In part two of this series, we look at the second principle to guide the marketing at your practice. In the first article, we discovered that practices wanting to survive, must market themselves to avoid becoming mincemeat.
In this article, we look at targeting.
WHO are you targeting?
Once you’ve realised that marketing your practice is inevitable for most practices, the next principle to embrace is the target of your marketing activities.
While you’d think this was stating the bleeding obvious, the fact is your marketing must appeal to potential clients and NOT other dentists.
Why am I saying this?
I’ve seen so many dental websites, ads etc
where unfortunately, the messages badly miss the mark.
In fact, I’ve often found myself wondering who the websites/ads etc were written for. It certainly wasn’t for a potential client.
Don’t get me wrong, this dentist-focused marketing by dentists is quite understandable. Dentists spend all day in a dental environment living and breathing all things dental.
But the fact is your potential clients do NOT live in that world.
Road test: dentist vs. client focus
To make this concept clearer, here’s some practical examples of what I mean.
Recently, a dentist excitedly told me about a new piece of technology in their office: ozonated water. They were very keen that we highlight this on their website, yet I found myself looking through the eyes of a potential client.
Oh really? Ozonated water? What’s THAT?
And WHY would I give a rat’s nostril,
hamster’s toenail, or warthog’s scrotum about that?
I’m sure, as a dentist, having ozonated water (or whatever other new piece of technology you’ve recently acquired) is helpful and possible moderately exciting BUT … your clients don’t care, AT ALL, about it. Except …
The only exception to this rule is to the extent that the technology makes a DIFFERENCE TO THE CLIENT.
As it turns out, we were able to mention this technology to highlight that the practice is:
- modern and up to date, and
- able to achieve better health outcomes in a cleaner, safer way.
This is an outcome that clients might just care about, not the technology itself.
Here are some other examples of dental marketing I’ve seen (and the conscious/subconscious responses from clients in italics):
- Keeping up with [dental practice name] – Why would I want to keep up with your practice? For me, dentistry is a ‘have to’ rather than a ‘want to’
- From the dentists’ mouth – Sorry, but (as a client) I’m just not interested in dentistry
- Have you had your check up? – Actually, mostly, I try not to think about going to the dentist at all!
A much better approach would be to flip these topics into a client perspective as follows:
- Newest dental advances that make your smile brighter and your life easier – I’m definitely interested in an easier life …
- Life lessons from a dentist that save you time and money – dentistry can be expensive, I wonder how they can save ME money?
- 3 reasons why a regular check-up is better than running the oral health gauntlet – hmmm, I know I should get a check-up, I wonder what problems others have had by not doing so
Remember, remember, remember in your marketing; focus on things the client cares about, not what you, or other dentists, care about. Otherwise, you might as well be talking to a wall.
Founder & CEO
Angus Pryor is a Practice Growth Marketing Specialist, international speaker and best-selling author.