Dental Marketing Archives - The Wealthy Dentist

Not All Dentists Comfortable With Broadcast Media (video)

dentists fear broadcast mediaBroadcast media can be an interesting and profitable avenue, but not all dentists are comfortable with radio or TV advertising.

“Even when radio seems to be failing for some, we have continued our success!” boasted one dentist.

“It cheapens the profession,” vented one California dentist. “When was the last time you heard a cardiologist or neurosurgeon advertise?”


097-Broadcast_Media.mp4

Read more: Dental Marketing via TV and Radio Ads

The Essentials of Dental Patient Marketing: Dental Office Presentation

In last week’s article, Dental Marketing: 7 Ways To Turn Your Dental Office Into a Hot Marketing Machine we wrote about the importance of an effective dental office presentation.

We highlighted Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care in San Francisco as an example of a dental practice that exemplifies a great dental office presentation — one that effectively markets new patients on its own.

dental office presentation

This practice effectively attracts new patients 7 great ways with …

1.  An effective dental office front.
2.  Dental signage that is easy to read from a distance.
3.  Use of the office phone number in branding.
4.  Effective window advertising displays.
5.  Prominent front door signage.
6.  Use of key visuals with pop-art sculpture.
7.  Utilizing the entrance space as an advertising platform.

We asked Dr. Steven Brattesani about his obvious passion for dental marketing and attracting new patients. He offered the following –

“There are still more changes to come …  like the giant custom-designed tooth brush and mirror … which will be finished with lighting and marble bases.  I also have fiber optic LED shadow boxes that are being redone that will change color at night.  It’s funny to watch how they stop everyone in their tracks.  People walk from one to the other to see what’s inside! Being located on one of the busiest thoroughfares in my section of town with 65,000 cars a day driving by, I have tried to maximize my frontage …”

Marketing your practice through a powerful dental office presentation strengthens your identity, reminds people of your dental practice and is simply good business.

Dr. Brattesani doesn’t stop there, he goes on to say –

“Times have been tough with the economy … and (effective) marketing takes time and staying power. I have been co-marketing with local businesses. I give them a free nicely packaged travel tooth-Brush/micro toothpaste and Tooth Pick. So far, we have given away about 6,000 in this past month. It has rendered about 14 or so new patients…”

Dr. Brattesani’s dental marketing involves utilizing multiple elements to attract new patients, increase production, and make his local community aware of his services.

The Wealthy Dentist's "The $1,000,000 Sign"Dental practice marketing may seem — to the dentist —like an overwhelming task.  But really it’s a combination of sound judgment and understanding what works.

The worst thing you can do is to put it off because it seems like too much trouble.

Dr. Steven Brattesani is living proof of what can be done with a little creative spark and imagination.

If you still are apprehensive about dental practice marketing, the simplest way to start is to take a quick look at TWD’s “$1,000,000 Sign” tutorial.

An effective dental office front.

Dentists Turn to Central Call Centers To Market New Dental Patients

Dentists Turn to Central Call CentersWhen it comes to assisting new dental patients, some dentists have turned to dental call centers to improve their exposure in the patient community.

It used to be that when a dentist opened a new dental office, his or her ability to market new patients over the phone was limited to a receptionist and an answering machine after hours. Needless to say this was not a very effective way to market new dental patients.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey to ask dentists what they think about utilizing a highly trained central call center to answer new patient phone calls or to talk with patients when the office is closed.

47% of the dentists surveyed were excited about the idea of a central call center. Another 21% were interested in the idea for when their office is closed. 7% liked the idea for new patients only, while 25% didn’t like the idea at all.

As usual, our dentists had a variety of responses to the idea of a central call center. Several dental practices are already using them. Below is what they had to say.

Love the idea –

“An excellent idea! I hope someone offers this service. It would be ideal if the service could connect with the office’s PMS, (practice management system), so appointments could actually be scheduled.” (Florida dentist)

“Already using Ultimate Phone Consierge. Excellent results 140+ phone calls per month 15-31 patients scheduled.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

Depends on the service –

“I have 4 practices and am ready to do it myself, but if it can be done better… I am all over that!” (Ohio dentist)

“I would have to be convinced for the new patient calls.” (Texas dentist)

Depends on the training –

“If they are highly trained I would support it, but I doubt seriously you are going to find ‘highly trained” in dental field working in a call center . . . something is wrong if they are.” (General dentist)

“Who trains? Where will they be located? Is it National?” (Minnesota dentist)

“They would need to be able to make appointments. “ (New Jersey dentist)

Depends on the cost –

“It must be comparable in fees with regular services except better for new patients.” (California dentist)

“Possibly interested. Obviously would depend upon the cost involved.” (Illinois dentist)

Depends on size of the dental practice –

“I think it is great for large offices, but for small single doctor practices probably not cost efficient.” (Rural Tennessee dentist)

“We are in a very small town; people expect to speak to someone they know. I do hate missing calls when we are closed.” (Rural Texas dentist)

Absolutely not –

“No way. Anything less than a direct contact with me or my staff would be inappropriate and delay treatment. I provide a phone line for emergencies and a sub when needed.” (Indiana dentist)

“I think it is worse to call somewhere and just be told that they are only an answering service and can’t help you vs. leaving a message if the office is closed. If new patients are calling our office during business hours, we better be answering the phones ourselves! ” (Michigan front-office employee)

“In this day and age with instant access via e-mail, cell phone or pager, why would anyone want to do this? The call center would probably have to get in touch with the doctor via e-mail, cell phone or pager so why even have it?” (Illinois dentist)

“I would rather pay to have my staff trained and then let patients be able to put a face with a name and a voice when they come to my office. An answering service is valuable for when the office is closed and no one is here to take calls.” (Kansas dentist)

Dental Marketing: Negative Online Review Appears as a Facebook Page

negative dental page on FacebookIn the past The Wealthy Dentist has written about negative online reviews in such articles as Appeals Court Says Yes to Dentist Lawsuit Against Patient for Online Review andWhen a Dentist’s Relationship Goes Bad on the Internet — both stories about harmful dental critiques posted on review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List.

But in August of this year, Chris Cook of Bakersfield, CA, pushed negative online reviews to a new level.

It was reported in dental news site DrBicuspid.com that Mr.  Cook took his 5-year-old son to see Bakersfield pediatric dentist Edward Dove, DDS, for a tooth extraction. Mr. Cook claims Dr. Dove mistreated his son during that visit by extracting a tooth before the child was adequately sedated.

According to DrBiCuspid.com, Cook stated that his son vomited up most of the sedative, screamed, and urinated on himself while allegedly being held down by three dental assistants during the procedure.  Allegations Dr. Dove vehemently denies.

Chris Cook decided to take matters into his own hands and created the “I Hate Dr. Dove of Bakersfield” page on Facebook, attracting more than 200 members in its first 48 hours.

Luckily for Dr. Dove, Facebook does have a policy for pages with the word “hate” and considers them in strict violation of their terms of service.  They swiftly moved to shut down the dental hate page.

Cook was undaunted by the Facebook boot, turned around and created a second Facebook group page, “Bakersfield dentist DOES NOT ROCK!!!!!!!!!” which is still up and active.

Dr. Dove has handled the situation by defending his treatment in the press and pointing to his 23 years in practice without a single disciplinary action. He has chosen not to engage with Chris Cook on his Facebook page, and was quoted in Dr Bicuspid as saying, “I think my reputation will be hurt a little bit, but right now I just want to calm down,” Dr. Dove said, “This guy is going ballistic, he’s trying to smear me, and I’m getting bullied.”

But should Dr. Dove be more concerned?

Just how significant are bad reviews for the future of your dental practice?

A new survey by market analysis firm Cone, Inc., found that four out of five consumers have reversed purchase decisions based on negative reviews found on the Internet. Another survey by Ratepoint found that 40 percent of consumers indicated they are more likely to consider a local business when they respond to a negative online review.

In the case of a Facebook page being dedicated to hating a dental practice, a dentist has little recourse since the unhappy page creator would have to allow the dentist to join the group page in order to issue a response.

Dentists have had little luck in defamation lawsuits when it comes to negative online reviews since the courts tend to look upon unhappy reviews as free speech. In a recent defamation case in California, a dentist has been ordered to pay $80,000 in attorney fees to the parents who posted a negative online review.

So how do you combat something like a negative Facebook page?

By making sure your dental practice has more than one website that appears on the top pages of Google when your business (and personal) name is searched online. Also have your own Facebook page, or pages for each type of treatment you offer. Have a Twitter page and make sure your practice is listed in as many dental directories as you can find. The idea is to control what appears on the first page of Google about your dental practice. Regular press releases help with this too.

For solutions to multiple name search and directory listing go to: www.InternetDentalAlliance.com.

For more on this story see: Facebook Pulls Plug on Angry Dad’s Antidentist Page

22% of Dentists Spend Over 5k a Month on Dental Marketing

22% of Dentists Spend Over 5k a Month on Dental MarketingWhat do dentists spend monthly on dental marketing?

It all depends on the dentist you ask.

54% of the dentists who responded to this question in The Wealthy Dentist survey spend over $1,000 a month on marketing, while a mere 7% spend nothing at all.

“We budget 6 percent of collections at approximately $18,000 per month,” revealed a California dentist.

Here are the survey results —

7% — No marketing expenses.
6% — Under $200.
9% — $200-500.
25% — $500-1,000.
20% — $1,000-2,000.
12% — $2,000-5,000.
22% — Over $5,000.

What dentists had to say about their monthly marketing expenses —

“We spend $80,000.00 + a month.” (Texas prosthodontist/orthodontist practice)

“In this rural area, it is difficult to reach a large number of people.” (Rural general dentist)

Internal marketing is clearly the best form of marketing and the least costly. We’ve focused a lot on that the past 2 years and have seen significant benefits and practice growth!” (Texas prosthodontist)

“Our business is less than 2-years-old. We are now over 50% internal referral. I may cut some of the marketing budget for external next year.” (Missouri dentist)

“It seems every year it costs more and more to get a descent ROI.” (California orthodontist)

“Our practice is over 50% dental implant related and we could not do the volume we do without extensive external marketing.” (General dentist)

“$500 – $1,000 and growing.” (South Carolina periodontist)

“We get over 30 new patients a month every month by great “word of mouth” in our community. No amount of “marketing” is better than treating your patients like you would want to be treated!” (California dentist)

“$2,000 – $5,000 and looking to increase.” (Michigan dentist)

What does your practice spend on dental marketing each month?

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