marketing Archives - The Wealthy Dentist

Off-Label Botox Marketing Gets $600 Million Fine

Botox manufacturer Allergan gets $600 million fineAllergan has been slapped with a $600M fine for illegally marketing Botox for off-label use.

After a years-long investigation, the company pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge of “misbranding.”

Allergan had marketed Botox to physicians for treating migraine and headache pain. In addition to advertising the drug’s off-label uses, the company allegedly also instructed doctors on how to “miscode” Botox insurance claims.

Though Botox is commonly used to treat a variety of facial wrinkles, it is only approved to treat the vertical lines (shaped like the number 11) between the brows. It has also been approved for treatment of spasms, eye muscle problems, and excessive underarm perspiration.

Botox is widely used for off-label treatments, including TMJ treatment, facial cosmetics, cerebral palsy treatment, and headaches. However, the manufacturer is not supposed to market the drug for off-label uses.

But Allergan has never been shy when it comes to marketing. In fact, the company filed a lawsuit last year arguing that the FDA should not be able to limit the manufacturer’s marketing and communications with physicians.

“In the lawsuit, Allergan contends that the Government’s legal position that it is a crime for a pharmaceutical company to proactively communicate truthful information to physicians about off-label uses of its products violates the First Amendment and is inconsistent with the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.”

Allergan Files Federal Lawsuit to Allow It to Share Relevant Information with the Medical Community on the Safe Use of BOTOX® for Common Therapeutic Off-Label Treatments

As part of this settlement, Allergan will drop that lawsuit.

The company has also been aggressively marketing Latisse, a new prescription medication that grows eyelashes. Ads feature celebrity users Brooke Shields and Claire Danes, showing off their longer lashes.

Of course, the warning included in their advertisements is enough to give the cosmetically-minded pause:

“LATISSE® may cause darkening of the eyelid skin which may be reversible. LATISSE® may also cause increased brown pigmentation of the colored part of the eye which is likely to be permanent.”

Read more: Botox maker to pay $600M to resolve investigation

Why Dental Marketing Requires Long-term Thinking

Dental Marketing Requires Long-term Thinking Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear that dental marketing results will take time. When dentists spend thousands of dollars on something, it’s only natural to want a return as soon as possible.

But marketing is really more of a marathon than a sprint.

The best results come over time.

It’s not unheard of for an advertising campaign to produce an immediate return, but that’s usually the exception to the rule. We hope for short-term response, but we plan for long-term results. Keep this in mind when you choose among your dental marketing options.

Once you pick your method, give the media enough time to produce. In most cases, the approach of “I’ll do this for a couple months and see how it goes” is a mistake and a waste of money.

Why are dental marketing results better over the long run?

One of the main reasons is because patients are likely to need multiple exposures to a message before they respond. Radio advertising provides a good example. Radio is a frequency medium, which means it works best when your ad makes repeated impressions on the same listener.

It can be expensive to make multiple impressions on a listener, especially in the larger markets, so it’s important to buy a station that you can afford. If you can’t afford to commit for at least six months, then you need to pick a less expensive station or put off radio until such a commitment is realistic.

One good media buyer I know tells his clients, “In the first month, you’re going to lose a (heck) of a lot of money. In the second month you’ll lose a little less. By the fourth or fifth month, you’ll start breaking even. And after six months, you’ll start making a lot of money.”

Now that first part might sound a little bleak, but if you’re planning long term, your investment won’t be evaluated by early results. At the end of the year the aggregated profit over the months should more than make up for a slow start.

I’ve seen dentists get multiple new patients the first day they ran a radio ad. That’s great for morale, but it’s not necessary for a successful campaign. Some of the best campaigns I’ve seen have started slow and built up over time.

Make sure you choose dental marketing methods that reflect this reality, and that your decisions are made for the long-term.

Ed Ridgway has executed dental marketing campaigns for hundreds of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. He is nationally recognized for his ongoing campaigns with many of the top dental practices across the country.

Can Popular Social Media Site Pinterest be Used for Dental Marketing?

Can Popular Social Media Site Pinterest be Used for Dental Marketing?We can hear dentists groaning now, “Please, not another social media site to integrate with my dental marketing plan!”

But only having a dental website isn’t enough anymore, especially if that dental website isn’t geo-targeted and isn’t up-to-date with the latest dental keyword phrases.

A modern dental practice must maintain an active, keyword rich website, a dental practice Facebook page, and a Google Plus page, and it also helps to post some dental demonstration videos on YouTube.

Social media is a great way for dentists to engage and communicate with dental patients on a regular basis. It takes a little more work on the dental practice side to keep the social media engagement going.

It’s not just a one-time post with a teeth-whitening special.

Social media is a conversation between the dentist and his dental patients about what’s going on at the dental practice, what new cosmetic dental procedure patients like, what new treatment financing options are available and so on.

And using the new social media site Pinterest can further help dentists promote their dental practice.

If you aren’t sure about Pinterest for dental marketing, then check out the following stats compiled by Monetate Marketing Infographics about Pinterest —

Is Pinterest the Next Social Commerce Game Changer?

Think about Pinterest as more of an online scrapbook that links to the websites where the images are found.  This is the traffic power behind using Pinterest.  Pinterest users “scrapbook” their ideas, hobbies, passions and inspiration with the world when they “pin” images to their virtual boards.

Members are able to follow each other and comment, just like other social media platforms.  They also share their boards with each other.

Here are 7 ways a dental practice can use Pinterest for dental marketing

1.  Share images of your dental practice, both inside and out.

2.  Share your before and after photos from those dental patients who have given permission to share their images online.

3.  Encourage your dental patients to share their images on your boards.  Ideas like “My dental patients graduating this year” and invite them to post their graduation photos with their beautiful smiles.

4.  Share new dental equipment.

5.  Even share the things you enjoy and you may find many patients who share your passions for trout fishing, race cars, or golf.

6.  If you have dental patients who are getting married, ask them to share a couple of their wedding photographs.

7.  Women are even planning their weddings on Pinterest.  Think of the services you can offer a prospective bride that she may want to include on her wedding planning boards for things she wants to get done before the big day.

Dentists must be present in more places online, and recognize that dental patients increasingly want to engage in social media, regardless of the platform. Broadening your dental marketing to include image boards on Pinterest is a simple new way to showcase your dental practice in a positive light.

(If you would like to receive an invitation to join Pinterest, please let us know in the comments and we will send you an invitation from The Wealthy Dentist. To see The Wealthy Dentist on Pinterest, go to pinterest.com/wealthydentist)

Dentists: Are Smartphones a Part of Your Dental Marketing Plan?

Dentists: Are Smartphones a Part of Your Dental Marketing Plan?Dentists, is mobile phone marketing part of your dental marketing plan?

Because it should be!

Nielsenwire, the leader in measurement and information, just released their March 2012 stats on U.S. mobile subscribers who own smartphones.

Smartphone usage is up from 47.8 percent in December 2011 to 50.4 percent in March.

Consumers purchasing new phones picked smartphones more often, and among smartphone owners Apple was the top manufacturer of smartphone handsets, while Android was the top smartphone OS.

Smartphone owners in the U.S are the new mobile phone majority.

Smartphone owners in the U.S are the new mobile phone majority

Smartphones are more popular among those ages 25 to 34, but age isn’t the only determinant of smartphone ownership.

According to Nielsenwire, income also plays a significant role. When age and income are both taken into account, older subscribers with higher incomes are more likely to have a smartphone. For example, those 55-64 making over 100K a year are almost as likely to have a smartphone as those in the 35-44 age bracket making 35-75K per year.

A recent Pew Internet report found 74% of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile devices to get real-time location-based information, and 18 percent use a geo-targeted social service to share their location. 30% used their phone to decide whether to visit a business.

Smartphone owners use their mobile devices to get real-time location-based information

The report also revealed that the young, the relatively well-educated and well-off, and parents of minor children are more likely than other kinds of cell owners to have used their cell phones recently for items such as search.

Juniper Research reports that more than 3.4 billion mobile coupons were redeemed globally in 2011 and MIT Technology Review predicts that smart phones are spreading faster than any technology in human history.

Don’t let your dental web presence be left out of this hot new technology trend.Smart Mobile Dental Marketing

The Internet Dental Alliance New Patient Portals include a full set of specially-designed smart mobile dental marketing pages.

This means that every person with a mobile smart phone, iPad or other tablet can easily view your practice information or site from any location.

Your portal can be viewed on all Apple iPhones and iPads . . . all the Blackberry phones . . . Slates . . . tablets . . . and virtually every smart mobile phone out there.

5 Simple Online Marketing Strategies for Dentists

dental online marketingThe right Internet dental marketing strategies have been proven to grow a dental practice and attract new patients. With over 5,000,000 searches for “dentist” online, it’s now more important than ever to have a viable web presence.

When considering your online dental marketing practices, it’s best to start out with the basics and build on your relationship with your patients. Ask them where they spend time socially online, what kind of emails they would like to see from you, and what kind of online interactions they might enjoy seeing from your practice.

Then start small, building from one dental marketing interaction to the next.

Here is a list of 5 simple online marketing strategies for dentists:

1. Be listed in Google Places.
Make sure you have a business listing on Google Places. Go to www.google.com/places to claim your free Google Places listing. This is a quick way to ensure your business information shows up in local search. Google Places offers an area for photos of your office, hours of operation and links to your website.

2. Have a fully optimized, SEO-friendly website.
Make sure your business website was designed in the last 4 years, content is new and optimized for your particular keywords — especially geo-targeted keywords.

3. Make sure your dental practice is listed in online dental directories.
It is important to submit your dental practice website and contact information to local business directories and dental directories. These provide powerful link-building to your website.

4. Capture email addresses for email marketing.
The greatest asset your business has is your patient base. Your email list is your connection to that patient base. You can increase sales and revenue with email marketing, while investing only a small amount of time and money.

5. Have a Facebook Fan Page and involve your practice in social media.
Social media is all about connecting with your patients. A dental Facebook Fan page is a great way to provide updates from your office staff, educate patients on new procedures, and promote fun events happening in your office. It’s another way to engage your clients in a way that makes them loyal to your business. Go to Facebook’s Create a Page to begin interacting with your patients on Facebook.

These 5 Internet dental marketing strategies help you expand your customer base, connect with other dentists in your area and get the word out on your dental practice. Being engaged with your patients online helps you understand who they are, what they like and what services they would recommend. You’ll notice behavior patterns in your patients in the way they interact with you online and gain information that will help you be build a dental practice your patients will love.

Are you using any of these 5 online marketing practices to grow your business? Please share your experiences with us!

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