Great content will keep your message clear and effective!

Karen and I are back at the annual Direct Marketing Association meeting (we’re in Las Vegas, the weather is gorgeous, sunny, and not too hot or cold, not that we would know … we've been traipsing from meeting room to ballroom at Mandalay Bay). But it’s all good, this is our continuing education – so here’s a few quick sound bites after day-one of intensive meetings.

The theme of this year’s meeting is big data, collecting, using, and analyzing data (as we know obtaining this data is not always easy), so with the data we do have in hand, it’s important to use our common sense, experience, and instinct to take appropriate action and to make educated guesses about what customers might want and need. Sometimes we just have to live with statistical correlation! There’s also a strong message about the importance of content … content isn't king – good content, great content is king.

Getting attention from our marketing efforts is still our number-one goal, so when you’ve got ’em, don’t distract – hit immediately with your call-to-action. Clarity is key. Don’t let any other component of your communications impact or sidetrack what you want your prospect to do.

When creating your campaigns, keep your focus on absolute clarity and ease of response. Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing and The Book of Business Awesome was engaging and a lot of fun to watch. He says there are two types of customers, static and ecstatic. He told us to be careful with QR codes, every time someone scans a code that does not work, it reduces the likelihood that they will do it again. He says social media success does not exist and only people who are good with people should do it. And don’t forget that HIRING is marketing. Make sure your staff is passionate about you and what you do, and that they are able to translate that to your customers.

Carol Worthington-Levy, winner of many direct marketing/copywriting awards, suggested that there are five buying motives to consider when creating campaigns…

1. Desire for gain (often financial, sometimes emotional)
2. Fear of loss (this could be stronger than #1)
3. Comfort and convenience
4. Security and protection
5. Pride of ownership
6. Satisfaction.

Make sure your customers never have “buyer’s remorse” … give them every answer they could need by continuing communication and education. She was also a proponent of the yes/maybe call to action. To increase response and generate more leads, give your prospects a way to connect with you in a maybe fashion – perhaps a free consultation visit or free second opinion. This gives the patient the perception that they are checking to see if you’re right for them, but more importantly a free consult appointment doesn't take a lot of your time and allows you to quickly determine if the patient will be your ideal prospect – avoiding wasted time for both parties.

And guess what … according to IBM’s VP of Marketing – just 30% of their total leads come from the web. Yes IBM. That means that 70% of their leads are coming from other sources including traditional channels like direct mail … when allocating marketing budget dollars, that’s important for us smaller companies to consider!

Overall today’s message was not to be dazzled by clicks, views, and opens. It’s about scale and revenue. The good news is we’re the ones that need to take all this seriously to put your campaigns together, and you can continue to rely on us to adopt the latest marketing techniques from data management to copywriting.

If you have any questions about improving your dental marketing plan, please call 888.377.2404 for a free consultation. And ask your Account Manager about our latest innovative 2013 patient gift calendar – your patients won’t receive another one like it, and your name will stay posted in their homes all year!