62% of the dentists in the most recent The Wealthy Dentist survey report that they are still getting some dental patients from the phone book, with 22% still using a display ad.
While there are those who argue that the Yellow Pages aren’t needed anymore, older dental patients do still use the printed Yellow Pages when they need a local business.
This aging demographic is projected to double by 2030 (to 71.5 million) and represent 20% of the total U.S. population.
A recent Pew report revealed that these seniors aged 65 and older are less likely than other age groups to own digital devices.
When dentists were asked if they are still getting dental patients from the phone book, here’s how they responded–
- 38% None.
- 23% Very few.
- 23% Here and there.
- 16% Yes, absolutely.
Since it has been reported that there are more than 105 million smartphones in the U.S., with 75% of those smartphone users conducting local searches on their devices, we further asked dentists if they are getting any dental patients via smart phone searches instead.
Here’s how the dentists answered —
- 40% Don’t know.
- 18% Here and there.
- 16% Yes, absolutely.
- 15% Very few.
- 11% None.
The Wealthy Dentist also asked dentists for their thoughts on dental patients using the phone book and here’s what they told us —
“Depends on patient base … with more technology, more patients are posting on their personal Facebook page on a good experience.” (General dentist)
“I personally use the phone book, but not as much as I used to. For our business, though, we still get patients from the phone book, but the numbers have certainly gone down over the past few years. As a result, we keep shrinking our phone book advertising and now just have it as a few lines in the book rather than a display ad. Doing so doesn’t seem to have affected our total new patient numbers and we are saving a lot of money!” (Ohio prosthodontist)
“It’s a “dinosaur” marketing technique and never was a big source of new patients for me, and is diminishing steadily with time.” (Illinois dentist)
“It tends to be used by the older and more emergency-oriented.” (Alabama dentist)
“It is important to know the psychographics of your client before spending money. This business serves lower income people with no dental insurance.” (Missouri dentist)
“It’s not worth spending much on, especially in a competitive market.” (Texas dentist)
“The phone book is dead. All searches are via computer and mostly are via Google.” (California implantologist)
“Word-of-mouth still works best.” (General dentist)
“Not nearly the tool it used to be. AT&T is pretty desperate for advertisers. They dropped my full-page ad by $1000 a month. Even at the highly discounted rate, hard to justify spending that amount with the Yellow Book these days.” (California dentist)
What are your thoughts on dental patients using the phone book?