How Much Should I Put Towards My Marketing Budget?

The most successful dentists are those that are consistent in their marketing efforts.

Updated 6/30/20

We all know the best road to success is careful planning and strategy, yet the tendency of most dentists is to leave their marketing budget to guesswork, or more often, spur of the moment needs. The reason for this is most dentists don’t know how much is ideal for their particular practice. Happily, there is a proven method to setting a proper budget.

The first thing to do is identify your growth goals. We have found that most dentists fit within 3 specific growth models.

  1. Rapid growth – This is generally for new practices, recently purchased practices, or practices that experience high turnover. The goal is to bring in a lot of patients quickly.
  2. Sustained Growth – The majority of practices fit within this category. Growth is important, but not too fast. It’s really about steady controlled growth.
  3. Patient Retention – Maybe you are in the enviable position of not needing new patients and you simply want to retain the patients you have.

A dental practice should be spending somewhere between 2-7% of their annual gross income on marketing. Depending on which model you fall within, your percentage will be different. Rapid growth is generally more expensive because it necessitates a lot of awareness marketing. Therefore you should take between 5-7% of your gross income. Sustained growth requires more moderated efforts and falls between 4-5%. Patient retention is more about enhancing current patient experience and usually requires between 2-3%.

Once you understand your annual budget, we recommend dividing that number by 12 and putting aside 1/12 of the total each month. If you get in the habit of doing this you will always have some marketing funds available to ensure continued success.

Now that you have your budget, spend it wisely. Dentrix Service Bundles help you expand your dental practice with add-on services, including practice marketing tools and services like targeted marketing campaigns, website design and hosting, blogging content, and social media services. Bundles also include services to help with online reviews, satisfaction surveys, and online business directories.

Buying eServices in a bundle, rather than individually, provides significant savings and operational efficiency. And, as your practice grows or your needs change, you can upgrade to the service bundle that’s right for you.

Learn More

To learn more about practice marketing, visit

For more information about Dental Branding and how to effectively market your practice, call 1-866-375-5511 or visit

Read The 4 Phases of Practice Marketing for ideas about how you should be spending your marketing budget.

By Doug Slighting, Dental Branding

Originally published in the Dentrix eNewsletter, April 2009