Creating Patient Personas from Existing Patient Lists

When you understand the most important patient personas for your practice, you can make your marketing more focused and actionable. While there are some general patient personas every orthodontic practice should focus on, such as parents of pre-teens or college students, you can create new patient personas more specific to your market by researching your current patients.

How Current Patients Inform New Patient Personas

As you gain new patients within your market, you also are essentially accumulating a great sample size you can use to research your market. As with any population sample, if you have a sizable group to survey, you can get a good glimpse of the population as a whole. So data from existing and past patients can be used to determine your future marketing strategies.

While every orthodontic practice should do some general research when they launch their practice, new research using current patients will reveal things you can only find out once you’ve gotten started. For instance, your research could reveal that Mascot Braces were much more of a draw to your practice than you realized when you started your practice. Now you know to focus some of your marketing efforts on sports fans.

Or perhaps you were expecting high demand for Mascot Braces because your office is in a college town, but you discover a significant proportion of your patients preferred Invisalign Express or Invisalign Lite in preparation for their wedding or upcoming job interviews after graduation. By conducting research on your existing patients, you can look beyond surface-level factors and discover valuable buyer personas to target.

Conducting Patient Research

There are ways to gather insights from your patients both during the treatment process and afterward. One way is to include an optional short answer section on the patient’s initial paperwork during their free exam answering why they wanted orthodontic treatment and what they want from an orthodontic office. You can use these qualitative data points to inform your practice and to create a quantitative survey for later use.

By isolating the most common factors bringing people to your orthodontic office, you can create unique questions to include in a survey where people can quickly click and answer.

You can use free platforms, such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, to create your survey, then email it your current patient and past patient list. To get more people to respond with accurate results without test-taker fatigue, keep your survey short. It can also help to offer some sort of incentive to get people to respond, although you don’t want to make it so big that you get people responding who just want to win a prize. The chance to win a free teeth-whitening treatment or an Amazon gift card for taking the survey would be a good option.

When you’ve received the completed surveys and analyzed the data, you can create patient personas unique to your practice so you can best tailor your marketing for success.