The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Dental Marketing

Editorial
by Jim Du Molin

I’ve learned to travel with my digital camera just about anywhere I go these days so I can capture examples of interesting signage — both the good and the truly bad examples of dental marketing. I really lucked out when I recently visited a newly-refurbished outdoor shopping mall with a great example of a “banner ad” marketing solution for a dental practice buried behind the front line stores.

Cosmetic Dentistry SignageThis doctor almost perfectly achieved the trifecta of shopping mall marketing, starting with the banner strung in front of his practice. This banner had it all:

 

  • “Personalized & Comfortable:” This is his value statement. What more could a dental patient want from a dental practice?
  • “Cosmetic Dentistry:” This is his targeted high-value patient. Why ask for ordinary dental patients when you can ask for a specific type of high-value patient with an ROI that is four to five times that of a standard patient?
  • Practice Logo: The practice’s logo adds an attention-getting graphic to the banner; it also clearly states the practice’s name, “Strawberry Village Dental Care” – in the Strawberry Mall, in the neighborhood known as Strawberry – a great geographically descriptive name.
  • And most important, a clear call to action statement: “Welcome. Call for Your Appointment Today! 389-3600”

 

 

The second part of this great three-fer mall marketing program is Dental Practice Signage the doctor’s perpendicular drop-down hanging sign from the roof of the mall walkway. The only thing I will have to check next time I visit this site is if this sign is properly lit at night for visibility.Always light your signage (in this case, from both directions for clear visibility), even at night when you are not open.

Strawberry Dental SignageFinally, the third part of a great dental signage promotion is the practice logo painted on the entry door to the office. This is the only flawed part of the presentation – and it’s only a minor flaw. As you can see from the photo, the glare from the glass makes the logo hard to read as you walk by the door. The solution would be to paint a base layer of white paint and then paint the logo on top of the background layer. This eliminates the glare and provides contrast to the logo, making it “pop” on the door, easy to see and read.

My only additional marketing recommendation for this practice would be to attach a clear plastic box to the wall next to the door that would contain a simple new patient offer for walk-by traffic. If you are paying big bucks for a shopping mall location, you want to do everything possible to maximize your marketing opportunities!

Jim Du Molin

Dentistry & Diabetics: Tough But Neccessary

Diabetes and Poor Oral Health Are Correlated

Diabetes has never been good news, so it comes as little surprise that new health reports warn of the dangers of diabetes and dentistry.

It’s commonly accepted that poor dental health makes diabetes worse, and that diabetes makes dental health worse, leaving diabetics in a tough situation.

Dental researchers at NYU have found evidence that gum disease can lead to diabetes in pregnant women. Women suffering from periodontal disease were more likely to develop gestational diabetes than expectant mothers with healthy teeth and gums. Gestational diabetes has been linked to pre-term deliveries and raises a woman’s chance of developing Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. (Read more)

Science Daily emphasizes the importance of diabetic patients discussing any and all medications with their dentist prior to treatment. The materials and medications used in dentistry could potentially cause negative reactions. A patient’s insulin levels can also affect how long a dental appointment takes. (Read more)

Two Out of Three Dentists Recommend Dental Careers

Majority of Dentists Seem Happy to Be Practicing Dentistry

Dental Survey ResultsIn our most recent survey, two out of three dentists reported that they would recommend a career in dentistry to their children or grandchildren.

Female dentists were far less likely to recommend a dental career than were their male counterparts. While only 28% of male respondents said they would not recommend dentistry, fully 55% of female respondents did.

While 36% of general dentists said they would advise against a dental career, only 7% of specialists felt the same way. This suggests specialists may be happier with their careers than general practitioners.

Here are some comments from dentists…

  • “It is a wonderful career where you can truly be the boss. What could be better?” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “I like the profession but dislike the business of dentistry.” (New York dentist)
  • “I don’t know who is earning all that money that I read about in various surveys, but it sure isn’t me.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Ask any physician. They’ll all admit we’ve picked the right profession.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I thinks the physical strain is too much. Disability comes fast.” (California dentist)
  • “It is a part of me.” (South Carolina periodontist)
  • “I wouldn’t want my children to have to experience the stress that I had to go though.” (Massachusetts dentist)
  • “Helping other people with their physical and psychological health is extremely rewarding.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I love the practice of dentistry, and my son is starting dental school this fall.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “It has been corrupted by the influence of dental insurance.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “It has turned out to be the best thing I could have done both personally and professionally.” (New York dentist)

Post your own comments or read the complete dental career survey results…

Dentists: Ever Search for Yourself Online? (video)

online searchesOnline reviews of dentists are becoming more important as more dental patients use the Internet to find a dentist. From a marketing perspective, they’re great — as long as no one is trashing you.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if they searched for themselves online. 83% of dentists surveyed answered yes.

“From a marketing point of view, all dentists should know if and where they are on search engines (increasingly patients pick their dentist from an Internet search), and what is being said about the practice/dentist,” said a Washington orthodontist.

Click on play to watch the survey video and hear the full survey results –

Here are a few free websites that can help you monitor your online reputation

1. Social Mention @ www.socialmention.com
A free online search tool that searches the Internet (especially social media) for any conversations being posted about you.

2.  Board Tracker @ www.boardtracker.com
A free online forum search tool that searches forums mentioning you or your dental practice.

3.  Twitter Search @ search.twitter.com
Real-time search for what is being said on Twitter. Be sure to try searches with a # sign in front of your name too.

4.  Google Alerts @ www.google.com/alerts
A free tool where you enter the topic you wish to monitor along with your email address and alerts will be emailed to you whenever Google discovers your topic online.

Dentists Say Electric Toothbrush No Better Than Manual Toothbrush

No Better Than Manual Toothbrush

Is the electric toothbrush all hype?

The NZ Herald surveyed a group of independent dentists and found that many dentists are uncomfortable with their profession’s relationship with some dental products and their marketing companies.

One product endorsement that seemed to bother the dentists the most is in the area of electronic toothbrushes.

According to the Herald, dentists were split 50-50 about whether an electric toothbrush gave a better clean. The dentists who support manual toothbrushes felt that brushing is about how well someone brushes — not the toothpaste or toothbrush used.

In other words, any type of toothbrush is only as good as the person who is using it.  Overall, many dentists felt there wasn’t a bigger advantage to using one type of toothbrush over another.

So why endorse the more expensive electric toothbrush?

Some dentists feel product endorsements arise from the close relationships between dental associations and dental product manufacturers.  In the Herald survey, several dentists broke ranks with the professional associations – one of which receives sponsorship from Oral-B – to speak out and say that the clean provided by an electric toothbrush is no better than a manual toothbrush.

Both the New Zealand Dental Association and the New Zealand Dental Therapists Association declined to comment on the survey.

What do you say?  What type of toothbrush do you advise your patients to use?

For more on this story read: Electric brush: tooth or fiction

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