Dental Marketing Meets the Holiday Season

Scrooge Misses Out on Valuable Marketing Opportunities

Merry Christmas, folks! This week I thought I’d review how some dentists take advantage of the dental practice marketing opportunities presented by the holiday season.

Holiday Shopping… At the Dentist’s Office?!?

Just because you’re not a retail store doesn’t mean you can’t cash in on Christmas spending! One Ohio dentist is doing just that. Dr. Mindy Munowitz is selling what she calls “Holiday Sparkle Packages” that patients can purchase as gifts for friends and family. (Read more)

Zoom tooth whitening treatment is a part of each “pamper-me” package, but that’s not all. Recipients also get gift certificates for massages and facials. It’s a great way to make a profit off of today’s spa dentistry trends!

Secret Holiday Marketing Weapon: Christmas Lights!

Holiday lights are a great way to draw attention to your building! The photo you see here is of Lake Texoma Dental Care in Denison, Texas. Each year, Dr. Stephen McAnaney makes sure his practice gets noticed by the community. He hires a professional lighting company to decorate the office building with a sophisticated display that not only looks great but also generates new patients. Together, the decorated office and the sign really make a strong impact that says this dental practice is truly bringing the holiday spirit to the community. It also drives home the point that this dental office is warm, sophisticated and probably a great place to receive your dental care. (Read more)

Let’s look at the return on this investment – remember, ROI is a great way to make business decisions! Your first year is an investment; the initial cost of lights will likely range from about $750 to $2,000, depending on the size of your building and types of lights you use. Plan on another $1,000 each year for professionals to hang and later take down your lights. (Unless you’d rather risk breaking your own neck up on the roof?)

How much money does a single new patient bring in? I figure that the average net contribution to the bottom line for an additional new patient, after all the costs of delivering the dentistry, is going to be at least $500, and quite possibly much more. By this math, you would only need six new patients to pay for this the first year and just two additional new patients in succeeding years.

Free Advertising: The Price Is Definitely Right

One IDA dentist has been working hard to use the marketing know-how he’s picked up from The Wealthy Dentist to pick up new patients and increase name recognition of his practice. Dr. Jeff Clay of Shady Spring, West Virginia, teamed up with a local radio station to offer a holiday dental giveaway.

Listeners are invited to enter on the radio’s website (where there’s a prominent link to Dr. Clay’s IDA site, of course!). Visitors get to vote on which candidate needs dental work the most, and the winner will receive up to $2,000 in free dental work from Dr. Clay’s practice. In return for providing free care, the radio station is airing 100 60-second contest promos and another 100 five-second spots – that’s a $2400 advertising value! How brilliant is Dr. Clay’s strategy? Remember, there are more ways to pay for advertising than with money alone! (Listen to the radio ad)

Your Next Chance: New Years’ Marketing

By now it’s a little late for you to launch a Christmas marketing campaign – but not to worry, New Year’s is right around the corner! You can bet that lots of patients will be resolving to finally get the dental treatment they need. Plus, it’s a great time to market yourself to insurance patients whose benefits are renewed with the new year.

Let’s Have a Holiday to Celebrate the Free Market…

Did You Know That Thanksgiving Honors the Death of Socialism?

Last week I reported on the results of our political survey, where we learned that three out of four dentists want to see a Republican in the White House – and that Mitt Romney is dentists’ favorite candidate. I also related a friend’s insight into Canada’s broken health care system. So you’ll understand why I’ve had socialism on my mind recently! It seems a good time to share with you an interesting anecdote about the secret role of socialism in one of America’s most revered holidays.

The story of Thanksgiving may not be quite what’s on your mind for the new year, but there are some lessons here that that can help you and your team run a better dental practice.

The holiday’s story is a quintessentially American one. The Mayflower lands at Plymouth in 1620, and the Pilgrims nearly starve during their first winter. But the Indians teach them farming techniques, the colonists work hard, and by the next year the crop is plentiful and prosperity is at hand.

But of course that’s not really how it happened.

Historical references suggest that the Pilgrims went hungry for a number of years. The governor of the colony at the time blamed it on the laziness and corruption of the colonists, many of whom stole food rather than toiling in the fields.

And then something happened. The harvest of 1623 was a good one, and the next year saw so much food that the colony was able to export corn. So what changed? What happened that allowed the colony to go from subsistence to prosperity?

The answer, it turns out, is both economic and political. Early Plymouth was essentially a socialist society. All profits and supplies were put into a “common stock” that provided for the needs of all colonists. The governor noted that the strong young men were frustrated by this. Feeling that others were reaping the benefits of their labor, some refused to work.

So in 1623 the governor of Plymouth replaced the socialist setup with a free market one. Each family got a plot of land and the rights to whatever they produced. Within a year, the once-starving colony was producing more food than it needed.

What’s more, Plymouth is not an isolated example; the same thing happened in Jamestown and other colonies. Many colonies were initially based on socialist principles, and like Plymouth, they starved and barely subsisted. Only by changing to a free market economy were they able to prosper.

Read Richard Marbury’s complete Thanksgiving history or post your own thoughts below.


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