As a dentist, you should be thrilled about the inbound marketing revolution and the impact it is having on the dental industry. The marketing revolution is a dynamic brought on by the popularity of the internet. It really plays to the strength of dental education over promotion. There are three main reasons why the marketing revolution is happening:
- The research capabilities of the internet
- The advertising cost of traditional mediums and
- The bombardment of messages one is exposed too.
In this blog, I will define the marketing revolution, address the three reasons it is occurring and how this impacts you and your practice. I will also discuss the best way to take advantage of this new marketing world and why the best dental marketing is inbound.
The marketing revolution is happening because potential customers are using the internet instead of traditional mediums (T.V., radio, newspaper, magazine, and directories) as a way to get information about product and services. These traditional advertising methods are called outbound marketing because they push their advertising message to their audience, whether the audience wants it or not. They hope their message will reach a sufficient volume of people to find enough interested parties to buy their products or services.
Because of the research capabilities of the internet, people are able to find a lot more information about the products and services they are interested in; far more than a traditional medium could communicate. They can find in depth information about products and services, read reviews, watch videos, download information, ask questions, find out the story behind the company and the people who run the business.
After a few years of doing this, the public have become reliant on the internet for this information and find it more convenient, useful and credible than traditional mediums.
A second reason why traditional mediums are dying is because of the dynamics of our society and economy. Whirling out of the money-making 80’s and 90’s and the first six years of the new millennium, we abandoned the single-location, locally-owned business owner and began shopping and supporting the big chain stores. Traditional mediums catered to them and ratcheted up their rates to meet their multi-location format. Their entire business model is supported by growth and with the crash of our economy they were unable to compete in terms of price with the far less expensive internet.
So, the internet has become a better form of communication regarding products and services, is far less expensive to get the message out to the public and is inbound in nature… ultimately, not intrusive. By utilizing inbound marketing, searchers of information regarding products and services can now decide what they need and want and take the buying decision into their own hands. Therefore, they can tune out the bombardment of advertising messages they receive.
We are hit with up to 5000 marketing messages per day; and in comparison, there were only about 500 daily marketing messages back in 1970. People use TIVO, Sirius radio, pop-up blockers, spam filters and other means to block the unwanted nuisance of messages. Traditional mediums are feeling the affect too.
This revolution works in the favor of dental practices that are educational by nature and non-promotional. Nobody wants half-priced brain surgery or a half-priced root canal if someone inexperienced is doing the work. You hire a dental professional because you value their education and expertise.
The new inbound approach has prospects searching for a new practice, to learn more about you and the services your practice provides. They are not searching for a deal or promotion on dental services.
An inbound approach is about attracting prospective patients not about hunting them and using a promotional hook to reel them in. The old approach was unprofessional and unproductive by discounting services. The new approach is helpful, educational and more likely to get patients buy-in. It gives you a chance to inform your prospect and earn their business.
Prospective patients want to read profiles about the doctors and dental team, they want to see the services you offer and learn a little bit about your approach to care. They want to go on a video tour of your office. They want the ability to ask questions and interact with your staff. To download forms to fill out and send in ahead of time, sign up for a newsletter or set up an appointment reminder…
I hope this helps you understand the outbound, inbound phenomena of marketing and how you can better use the internet to attract more patients and take advantage of the best dental marketing approach. For more marketing ideas and tips, go to www.redstarmarketing.com and sign up for our weekly dental marketing tip.