Dental service organizations, also known as dental support organizations, are transforming the fragmented U.S. dental industry. Today’s organizations are bringing valuable business support to dental practitioners and consistency in the customer experience for patients. However, competition these groups has been rising as organizations battle to claim market share. In this competitive world, analytics are the key the accelerating growth.
Here are three ways data can support your DSO’s growth strategy.
Opening De Novo Offices
If your organization is committing the resources to open a new dental practice, it’s important to know that it will perform well right out of the gate. To do that, you must know who your core patients are. Fortunately, analytics can help.
By studying existing locations in your network, you can use household-level demographic and behavioral insights to truly understand who visits your offices, their attitudes and beliefs, and more. Building data-rich profiles like these makes it easier to find new pockets of patients similar to your best ones in new trade areas.
Once you find an area with a high concentration of your best patients, it’s also important to use data to study the area’s competition. Not only do you need to understand how many practices are in the area, but also how many are independently owned, how many are backed by other groups, and how many dentists work at each location—eight dentists at one office will have a bigger impact than a single dentist. This will help determine potential market share and where there is unmet demand for new dental offices.
Finding Affiliations and Acquisitions
On the other end of the spectrum, analytics can also help DSOs whose strategy centers more on affiliations and acquisitions. With data and statistical models, it’s easy to narrow down markets to trade areas, allowing you to prioritize your business development resources by conducting outreach to practices only in those best trade areas.
For example, if there are 100 dental offices in one market, analytics—that combine variables like demographics, psychographics, competitive insights, and site-specific attributes—can help you determine which offices are in trade areas that are most similar to your high performing offices.
While this can be done without the help of data and analytics, technology makes the process move more efficiently and accelerates filling the affiliation pipeline with quality prospects.
Honing Your Marketing
In most scenarios, the average patient only goes to the dentist twice a year to get their teeth cleaned. Because hygiene-based dental care is such a low-frequency transaction, many dental offices rely on marketing to drive new patient acquisition to keep the funnel full and the office as busy as possible.
Similar to how understanding your core patient can help you find new markets, understanding your core patient can also help you hone your marketing efforts. Analytics can help you find more of these patients, determine the best channels and messages to reach them with, and more.
The Bottom Line
No matter what an organization’s growth strategy is—de novo, affiliations and acquisitions, or a combination of the two—analytics will help accelerate development, allocate resources, support new patient acquisition, and more.
Interested in learning more about how data, analytics, and technology can help your organization? Check out how Buxton works with specialty healthcare providers like DSOs to help them own their potential.