According to a new study by cloud-based Business Intelligence firm DMscore™, marketing spend by dentists nationwide dropped significantly between April 2020 and December 2020—an unsurprising finding. Can independent practices compete?
“Most independent dental offices will probably struggle to survive in the coming years. They will either leverage modern technology or become part of a larger enterprise – like a Dental Service Organization (DSO),” says Rand Schulman, DMscore CEO. “The majority will become part of a DSO in the next decade to leverage marketing costs.”
By analyzing the marketing behavior of organizations, DMscore generates a FICO-like “DMscore”, which benchmarks the digital marketing health of the business. With DMscore a practice can see their own local & regional ranking—as measured by levels of activity in online directories, Google Ads spend, organic search ranking, and other metrics. “We also provide recommended actions that can be customized by any practice of any size.”
DMscore has analyzed the marketing data from over 70,000 dental practices across the US. While there remain plenty of one-location practices, today large DSOs offer shared services, with multiple practices across wide geographies. They have become a significant player in the dental services market.
According to DMscore, single practices struggled for visibility most during COVID-19. For instance, only 1.44% of single practices had a score over 70 (out of 100) in December 2020. Over 50% of them had scores under 30—and only 4.5% of these were buying Google Ads. “If those were FICO scores, they couldn’t get a credit card,” notes Schulman.
“The simple fact of the marketplace these days is: ‘up or out,” says Brian Colao, Director of Dykema’s national DSO Industry Group. “Smaller practices are challenged to effectively restart. During the same period, large practices—some of them DSOs (over 25 locations) had significantly better scores. Specifically, 32% of them had a score over 70 (out of 100). Perhaps most significantly, 50% of DSO offices are in the top 3 marketing positions for their location.
“We believe DSOs are in a much stronger position to ratchet up their marketing as we come out of the COVID-19-era,” says Colao. “Evidence suggests that smaller practices have struggled to maintain visibility. DSOs made more strategic decisions – and look to be re-investing in marketing in an increasingly competitive environment.” Detailed findings will be presented at Dykema’s 8th Annual Definitive Conference for DSOs, to be held in person at the Gaylord Rockies Resort on July 28-30, 2021.
The DMscore (Digital marketing score) technology was created by industry visionaries and executives who helped build the first Digital Analytics companies and FICO (™) platforms. DMscore Enterprise application creates marketing insights for B2B marketers across markets.