How to win the game of dental marketing

Aug. 1, 2018
Are you a pawn in the game of dental marketing, or are you a powerful king? Find out! Try your hand at a game of dental marketing with Joy Gendusa of PostcardMania.

Joy Gendusa

Let’s play a game—let’s grow your dental practice!

Are you a pawn in the game of dental marketing? Or are you a powerful king? This month, find out by playing dental marketing chess.

Rules of the game

Each game piece represents a dental marketing method—they are labeled on the opposite page. You are only allowed to play the pieces that correspond with the marketing tactics you have in place. Cut them out and put them on the board to see what kind of game you're bringing!

The aim of chess is to take out your opponent's defenses with smart marketing moves and box in the king. When he's out of moves, it's checkmate.

Tips to win

Castle Early—Castling is the only move in chess that allows you to make 2 moves at once, making it one of the strongest on the board. You can simultaneously switch positions between the king and a rook (known as direct mail in this game). One of my clients, Behnaz Raisdana, DDS, started marketing with postcards before her practice opened, and her appointment book was already full for weeks by the time her grand opening came around.

Play the Long Game—Chess, like marketing, is about patience and commitment. Don’t fall prey to whims, and don’t give up after a single campaign “seems” like it doesn’t work. Be consistent with monthly and weekly marketing efforts.

Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of PostcardMania. Using just postcards, a phone, and a computer, Joy built PostcardMania from a one-person start-up into an industry leader. PostcardMania serves 78,589 clients, including 5,750 dentists. Need help promoting your practice? Call one of PostcardMania’s dental marketing consultants at (844) 269-1836, email Joy at [email protected], or visit

A breakdown of each piece

King: Practice owner

Keeping the king in play is the name of the game, so market smart to ensure he's well defended and sticks around. Here are the game pieces that can help most with that objective.

Queen: Marketing manager

The queen is powerful and flexible. Similarly, a well-trained marketing manager plays the whole game and places your message on multiple channels (in a coordinated and cohesive way) while tracking results. You may be tempted to wield your queen's power early on, but it's best to be patient, track, and make moves after you've measured your response and know what works.

Bishops: Google Maps ads and review generation software

More and more consumers are using Google Maps to find local dentists—especially on their mobile phones. Get your practice seen at the top of the Maps listing (the “local three pack”) by running Google Maps Ads. And to make your listing stand out, you’ll want to have lots of five-star reviews, which can be increased dramatically with a review generation software such as Podium.

Knights: Google remarketing and local TV commercials

Google remarketing is affordable and local TV commercials are costly, and both may be subject to a little bit of "ad blindness." But you can repeatedly reach thousands of prospects with your marketing when both strategies are employed. However, it won’t be as targeted as your rooks, which are up next.

Rooks: Direct mail and Facebook ads

Direct mail and Facebook ads offer the most targeted approach to reaching ideal prospects. When you mail every month—while simultaneously showing Facebook ads that match your postcards—you could see a 998% return on investment and 143% more new patients such as one of my clients did. (Watch the case study at to their campaign.)

Eight pawns total:

  • Two pawns: Organic Facebook and Instagram posts
  • Three pawns: Newspaper ads, brochures, care-to-share cards
  • Three pawns: Local and community goodwill: renting a booth at the local fair, sponsoring a Little League team, creating partnerships

    You can't build a marketing attack that will sustain your practice using pawns alone, so sacrifice them strategically. This will allow you to focus your resources on more effective methods and create a larger impact.

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