In this podcast, Howie Horrocks & Mark Dilatush discuss the benefits of fusion dental marketing by merging traditional (offline) marketing with digital (online) marketing.

Podcast Highlights

  • Fusion Dental MarketingTM
  • Merging Digital Marketing with Traditional Marketing
  • Reducing Advertising Waste While Increasing Impact
  • Reaching the High Quality New Patient
  • It’s Never Just One Thing

Podcast Transcription

Hello and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery Series. This podcast is brought to you by New Patients Incorporated and

I’m Howie Horrocks the Founder of New Patients Incorporated. Along with me once again is my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Hello, everybody, welcome once again to our podcast. We are back in the podcast mode aren’t we Mark?

Mark: Hey Howie. Yes, we are. Tax day has come and gone.

Howie: Hallelujah! I bet you everybody said that right? Especially dentists. They just get all hyped up about it and they’re really glad when it’s all over.

Mark: I know. This is almost a paralysis. It’s like you call buddies or clients and normally they get right back to you, maybe a day or two later. But from about March 15th to April 15th they just kind of get into some suspended animation somewhere. Then April 16th, it’s like “Hey man, how are you doing. Haven’t heard from you. Are you in jail?” Anyway. Happy not tax day to everyone. I mean, we go through the same thing. We’re not making fun of dentists. We obviously are concerned about taxes as well so, yeah of course.

Fusion Dental Marketing ™

Howie: Well, we are also concerned about some really cool stuff we’ve got going on and we talked a little bit about that in the last podcast when we introduced you all to npiClick.

We’re going to take a look at a portion of that digital world, that digital universe, which we’ve dived into, called Fusion Dental Marketing.

Mark: Yeah. Well let’s go back to the word Fusion. It actually comes from the restaurant business where you have, like an Asian Fusion restaurant. They will have Japanese and Chinese food. Fusion Dental Marketing is a trademark that we adopted for the process of strategically combining offline and online dental promotions for the purposes of promoting dentistry to the right people in a given dental market. That’s a pretty long paragraph. I’ll break it down for everyone. For those who don’t know us or don’t know of us…

Merging Digital with Traditional

For the last 30 years or so we have been digital marketers, but we also are traditional marketers and were best known for the results we get through our traditional marketing. The results we get through our traditional marketing are supported, obviously by the digital side. And as Howie mentioned, 5 months ago we merged with the biggest, baddest, best digital marketing company called, Dental Web Now.

So now we have all these cool toys here right? And if you don’t know me personally, I was and am, a data nerd. I was a data nerd but now I am an overdosed data nerd.

So this is to everyone’s benefit. It’s to the patients benefit. The dentist’s benefit and obviously with our employees, were expanding, so it’s to everybody’s benefit. But, here’s what Fusion really is. We took all of our testing, all of the independent consumer research, we took all of the results that we’ve been tracking for, I’m not going to say 30 because 30 years ago we weren’t tracking, but I’ll say at least the last 15 or 20 years.  

And instead of operating independent of each other (offline and online) we said, “Why don’t we marry these? Why don’t we coordinate these and why don’t we orchestrate these?”

And, “Why don’t we test the impact of doing that in a given dental market?” Now, what does that mean? Well, it can mean many things and sometimes this gets people confused – but I’ll just use a classic example. We have hundreds and hundreds of dentist clients who do our version of direct mail. And the reason I say “our version” is because nobody does it like we do. But let’s just say hundreds and hundreds of dentists are out there doing direct mail.

Fusion would be hitting those same direct mail targets simultaneous to their mail campaign being delivered on a digital advertising media, like for instance, Facebook.

Howie: So wait a minute, just to clarify. I mean, I understand what it is but…

Mark: You’re acting like a dentist right now (laugh).

Howie: Right, yeah, exactly. Let me be the dentist who might be saying: “Like, wait a minute, you mean you guys can put a marketing message into the consumer’s home and on their Facebook feed, at the same time?” Mark: Yeah, on their phone, on their laptop, yeah, and it gets even better than that.

Reducing Advertising Waste While Increasing Impact

This is the Fusion. This is the detailed side of it. So all of our clients know how refined we target mail campaigns. Because mail can cost, you know, pretty good money.

And what you never want to do with mail is waste it right? We try to eliminate as much waste as we can. Just totally makes sense right? So you refine your targeting down. You target, you deploy, you run the numbers and you test.

You keep doing that, and keep doing that for 20 or 25 years and all of a sudden you have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t work. Well now with those same people – you can hit those same people on their phone, on their laptop or on their iPad. Wherever they are on Facebook, whatever audience they are in, you can hit those people with advertising. Now here’s where it really gets interesting.

A mail piece – now we don’t do many postcards. But we do millions of trifolds or magazines. So when we promote dentistry we’re not promoting based on price primarily. We’re promoting based on the benefits of Dentistry. So let’s just take a trifold campaign. Because they happen to be the most popular.

In a trifold you might have, let’s say, 5 services that we’ve highlighted that we’re trying to get the targets interested in. There’s 5 services or conveniences or technologies – it almost doesn’t matter. We just have 5 or 6 things that we’re trying to convince them to pick up the phone or go to the website and pick up the phone and make an appointment.

Each one of those 5 becomes an ad on Facebook. So, you could be a mom in your community and as long as your income, and as long as your geography, and your credit worthiness, and as long as your marketability indexes match our profile for our mail campaign – you will get our mail, let’s say 3 or 4 times throughout the year, maybe once every 3 months. But simultaneously you’re also going to start seeing ads about each individual thing that you saw in that mailer.

So it might be a solution to loose fitting dentures. It might be implants, sedation and any number of priority marketable attributes that every dentist who’s listening to this, possesses in their practice.

Howie: You know it could also become kind of a subconscious thing too, and wouldn’t you say Mark, where you say, “Where have I seen this before? This looks familiar to me.”

Mark: Increasing the familiarity and awareness quicker than you can without each other. That’s what Fusion Dental Marketing is OK? It’s getting a greater benefit out of both rather than running them independently right? Because if you run digital marketing independently – your bell curve, it’s there. Then here comes the back end of that bell curve. You don’t know exactly when it’s coming but it’s pretty predictable, depending on how many people and how many dentists near you in your market are doing the same thing.

Same thing with Google AdWords.

You know the Ad Words campaign even if it’s optimized, even if it’s optimized by us, nobody can stop 100 different dentists with 5 grand a month from coming into the marketplace and driving up your cost OK? Nobody can do that. Nobody can say they could do that. That’s basically just math at that point.

But when you combine them, when you orchestrate them, when you coordinate them, you actually get to control…

Reaching the High Quality New Patient

Let me back all the way up. Because the majority of our work is trying to introduce new information into the dental consumer’s mind that’s not price driven, that’s not deal driven. Where we’re really promoting to the top 45 – 50% of the market who are more interested in their mouth than an insurance deductible or a deal. Actually many of these moms would kind of look at you oddly, or askew. There’s a word from the past, OK? So those are the moms we want for our clients because those moms return 11 times the return on investment. And they are more difficult to get because they come in lower volumes, but the return is 11 times greater. So those are the moms we get.

When we go out and we deliver something onto their kitchen table, we deliver 5, 6, 7, 8 reasons to choose a dental practice and when she fires up her laptop or iPad at 8:00 o’clock at night and she’s flipping through her Facebook feed, there’s an item on her Facebook feed or 2 or 3 or more, that is very, very similar to what she’s already seen on her kitchen table. Then all we have to do is interest her in one of them. Once. Yeah, that’s all we have to do.

(Break in transcript)

Howie: OK, we’re talking about Fusion dental marketing from npiClick.

This is pretty cool. You know, normally Mark, wouldn’t you say it takes like 7 touches, so to speak, before you know a person out there in the mail audience responds? And you know that nobody is going to respond to the first mailer or even a second or third usually. But now we can actually double those touches with pretty much the same budget. Right?

Mark: Well, the budget can be more. It can be the same. It’s never going to be less. Obviously you can’t do 2 things with the same budget. Basically the question to the dentist is; how quickly do you want this to happen? The dentist says, “How much is it?” And I say, “How fast do you want it?”

I mean, it’s not our money so it’s up to the dentist right? Now $50 a month isn’t going to cut it. I mean, anybody can go on to Facebook advertising right now and say OK, it’s at least like 13 or 14 cents an impression. So we’re not going to impress very many people for 50 bucks, a month, but the question is; “What if I just printed twice as much mail? Would I have as good of an impact?” And the answer is no. Statistically the answer is no because remember, I don’t want to get too crazy in detail here, but there’s a certain geographic reality to mail. There’s also a certain geographic reality to digital ads. Google, has targeting, Facebook has targeting, and mail has targeting.

There’s also a reality of cost to deliver the same message to the same household and the number of times you deliver to the same household before you create less of an effect. And that answer is 3 to 4 times per year. We know that. We know that is a true number. The number of times you need to mail to a household within a given year is somewhere between 3 and 4, depending on how competitive the market is. We do hundreds of mail campaigns and none of them are under 3 and none of them are over 4. That gives you an idea of what you should do.

Howie: Well-known data. Well-travelled road.

Mark: Exactly. If we mailed 8 times, the doctor would get less impact for the dollar so that’s why we don’t do it, OK? If we mail twice in a year, the doctor doesn’t get as much impact for the dollar so that’s why we don’t do that either. OK? But if we take those other dollars and we put them into coordinated, orchestrated, Facebook ad campaigns with singular focus on the services that are already in the mail piece that we already know is going to be delivered 3 times in the next year to the same households, then you get your impact.

It’s kind of like having a radio ad that you commit a couple grand a month to but then the radio says; “You know what? If you’re going to be nice enough to do that we have this TV station that will just run you a bunch of ads for free on your TV station.”

It’s kind of like that. It’s not free. Obviously you gotta pay for the ads but that’s what Fusion is.

It’s Never Just One Thing

We have clients who have been with us for 22 years. None of our clients who have been with us for that long of a time do 100% digital or 100% offline. None. All of them have a mix.

With this new technology, the new platform, the new tracking platform, and the new everything that came about during this merger, Fusion Dental Marketing is one of the things that it birthed.

Basically it allowed us and allows us to see, listen, measure and record where these people are coming from. Whether they’re coming directly off the mail, off the website, off the Facebook ads. And which ad when we know we’re deploying them. We know when they should react. We know when we stop deploying them.

So all that stuff, it sounds real complicated. It’s not really. It’s not complicated at all for the dentist. All they are doing is basically budgeting for it. Then they can go take care of patients.

Howie: Yeah and look at the dashboard once in a while.

Mark: Exactly. Look at the dashboard. Make sure your team is answering the hard questions correctly and make sure they’re answering the phone.

Now, Howie said there’s more to it, and before we finish the podcast I’m going to send you to the website. There’s a page for Fusion Dental Marketing. I think it’s under services. If you click that there’s an infographic there that’s really helpful for people to see. That should help you understand what Fusion is.

There are other components to making this successful, one of which is having a decent website to handle the traffic one is generating. Also having the availability of dentist online scheduling so you have fewer missed calls and more appointments from the marketing that you’re already doing. And having that on your Facebook page helps as well.

Oh, having good dental practice reviews. You don’t have to be the number one in your market. But, you know, somewhere in the top 3. Having those reviews show up in the box where the map is on a local search. All those things matter. And it’s becoming more and more and more obvious to us that a long lived dental marketing plan for the life or the career of a dentist or the life of a practice – where a dentist can just take care of patients – requires you to just let your marketing company do what they’re good at. The way you get there is by having this list of assets.

There isn’t one thing at a time that works really well forever. It will always be a mix. And who knows what’s coming down the pike in the future? I can assure you that, just like with Fusion Dental Marketing, we will be there and we will test it and through these podcasts and through our Dental Marketing Mastery Facebook group, we will share with you the data, the result data that we have found.

That’s an introduction into Fusion Dental Marketing it might be a picture of where you want to take the marketing for your own practice.

Howie: You bet. Yeah, we do the testing so you don’t have to.

Thank you my friends and we will look forward to chatting with you next week, OK? Bye now. We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can get all our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher and And on our websites; and