We’ve all read and heard the research and reports about why patients avoid the dentist – fear, anxiety, the sounds, the smells – but have you heard that a third of people who used to maintain regular dental appointments have not been to the dentist in 2 years?
I think everyone is feeling a bit of that pinch. Hearing this latest statistic reminded me of another survey from a while back. That report indicated that many people don’t visit the dentist because they didn’t see a need. It certainly makes sense… I mean if it’s not your favorite thing and you don’t think you need it, you’re not going to do it. Kind of like me and running. Or my daughter and onions.
So what are dentists doing about the lack of business? Not much according to Lisa Philp, President of Transitions Group. This week Lisa told me that a new survey indicated that 8 out of 10 dental practices admit they’re on a decline but only 4 out of 8 said they were going to do something about it. Whaaa? What can we derive from this information? Patients should be educated about their oral health so they understand their various needs and prioritize treatment for themselves and family members. Patients need to be informed about what they can have so they develop a desire for it, want to buy it, and put a priority in their budget for it. The competitive advantage is huge for the dental practice that takes action. Now is the time to act if you haven’t.
According to Small Business Trends, luxury spending is on the rise and it’s expected to continue. Consumers are still value conscious, but it’s about the value they want to receive from the products they purchase, not the cost of them. And I think we all know it’s never really about price, is it?
OK, so what now? Get your name out there! Take advantage of available exposure in your area that your competitors aren’t. Showcase your brand attributes and help educate your prospects to establish your practice as the expert and the one people will turn to. Demonstrate and communicate the quality and value patients will receive in your marketing communications; educated patients who know what they want are more profitable patients. Develop a marketing plan that includes a mix of reliable methods of advertising and communication.
Just this week I had a conference call with a client in Virginia. His print campaigns generated a 5:1 return within the same year, grossing almost ½ million dollars from first year new patient revenue – imagine the exponential growth that his one year campaign will generate over patient lifetime! A great example of why targeted direct mail really should be pivotal in any marketing plan.
Earlier this month Print in the Mix posted data from Nielsen research. Close to 70% of shoppers said they look at printed paper material mailed to their home or inserted into newspapers at least once per week. The only digital tactic that matched printed paper’s weekly reach was email. Nearly 90% of consumers said they want to receive print advertising in the future. 72% also want email with only about 1/3 interested in social or smart-phone advertising. Meatloaf sang, “two out of three ain’t bad.” But which 4 out of 8 are you?
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