Dentists commonly introduce a new service to their practices. But how should they approach to new dental service promotion? Mark and Howie explain.
- Where to start
- Costs and statistical analysis of the success
- The first mediums you should explore
- The first people you should target
- The second medium to approach
- Where do you go from there?
Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.
Howie: Hello, once again, we’ve got another great podcast for you. And with me today is my good buddy Mark. Mark Dilatush, how you doing today?
Mark: Hey Howie, how are you?
Howie: I’m wonderful.
Mark: Good. How is, what is it the end of September? How’s the weather in Las Vegas?
Howie: Well, we’re gonna be in the low 90s to the high 80s today. So,
Mark: That’s all right. That’s all right. You guys are getting wind?
Howie: A little bit here and there. We’re heading into the monsoon season.
Mark: Sounds like it. That’s actually doesn’t sound too bad. If there’s no humidity. That sounds pretty nice. You got lots of trees and lots of color run your trees yet?
Howie: Yeah, yeah, we got a bit of that.
Mark: Yeah, you’re lying. You’re lying. I know. You don’t have trees there. You don’t have trees, and you don’t have color?
Howie: Oh, you busted me now.
Mark: So what are our topics today?
Howie: Well, I think we’d like to talk about how a dentist would go about introducing a new service?
Mark: Wow, that’s very broad and very general. And I’ll tell you something, we are. I’m going to say that’s probably 30 or 40% of our new client requests, Really.
Mark: It’s John or Jane q dentist. been in practice 15-18 years, kind of comfortable with things the way they are. Um, but they’ve gotten to the point where they realize that there’s, you know, they’re 30-32 treatment chair hours a week, can be better spent doing more impactful fun dental things.
Howie: Yes, right.
Mark: then your basic two or three surface composite, I actually I think there’s a boredom line somewhere around the year 15 to 18. I think that every dentist reaches that at some point. And then they wish or aspire to do more meaningful, or more fun, or more challenging, whatever, something more interesting to them and something more impactful on the patient type of care. So they go take the courses for it, and normally come back all jacked up, like they just got their new uniform for their T-Ball league when they were four, you know, they come running into the room. I’m ready. I’m ready.
Mark: First, I’m ready to go. And, and that’s great. That’s awesome. We’re all of us here at NPI are proud as hell of all of you who spend your time and away from the practice learning about things to add to your practices, marketing mix, it’s wonderful. So with that as the backdrop, you’re not odd, if you are in that situation, you’re actually in the majority of the people that we either hear from initially, or certainly are clients of ours on an ongoing basis. Most of our clients have reached that. We actually have some clients that only do what they initially said, I want to expand this part of my practice. And now that’s all they do.
Howie: Oh, yeah, yeah, that that, you know, there’s a little great little story there. I won’t mention any names, but, you know, a long time client of ours, he came to us, he has an associate to do all of the quote unquote, regular dentistry. He just wanted to do sleep apnea, and, you know, short term ortho. That’s all I wanted to do.
Howie: So, you know, we designed a marketing plan for him and, you know, went after that goal for him. And then I guess it took probably a good full two years and but you know, for a long time now many years now, that’s all he does.
Mark: Yeah, he doesn’t even he doesn’t know what a bird sounds like.
Howie: No, no. There’s no handpiece involved.
Mark: I know. It’s great. So and then he’s out in the he is doing, he’s doing stuff, he’s teaching people. He’s teaching other dentist.
Mark: That and he’s saving lives, you know, through his sleep apnea practice. So that’s, that’s what, you know, that’s what he that’s where he gets his juice. And that’s not a common outcome by any stretch. It’s just one, you know, one of them. But, uh, anyway, so the bottom line is, is there absolutely is a way or ways to reach out to your local community. Um, and tell them about this wonderful new service you’re offering.
Howie and I will tell you that unless it’s cleanings or fillings, or extractions, there’s about a 90% chance your local community doesn’t know what you’re talking about. So it will be news to them might not be news to you might not be news to other dentists. But um, many of the most, what do you would you say Howie? Probably the recent advancements in dentistry from the last 20 years are very likely. And certainly statistically are news.
Howie: Oh, absolutely.
Mark: Most dental consumers, because dentists are famous for keeping things to themselves.
Howie: Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, we know that from, you know, the consumer study we did.
Howie: Not too long ago, and, you know, you talked about, we talked about this before you went along to enroll cameras are available. How about 25 years? And it was virtually not completely, but largely unknown to the, to the survey respondents that we inquired of that are on WhatsApp.
Howie: So you know,
Mark: Yeah. So. So basically, the bottom line there is, is if you do have a new service and you want dental service promotion in front of the local community, it can be done. And there’s a really good chance that they’re going to respond positively, at least initially. And which would lend us to building a dental marketing plan for this specific issue, which always, always leads our advisory team to what costs the least and what gives the best statistical chance of success. So anytime you add a service, and you want dental service promotion, always, always, always, always start with your existing patient base.
Howie: Yeah, that’s right.
Mark: You and that could take you. Now you don’t overdo it. If somebody there’s dentists out there making really bad mistakes actually have overhyping to their existing patient base, your existing patient base wants to hear from you about three to four times a year. Anything more than that, and they’re going to tune you out. They’ll also tune you out if you put too much information into a piece, whether it’s a printed piece or a piece on a web page or a piece anywhere doesn’t matter, they’re going to tune you out. So you have to be careful with the volume that you present to your existing patient base.
However, that is always the place that you start. You start there because you are minimizing a boatload of risk. Your own patients know you they know your office location, they know the parking, they know the driving patterns of the time of the day that that’s going to take for them to drive to you. They are so familiar with you. That takes down I would say half the barriers in order to sell a new a new service.
Howie: they already like you, presumably, because I’ve already given me money. And so yeah, you have much limited few barriers for your new dental service promotion.
Mark: Right. So what you always start internally, and people say to ask me all the time, well, what does dental internal marketing mean? Internal dental promotion is any way you communicate to an existing patient, either when they’re in your office physically or after they’ve gone home. So internal promotion to be something as subtle as a reception room loop that talks about, let’s say that you just finished your implant course, a reception room loop that talks about the benefits of dental implants, no sound, no words, just a few slides on a reception room TV.
And then the patient goes in the back. And at the treatment plan consult, you happen to mention that one of the solutions for the missing tooth, or the slipping denture or problem X that the patient is experiencing, might be a dental implant. At that point, that patient already understands at least the primary benefits of a dental implant because they will we’re watching the reception room loop on their way in.
Another example might be an email that you send your patients a single topic email, on the benefits of dental implants that you email your patient base, let’s say whatever, you may send one every quarter out to your patient base. One of them should be about the benefits of dental implants. You may have you may have patients who have parents that have slipping dentures. There’s a there’s another thing dentists Miss, is they miss the prospects of viral interest. In other words, if you’re promoting slipping dentures to a 40 year old mom who has all her teeth, you think that’s of no value. That could be of tremendous value if that 40 year old mom with all our teeth has a 65 year old mom was slipping dentures. Okay.
Mark: So, um, you know, don’t underestimate the power of spreading the word. That’s my point. Okay, another really great avenue for new dental service promotion through is through social media marketing for dentists, not only your social media, you know, specifically to establish patient, you know, did you know that you could upload your emails into your social media platforms and find all those, you know, have it find all those people for you? I bet you didn’t. But you can write, you can promote to those folks through your social media. And you might be gaining some non existing patient exposure on the benefits of dental implants using my example. So um, internal promotion is something that it should never end, you should never have a patient, existing patient walk into your office and present dentistry that you didn’t do.
Howie: Yeah. That’s always a big surprise when the you know, some patient shows up for the recare and then got a nice bunch of veneers that you didn’t do.
Mark: Right? Exactly right. Because they didn’t know you were that kind of dentist. It’s not their fault.
Howie: Yeah, yeah, it’s a failed practice wide failure to communicate.
Mark: Exactly. So okay, so the first step for your new dental service promotion is dental internal marketing. And we don’t want to belabor the point. But we also don’t want it to get missed, because a lot of dentists miss it. So that’s the first place you go. And that’s where you’re going to get your first success. And that’s where you’re going to do your first five or six or 10 implant cases, and that’s where you’re going to get better at it. That’s where you’re going to get the rest of your, the rest of your coursework done. And then once you start, once you get the internal down, that does go away, it’s just stays relatively consistent through the years, and you start to branch out.
And you start to add the benefits of dental implants to all of your external promotion, you may have a dental office website, you need a dental implant webpage for sure. Dental implants need to be in your navigation on your homepage. You need dental implants promoted on your social media from time to time, maybe once every two months or so in different ways using words, pictures, Video, Animated Video, what have you, you need to keep that message out there and keep it consistent.
You may want to expand your horizons and do some targeted dental PPC campaigns, pay per click campaigns through Facebook, and target the local Facebook users who are of a certain age who are of a certain driving distance to your practice, and introduce the benefits of implants to them, there are million you may want to create a senior mail or that guy we were talking about before.
That’s one of the ways the dentist that we were talking about prior that does nothing but sleep apnea and six months smiles or short term ortho. Um, you know, one of the ways that he got there was through a senior mailer, which, which is a direct mailer properly targeted ages and household income, credit worthiness, and so on and so forth, and properly designed and properly delivered to basically only the people you want to reach, you don’t want to reach anybody else, you just want to reach those types of people.
Mark: And that works really well. Right. So it’s not one of those things, doctors, it’s it in marketing, it’s almost never one thing. You know, it’s always the proper combination of things, plural, right? That that gets you, you know, to where to where you want to go.
Howie: Also mark it add that there are you know, their source, column subcategories. Let’s say you already do implants. But now you’ve learned that there’s a new all on four procedure. Right?
Howie: Kind of all the rage, we’ve just been doing some, some videos on those just recently. And it’s a fairly new procedure or treatment or process, and maybe you go out and you learn that. And so now you’ve got not just implants and the benefits of dental implants, you’ve got the benefits of this particular procedure that have you know, that considerably makes it easier on your on your patients, then, then maybe the prior procedure, so you know, subcategory.
Mark: Yeah, no, absolutely. I think everything that we just discussed all of that the email or the reception room loop, the all on four umm, the senior mailer all that stuff is on Dental Web Content.
Mark: Yeah. So you just basically just type in dental implants, and poof, there’s everything you’d ever need to promote dental implants staring in the face, you just, you just click on them and customize them, or we will and then you just use them. So that’s, and if we’re doing it, if NPI is doing it for you, then we would you know, then we would do that stuff, right? Or if you want to do it yourself, use DW use the content and DWC however you want to do it. Um, I guess the bottom line with promoting a new service is that it’s never one thing, you always start with internal, you always do those cases first, and then slowly migrate external You always add in the new service into the external promotions that are already working for you.
So if you here’s my point, if you have a print ad, let’s say in a local newspaper, maybe, I don’t know, maybe you’re the last dentist to do that. But let’s say you have an ad in a local newspaper, and it’s working really, really, really well. Well then create an ad for implants for that same local newspaper. There’s no reason to go try something brand new, just because it’s a dental implant. Right? Don’t there’s always fold in the new service into a marketing initiative that is already working for you before you go try a new avenue. That’s
Mark: If it works, chances are it’s going to work for a different subject. That’s my point.
Howie: Right. And another aspect of that what you just touched on mark is, you know, the tried and true press release, along with any sort of local advertising that you do. I mean, it is newsworthy that the dentist went out and took this course and has a brand new slant or a brand new approach to delivering dental implants, for example. And that would be you know, maybe the all on for procedure. That’s news in a local community. And you can get press releases, especially if you also buy ad space. So you can get the ad and then you can get the little news story about how you went somewhere and you learn this procedure from
Howie: Oh, yeah, that sort of thing. I wouldn’t overlook that. It is you know, you a lot of people might Pooh Pooh it in the in the internet age. But people, you know, the big, big newspapers are kind of on the downside, but local newspapers are pretty much doing fine.
Mark: Yeah, the local ones and the micro local ones, the ones that are like community newspapers, they’re all doing just fine. Base, they always should have been.
Mark: then catering to the advertisers immediately around them, because their distribution immediately around them. should have been. So yeah, I get you. So anyway, the bottom line, just to recap, I’m introducing a new service is it’s awesome. We’re all happy and proud of you. And we want you to take those new skills and make a difference in patients lives. So start internally, get your feet wet with all you know, it’s so funny with almost every new thing, there’s always operational protocols that have to be changed their scheduling protocols, that there’s always something that needs to be altered or changed for every new service that a dentist provides.
So do that internally with your existing patients get used to everything get knowledgeable everything. Then, when you’re ready for more, go external, and go external in a venue that has already proven to work for you. Because changing the subject hardly ever changes the result. Um, and then you can expand from there. You can expand into something new, and then simply use our formula for what works. What provides the least risk to the most risk and start always start with the least risk.
Mark: You got anything else Howie?
Howie: No, I think the beating that one to death. We’re going to sign off now and thank our audience for listening once again, we really appreciate it. And,
Mark: Same here.
Howie: We’ll be back shortly. Thank you.