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Mastering the One-Page Marketing Plan

By: Tammara Plankers

Every dental practice can benefit from a well thought-out marketing program. An in-depth marketing plan that outlines your vision and growth benchmarks can be deeply insightful. These studies with their extensive research findings and charts may also be overwhelming and costly.

The good news is that a marketing plan does not have to be exhaustive to be effective. In fact, the only truly effective marketing plan is one you will actually use.

Here's how to put together a simple one-page document that outlines your objectives, strategies, tactics, and budget -- the key elements of any marketing plan:


In a few sentences, define the goals of your marketing program: What is it you want your marketing to achieve for your business? For instance:

  • Generate more productivity from your current patient base?
  • Bring new patients and increased traffic flow to your practice?
  • Attract a new category of patients (or "prospective market"), such as children, patients who need implants, or other special services?

Be sure to make your objectives measurable so you know whether you have achieved success with your program. For example:

  • If your goal is to attract new patients, indicate how many and a timeframe: "Increase patient base by 10% within the next fiscal year."
  • If your objective is to grow profitability, you might list your objective as: "Increase the patient commitment by 5% per year."


Marketing strategies define the general activities you will undertake in order to meet your objectives. So, if one of your marketing objectives is to boost productivity with your current patient base, then some strategies might be to:

  • Communicate specialized services to patients
  • Implement an introductory family discount program
  • Fine tune your patient recall program

If your objective is to attract a new group of patients to your practice, effective strategies may include:

  • Advertising your services in local print and digital media
  • Holding a meet-and-greet event in your practice
  • Getting involved with the local community


Marketing methods can be your toolkit for implementing your strategies. These can be specific and linked to your marketing budget. For example:

Strategy: Communicate specialized services to patients


  • Create a bi-fold brochure before end of year outlining the scope of services offered through the practice
  • Create an in-office video by mid-summer showcasing treatments and services available

Strategy: Get involved with the local community


  • Create a Facebook page and Twitter account within the next three months and assign staff to keep current
  • Volunteer once a month in your community

Once you have a list of marketing tactics, prioritize them based on their value in helping you meet your objectives.


Plan to set aside a specific percentage of net profits for marketing activities -- for example, 5% of your net cash flow per month. This gives you a marketing budget:


  • Estimate your annual cash flow: $250,000
  • Multiply by your % of set-aside funds: x 5%
  • = MARKETING BUDGET: $12,500

Then allocate these funds to the tactics listed in your marketing plan in order of priority.

That's it! You now have an effective one-page marketing plan that you can implement and modify as needed to help you meet practice goals and build your future success.

About the Author

Tammara is a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant with over twenty years of experience in consulting and training. At Wells Fargo Practice Finance she heads the internal consulting team, Practice Management Group and helps hundreds of new practice owners each year as they transition into ownership or launch their new practice. She can help practice owners understand and manage cash flow to reach profitability. Tammara has a Bachelor's degree in journalism, is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants, the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants and a graduate of Purdue University?s Veterinary Management Institute. Contact: tammara.plankers@wellsfargo.com or 1-800-326-0376

View all articles by Tammara Plankers

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All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.