Not all marketing buzz words are worthy of lengthy discussion, or even consideration. However, the concept of a marketing niche is more than a buzzword for the dental industry as it is a foundational element for dental practices to achieve a competitive advantage and increase profitability.
What is a Marketing Niche?
Simply defined, a niche is a smaller subset of a larger market. A marketing niche is a strategic focus of a specific specialization to a smaller market. Businesses can solely focus on one single niche, or in some cases, establish multiple niches.
The determination of a particular marketing niche is strategic, and is based on a few fundamental principles: 1) market opportunity (audience and competitive landscape); and 2) business capabilities.
Types of Dental Practice Niches
There are many different dental practice niches you can consider based on your own market opportunity and capabilities. Here is a short list of dental practice niches:
Real-World Examples of Dental Practice Niches
Let’s examine two different scenarios that can apply to dental practices on both sides of the spectrum. Our first scenario, a dental practice based in a rural area might span a total population of one thousand individuals aged 18-65 with only one competitor in a 20-mile radius. A second scenario features a dental practice based in a densely populated urban area with a serviceable market of ten thousand individuals aged 18-65 with a dozen competitors all within a half-mile radius.
The rural example might appear far easier of an environment to operate given the lack of competition within the market. However, what if an examination of the addressable market showed the vast majority of the population are families with multiple children. Given this, a practice specializing in pediatric dentistry could be well positioned to earn a greater share of the overall business due to the strength and ability of word-of-mouth marketing to shape people’s decisions in such a small, closer-knit market.
In examining the urban market example, the advantage of a larger serviceable market is negated by the increased competition. In these circumstances, generalists offering a more commoditized service might be left to convenience factors (proximity and availability) influencing a patient’s decision. Whereas patients may be more willing to forgo potential inconveniences in order to book a procedure at a practice well-known as the go-to cosmetic dentist in the area.
How to Choose Your Dental Practice Niche
What niche or niches should your dental practice focus on? Begin with an analysis of your market opportunity, which refers to the size and make-up of your addressable audience and your competitive landscape. The second factor is that of what types of dental procedures you and your team are capable of performing well.
Can you benefit from positioning your dental practice as the go-to expert and local market leader for a particular procedure or use-case? As an example, you may want to consider restorative dentistry rather than cosmetic dentistry given if a vast majority of individuals within your market are aged 40-50.
Next, consider the abilities of you and your staff. As referenced in the example above, a core competency and a proven track record of performing restorative dental procedures will provide you with a solid foundation from which you can position your practice as the local go-to expert.
Once you’ve established your dental practice niche, be sure and incorporate it into your marketing communication channels where possible, including, but not limited to your website and other external and internal touchpoints. This is important as word-of-mouth and patient referrals are certainly helpful to communicate your expertise among your addressable audience, they are not as scalable and discoverable as your website, social media and other messaging platforms.
Benefits of Establishing a Dental Practice Niche
Performing the appropriate market analysis to select the right niche for your dental practice, coupled with a strong and comprehensive marketing communication strategy will help ensure your dental practice is top-of-mind among those in the community.
Regardless of how prospective patients learn about your practice, whether through word-of-mouth or search engine discovery, when these individuals perform their own level of diligence before choosing any healthcare provider, you will stand an advantage above your competitors as the go-to expert for your niche.