Importance of Branding Your DSO

Dental Support Organizations and dental group practices spend much of their marketing and public relations activity focused on their patient base.  Retaining, educating and acquiring patients is key to a thriving, growing, sustainable business.  Simply put, without patients there is no revenue, and therefore no need for a dental practice, let alone a dental support organization.  While the marketing team is kept busy focusing on hyper local practice marketing, the DSO still needs to market the top level, dental support organization’s brand, which includes having an effective, informative, esthetically pleasing, and user-friendly website.

If you are a DSO that has multiple brands (multiple groups under management), a dental support organization that retains their affiliated practices’ local identities, or a group practice whose strategy is to create de novo locations with local branding, developing and maintaining the dental service organization brand is a pivotal part of the overall success of the DSO.

Why market the dental support management brand if you use localized branding at the practice level?  Let’s explore the reasons:

  • Recruitment – Prospective employees want and need to know who they will be working for, the benefits, career path, and opportunities beyond the individual practice.  Career seekers also want to understand the company structure, history, culture, philosophy, philanthropic efforts, goals, and strategy.
  • Affiliation – If you have an affiliation / acquisition model then potential affiliates need to understand who will be managing their practice.  Who is behind the entity that they will be selling their practice to?  What have other affiliate dentists experienced partnering with the DSO?
  • Business Partners – Think of dental suppliers, dental manufacturers, and any other company you would do business with.  Making it easy for companies to do business with your support organization just makes sense.  Help them understand the purchasing power you have by communicating exactly who you are, how many practices you manage, and what your growth strategy is.
  • Transparency – This is extremely important for anyone that interacts with your organization.  The career seeker, the affiliate, the business partner, the potential investor, and even your patients want to understand the organization they engage with.  Today’s consumers, employees, and business partners are extremely sophisticated and will research your DSO.  Make it easy for them. Have an umbrella website in addition to local, practice websites.

DSOs are growing.  Existing dental service organizations continue to add de novo and/or affiliate practices. Small dental groups continue to expand regionally.  Private equity firms are heavily focused on the dental space and continue to dump money into the sector.  To compete for top talent, and to find the right practices to affiliate into your DSO, you need to have a clear, transparent message as to who you are, what you offer, and who you want as a partner.  Without a clear top level DSO message it will be very hard to compete as the market becomes increasingly crowded.

Part two of this article will focus on the DSO website.  What elements does the DSO website need in order for it to be a successful branding and marketing tool?


Written by: Beth Miller, Contributing Editor