The story a brand tells publically should be the same one their customers, or patients, experience.
If Susie chose her dentist because they promoted themselves as "family-friendly", then her expectations might be that they have toys in the waiting room. She might expect to see The Wiggles on TV while her kids are getting their check-up. More importantly, she probably wants the practitioners to be compassionate and to speak to her children in a way that is going to make them excited about going to the dentist for life.
So, as a dentist, how do you make sure the image you have publically aligns with the experience you give your patients?
Value your digital reputation. Simply Google yourself and check your "digital footprint" aligns with the way you want to be represented. Whether you work for a corporate or a small family owned practice, you need to take responsibility for your own reputation.
That means you need to play to your strengths and focus on attracting the right kind of patients for you. If you are focusing on Orthodontics, you may not want to see children. Don't be afraid to remove words like "family-friendly" from your bio and web content.
Instead, focus on personal qualities (e.g. communication) and skills (e.g. state of the art technology), that matter to people who want to get their teeth straightened.
Most definitely not. In this day and age, people look beyond brand names to the people who work for them. That means practice managers, hygienists and just about everyone else can, and will, be Googled. If you are starting out in your career this means you need to take charge and consider how you manage your online presence. If you are progressing your career, then consider the fact that patients, colleagues, and future employers could be searching for your name. Will they be impressed by what they see?
Complete Business Online's digital experts Stuart Halley and William Yap, have been working with dentist practitioners - and other health providers - for over a decade. Specialising in brand acquisition and development, they create tailored unified brand strategies that nurture patient growth. So what's their advice?
"We work with a variety of multi-location businesses," says Stuart, "but when it comes to dental corps their strategy is distinctive and unique."
Complete Business Online caters to a range of multilocation business structures and has an earnt reputation for working with franchisees to successfully grow their local businesses.
"With the dental corps we've worked with, you typically have overarching brand and campaign messages and materials that you want to promote. They might have 100 locations across Australia. Each location's demographic could vary by age, gender, socioeconomics…" says Stuart.
"…however each practice across those 100 locations have different skills and different areas of expertise. Our initiative is to roll out a localised marketing campaign in a way that engages varying local audience segments in a meaningful and contextual way,” says Stuart.
William Yap, who started his digital marketing career working for Google, says "the fundamentals of a successful campaign start with the data and segmentation. With any campaign, we are constantly learning and tailoring the messaging based on data insights and audience trends. We dive into the data to ensure that audience insights match with the local practitioners skills and service offerings, creating better user engagement and consideration on a localised level. It's all about analysing the data as we go and constantly refining our tactics to stay updated on market trends and brand positioning in market."
Continuing on, William says "Ultimately, we strive to have a one-on-one conversation with a person rather than just delivering a blanket campaign. By getting into the granular details and tailoring the messaging based on the demographics, the dentists' skills and the data insights, we can deliver the most relatable message possible at any given time."
"Seven touchpoints help establish credibility and trust," says Will, comparing a campaign delivery to an introduction.
"If you meet someone for the first time, it might not be appropriate to sell them a product instantly. You have to meet them a few times, in a few different situations. You build credibility and trust each time. You learn about them and use those learnings to build rapport."
In digital marketing terms, these "meetings" could constitute a website visit, a Facebook advert, a remarketed advert through the Google display network.
"Perhaps they visit your website a second time, and this time they navigate to a page about dental implants. We track that, and deliver them more refined EDMs (email direct marketing or eNewsletters), that include information on dental implants. We include references to a dentist who is in their area and provides this service."
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Patient acquisition and retention is front of mind for most dentists, so being ‘Fully Booked’ is clearly a goal. Carolyn S Dean has been both a medical practitioner and is now a dental marketing specialist herself. What are her insights?