18 October 2022

How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis For Your Dental Practice

How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis For Your Dental Practice

When first opening your dental practice, you probably worried about nearby competitors when picking your office location. Fortunately, if you're in a community with an outstanding population-to-dentist ratio, it's possible to mitigate some of the business competing practices get. Even if they're just down the block from your front door!

While it is profitable for community-established businesses like Burger King or Walgreens to compete in this way, it isn't practical for new dentists trying to establish a steady roster of patients and reliable income. Cash is king, so you want to cut costs where ever it is cost-effective. Put another way, grow your business as organically as you can.

The local dental competition should be a serious consideration in your marketing strategy whether you're just a start-up or have multiple branches. An already established competing office can turn the tide for patients when choosing between your services or those from a different provider.

Competitive analysis is one of the multi-pronged approaches to marketing your practice that helps you overcome these challenges. Read on to learn more about conducting a competitor analysis and how it can give your practice an edge in the marketplace.

What Is a Competitor Analysis?

What Is a Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis is a way of evaluating every facet of a competing office’s marketing plans – from how their website operates, to how they promote their products and services, to their social media presence, and even more.

These may be in a competitor analysis report:

  • A target market description of your company.
  • Your services versus competitor products and service details.
  • Current and projected sales, revenues, and market share.
  • Comparison pricing.
  • Strategy analysis on marketing and social media.
  • Customer rating differences.

Would you like to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your everyday business strategies? What about analyzing ongoing threats and opportunities to improve your overall marketing blueprint? If the answer to either of these is yes, then a competitor analysis is what you need.

Benefits of a Competitor Analysis

Benefits of a Competitor Analysis

Getting information to stay at the top of the dental industry is imperative. One way to do this is by analyzing and monitoring competing dentists continually.

Competitor analysis is also excellent for:

  • Creating and cementing your unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Understanding current market trends better
  • Targeting your existing customer base with effective strategies
  • Discovering untapped markets not being utilized by your competitors
  • Measuring your growth against benchmark data
  • Looking for and leveraging gaps and mistakes in competitor strategies so that you can maximize exposure to new products and services your clinic offers

Good competitive analysis is a treasure trove of information utilized to increase the efficiency of your marketing campaigns and stretch your marketing dollar.

Listed below is the best way to analysis of your top competitors:

Step One: Leverage Digital Competitor Analysis Tools

Step One: Leverage Digital Competitor Analysis Tools

Even though every company does what it can to keep its business strategies top secret, there’s an extensive offering of new online tools to make campaigns more effective.

Let’s take a look at some of the finest online tools out there for competitive analysis.

Practice Management Software

Believe it or not, your first go-to might be your dental PMS if it has data analytics built-in. Platforms, like Adit practice management software, offer different digital tools for dental office owners to analyze patient data and pinpoint emerging service trends. This advantage can prove extremely useful when comparing your KPIs to that of your competitors. Knowing where your clinic stands in your local market is a vital aspect of competitor analysis that shouldn't be overlooked.

Google Alerts

Nothing comes close to beating Google Alerts when it comes to free tools to keep you alerted to brand mentions. This tool is for anyone, not just marketers, and it's unbelievably easy to use!

This tool leverages the full power of Google to provide targeted, continual updates on anything that interests you.

Semrush

If you want to go a step above using Google Alerts, look to Semrush. It’s a keyword tool with a heightened focus on information from your competitors. If you are familiar with Keyword Planner, you will have no problem jumping into this program right off the bat, and soon you will be following your competitor’s numbers like a pro.

Moz

If you want information in real time, Moz will provide you with an easy opportunity to watch your rival’s link-building work without missing a beat.

You’ll see anchor text, new links, and up-to-date estimatations of your competitor's domain authority.

Ahrefs

This application is an all-in-one Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool that is making a big splash in the tech world. Its features have prominent offices in mind, including smaller start-up offices. You can take all of the patient accounts your office manages, and rely on this platform to keep you up-to-date on key phrasing. You get a lot of frequently updated data on how your major competitors are link-building.

Step Two: Identify Your Competitors and Their Marketing Edge

Step Two: Identify Your Competitors and Their Marketing Edge

Pick between 5 and 10 competing practices to compare yourself. The ones you choose should be similar in product offerings and or services with a similar business model to yours.

The next step would be to list the ways of marketing your practice that you want to explore and analyze for each competing office. Below is a brief overview of aspects of this strategy:

SEO

SEO is directly related to how close your office is to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Getting more visibility for your practice means it gets closer to the top of the SERPs. This translates into more web-based commerce and patients in your dental chair. Knowing how other offices in your area are optimizing their online presence to drive traffic can help you lock down your best SEO strategy.

Content

The content of your website is what educates and motivates visitors to turn interest into action and convert them into booked appointments. Connecting your brand with potential patients online is not the only way content is useful.

Dental offices can use it chairside to provide detailed information about upcoming treatments and procedures. Compare your content with that of nearby practices and determine what actionable advice and compelling headlines you're missing that they offer.

Social Media

You can't ignore the power of social media as a marketing tool. If competing practices get extra interactions because of Twitter, Facebook, and various other social media channels, sneak a peek at what they are posting.

You may be able to borrow some ideas or come up with your own that best reach your target audience, including the timing of your posts to coincide with your audience's availability.

Email Marketing

Marketing via email is a massive part of the online presence of competing dentists. Keep your eye on what types of emails competitors are sending to their patients. Watch for videos, discounts, and other excellent tactics that could pull traffic away from your office.

Other areas that you may want to research as you do your analysis are:

  • Educating yourself about patient demographics
  • Reviewing services and products
  • Conducting online reviews and customer surveys
  • Examining the websites of your competition
  • Assessing your service area and determine its current economic conditions
  • Identifying competitor dental tech innovations
  • Evaluating company information relating to industry research

You will want to choose a blend of indirect and direct competition to see how new markets will affect your business. Consider taking your analysis efforts to a more comprehensive level and choosing both seasoned and start-up competitors to expand your analysis.

Step Three: Assess How Your Dental Office Can Beat Out Competitors in Growth

Step Three: Assess How Your Dental Office Can Beat Out Competitors in Growth

After you’ve gathered as much data as you can from local dental practices sharing a similar market, the next step is to organize this information.

Maybe you unearthed a new industry trend and want a page on your website sharing this discovery with your dental patients. Or, you came up with new and refreshing ideas for your blog that could be repurposed for use on social media.

As you analyze the information you have gleaned, ask yourself questions to dig down into all the marketing strategies you have seen. Some questions may include:

  • What is the story they are telling?
  • What is the value that they bring to their customer base?
  • Does their company have a mission?
  • Does their brand have a voice?

By referencing their patient base, you can easily pick out your competitor’s target audience from their testimonials or website. This information is also a great way to build customer personas to better focus your marketing strategy towards those your competitors' target for business.

You need to be SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely - about any goals set for your practice. This approach keeps your dental office on track for growth, profitability, and positive patient outcomes.

Step Four: Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Step Four: Conduct a SWOT Analysis

At its most basic definition, SWOT represents four categories of your business profile:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

You may have heard this process referred to as competitive analysis, but in reality, it's just one aspect of it. Nonetheless, it's an essential step that can help you assess how competitive your dental company’s position is and create strategies accordingly.

Given this information, practices create an even better business strategy that further pushes brand awareness, reinforces growth, boosts revenue, and creates a patient-centric focus that improves compliance. The ultimate goal is to develop a clear snapshot of where your practice currently sits in the dental market and where your business plan should be taking it.

Here are the steps to take to conduct a SWOT analysis on your dental practice:

Identify Strengths

The strength aspect of a SWOT analysis deals with your successes and achieved goals. This phase helps you and your team recognize the characteristics that make your dental practice stand out.

As you evaluate your office’s strengths, be sure to consider:

  • Any features that give you a leg up on your competitor
  • Any licensing or dental tech that boosts your industry standing
  • What your office is great at (List these features out)
  • Practice resources and why they are valuable

Identify Weaknesses

To get an honest understanding of where your practice stands and what it needs to move forward it's necessary to consider the strengths and weaknesses of your company. Honesty is extremely important during this portion of the process to get the most benefit and progress.

Take the following areas into consideration when analyzing what you consider weak points of your business:

  • What operational issues need fixing, such as outdated equipment or being short-staffed?
  • Where does the competition excel in these areas your practice struggles?
  • Are there areas of patient dissatisfaction?
  • What are specific issues you or your team would like to see improved?

Identify Opportunities

In a dental practice SWOT analysis, assessing opportunities is probably the most motivating aspect of the process. It's almost like a well-informed brainstorming session because you already know what you're good at and what could use some work. You can also take into account other factors that impact your clinical and brand growth, like industry challenges and potential, competition, and marketing trends.

Consider the following factors:

  • Generate more brand recognition by taking advantage of dental engagement strategies
  • Look for needs in your community or industry that you can hone in on and expand your practice more, such as providing oral health awareness programs in elementary schools if you're a pediatric dental office
  • Further, grow brand awareness with novel marketing strategies
  • Be on the lookout for social and environmental scenarios that can impact your business, such as the COVID-19 pandemic did

Identify Threats

Finally, evaluate what threats could get in the way of your goals. This phrasing comes across as a lot harsher than it actually is. In a SWOT analysis, threats refer to the challenges that could possibly arise in your industry or field of dental practice. This could be something as simple as unexpected trends requiring increased supply purchases to more serious events like economic downturns.

Being ready for what you can't expect is essential to every business plan, but knowing what those problems could potentially be is extremely helpful when planning future courses of action.

Below are threats that could impact your dental office:

  • Regulatory changes
  • New dental tech and competitor access advantages
  • Supply chain delays
  • Unaddressed weaknesses
  • Patient expectations not lining up with how particular oral healthcare services work

Step Five: Find Your Current Positioning in the Dental Market

Step Five: Find Your Current Positioning in the Dental Market

The final step in your assessment is figuring out where your practice fits within the market puzzle. With all of the data you've gathered and analyzed, draw up a competitor analysis chart using X and Y axis coordinates on a graph. These lines will represent what you consider to be the most crucial factors for successfully competing in your service areas.

An example would be the X-axis representing customer satisfaction and the Y-axis standing for your presence in the market. With these points in mind, plot where each competitor is using their x and y positioning you've come to understand. Then, place your own clinic's location on this chart, giving yourself an idea of where you are compared to the others.

With this visual representation of your market positioning, you can create an action plan to to beat out the competition at their own game. For example, while they market to an entire county, you can get more patients and charge higher service rates by focusing a few neighborhoods nearby your office. Once you’ve established a loyal customer base, then you can expand your strategy to include a larger region.

Step Six: Take Action

Step Six: Take Action

Once your competitive analysis is complete, it's time to make the magic happen. This process will empower you with impactful insights to help your dental office navigate the challenges that had kept your competitors ahead. Now it's your time to shine!

Learn More About Competitor Analysis by Adit

A competitive analysis takes the market as it stands and gives you a peek through the keyhole to its current status. Regularly conduct a comprehensive assessment of your dental practice as a business to keep this report up-to-date. Remember, market trends are always shifting, and to be competitive, you have to be ready to pivot.

If you would like to learn more about making your practice even more successful through competitor analysis, work with a full-service digital marketing agency with years of dental industry experience like Adit. We support dental offices and practitioners through every stage of their growth.

From newly founded dental offices to DSOs, our team wants to help your practice find success! Let us help you identify the business strategies to make your office a household name. We can assist you in conducting a careful analysis of your competitors and discovering that edge to leave them in the dust.

As a cloud-based practice management software provider, our developers thrive on innovating new features to make your long-term growth and success easier to achieve.

Below are some of the most popular features we add to your practice management toolbox:

  • Practice Analytics
  • Practice Health Report
  • Patient Recall and Reactivation
  • Dental Marketing
  • Internal Chat
  • Adit Voice
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Teledentistry
  • Adit Pay
  • Positive Reviews
  • Website Design
  • Patient Forms
  • Online Scheduling
  • And more!

Adit provides end-to-end digital marketing support that helps dental professionals address inefficiencies to improve their administrative and marketing processes. We know all about reducing bottlenecks and balancing workloads so your practice team and patients will enjoy smoother interactions.

Ready to give your competition a run for their money? Reach out today to learn more about conducting in-depth analysis and how Adit can help your dental office boost its brand more effectively. Don't forget to request a free demo!

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Angela Ledford

Angela Ledford

Director of Marketing

Angela is a former English teacher turned marketing content specialist. Over the past 10 years, she’s developed marketing strategies to forge enduring bonds between B2B, B2C and SaaS companies and their clients through holistic education, effective communication, and captivating storytelling that moves audiences to act.

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