it’ll be planned at the beginning of the month or the beginning of the quarter; we’re going to do 15 implant cases, we’re going to do 15 orthodontic cases or 15 Invisalign cases and so on.
That effectively becomes the shopping list for the Treatment Coordinator to deliver into the practice. They will then plan the marketing; we’re going to spend so much on TikTok, so much on Instagram and so much on Search Marketing.
And then DenGro tells you in real time whether you’re getting it right or wrong. You don’t even need to get to the end of the month to see if a campaign is working. Look at the numbers, of course, it still gives you the performance stats at the end of the period that you’re looking at.
Equally important is the automated messaging, the treatment specific emails and SMS. As you know, there’s a lot going on in a dental practice, lots of moving parts.
Research we did three years ago showed that 20% of the high value treatment sales were being delivered from marketing automation.
You mentioned there some of the ways DenGro can helping those managing marketing budgets, planning campaigns and boosting conversion rates. But can you think of any ‘aha moments’ with clients when they’re seeing the benefits of the CRM?
Yeah, it’s funny how this nearly always follow the same pattern. They say, okay let’s just get it and see. The initial reaction is that it’s a waste of time, it doesn’t work.
But it’s the stats, that’s the thing that really gets them.
When you say to the practice team that last week they had 79 high value treatment enquiries, they deny it. “No, we didn’t, we only had seven”. So, we look in DenGro and go through these 79 people.
Even if 15% are low quality leads, it probably means that we have over 65 opportunities, so let’s focus on those 65.
They don’t believe you the first time or the next time you do it again.
Third month, they absolutely get it. This is that moment of change happens, it becomes the the core reporting structure inside the business.
I think what happens is they’re so amazed by what it’s telling them and the size of the opportunity that’s out there that they’re not actually converting, they just focus on that and they don’t start to look at the nurturing or any of the analytics. That takes a bit of a while.
It probably takes 6 to 12 months before they actually get into that. But when they get into that, they’re on a totally different level.
That’s really interesting. You’re helping us to manage those early days and manage their expectations in person. Are you having to overcome objections about digital solutions in general, is there still a reluctance sometimes to invest in these?
I think the main thing is that most dentists just have it so good. It’s kind of really difficult to screw up a dental practice. You’ve got to be really awful to screw up a dental practice, so they’re always going to be busy. Demand is always high.There aren’t likely to be enough dentists for a considerable period of time. If you open a dental practice and turn the lights on, people are going to come in. So there is a kind of feeling that we’re busy, the diaries are full we don’t need marketing.
And you know what I say to them? It’s not how full the diaries are, it’s how profitable the work is inside those diaries that you’re doing. And that’s the big difference. And when they get it, they get it. The smaller ones take a long time to get it because they’re so ingrained in the work that they’re doing and it’s hard to get them out of that mindset.
If you’re the person that owns two or three practices, you can be hands-on in each one. Let’s say you know that some of the clinicians aren’t particularly good at converting high value treatments with patients, then, you can’t really go very far unless you got a management system like DenGro.
Yeah, that’s very interesting because we notice lots of customers do use it across multiple sites, it’s their eyes and ears. They’re investing in the business, they want to know how each one is performing and to compare or benchmark.
Absolutely, there’s a group in the Republic of Ireland that has five locations and they’re all quite big practices. They’re all over €1.5m in terms of volume, all private.
What’s really interesting is they’re looking at the conversion rates of, say, one practice in a shopping centre compared to another practice in an urban area.
There are terrific insights that you can bring to bear to improve the effectiveness of your marketing.
What do you like most about DenGro?
Well, I’m a marketer, that’s my skill set. I like it because it’s a completely objective management system that validates or questions your marketing investments, which is precisely what it’s meant to do.
So that’s a primary attraction because it gives us clear information of what’s working and what’s not when it comes to marketing activities, DenGro becomes the catalyst for positive change through objective assessment of marketing investments.
Nice, nice and if we could change one thing about DenGro that would make an even bigger difference to you and your customers, what would it be?
It’s a really powerful tool. I think it’s essential to have it a growing dental practice. I think what’s missing is education. I’d been running seminars on how to get the most out of DenGro. I know all of my clients would want to know more about what’s possible.
Yeah, that’s a fantastic idea. What do see happening in private dentistry over the next year?
It’s obviously early days, but January has been slow. I’ve said to all my clients they need to sense-check their budgets. But the good news is, because there’s so much fat on the cow in dentistry, you just need to be better marketer to stop yourself being impacted if there is going to be a recession.
The demand is still there. And of course all your competitors will probably reduce their marketing budget because they’re not making as much money. That’s your opportunity. But you need to have DenGro in place to take advantage of that.