Marketing Solutions for Dentists and Teams

Posts Tagged ‘dentist marketing resources

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?

The Top Two Absolute Best Ways For Dentists To Market Today

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The number one best way to market is referral marketing. First and foremost, “relationship” marketing is a proven win-win for both patients and dentists. Patients won’t refer if they feel they were not treated well, and dentists who strive to provide the best patient care experiences will receive the most referrals. ritazphotoimage27

The second best way to market right now is online. Online marketing is green… websites, video, online resources and social media won’t waste paper (unlike masses of direct mail, a tactic commonly used in dental marketing). Most importantly, studies show over 73% of consumers already perform online research before they make purchase decisions- which includes purchases from shampoo to cars to health care. This means it’s extremely important for you to be found online. Further once found, you’ll want to have a variety of information about yourself available. In other words, make it really easy for someone to see how great you are.

Referral and online marketing can work hand in hand for your practice. Online marketing will allow new patients to research and “shop you” before their first visit and referral marketing will help ensure a good patient experience- and, hopefully, a long term relationship built on trust (the type that motivates referrals).

So, what are you waiting for?  Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, blogs and more await you. Don’t let the options overwhelm you, instead just choose one tactic to explore for now- and remember to have fun with it!

Have questions for Rita? Email rita@tangiblemarketing.com.  Get a copy of the Referral System How-To Guidebook for Dentists.

When The Newspapers Are Gone, Where Will Dentists Spend Their Advertising Dollars?

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Last week, the Rocky Mountain News closed its Colorado doors. As newspaper subscribers and advertisers continue to drop away, and additional newspapers fold, where do you think dentists will invest their advertising dollars? ritazphotoimage2

Hopefully not in TV, with the use of DVRs, who watches commercials anymore? Note: I’m not even going to acknowledge the phonebook. My prediction is the internet and social media. Advertising and marketing is continuing to move in the direction of pull not push. Even the word pull sounds inappropriate… instead how about permission based, relationship focused, social and visible marketing where both personality and purpose matter.

The marketing of the future will allow patients to effectively “shop” a practice before their first visit. New patients will likely choose the most authentically appealing dentist they can find. Whether by word of mouth, referral or internet search, people will want to peruse research and literally see their potential new dentist online before committing to a first appointment.

They’ll want to see video of the doctor, hygienist and office décor. Patients will expect to get a feel for the personality of the practice to determine whether it is the best fit for them. Does this mean the days of going to see a doctor without knowing what to expect are gone?

Need dental marketing help? Email rita@tangiblemarketing.com or call (303) 807-3827.

5 Fresh Dental Marketing Tips To Help Boost Your Bottom Line in Today’s Economy

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Marketing is much more than advertising and getting new patients in the door. As you launch traditional marketing tactics, consider these timely suggestions as well. Direct from recent hands-on experience…  ritazphotoimage28

1) Remove negative press from your reception area

If you have magazines like Time, Newsweek, Fortune or newspapers in your reception room, get them out now. Most of the headlines and articles today highlight the bad economy. Patients will be less motivated to accept treatment with poor economic images at their fingertips. Replace negative headlines with health oriented magazines, such as Prevention.

2) Take a look at what annoys you in your office

Now is an opportune time to have that discussion with the receptionist who needs to step-up her casual-Friday look, the sour-apple assistant in the team or the treatment coordinator who can’t seem to find the time to make those follow-up calls. Perhaps you have none of these issues and have retained a magnificent staff? If so, congratulations! Even if your team is top-notch, everyone is able to continue to improve in some way, now is the time to recruit new ideas, implement fresh protocols and boost all aspects of practice.

3) Make sure your financial policies are in order

A few practices I work with are noticing slower compensation from insurance companies, slower paying patients, and more than usual defectors. According to a January 2009 Wall Street Journal article, it’s not uncommon for people to postpone paying in recessions. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to ensure your financial arrangements are clear, in writing and have patient signatures.

4) Build alliances

Dental practices are not the only businesses seeking more clients. Take advantage of the opportunity to approach like-minded businesses who might want to co-market. For example, share the cost of a direct mail piece or newsletter with another referral based business that serves similar clientele. Then offer a special to each others clients. Note, specials do not have to be discounts… think “bundling,” ie: have your teeth cleaned and receive a complimentary something.

5) Try something different

If you are in the habit of listening to the news every morning, stop it. Try listening to something motivating, wait and watch the news after work, or make a no-recession rule at the office. It is easy to commiserate with your team, but many times this only leaves people feeling worse.

What are you and your team doing to beat the economy and doldrums?

Need help with your dental marketing? Email rita@tangiblemarketing.com or call Rita (303) 807-3827.

Dentists – Word of Mouth is Waiting For You

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Remember when people were saying, “Someday every business will need a website”… or someday everyone will have a cell phone and email account?ritazphotoimage26

Today, the new “must have” is a Facebook page. Are you on board yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Here are the statistics:

Growth

  • More than 175 million active users
  • More than half of Facebook users are outside of college
  • The fastest growing demographic is those 30 years old and older

Engagement

  • Average user has 120 friends on the site
  • More than 3 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
  • More than 3.5 million users become fans of Pages each day

If you haven’t yet embraced Facebook then you probably don’t know that other dentists, health care practices and even hospitals are getting established as we speak. The cost is free, plus your time or a team members time to maintain.

Set up a page, post photos, practice events, etc. Show some personality; however be sure to keep your postings and content consistent with your practice philosophy or brand.

Need help with referral marketing?  Email rita@tangiblemarketing.com or call Rita (303) 807-3827. Oh, and look me up on Facebook!

Dental Marketing That Consistently Delivers

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Good or bad economy, small or large team, old or new practice… Here are a few great marketing techniques that never go out of style. First, marketing should be segmented into two categories, basic and advanced.

Start with the basics first. You wouldn’t consider enrolling in a Level II foreign language class without first learning the basicsmarketing is the same. If you move right into advanced marketing without mastering the basics you risk wasting both time and money. Here are a few basics. I’ll cover advanced topics in a future blog post. ritazphotoimage2

1) Referral Programs– implement systemized programs that are easy to manage. The key here, as with most marketing is consistency… Ask for referrals regularly, verbally and in writing. Note: Practices likely to get the most referrals provide top notch client care (notice I didn’t say top notch dentistry, because it’s not about the dentistry).

2) Keep in Touch– communicate with patients on a regular basis (quarterly at minimum). Quality of content counts, good communication vehicles include emails, hardcopy newsletters, phone calls, thank you notes, events, etc.

3) Office Environment– observe your office and see what it REALLY looks like. We can become numb to our environment when we practically live in it. Has your office become cluttered? Do you have chipped paint, dirty chairs or stained ceiling tiles? All of this directly impacts your bottom line.

4) Case Acceptance – if you aren’t already, get intimate with your numbers. Know exactly how many cases you present each month and how much treatment is accepted. Once you know where you are, you can determine if you are in need of a case acceptance tune up- or praise yourself for how well you are doing.

More marketing tips that consistently deliver… to be continued. Check back soon!  Need help in the meantime email rita@tangiblemarketing.com.

Referral Marketing Works for Dentists- But Don’t Just Take My Word For It

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If you’re like most dentists today you’re probably wondering how you can get more quality new patients without having to invest thousands of dollars. In one of my most popular blog posts “Recession Marketing for Dentists, What’s Hot & What’s Not” I shared the following recommendation:ritazphotoimage22

Invest in referral marketing. If you don’t already have an organized referral program, get busy and create one. Actively promote your program- not just twice a year by word of mouth when patients are in your office. Be sure to promote the fact that you want referrals the whole year long. Ask verbally and in writing (No you won’t come across as a pest or seem desperate because most people are busy with life and won’t likely remember the last time you asked, even if you ask them many times per year). Make sure you invite referrals verbally, and also put your invitation in writing. Tangible forms of promotion help visual learners (about 65% of the population) to remember to refer. If you’d like to know more about this, check out my Referral Guidebook and learn step-by-step how to create a successful turn-key system for your practice.

But don’t just take my word for the uberpower of word-of-mouth marketing. Here are a few of my favorite experts, dental marketing gurus, thought leaders and a few non-dental related quotes to help inspire and motivate you today:

“Word of mouth is thousands of times more powerful than conventional marketing.”

~ George Silverman, Author of “The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing”

“Even those deaf to the bragging cries of the marketplace will listen to a friend.”

~ Paddi Lund, Author of “Building the Happiness-Centered Business”

“Few people want to choose a dentist, for example, from a printed advertisement. People want to have more personal information before making such selections because whenever they choose a professional exclusively from an advertisement and have no other source of information, you may be taking a big risk as to the quality of service you will receive. With referrals, the risk is greatly reduced. Someone else has done business with that person and is recommending that professional to you with confidence.”

~ Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest referral organization, and New York Times Bestselling Author.

“Word of mouth marketing is the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues.”

~ Word Of Mouth Marketing Association

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”

~ Raymond Hull

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have comments to share, questions to ask or need dental marketing help? Call Rita at (303) 807-3827.