Marketing Is Like An Old Water Pump

May 12, 2017

Trent Wehrhahn


I recently had a client say that they were booked solid out 3+ months so they would like to stop the radio ad campaign we were managing for them. They thought that because they were so busy there was no reason they should keep paying for advertising.

Here is the problem with that kind of thinking. They were busy because they were very consistent with their advertising over the last 2 years. They didn’t have a big expensive campaign on a whole bunch of stations but they were consistent on the 2 stations they were on.

But… marketing is like an old water pump.

Keep the flow of clients moving, or it wont be easy to start again

Many of you are old enough to remember the old manual water pumps. To get them going you had to pour some water in the top and pump, and pump, and pump until water started to finally come out the spout. As long as you kept pumping, the water kept coming. If you ever stopped pumping the water would go back down to the level of the well and you would have to repeat the process to get water to start flowing out the spout again.

When they first started the radio campaigns it took about 3 months to really start to see good return on investment.

That is exactly what would happen again if they stopped advertising.

Most people are pleased for a little while after stopping the advertising because they are saving the cost of the ads, but eventually the flow of new patients drops off and the schedule isn’t full anymore. This is typically when I get a panicked phone call saying, “we need to start that (radio, direct mail, etc) campaign again because we are really slow.

Unfortunately, by that time, it means that things will probably get worse before they get better.

Here is what I recommend. If you are getting results from your marketing don’t look at it as a cost. It is an investment. If someone said to me give me $1 and I will give you back $3, I would do that as many times as I could because it isn’t costing me $1 each time it makes me $2.

Keep steady with marketing that is giving you ROI and your new patient flow will remain steady. If you can’t handle the business then maybe it is time to get an associate or hire another hygienist but it is definitely not time to turn off your marketing.

Part of consistency in marketing is having someone to manage it for you. That can be someone on your staff or you can outsource it to a company like ours. Visit our homepage to see all the services we provide and when you are ready to put your marketing on autopilot give us a call.

Trent Wehrhahn


Trent Wehrhahn is the founder and President of Dental Growth Strategies. With his years of multinational sales and marketing experience with dental offices, he has focused his strengths on marketing solutions for local dental offices just like yours.

At DGS we help you assess where you are at and implement a custom marketing plan that gets results.