Today’s consumers base the majority of their buying decisions on emotion. In an economy run amok, this includes making the emotional decision not to spend income until the economy improves. When trying to get patients to loosen their purse strings, it is easier to win the trust of patients and parents with “Show… Rather Than Tell”.
Instinctively business owners, just like consumers, react emotionally and tend to do the opposite of what will promote their practices when times are tough, like now. They look for areas to cut expenses rather than increase the freeline to attract new patients. If you haven’t already implemented a content marketing strategy for your orthodontic practice, now is the time to switch your mindset. Marketing with content vs marketing with treatment… switches your focus from “how do I engage patients to start treatment”… to “how do I offer prospects highest value for their money” so they naturally want to start treatment in my office.
Fewer families have disposable income to spend on elective procedures. To complicate matters, the competition is greater than ever before among GPs and pedodontists for orthodontic prospects. Smart marketers create value with the entire orthodontic treatment experience rather than just promote their professional knowledge and expertise. They increase new patient referrals through satisfied patients who can’t help but tell friends and family about them. Patient praise was created by the entire emotional experience from start to finish.
There are three types of marketing content in a treatment experience marketing campaign. All three are necessary to fill a marketing funnel which exceeds patient expectations and perceived value for treatment. Here is a brief overview.
1. Freeline Content – Give away services that costs money in order to entice patients to come to you such as:
oInternal – the latest digital interactive information software to explain treatment modalities, interactive websites with email and 24/7 access to patient information, gourmet coffee bars, latest in video games, Internet computer stations and WiFi in reception areas, etc. Give them more content or services than anticipated.
oExternal – Be generous within the community; scholarships, community service, support community sports, projects, and the needy. Provide referring dentists and staff with content rich information and gifts that not only exceed their expectations, but outshine marketing tactics from the competition.
2. Relationship content – Connect with prospective new patients and build relationships with verifiable proof case presentations both online and in-house. Testimonials, especially video, from satisfied patients are the highest form of relationship content.
3. Conversion Content – Make FREE treatment offerings to prospective new patients with:
oNew Patient exams
oFollow Up recalls
oGenerous family discounts
oReferral thank you programs
A Web 2.0 Internet marketing strategy will tie all three marketing contents together, under one umbrella, as a promotional tool. It is the easiest and most inexpensive avenue to get the word out to patients specifically looking for orthodontic treatment. More and more orthodontists and dentists are beginning to realize the importance of social networking and starting online conversations with patients. Don’t be left in the dust in 2009. Get your practice online with a SEO Web 2.0 marketing strategy and go for it! Better it be you than the competition…
Mary Kay Miller is founder and CEO of Orthopreneur Marketing Solutions. After 30+ years as a business and marketing coordinator for professional practices, Mary Kay has narrowed her marketing expertise to Internet web 2.0 marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) and the creation of marketing systems to save teams valuable time and effort. In order to take your practice to the next level in today’s tech savvy society, a new marketing mindset is required to communicate with their distracted, skeptical, and ADHD life styles.