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Inside Dental Technology
July 2022
Volume 13, Issue 7

It's Time to Boost Your Online Productivity

Save time and serve clients with automated marketing

Terry Fine

Anyone who has worked in marketing knows one thing: it takes time. While some aspects require skill and hard work, such as actual content creation and web development, many tasks are tedious and can eat up valuable time. For dental laboratories that keep their marketing in house, it is vital to invest in an online service that can minimize time spent on this busywork. That is where automated marketing comes into play. For years, marketing agencies have utilized automated marketing software to reduce time spent on these daily chores and maximize their productivity. Now it is time for dental laboratories to make the leap into automated marketing.

What Is Automated Marketing?

Automated marketing is a technological advancement that began in 1992 with the goal of streamlining processes. Specifically, these services streamline all marketing operations for a business through all digital media, including email, web, and social. For example, if a client has not sent in a case within a set amount of time, an automated marketing service will immediately move them into a dedicated at-risk email campaign. While it began 30 years ago, automated marketing did not pick up speed until the turn of the century. However, as more companies digitized multiple components of their daily tasks throughout the years, both business-to-consumer and business-to-business models saw the benefits that came with automated marketing. As a result, today, more than half of all businesses have fully integrated automated marketing into their everyday tasks.

There are a variety of marketing chores that can be automated. For dental laboratories, the most important aspect of automated marketing looks a little different when compared to other industries. Unlike a software company, which is the industry currently leading in marketing automation adoption, dental laboratories do not commonly see one-time customers. While a software company will utilize marketing automation to convert prospects into current customers, a dental laboratory will need a service that closely tracks current customers.

It is easy for a dental laboratory to find an all-inclusive automated marketing service. For example, customer relationship management (CRM) is a catch-all for sales, customer service, e-commerce, and digital marketing. Alternatively, automated marketing can also be used on just one marketing component: sales, lead management, email, social media, or customer loyalty programs.

The Benefits of Automation

Businesses that have embraced automated marketing have seen numerous benefits. The majority of these companies regularly outperform competitors.

They have also seen an increase in sales productivity. Perhaps most intrinsically linked to automated marketing, these businesses have noted saving hours per week that would have previously been used on email, web, and social media marketing chores. This is due to the simplification of marketing. While it will still require time to perform tasks like creating emails and updating the website, daily busywork is reduced.

Automated marketing provides a comprehensive business overview, including website, email, and social media analytics. For dental laboratories that have websites, automated marketing can integrate with the site and move visitors into marketing campaigns based on form submissions.

Furthermore, automated marketing can also integrate with laboratory management software to routinely send out case updates to dentists, which will help cut down on phone calls.

Available Automated Marketing Services

There are various automated marketing services that will provide a full range of specific services for dental laboratories. Depending on the size of the dental laboratory, the chosen service will vary in price point and scope of abilities. Smaller laboratories should consider HubSpot, which is a CRM, social, and email platform. Hootsuite or Constant Contact are also great options if a dental laboratory wants to automate just their social media or email, respectively. Most dental laboratories fall into the mid-sized category and would do well investing in SharpSpring, Act-On, or Pardot. Large-scale, high-volume laboratories are most likely to have an in-house marketing team making informed decisions on automated marketing. Unless a laboratory is large-scale, it would be best to focus on the previously listed automated marketing platforms for smaller businesses. One significant aspect of these platforms is their customer service. For example, SharpSpring offers complimentary one-on-one support and training and a massive library of training videos that can be referenced anytime. The other platforms previously mentioned also provide onboarding assistance and help for any issues that arise. This support is ideal for any dental laboratories taking on automated marketing themselves without backing from an agency.

Getting Started

At first glance, automated marketing can seem daunting. However, the whole point of these platforms is to take all the overwhelming aspects of marketing and make them streamlined. By incorporating automated marketing, dental laboratories can future-proof their business and increase productivity and marketing ROI. Each automated marketing platform comes with its benefits and challenges, and some research will be required to determine the best fit. However, like with all aspects of marketing, getting started simply requires setting a goal and working toward it.

About the Author

Terry Fine is President of AMG Creative in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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