Now that you have most of your marketing plan in order, how do you design your dental office promotion ads? We explore this concept in part 6 of our series, “Preparing for Next Year!”

Let us Prepare Your Marketing Plan:
Join Our Facebook Group:

Podcast Highlights

  • Do you promote one thing, or multiple things at a time?
  • Actual mailings vs. post cards
  • The pitfalls of marketing price
  • How to make effective radio spots
  • Your marketable attributes
  • How potential patients respond to design
  • What color palettes should you use?
  • Should you use more or less information?
  • Price vs. benefits vs. one thing vs. many things
  • How to avoid getting “shoppers”

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by 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, everybody. Welcome once again to another edition of our podcast. And on the other end of this microphone is my good buddy, Mark Dilatush. How you doing Mark?

Mark: Hi Howie, I’m doing good. The end of this microphone and a whole bunch of unfettered internet between my microphone and your microphone.

Howie: Yeah, I love technology.

Mark: I know. I know. We I don’t not sure what the release schedule is. But um, we just we recorded a podcast with a Dr. Kent Smith. He told his story about building the practice of your dreams over time.

Howie: Oh, yeah. No.

Mark: Partially by being a dentist, as devoted as Dr. Smith is obviously but in part of it, you know, through proper dental patient marketing. I think it’s important for dentists to realize that really, you can get what you want. You just have to know what you want and stop changing it. You can’t change what you want every 20 minutes. Right. And you know, and stick to it and you’ll get there right that’s kind of the lesson that we when we just we recorded another phenomenal interview with just a wonderful dentist. Dr. Blaha.

Howie: Oh. Stacey Yeah,

Mark: Yeah. out in the Kansas City burbs and I don’t know when that’s going to be released. But when that gets released, look for that one too, because and that tells the story about bringing in an associate and increasing capacity, her need for quality the associates need for volume. I mean, there were so many things involved. That story on it also brought in the technology side, the online scheduling, and things like that. So I’m look forward to that one to this one is going to be part six of our series, basically, which probably by now should be retitled to what in the hell am I supposed to do with my dental office marketing budget?

Howie: For next year?

Mark: Right, right. But we nicely, you know, we, we cleaned it up a little bit. Um, you know, parts one through five, we’ve gone all the way back to the very beginning, I don’t know, how do I calculate my budget, right? And the percentages to use depending on where you are in your practice, and it depends on, you know, your market and a whole bunch of other things that we taught you along the way. These are exercises, these are the things you do every year.

We just figured we would continue in part six. Now Part Six is where I know what my budget is. I know what the minimum it should be, will it I know the minimum it should be I know the maximum I should spend next year. I know in my mind, and on paper, what the least risky mediums are, I’ve aligned my assets, my dental office marketing assets, things that I’ve paid for in the past that are working for me and I know in the market where I’m weak, I know in the market where I’m strong.

And I have a budget for next year to allocate. And we’re going to put let’s say 10% into internal projects and 30 or 40% into the internet, maybe 50% into properly done offline dental office promotion to drive look qualified local internet traffic to our websites. So they convert from there. I mean, it’s no secret formula.

Howie: You told everybody now

Mark: you already told everybody. Right? So this is it’s not a secret sauce.

Howie: No secret.

Mark: Right. So you know, that’s kind of the, you know, the broad stroke secret to the client success. But they all have to be a client to do this, you not be a client and do just as well. Okay, so this is how this is how you set it up. So now you have a chunk of money, you have a chunk of money to apply to your internal you have a chunk of money to apply to the dental internet marketing, you have a chunk of money to apply to offline dental office promotion, and invariably, you’re going to have to come down to what do I want to say? How much room Do I have to say it? And what should it look like? which basically is a gigantic category called design.

I’m very few dentists are graphic designers, although graphic designers. Um, you know, you can, you can engage a graphic designer probably online for, I don’t know, 2025, maybe 30 bucks an hour or whatever. And have them handle some of these projects for you all when we say design though arm from our standpoint, if it’s something you design that nobody has ever seen in the history of the world, it is 100% risk.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Right Howie?

Howie: Yeah. We call it a test?

Mark: You’re right. Okay.

Howie: Hooray. You’re testing now. With your money,

Mark: That’s right. So, so when we say design, we try to, you know, work this backward in nice small chunks for you to absorb. When we say design, we have real leaders. Two main categories or two main questions that you should ask yourself. Am I promoting one thing at a time? Am I promoting multiple things? within the medium I am using? Okay, so Howie, give me a great example of a medium where you would you really could only promote one thing at a time?

Howie: Well, billboards?

Mark: Perfect. You’re not going to tell your whole life story and a billboard, right?

Howie: Oh, no, you couldn’t anyway.

Mark: Well, who would read it? Well, no, no, wait a second. Hold on, hold on. No, you literally could. It’s 35 feet wide?

Howie: Well, that’s true

Mark: and 20 feet high. Okay. You literally could go up there and start writing and not be done for seven years. You could write an entire novel on a billboard.

Howie: Yeah, you could.

Mark: But you don’t. Right. So you will promote one thing at a time. So that’s part of your design. That’s the when you go into when you consider what your design should look like or should be when you’re creating your ad piece or whatever you’re creating. The first is determination is am I promoting one thing at a time? Or am I promoting multiple things about my practice? Now, what’s a great example of a media type where you would promote multiple things about a practice Howie?

Howie: External mailings.

Mark: There you go, okay. And if the mailer is has enough room, and it has enough sides, then you have lots of lots of room to say a little bit about a lot of things. Right?

Howie: Right. Correct. And we’re not we’re not speaking of a postcard here. Now we’re speaking of a large, medium, a tri fold,

Mark: Yeah. quad fold or whatever, whatever it is something larger than a postcard, right mobile, the postcard? That’s a great, that’s a good actually, that’s a good topic. When you’re designing a postcard, doesn’t the size limit you to what you can say?

Howie: Oh, yes.

Mark: Okay. So when you use a postcard, primarily, what’s the one thing that you can promote? effectively using the postcard?

Howie: You’re asking me?

Mark: I’m asking you I know you know the answer.

Howie: Price.

Mark: Price, a deal. Some kind of deal, right. Okay, everybody, let’s listening to this podcast, this one of those slap your head moments, right? Well, of course, I knew that. Because I get eight of those in the mailbox every day at my home.

Howie: Right.

Mark: There’s a reason why the postcards have deals on them. It’s because the postcard doesn’t have enough room to say anything about the dentistry you provide. I mean, hell, the male panel takes up a quarter of the space on its own. Okay. So anyway, so let’s go back to design. So you have to determine Am I promoting one thing at a time? Or am I promoting multiple things? Now, you brought up a good example of one thing at a time is a billboard. Another thing that’s a good example, another media, that’s a good example of one thing at a time is radio.

Howie: Yes.

Mark: Only that’s not limited by space. It’s limited by time. Right? Right. I know you’ve written probably more dental scripts for radio and TV than any other human being on Earth. So I know, Howie knows it takes he’s got the word count down to basically what is it? You have like 140 usable words.

Howie: Well, yeah. Human can normally speak about 170 words in 60 seconds. So you know, if you if you consider 35 of those are taken up with a with the Hi everybody. I’m so and so. And my favorite dentist is john smith. And Brian. Closing part that that is the same. You know, in contact information, yeah, you end up with about 90 words.

Mark: Right.

Howie: How you going to tell you the whole story of your practice in 90 words?

Mark: You can’t so right, but the radio ad is then limiting to really the ad is about a singular thing.

Howie: Right.

Mark: You can you can talk about sedation.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: You can talk about the benefits of I don’t know

Howie: CAD CAM,

Mark: CAD CAM, short term ortho.

Howie: Yeah

Mark: Right? You can dental implants, you can, you can talk about one thing at a time, you can probably even create six different one at a time at.

Howie: That’s the way to do it.

Mark: That’s the way to do it right? and rotate them. But what we’re talking about now is the overall design is what is this? What am I working with? am I working with a a palette, that where I can talk about many things, or am I working with a palette that I can only talk about one thing, radio, billboards, TV, I would even go as far as to say pay per click.

These are things that you talk about one thing at a time. One aspect of your practice, your dental office website, and dental direct mail marketing are probably the closest things where you get to talk about as much as basically as almost as much as you want to talk about. And if you do, obviously, if you do the mail, if you do if you do the mail larger than a postcard, you have the room and then your mailer mimics your website, only your website takes it from there and expands upon it, that’s the right way to use those two dental office promotion mediums together.

Before you sit down with a designer that you’re hiring, or before you, for some reason, you want to become your own designer, right. Um, think about this size of your canvas, how much time or how much space you have, whether or not you’re going to promote one or more than one thing. And if you are going to promote one thing at a time, consider whether the medium gives you the opportunity to promote multiple one things at a time. I hope we didn’t just confuse you.

Howie: Well, yeah, that that’s, you know, take the topic radio we just talked about you can’t, you know, your real estate is limited. So you have to tell a different story each time, right? Let me just have to buy more radio spots and talk about one through five, one through five, being a separate marketable attribute of your practice. And then then you just go through the, the round again, 1234512345.

Mark: Right. And then this also goes back to your website, because many of you, and we encourage you and our own clients to write in their own words, to share within their social media properties. Essentially, you’re writing one thing at a time, the websites able to display multiple items of one thing, like if you go to one of our websites, you’re going to find that there is an individual page for all of the doctors individual priority marketable attributes, most of them are many of them are services, some of them are technologies. Some of them are conveniences. One of the most important ones is meet the dentist, okay, but they’re all on separate single topic pages, if that makes sense. Okay, can’t tell the whole story on one pit? Well, no, you could see on a website, you could but that’s a mistake.

Howie: Yeah, the page would be 20 feet deep.

Mark: Right. You would have a 47 foot scroll to get through all where you got down to the bottom right. So there’s another great example of design. And considering Am I going to talk about this on a singular level? Well, here’s another little example. arm that’s applicable to almost everybody listening to this ortho. Well, there’s several different kinds of ortho right, there’s short term ortho, um, I’ve heard of people call, veneers instant ortho.

There’s Invisalign, clear aligners, there’s straight YR ortho. There’s lingo ortho, okay. So there’s an example where you might have a navigation on your website called orthodontics, that has subcategories of single pages for the other. The other four ways to do ortho, right. So when you’re doing your design, consider how much space you have. And whether or not this is going to be displayed as part of a larger group A things or by itself, that more than anything will create an efficiency in your design time. And if you’re going to pay designers like we do, you’re going to want to see efficiency in your design time.

Howie: Yes.

Mark: Costs a lot of money for people to hash stuff out, think about it and send you a draft.

Howie: Good. Stay mark. I think we’ll take a break here. And when we come back, we’ll wrap up talking about design.

Mark: You got it

Howie: and we’ll go from there. So don’t go away out there. We’ll be right back.

Hello, everybody. This is Howie Horrocks and along with me is Mark Dilatush. The president of New Patients Incorporated. How you doing Mark? Hey Howie, how are you? This is the part of the podcast where we get to brag about our company. Yay. So sometimes it gets lost in all these podcasts. What new patients incorporated actually does. We have I don’t know how many podcasts 75, 81 a week for well over a year. And all of you listen to these a half hour it time and if you might lose sight of what we do. So here’s the short answer. We do everything we’re talking about in these podcasts on behalf of our clients. Okay, we do the podcasts are there for our clients, of course just so they understand what the heck we’re doing. But also for the doctors who are do it yourselfers.

If you’re not a do it yourselfer, and you want someone to do this for you, new patients Inc. com, there’s an icon in the dead center at the top of our homepage where you can get a complimentary marketing plan, a series of questions will need to be completed. And once you complete that, we will analyze your market area, develop a marketing plan and get on the phone with you discuss all the sections of the marketing plan just to make sure you understand a couple of things, what you’re up against, what your expectations should be, and what Mark and how we would do if we owned your dental practice.

Howie: All right, alright, we have come back. So we’re talking about next year, how you’re going to handle your marketing and we’ve gone through this whole thing and now we’re talking about design, and how that looks, how it sounds. You know, and under what circumstances do you present multiple topics or just one topic?

Mark: Yeah, now we can get into a little bit of the male female thing. We are predominantly communicating with females. And in our case, we are predominantly communicating with females who make their healthcare decisions for the family. Outside of price only know, we have other selection criteria they use besides price.

Howie: Okay. And we call that the top half of the market.

Mark:  Right? Okay. So, you know, should they here’s a question Howie. Are, you know, should we use black and reds? Right? In our colors? Let’s just start at the very basics, like what color palettes are more attractive to females, the earth tones, the greens, the blues, right?

Howie: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Mark: Right.

Howie: And it all your dental office marketing should have a feminine bent to it if you if you want to use that word,

Mark: Right? And if you were to say, give me one answer, do the moms in the top half of the market prefer less information or more information?

Howie: They actually prefer more information just as long as it isn’t boring.

Mark: Right right.

Howie: As long as it speaks to their concerns, or her concerns about her family, right? Yeah, they they’re thirsty for information about health care topics. And, you know, you can you can, you can’t really be as the moms in the market, because, you know, they, they know what they’re looking for, or perhaps they know the problems they’re looking to solve. They don’t know, necessarily the solutions, right? And so you can speak to those, those moms, and they will have much less of a franticness about price.

Mark: Right? Yeah. And here’s, I’m sure we’re going to do another podcast just on this. This item alone. When you do your design. Many dentists, especially dentists, who either are doing it themselves, or they’re guiding someone outside of their own office who doesn’t necessarily understand dentistry or dental consumers, they maybe they just do graphic design work, and that’s what you’re going to use them for. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that up to this point. When you have design space, you really have a couple of choices, you have like four choices, am I going to use price to promote a response? Am I going to use the benefits of my office to promote a response? Am I going to promote one thing? Or am I going to promote many things, those are really the four choices.

Once you make your choice. If you’ve determined that you want to go after the top half of your dental market, what you need to do is introduce things that the dental consumer may not know about, as far as the benefits of today’s dentistry arm, the conveniences or technologies that are available to them in your practice. Okay, here’s why I’m bringing this up. Dentists complain that they’re just getting shoppers.

Howie: Oh, yes.

Mark; And we review the marketing they’re doing and their marketing is kicking butt. It’s doing exactly what they asked it to do. They’re sending postcards with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on them. And they have two different offers or three different offers are five different offers or two, three out of the five, whatever, whatever they can stick on a postcard or putting on the postcard The phone is ringing shoppers are coming in the appointment book is filling up. Now here’s, here’s the here’s one of the hidden. This is part of our secret sauce. And you can use the secret sauce to your benefit.

Okay, what we do is we introduce things that dental consumers in the top half don’t necessarily know. And here’s why this is important. Because everybody listening to this podcast is sitting there going every time the phone rings at some new patient asking me what my prices are? Or if we take their insurance because they’re not going anywhere if we don’t take their insurance. Okay. And here’s what Holly and I would say back to that dentist. Have you given them any other questions to ask? Right? If you haven’t given them any other questions to ask. Part of it is your fault.

Howie: Yeah, because what else so they can ask.

Mark: What the hell else are they going to ask? Okay, nobody’s telling them anything different. Okay, so part of our secret sauces is that’s what we do. We understand what they don’t know, we understand what they value the most. And we understand what they value the least. And it’s not like we hide it, you can log on to our website right now and download the marketable attributes list. That’s the exact marketable attributes scorecard that every one of our designers uses to build every one of our clients designs. Okay, so, but I don’t want it to be hidden in this podcast or hidden within the other material in this podcast as it pertains to design.

When you design your work, if you’re planning on going after the top half of the market, you have to introduce new benefits into the mind of the recipient. And that could be on a billboard, it could be on a radio ad, it could absolutely be on multiple pages on your website. It can be totally completely on a direct mail. If it’s done, right. A direct mail campaign. If you can introduce the benefits of dentistry in any of these media types. That’s what generates the question at the front desk that’s different than what do you take my insurance? How much is your car? How much are your crown please?

Howie: Right? good example of this might be the, you know, the mom looks at this thing that Oh, my gosh, I didn’t even know there was a dental solution to my husband’s snoring. Right?

Mark: Amazing?

Howie: And they didn’t know it at all.

Mark: I think it was like 80 over 80% had no idea.

Howie: Yeah. Oh, yeah. On a consumer study. Yeah. Right. And so you know, that’s what Mark was part of what Mark’s talking about here introduce something that they may not know. But they could inquire about.

Mark: Right.

Howie: They may not know you that that you can fix their kid’s crooked teeth.

Mark: What’s this, what’s this instant ortho thing?

Howie: Pardon me?

Mark: What’s this instant ortho thing?

Howie: Yeah, yeah. What’s that?

Mark: What do you mean Instant ortho? I thought ortho took four years. And I had to pick carrots out of my teeth for 36 months. So the four years? Yeah, what do you mean instant ortho. Then the phone rings. The lady says what’s this instant ortho thing? She’s not asking you how much is your crown fee. You see, that’s part of our secret sauce to is we’re just simply introducing benefit statements to the market so that when they call, they’re asking different questions, when they’re in the treatment, when they’re in the chair. When they’re in the new patient exam in you, you have your x rays, your problems, you have everything you have all the information you need, and you start talking about what they need and what they want out of their smile.

They bring it up to you much nicer when the patient brings it up to you. Well, the way you do that is within your design is you introduce the many benefits of the work that you guys and gals do that I guarantee you all sitting there shaking your head gone. It’s so familiar to me. I have a hard time realizing that it’s really new to the dental consumer Howie and I are sitting here going yeah, you’re overlooking it, you’re too close to the problem to understand that most dental consumers don’t dental consumers will leave an office.

If they know about a dental office down the street who can provide same day dentistry? What was that number like? 60 some percent? Yeah, yeah. Okay. There are consumers out it wasn’t a high number was like 17 or 18% of the dental consumers didn’t know what an intro camera did. Intro cameras have been in dentistry for 25 years.

Howie: 30

Mark: Okay, right. Okay. So, okay, now this all again, this all falls back to design, we’re going to close up this podcast with this next point, which is, we see self directed design from dentists all the time. But actually, most of our clients I’m going to say the vast majority of our clients have either self directed their own marketing or have used multiple marketing firms in the past, they almost always and all the dentists out there listening to this, please understand that Howie and I love you. We’re not picking on you. This isn’t us poking fun. We actually appreciate this about you. Okay.

But when you self direct the language you’re using the pictures you’re using the art you’re using, on the video that you use on your website, everything is over. It’s your, your speaking and talking and writing way over the dental consumer. Yeah, way over the Okay.

One of my, you know, great friends, you know, dentist of ours long, I don’t know how many years we’ve known him. He’s not a client never has been a client, but we love him to death. And, um, you know, he sent us a video yesterday or the day before, about his new website, new company that they promote, you know, did a web video for the back end of his website.

And there it is picture of a doctor recline patient tubes coming out of the patient’s mouth, there’s a picture of, you know, CT scan x rays on the back on the front of a light. I’m like, Oh my God, why did you do this? Well, this is the exact thing. This is the exact example I’m trying to make all you didn’t have to do any of that. That was for you, the dentist to stroke your ego.

Howie: Yeah, or your colleagues

Mark: Or your colleagues ego or maybe whatever, whoever’s ego, okay? patients are at a seventh grade education, eighth grade education level, that’s where you need to communicate your message really seriously. And just because the technology that you’ve employed in your office, something like, I don’t know, digital x rays, even though to you, it’s 13 years old. Since you’re 13 years since you implemented that into your dental office. Don’t think for a second that the majority already have dental consumers understand why you invested in it and the radiation it’s going to save okay on them. And don’t think for a second that you can’t create a story out of that, and a beneficial story. And a story that moms in the top half of the market will appreciate because you can

Howie: Yeah

Mark: But as the dentist directing your own dental office marketing, directing your own designer, you won’t even think about doing that. You’re going to go right to the picture of the really cool CBT scan that lets you screw a piece of titanium into a draw jawbone, which is scaring the bejesus out of everyone that hits your website. Okay. So, okay, I’m, I’m just trying to use both extremes, right? Just kind of paint that picture. If you are going to do your own self direction. You got to stop thinking like a dentist. Right? Grab our marketability shade, it’s free.

It’s on our website, download it, look at what score is the highest starts taught just start framework in a story about those items. But, but talk to them, talk to your palate, talk to your sheet like you’re talking to your 13 or 14 or 15 year old. Not like you’re talking to someone who’s 40. Okay, you do that. And your designs and the words you use on everything that you do and everything that you put down to promote your practice will be more effective than it is right now.

Howie: Awesome. Hey, everybody out there. Thank you so much for being in the audience each week. We really appreciate it and we hope that you’re getting a lot out of it. So until next time, Adios.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel, on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, and