Dogulin Digital was established in 2012 by Nicholas Dogulin, the CEO and director. With his background in computer science, he built Dogulin Digital first as a web development company.
From there, the company bridged into digital marketing, SEO, Google Ads and social media to drive traffic to the websites they had built.
Dogulin spoke to Mediaweek about the agency’s focus on dental marketing, the impact of the pandemic on the business and being part of the IMAA.
The agency’s focus on dental marketing
The CEO shared that in 2016 a good friend of his asked if he could provide marketing services to his dental practice, as he did for other businesses.
“I didn’t, at the time, know dental marketing was even a thing. We took them (Dogulin’s friend’s practice) from 20 new patients a month to 90 new patients a month recurring, which was great. That’s when I branded Dental Rank. We then got on to the cover of industry magazines and podcasts and got our name out there.”
Dogulin explained that the agency works with one dental practice per suburb, helping them get exposure on Google and social media platforms to increase their new patient numbers.
“We take care of all their marketing and let them do what they do best, which is dentistry. We try to aid them not having to worry about marketing, and we help them build the practice of their dreams,” he said.
As CEO, Dogulin deals with high-end sales, partnerships, and overall strategy. He leads a team of 23, with most of the staff working remotely in the Philippines alongside the team based in Australia.
Dogulin Digital, its clients and recent wins
Dogulin Digital specialises in patient acquisition for the dental practices it represents through SEO, Google AdWords, and Google My Business Management. The agency also deals with reputation management, web design, development, email marketing, social media marketing, and advertising.
Eco Spill and Central Glass and Aluminium have been among the agency’s key clients since its launch. On the dental side, some clients include the Melbourne-based Whitehorse Dental and Warnervale Dental in Sydney.
Recently the agency has helped some of its client practices to boost new patient numbers through their strategy work. Dogulin explained that the increase in patient numbers adds to the practice’s capacity, moving them from a single chair to a dual and three chair practice.
“We help them through our strategies to get new patients and therefore get more clinicians in the door, which means more revenue for them,” he added.
The impact of the pandemic on Dogulin Digital
Dogulin noted that the business and its clients mostly fared well during the pandemic. He did note that their clients in the events and trade spaces had amendments to their management fees.
The CEO shared: “We would reduce their management fees with us and their spending. Some we credited for three months or whatever we could do to help them, and then pick things back up when it eased out a little bit.”
But on the dental side of the business, Dogulin said the first three months of the pandemic were a challenging time for the agency.
“People weren’t going into practices, or the dental practices themselves were closing because they weren’t sure. But about three or four months in, we realised that it was an essential service so they could stay open,” he said, noting that only general dental treatments were provided.
Dogulin noted that as an agency, they realised that people stuck at home during the pandemic would be more active on social media.
“We focused our energies into the social media side, and making sure that they try and stay front of mind to their patients and to their audience – ensuring people brush their teeth at home and floss. Just because they’re not in a routine doesn’t mean that they should stop with that oral hygiene,” he said.
The CEO noted that the campaign worked well with their principle of working with one practice per suburb and by referral.
“Anyone who starts to work with us has to call three practices we work with to make sure that we’re doing a good job and that it would actually suit them. They worked well in the pandemic as well because it got us way more connected to our audience,” he added.
Outlook for the year ahead
Looking to the year ahead, Dogulin noted that the agency is focused on offering software as a service.
“All the offerings that we had before, we’re implementing a piece of software for our clients to be able to have all their marketing in one place, which will handle any web chats, any review management, patient tracking, bookings all in one place,” he said.
On the IMAA
Dogulin Digital was part of the influx of agencies that joined the IMAA in 2021.
The CEO said that being part of the industry body has been “wonderful” and has given him the opportunity to meet with other agency owners and share in discussions about the trials and tribulations of running their companies.
“It’s great to hear that we’re not alone in that,” he said of the community.
The agency’s director also praised the IMAA for hosting industry networking events and regular guest sessions by CEO Sam Buchanan. Dogulin said of the sessions: “we get to learn very specifically some strategies within our industry.”
Dogulin added: “I think IMAA is wonderful, and more agencies should look to join it.”
Top image: Nicholas Dogulin