In our latest podcast, Mark Dilatush and Howie Horrocks talk about dental implants marketing and how to entice new potential dental implant patients, without focusing on the implant itself.




Podcast Highlights:

  • Educating patients on the benefits of dental implants
  • Using Google Adwords, Facebook, and direct mail to inform
  • Understanding passive vs. aggressive dental implants marketing
  • The challenges of online search engines for implant patients and price shopping
  • Implementing alternate, less-costly search terms to reduce online advertising costs
  • Tapping into the anger of denture patients who might be prime for dental implants
  • The benefits of targeting by age
  • Patients of record as a valuable source of referrals for implant patients

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 to our podcast. We’re so happy to have you again. Thanks for tuning in. Mark, how you doing out there on the right coast?

Mark: I’m doing fine, sir. We’re finally getting a little bit of fall weather.

Howie: Well.

Mark: Leaves aren’t changing yet. But you know, went from 1000 degrees in 1,000%. Humidity to 60. And driving more windy rain. So,

Howie: Good.

Mark: Yeah.

Howie: Well, yeah, you’re getting buckled in. buckle down for winner should be.

Mark: No, not yet. Still got a whole quarter of the fishing season and left.

Howie: Oh, my gosh, that’s right.

Mark: Yes. No, no, no, no, no. Don’t say that. Don’t say winter.

Howie: Yeah, sorry. I blew up.

Mark: Okay. All right.

Howie: I’ll go to my room. What we’re talking about today is dental implants marketing. How to get implant patients without actually asking for implant patients, you know.

Mark: Right, how to get implant patients without asking for implant patients?

Howie: Yeah, yeah.

Mark: This is gonna sound like,

Howie: Sounds weird.

Mark: Yeah, like it’s a secret.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: And, and it is, honestly, um, but we’re not the kind of guys who have these podcasts that say, discovered the seven secrets of implant patients. That’s, we’re gonna leave that to the other 13,000 marketing companies to get your attention. Umm,

Howie: It used to work years.

Mark: I know. I know. I’m just gonna live wait for them to catch up on.

Howie: Yeah, okay.

Mark: Anyway. Okay, so how to get implant patients without asking for implant patients. So, let’s look at let’s look at the consumer first, and then we’re going to go through the methods of attracting implant patients. So, let’s talk about the consumer first. I would agree, and we would agree that more people consumers have heard the term dental implants this year than five years ago.

Howie: Oh, most definitely.

Mark: Right. There are people out there who are advertising.

Howie: Absolutely big, huge full page ads in the newspapers.

Mark: Yep, and, and TV.

Howie: And TV.

Mark: A clear choice. If you’re near a clear choice center, people are starting to see, or at least become familiar with the term dental implants, they don’t necessarily know what it means they don’t know what it is, they don’t know how you do it. They just heard that it might be a solution to some of their problems. So, it’s sort of like the old days. Before the clear aligners. When, you know, straighten your teeth without braces was, nobody knew what the hell that was, right?

Howie: Right

Mark: I started advertising it, and pretty soon it got branded Invisalign. And, you know, now, most of America knows what Invisalign or you know, clear aligners are. So, having said that, the consumer really comes at this from two different angles. And it’s really important for everybody to understand and go back to our previous lessons about the difference between passive and aggressive market. Passive dental implants marketing waits for the patient, either a patient that has seen that TV or full page ad and is just looking for the first dentist to look at them and see if they’re a candidate for dental implants. Or, and this is the other side of the equation, the previously diagnosed and treatment plan. Shopping implant patient.

Howie: Yes.

Mark: Okay? Two very different human beings right there. Okay. So, normally, normally, if you’re going after the previously diagnosed and treatment plan, dental implant patient, you’re doing so online because you know that that previously diagnosis and treatment plan implant patient is now doing what they’re shopping.

Howie: They want they want a better price than what they were quoted.

Mark: That’s right, they want the solution, they were shocked at the price. So they type in dental implant dentists near me and up comes. However, many ads for dental implants. Those are the patients you’re going to see and you’re going to get there. Now there’s a whole other part of dental implant patients that pretty much I’m not gonna say they’re ignored, but I’m going to say, largely ignored. And those are the dental implant patients who have just learned about dental implants, they don’t really know what they are, don’t know how it’s going to help them.

They don’t even know if they’re a candidate for it. They may not even know anybody that might be a candidate for it, but they just heard the word dental implants on a TV, radio, billboard, whatever. Maybe even online, they saw in an ad on their Facebook or something. Okay. So, do you get to those people, you get them to want the benefits of dental implants without asking them? And the way you do that? In other words, it doesn’t do any good to go to that person and say, “Do you want a dental implant?” They haven’t been diagnosed yet. They don’t even know what problem an implant solves.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: They just know they’re familiar with the term dental implant. Okay. They may here’s a key point, they may not know that dental implant could solve their mom’s problem with her slipping dentures.

Howie: Right.

Mark: That’s

Howie: exactly

Mark: Right? Okay, so what do we have to do? How do we, how do we become how do we, me the dentist, how do I become the gatekeeper in this decision? And the answer is, well, you just educator you show them you give them all the benefits of dental implants. That’s how you get the interest to come to you. before they go to a different dentist, get a different treat, get a different diagnosis, different treatment plan, and then they turn into a shopper, go to Google. And they hit one of the sponsored ads that says dental implants 1995, including the crown.

Howie: Great.

Mark: I’m sure if you type in Dental Implant Dentist near me into your browser and add like that it’s going to show up?

Howie: Sure, it will.

Mark: ok

Mark: Because all other Dentists are competing for same online in a passive environment. They’re basically all competing for the patients who have a real or perceived need for dental implants. Right now, largely many because they’ve already been diagnosed and their shop. Okay. We’re what we do is we go after we go after those two, we have plenty of clients that do online search engine dental implants marketing with tons of them. But the other whole other side of the equation is, is going after the right people.

Howie: Yeah, becoming aggressive instead of passive, right?

Mark: Exactly, becoming, Thank you Howie. becoming passive is doing both. So, it’s the same thing we preach all over the place, you have to do both? Well, if you’re going to have a, you know, a robust implant practice. You have to reach out to the community and explain to them how many benefits are there to dental implants? My goodness, I mean, there’s, you know, filling a gap and your smile. There

Howie: Oh, yeah.

Mark: Cosmetic aspects of dental implants, the bite aspects of dental implants on the denture and anchor aspects of dental, how many, there’s a

Howie: You know, the amount of anger people have over dentures. Do you just tap into that with implant as a solution? And then you know, it just it’s, it’s like a fountain going off down at the Bellagio.

Mark: Exactly, exactly. Right so,

Howie: They hate their dentures.

Mark: Right. But we’re not asked, we’re not asking them to buy a dental implant, are we?

Howie: No.

Mark: We’re simply identifying a problem; they have already had an offering them a solution to a problem they already have. Because you’re the one who wants to diagnose them, you’re the one who wants to treatment plan them, you’re the one who wants to present to them the solution you provide, right? But that consumer isn’t going to tip over and want an implant until they have a real or perceived need. And the way you do that is to introduce new information in front of them. That new information you provide, you control, you even control who sees it. And you control the quality or the targeting of the person who sees it, you can do that through mail, you can do it through Facebook, you can do it through basically those two media types. Okay. That’s how you get implant patients without asking for implant patients.

Howie: Right. That’s a good place for take a break. We’ll come back to this subject and, and, and dive into it a little deeper in a minute. So, don’t go away. We’ll be right back.

NPI Click: Hey Mark, we should tell people about this new product, we have NPI command. Ah, well, new probably new to the podcast listeners, but not new to the customers who use it. So let me go through on the finer points. NPI command is a system we use. It’s an artificial intelligence system that creates decisions on where dentists, our clients should put their paper Click money when they do Google Pay Per Click ad campaigns.

If you’re someone who’s already done them, and you’re probably frustrated by the cost of the negative clicks, well, if there’s an artificial intelligence platform monitoring your negative clicks, you can see immediately how doing these on an artificial intelligence platform will allow for a faster build, and the faster allocation of the advertising money to the places that are bringing in good clicks. Because with every PPC campaign, there’s sources of bad clicks and sources of good clicks. And the whole idea is to throw all your money and the good ones and pull your money from the bad ones. So NPI command is our PPC department. And it’s not just in the department of humans, it’s an artificial intelligence platform as well.

Howie: Okay, we are right back, we’re talking about how to get implant patients without actually asking for implant patients.

Mark: Right, right. Really, um, so I was on a, I was on a console with one of our really nice clients been with us here for a while doing really well down in Texas. And we went through an initial analysis for NPI, you know, command, it’s the Google AdWords campaign, and he just wanted to see if it was worth, you know, going after the implant market on Google AdWords as a media type. And, uh, you know, he’s in a, in a very competitive environment in a suburb of a big city in Texas and, you know, initially I thought, Mike, you know, you might be bringing a knife to a tank fight, but let’s take a look.

So, we took a look. And sure enough, implant popped up as requiring the largest budget. But that’s because we were going to bid on keywords and phrases for implants. Not follow along. Okay. What if we bid on keywords and phrases for dentures?

Howie: Yeah. slipping dentures even,

Mark: Right. sedation dentistry. What if we bid on those keywords and phrases? What if we bid on everything but implants, but everything that supports the benefits of implants? Right? What else ended up doing is consuming half of his budget. Okay. And if you know anything about Google AdWords, here, or here are some it’s just math. Okay? If you’re in an even a reasonably competitive environment, and you understand that Google AdWords or search engine dental implants marketing in general, is really there in a passive way.

In other words, it’s only going to show your ad to someone who’s searching for what you’re selling. And add to that you’re in a bidding process, you might as well assume Google AdWords is not going to get less competitive, you might as well assume it’s going to get more competitive. And when you’re in a bidding process for keywords and search terms, a bidding process means that your costs go up. We don’t really anticipate that the search for dental implants or dental implant related search terms and words is going to increase exponentially. So, the number of people looking for implant type of procedures in your given market, it’s going to grow but it’s not going to grow beyond your ability to pay for it.

Basically, here’s the bottom line. If you’re in a bidding process for a, I’m not going to call it a finite set of terms, setup search terms or phrases. But I’m going to call it a restricted. If you restrict your terms and phrases, and you’re in a bidding environment for those terms and phrases, and more people come into that same bidding environment, the only thing that can happen to you is that your costs will go up and your results will either stay the same or go down. And that’s okay.

If you know it going in. Now, here’s how you offset that. You get implant patients without asking for implant patients. Stop bidding on the same thing that Dr. Schmoo down the street is bidding on and you start bidding on other things, get the patients in your door to a solution which ends up being an implant. But game the exposure based on a different problem they may have like slipping dentures or, or just dentures.

Howie: Yeah, Hate your dentures,

Mark: like how many dentists that are listening to this right. Now, let’s say their mom came to them and said, Honey, you know, I’m losing all my teeth. And I just want to take care of this and get done once and for all, what should I do? How many dentists listening to this would offer to their mother? a denture with no implants? The answer is probably not. Okay.

Howie: So, if they still wanted a good relationship,

Mark: Let’s assume that you have, right, let’s assume you want to maintain a good relationship. So you get my point. Okay, now you can do this with Google AdWords, you can do this with Facebook, you can do this, especially with mail, I can’t tell you how many senior mail campaigns we have going on, right. I know, it’s got to be in the hundreds, I don’t know how many we have going on right now.

But that you have to introduce new information to the right people in your market, drive them to your website. And if you want to use Google to trap the people who are already diagnosed, you can but you’re in a bidding war. So if you don’t have the budget, to be part of that bidding war, you can still go after those implant patients without asking for those implant patients. Does that make sense?

Howie: Yeah, it does, you know, you can target just, if you if all you did was target by age, you know, you’d hit some, some good targets out there, because of course, dentures and implants are the older crowd.

Mark: Right.

Howie: So that you add that select, it’s called to your mailing demographic. And, and, you know, you don’t have to target any more closely or seriously than that, it’s, it’s actually kind of easy to explain, you know, the benefits correctly and, and, and in a way that will communicate to people and the light will go on in their, their, their head, you know, oh, yeah, that’s a solution for my problem, or my husband’s problem. And it involves an implant.

Mark: Right. Now, the last part of it is, how to get implant patients without asking for implant patients. Part of this is communicating with your own patient base.

Howie: Oh, yes.

Mark: Because your own patient base, even if they’re 35, or 40, and you know, whether they’re not really a candidate for implants, they may not be for another 10 1520 years, but their parents might be. So, when they know it work might be. Right. So, um, you’re not necessarily asking your existing patient if they’re a candidate for implants, but do they know someone who struggles with their dentures? And you’d be surprised how many daughters go, my mom complains about her dentures, or my dad complains about his dentures every day? I’m tired of hearing it.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Right. And all of a sudden, you have a direct internal referral, which is gold of a new patient, who could be a great candidate for dental implants. Right?

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: So, it’s not always about external.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: You don’t always have to ask the person you’re going to give or you’re going to provide the implant for you ask their daughter or their son, you may end up with a whole bunch of more dental implants. Do you know anybody who wears dentures? How hard of a question is that?

Howie: Yeah, exactly. You know Mark, this is something that, you know, we discovered a long time ago, you know, and it goes, just goes beyond this, this subject matter. And, you know, you know, where all the cosmetic patients were all the big, big cases, you know, all the implant, you know, where they’re at?

Mark: I don’t know.

Howie: They are your patient base right now. Maybe they’ve been there for a few years. That’s where the big cases usually come from it. It’s you go out, and we learned that years ago, new, you know, trying to advertise for, you know, cosmetic patients.

Mark: Yeah. Right. You know, again, the world had endless funds.

Howie: Yeah. What I asked for, you don’t get it, but you, you know, if you if you go and present this subject to your own patient base, then in time they will come around.

Mark: Absolutely. And you and those you have engaged on your Facebook page too.

Howie: Exactly

Mark: It’s you know, you get disappointment I posted in boosted the post last week, and I didn’t get I didn’t get anybody, you know, jamming my door down, you know, on a Thursday morning, demanding that I do an implant on him. That’s not how it works. just educate, educate, educate, educate in the right way, in the right format, in little bite size chunks, arm multiple times, and you can manipulate an entire market. And then market might be your existing patients and them and the market might not be your patients at all, it might be the general public. Or it might be a targeted section of the public. Or it might be just people who do a Google search for implant, it could be any number of one of those segments. But here’s the here are the takeaways.

You don’t have to ask for implant patients to get implant patients. Okay, that’s one of the takeaways. kind of obvious, because that’s the title of this podcast. Okay. Um, another takeaway is further understanding the difference between passive and aggressive. And understanding that passive, if they’re doing search on a search engine, there’s a really good chance they’re shoppers, so understand what you’re getting and what your ad is going to have to say, and how you better prepare your staff to okay, because these people are going to say, why is near and plus 1995? Because

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: I just came off of another page and said, 1995, okay, so I understand what you’re getting into, when you promote passively to a shopper audience. On the flip side, understand that you can create your own audience that aren’t shoppers, you can become the gatekeeper, you can become the person who does the exam, who does the treatment plan, and doesn’t allow that person I’m gonna say doesn’t allow, but I’m going to say, convinces that person that you’re the right solution to their problem while they’re in your chair. It’s better than getting them after they’ve been in somebody else’s chair.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Okay. So that’s what if you’re, if you’re, if you’re struggling, right, with implant promotion. Take these tidbits out of this podcast and just formulate them in your mind so you understand what you’re up against. understand exactly what you’re doing. If you’re advertising at all, if you’re not advertising at all, then we just gave you a 15 step Head Start getting more patients.

Howie: Well, all right. That’ll wrap things up for today. Thank you, Mark, and enjoy your time up in Maine.

Mark: Yeah, closing it up. It’s a sad time of the year,

Howie: that time of the year, but there’s always next year. And to all of you out there listening. We sure appreciate it. Thank you. And we’ll be back next week. I know.

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