Could Amazon be aiming its rocket at YOU?

May 2, 2021
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Amazon is opening a hair salon.  Seriously.

Amazon’s new health band is the most invasive tech we’ve ever tested.

Why should HEADLINES should scare you?

These headlines appeared in the Washington Post on April 20,2021 and December 20, 2020, respectively.

Do these headlines have anything in common?

In my estimation, they do.  And, it means trouble ahead for dentists.  Let me explain.

Amazon has shown that it is very strategic.  They don’t, as the Washington Post posts in the story about the Hair Salon, throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.”

Amazon isn’t stupid.  They know where they’re aiming their spaghetti!  And Dentistry will be right in their cross hairs.

Look at what they did with Whole Foods.  Look at their purchase of an online pharmacy, PillPack.

Amazon has an advantage that most other businesses do not enjoy.  Their online store is the best marketing analysis tool ever invented.  It’s actually better than Google.

People go to Google to educate themselves about a product but then, when they’re ready to buy, they go to Amazon to price check.  So, while Google knows about “shoppers”, Amazon identifies “buyers” and what they’re actually buying.

AMAZON is  SCARY BRILLIANT.

And, they use this information to further their own, self-interest, PROFIT!

As an aside; What can YOU learn from this?

Do you market to shoppers or buyers?

Amazon must know that a hair salon will fulfill a need to a market that they have identified based on shopping and buying patterns.  It’s the same strategy they used before buying Whole Foods and PillPack.  They figured that people were coming searching for healthy food products and drugs.  “Why not buy a business that specializes in the delivery of these products already?”

So now that you believe that Amazon is using its own search engine to fuel its acquisition strategy, why would you be concerned about their entering the dental market?

Here’s another headline:

Amazon jumps into health care with telemedicine initiative

And another;

Amazon plots a course into the healthcare industry”- BBC News Jan.5, 2021

So how can little ‘ol me compete with AMAZON???

The good news is that they will, most likely, compete with other “big box-like” entities such as DSO’s.  But that’s still not necessarily great news for you, Dr. Small Practice.

Amazon is an non-discriminating competitor.  Everyone who has Amazon Prime will be their target.  Any of those members in your practice?

You can’t compete on price.  You probably can’t compete on technology and speed.  You certainly cannot compete on marketing.  

So how can the little guy compete against the behemoth?

Go where they aren’t!
Go where they can’t!
Go where they won’t!

Large companies are great at doing things that require generalized systems.  When it comes to specific niches, they often falter.  Or, they develop other large companies that just deal with that niche.  Think implants and Clear Choice.

Large companies often cannot care for people like family.  They function on volume ad hence cannot give the individualized, personalized attention that a smaller practice can give.  And even though AI promises to help improve the “patient experience” in larger companies by more personalization, the human touch will be missing.

Large service companies can’t afford to be very mobile.  They can’t afford to spend the time it takes to go outside their brick and mortar structures.  House calls?  Impossible for a large enterprise.

Here are 4 strategies to consider now, so that when a large entity like Amazon or another behemoth moves into your sphere, you’re not swallowed up and spit out as ancient, useless or irrelevant.

1. Begin developing a culture of personalized service:  the more personal, the better.
2. Think about adopting niche type therapies such as:

        Dental Sleep Medicine

        Airway-focused Dentistry

        TMJ

        Whole-health focused dentistry

        “Biologic” “BioRational” or “Bio Compatible”Dentistry

        Wellness Coaching

3. Think about offering mobile or remote services whenever possible.  Just the offer can be a Unique Value Proposal that might entice a patient to choose you over the behemoth.
4. Develop and adopt a patient membership and loyalty program to make the patients you have stickier to your practice and reduce churn (turnover).  This will also reduce your dependence on PPO’s and new patient marketing schemes too!

Want to learn more?  Watch Michael and Jordon Comstock of BoomCloud on an informative webinar where these and other strategies will be discussed.

REGISTER HERE

To your excellent clarity and success,

Michael, Laurie, Merideth and the PPS Team

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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