I purchased my first dental computer system from a company called ADOSI in the 80’s. Their main selling point was that they were endorsed by the ADA. Since dental practice computers were new, and my expertise as a consumer of business computers was nearly zero, I relied on the ADA seal of approval as assurance that I was getting the best system I could get.
Boy, was I wrong.
The system was lacking in many critical respects. The company eventually folded, and I was forced to endure a costly switch to another system. So much for relying on someone else’s ‘seal of approval.’
The ‘silver lining’ to that painful experience was that because of all the problems with the ADOSI system, I became educated about business computer systems. I became a SMART, EDUCATED CONSUMER.
I knew what I needed, even though I had no clue how to code.
This same scenario is played out daily in dentistry. People use website companies as part of their practice marketing, assuming that the companies that sell them, especially the “endorsed” ones,know about marketing.
Dentists accept recommendations from other dentists who also know little about marketing and websites.
From looking at most dental websites however, it is clear that most dentists are not SMART CONSUMERS of marketing.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT
Few of us are taught anything about marketing in school. Even most of the “practice management” courses given fail to discuss marketing, focusing on more important “financial” matters (not surprising given the extreme and growing debt most students are in).
FINANCES MATTER! A LOT!
The “financial” matter that has the greatest impact on your practice is NEW PATIENT FLOW. Without a consistent stream of qualified and appropriate patients, ready to accept your best care, any practice with die.
Is your website important in that regard? Is it doing it fulfilling its mission?
The latest statistics show that nearly 90% of consumers conduct online research before heading to the store. That means that even if your patient was referred by a friend or other trusted source, they’re going to check you out online first.
When they go to your website, what will they see? What will they FEEL?
If you’re like most dental practices, website visitors will see a cookie cutter site with stock pictures that convey little, lists of frightening services, along with photos of scary looking equipment and even scarier looking disembodied teeth and peeled back smiles? They’ll readwords like the 3 C’s, written on nearly every dental website.
CARING, COMPASSION and COMPREHENSIVE.
Blah, Blah, Blah. Meaningless drivel. What people WON’T SEE, is anything that connects these 3 words with the experience they’ll have in your office. Because of that, the WORDS mean nothing. They carry no value.
What people won’t experience is a FEELING that their specific concerns are being heard.
Every word, photo and video should have VALUE. They should all promote the FEELING thatYOUR practice is the SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM the visitor is seeking to solve.
In fact, because EVERY site says the same stuff and few actually EXPLAIN or SHOW their meaning, the website says; “this is the same type of dental practice I’ve been to before.”
If you want to convey a message that “YOUR EXPERIENCE WILL BE THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN IN EVERY OTHER DENTAL PRACTICE YOU’VE BEEN,” then your website is doing a great job!
Is that the message you’re trying to convey?
Most websites fail at the very things they’re supposed to do:
WHY IS YOUR TREATMENT ACCEPTANCE RATE NOT NEARLY 100%?
Chances are that a good part of the reason is; your marketing is attracting the WRONG patients.
If you’re spending any money on marketing, becoming an educated consumer is not a luxury. With today’s extreme competition and tight fiscal environment, getting the most from your marketing dollars is not just a necessity, it’s a survival strategy.
What does CARING, COMPASSION and COMPREHENSIVE look like in action? How are these a part of your in-office or phone experience?
Your website should make a promise to your prospective patient. But that’s not enough. Your office must deliver on each an every promise made.
Here’s a simple exercise. At your next team meeting, ask your team if they have visited your website lately.
Chances are, few of them have. And so, they have no idea if the website’s promises are realistic or being fulfilled.
Then do a marketing-message-action analysis exercise. Ask the following:
How can we improve what’s being said on the website to be consistent with what’s being done in the office? Or, visa, versa!
Most dental marketing companies have no clue about the reality of YOUR practice, or your patient promises. It’s up to YOU to become knowledgeable about website marketing and help get results you desire and require.
QUALIFIED, EAGER NEW PATIENTS
“The best $189 you’ll ever spend.”
That’s what we hear all the time when we submit our analysis. With it in hand, you can go to your webmaster and tell them what changes you want to make.
Just a single new patient can easily return 10X the investment. When was the last time you 10-timed your ROI?
Plus, we guarantee that with the recommended changes, you will see a marked improvement in website performance, if you’re able to track such things (which you should).
And, we’ll point out content that might have inadvertently been inserted that could land you in front of your Dental Board. Words such as “specialize”, “best” and even “guarantee” could bring you a world of pain.
Become a WISE CONSUMER of dental marketing by becoming educated.
Don’t be taken advantage of by marketing companies.
I have no axe to grind. I don’t build websites. What I do know, thanks to studying marketing for over 16 years, working with Madison Avenue advertising companies, and marketers like Dan Kennedy, is what works and what doesn’t. Get educated!
It’s the best $189 you’ll spend on your practice this year. GUARANTEED!
You have nothing to lose and only a better new patient flow to gain.
To Excellent Marketing Value,