Growing Your Business Through External and Internal Marketing

Want to grow your small business? Successful entrepreneurs know the secret is putting a smile on your customers’ faces. Dr. Curt Bowman DDS, a Cable ONE Business and Advertising client, knows a little about that. His dental practice, Prescott Smile Care, leaves patients with a new smile and a good feeling. Learn how Dr. Bowman has grown his small business with a combination of what he calls “external and internal marketing” to create a dazzling-white customer experience.

Bowman started his Arizona business in 1997 by partnering with an existing dental practice. Their business model was to set production goals and increase patient count to a level where he could successfully assume the business. Using his experience with other businesses he started, Bowman and his wife Shellie, a dental hygienist turned business manager, have grown the practice to a staff of twelve. That includes their daughter and business partner, Dr. Tori Balbos DDS.

Approach to Growth

Bowman harnesses the power of influencers to grow the business. In many families, the female head of household makes purchasing decisions for the family. That’s why he targets married women ages 24-40 with children.

His value proposition for this market is to make sure patients get the best quality care in a way that’s convenient for them. New technology is an important part of that. For example, their Cerec equipment lets patients get a new crown in just one visit. That helps them avoid the hassle of having to live with a temporary and coming back a second time.

But keeping up with new technology is just a part of it. He integrates it into all aspects of his marketing plan.

“We do external marketing to get people into our office and internal marketing to keep them coming back,” Bowman said.

External Marketing

Bowman uses TV commercials for 90 percent of his marketing to potential clients. Cable ONE Advertising is a critical part of that. They produce and place the spots on networks that target the women’s market—HGTV and Lifetime. One of these commercials promotes his new Cerec technology. In addition, Cable ONE Business also designed their website, which integrates social media to help tell their story.

“Ariana Bennett, my Cable ONE Advertising account executive, is a critical part of our success,” Bowman said. “She is awesome. I rely on her to make recommendations. Then she monitors the numbers and we change as necessary.”

They’re working on another commercial to highlight the new dental implant service. This new technology allows him to extend the upper limits of their current target market to age 65.

Bowman tracks the impact of the commercials using new patient questionnaires asking where they first heard about his practice. And the results confirm his marketing spend.

“The advertising on Cable ONE is responsible for 80 percent of my new patients,” Bowman said. “My business is growing tremendously since I started advertising with them.”

Internal Marketing

Getting patients in the door is one thing, but keeping them is another. So internal marketing is all about creating a great customer experience.

“The more money I invest in external marketing, the more demand I get,” Bowman said. “So I’d better be ready for it. My business runs on word of mouth and a bad experience means I don’t get the full benefit of my advertising.”

An important part of the experience is adequate staffing. You don’t want new patients to have to wait for two weeks before they get an appointment. He uses a formula he’s developed to determine where additional staff might be needed.

Bowman relies on Cable ONE Business to support the customer experience. He has dedicated phone lines to handle credit card payments quickly. And his high-speed business internet service means his data transfers are reliable and responsive.

In addition, he uses his Cable ONE Business internet service to add customer testimonials from after-service surveys to his website and Facebook feeds. That helps him complete the circle from internal marketing for satisfied customers back to external marketing for new customers.

For Prescott Smile Care, the key to growing a small business is to market with an eye toward external prospects and internal customers. It also helps if you have a great partner to guide you, like Cable ONE.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about Cable ONE Advertising and engage your audience with the power of digital marketing.

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