Marketing Solutions for Dentists and Teams

We’re Moving!

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Hey subscribers, friends and followers, Marketing Solutions for Dentists and Teams is moving into a new blog (a work in progress) located at  Please visit us there.

Thank you!

Rita Zamora

Written by Rita Zamora

July 1, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Dental Marketing

So Why Aren’t More Dentists On Facebook?

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Hint, hint… Once the Yellow Pages® is on board with Facebook®, that’s another good sign it’s safe for dental practices to sign up too.


This does make me rethink my previous posts in which I said the internet is drowning phone book advertising… perhaps Yellow Pages® will live on, except on Facebook® instead of big tangible books.  Note this clipping is from the Canadian Yellow Pages®.

What are your thoughts?

Dental Marketing Tip Of The Day

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What does your online marketing say about you? Does it say, “I’ve got URLs all over the web- but none of them has any content worth reading,”  or does it say, “You may need to skip over a few links above us on Google’s search page, however once you reach us, you’ll find we are a better fit for you”.RitaZPhotoImage2

Recently, I ran across a “pioneer marketing” dental practice who hopped on the social media and online marketing bandwagon.  They joined Facebook (a few months ago, and hadn’t visited their page again since).  The practice had many website and blog articles and postings, most of which were filled with blatant key-word text.  The majority of their content was obviously duplicated and re-engineered data plastered all over dozens of sites.  The goal was likely to be found, however at what consequence?

Patients looking for “just any dentist” may not care if you are out to win maximum online exposure.  However, discerning, knowledgeable consumers looking for a more genuine dentist will likely look for online material representative of their ideal dentist.

So, the tip of the day is ensure your marketing matches your brand.  If you are a relationship-focused practice, be sure your marketing (articles, content, website, postings, Facebook account, etc…) looks like you pay attention to it.  Consider the cost of sloppy, rushed marketing before you allow someone to talk you into quantity over quality.

Social Media Marketing in Dentistry – An Extension of Referral Marketing

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It’s all about relationships.  The most successful dentists and teams know that patient relations are paramount when it comes to referrals and good case acceptance.  For years, I’ve touted the fact that referral marketing is the best way to market a practice.  Today, despite all the improvements in technology and all the wonderful social media outlets, referral marketing is still king…RitaZPhotoImage2

So why then would I even recommend social media marketing for dentists, when I know how great word-of-mouth and referral marketing performs?  Social media could simply be seen as an extension of referral marketing.  In other words, if a practice is already exercising excellent patient care, communication and follow up, they are more than likely receiving a great number of referrals. It is just this type of practice that could find social media community a successful extension of their existing relationship-focused marketing philosophy.

To clarify, social media is not a good tool for every practice.  For a practice that is focused on “quantity”, has less than ideal chair-side skills and finds relationship-building an unnecessary toil, social media would not likely be beneficial.  Some things never change… referral and word-of-mouth marketing are still the most important foundation of any successful practice.  Likewise, good relationship skills are a must-have in order for social media tools to be beneficial for a practice.

Good people skills are beneficial in person and online.  Practices who struggle with patient relations in person, may find more problems than they bargain for in online communities… Today, it is more important than ever for teams and practices to assess their patient relation skills- before any type of marketing strategies or tools are implemented.

Again, to clarify, social media is not an end-all marketing solution for everyone.  Begin internally first, assess your client care, communication and case acceptance.  Then determine if it is a natural and authentic extension of yourself, and your practice, to participate in social media.  If you genuinely care, love what you do and it shows, patients will trust and believe in you- whether in person or online.

What are your thoughts?

Social Media Marketing for Dentistry – Don’t Knock It Until You Try It

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While most of us are aware of the value of being found on the internet, many marketers and dental practices are still struggling with the thought of social media.  To join and participate-or not-that is the question.  It is baffling to hear the number of consultants and dentists bashing social media entirely.  This could be a risky prospect… imagine a world with no yellow pages, with no unsolicited (junk) mail and no newspaper advertisements.  What if the only option in the future was online marketing? If that were the case, wouldn’t you want as much positive content about yourself online as possible? RitaZPhotoImage2

In the future, if “he with the most current, relevant and interesting online content” wins in search, don’t you want to be found?  If yes, then it is necessary to start now.  It is important to begin building a name for yourself online, including participating in social media.  For example, if you have a stagnant brochure-ware website, and your competitor is an active blogger and participates in numerous social media outlets- guess what… they will likely be found time and again before you.

Be open and try social media.  Treat your participation in online groups with the same common sense as you would any other social situation.  In other words, don’t post anything in writing that you don’t want to come back and haunt you.  Don’t treat others like they are numbers- be kind and sociable.  People want to be treated well online, just as they do in person. Be willing to converse, be friendly and get to know about others- hence the name “social” media.  If you think it is all a complete waste of time, then it probably will be for you.

The old saying “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it” applies to social media as well.  Those who participate with others online, expand their networks and spend time interacting with people they enjoy will get a completely different perspective on the direction marketing is moving toward.  So, before deciding against social media entirely, reconsider what you really have to lose or gain from it.

What’s your opinion?

The Future Of Dental Marketing – Are You Aware

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“As one dental client of mine said, “It’s not about hanging your shingle out front and waiting for new patients to come in the door anymore”. How true… Likewise, the future shows limited opportunity for sustained success with yellow page ads, newspaper ads and TV commercials. In addition, how many companies can continue to ethically contribute to landfills with wasted paper that some direct mail campaigns produce? ritazphotoimage22

Today we have an abundance of fresh (environment friendly, green) marketing options available from internet marketing to social media to blogs- and referral marketing of course. The major difference between the direction marketing and advertising is headed, from that of the past, is conversation. In the past much of marketing and advertising sought to “target” new clients with specific messages. Think one-way communication. For example, you (the consumer) see what I have to tell you and then you call me (the business owner) and become my customer.

In the future (in fact, it’s happening already), the most successful marketing and advertising will be a two-way conversation. One in which businesses share authentic, relevant information with potential clients… information which allows the potential new client to research, share, interact or participate with- before they make a decision about whether they want to become your customer or not .

Some practitioners will see “conversation” marketing as a burden. For those business owners, it was easier to invest in the biggest yellow page ad or cut a check for direct mail. All that was required was building the ad and they would come- maybe. In the future, the dentists who enjoy conversation, are comfortable sharing their personality/authenticity, and are willing to invest time and energy in getting to know others will find marketing a breeze.

In the end, marketing as a conversation will allow patients to more easily find their ideal dentist. Likewise dentists who participate in marketing as a conversation will find they are more apt to attract their ideal patients– it’s truly a win-win for everyone.

What’s your opinion?

Will Direct Mail Become The “American Auto Industry” of Marketing?

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Direct mail is down for the first time in 60 years.  It is expected to decrease again this year…  Amongst other issues, including the drive towards greener marketing and fewer dollars being invested in paper advertising (phone book, newspapers) will the direct mail industry be the next to dwindle?

Watch The Los Angeles Times, David Lazarus, Business Columnist video.

Read David’s “Can’t Deliver A Good Defense For Junk Mail” article.

I think there will always be a place for direct mail, however more so for use with those we have a relationship with, rather than “targeting” new customers.  What’s your opinion?

Written by Rita Zamora

April 14, 2009 at 12:06 am

Posted in Dental Marketing