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Dental Marketing

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How to Ask Your Dental Patients for Referrals

by Naomi Cooper December 1, 2016

How to Ask Dental Patients for Online ReviewsHappy patients are a dentist’s most valuable marketing assets! They already value your skills and trust your opinions, and best of all, they never hesitate recommending your office to everyone they know.

Check out my video to find out the best ways of communicating with patients to ensure they keep referring their friends and family to your practice now and into 2017!

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The Top 2 Branding Mistakes Many Dentists Make & Steps You Can Take to Avoid Them

by Naomi Cooper November 1, 2016

Do you remember the 1980’s Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America?

In a classic scene, one of the supporting characters is a businessman who owns a restaurant named McDowell’s, NOT McDonald’s. He explains it best:

“Look…me and the McDonald’s people got this little misunderstanding. See, they’re McDonald’s…I’m McDowell’s. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick.”

And in fact, the owner of a local McDonald’s near the filming location approached the set design team and threatened to sue for trademark infringement, completely unaware that this “new competitor” was actually part of a movie set.

So how does this apply to dentists?

dental brandingWhile this scene provides plenty of laughter, there are also important real-life lessons that could be learned from this fictional scenario, especially when it comes to branding and trademarks.

There are two very common mistakes many dentists make when it comes to dental practice branding:

  1. Failing to brand the practice
  2. Failing to protect the brand

Failing to brand the practice

Many dentists don’t realize the power of branding. It’s the reason you immediately picture the golden arches when you read “McDonald’s”, but it’s not just for large corporations. A dentist’s brand is what differentiates one dentist from the next. It’s his/her practice identity within the community, both online and in person. Simply put, without a brand, it’s difficult to effectively promote your practice.

Failing to protect the brand

At the core of any dentist’s brand is the practice name. Whether it’s in the name of the doctor, or something more representative of the services, philosophy or local community, the practice name is incredibly important – and valuable. And when working with my Pride clients to develop a new practice name, I always advise them to hire a business attorney to trademark the new practice name.

Why?

– First, when you’re developing a new brand and name for your practice, you want to ensure there’s not already a dentist in the local area using the same name. Not only would that cause mass confusion among local patients and waste your marketing dollars, but if another dentist has filed a trademark on your potential new name, it could cause you significant legal hassles.

– Once you’ve conducted a search and verified there isn’t another practice using the same name in the local area, have your attorney file a trademark on the new name (both the words and the logo). This will protect you in the event a new dentist wants to use the same name in the future.

Is this rare? Yes. Do trademark issues actually affect dentists? YES. Taking the necessary steps to properly brand your practice from the start will minimize any future legal headaches, patient confusion and wasted marketing dollars later. It’s well worth the time and energy to create a practice name that is all your own – and protect it!

*Please note: I am a marketing expert. I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. Consult your business attorney for a more complete discussion on trademarking your dental practice.

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Dental Marketing: Top Tips for Building an Online Presence

by Naomi Cooper October 3, 2016

Dental Marketing: Top Tips for Building an Online Presence Dentists today are bombarded with sales calls promising to boost their online reputations or guaranteeing the top spot on Google.

Just as there’s no magic bullet for achieving optimal oral health, there’s no shortcuts when it comes to building a dynamic digital presence.

Check out my recent video here to find out the most important steps every dentist should take when developing an effective online strategy.

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5 Online Marketing Hacks for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper September 7, 2016

You went to dental school, not business school. You specialize in exams and extractions, not marketing and social media. So how do you even begin to build a savvy online presence for your dental practice?

Online marketing hacks for dentistsHere are 5 tips to demystify online marketing for every dentist:

  1. Perform an online audit – Google your name and then your practice name. What comes up? Take note of where in the search results your website appears, as well as bookmark any sites with incomplete or inaccurate information to go back and fix sooner rather than later.
  2. Claim online profiles – Business listings may already exist for the practice on sites like Google and Yelp without your knowledge. Be sure every online profile has up-to-date practice and contact information.
  3. Update the practice website – If you haven’t touched your practice website within the past 18 months or more, schedule an appointment with your web designer to talk about updating the site for modern convenience (responsive design, SEO functionality, user-friendliness).
  4. Actively ask for patient testimonials – It NEVER hurts to ask! In fact, asking patients to post online reviews actually helps spark word of mouth for the office.
  5. Don’t forget about social media – Build your presence on sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…and encourage patients to check in and tag the office.

To dive deeper into these strategies, and discover 5 more simple yet effective methods of improving your online marketing, check out my recent article in Dental Products Report to ensure you stay in the driver’s seat of your online reputation.

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How to Ask Patients for Online Reviews

by Naomi Cooper July 6, 2016

How to ask patients for online reviewsYou’ve likely heard of sites like Yelp, Google and Healthgrades and you’re probably aware of the prevalence of patient reviews in today’s online culture. However, knowing that you should ask patients to leave reviews and actually asking them are two different things altogether.

Watch this video to find out why dentists actually need to have positive reviews and learn the best ways of asking your patients to post their comments online.

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Marketing to General Dentists: What Specialists Need to Know

by Naomi Cooper May 16, 2016

 

I had the opportunity to speak at the annual meeting of the American Association of Endodontists last May, and the ideas we talked about then still ring true today.

Specialist to GP Marketing Strategies

No matter your specialty, your business wouldn’t be as successful without your GP referral sources. If you’ve been using the same old marketing tactics for years, now is the time to spice it up! And when you’re coming up with a new plan, put yourself in their shoes – what would you want from a specialist? Here are 5 ideas to get you started:

  1. Have your team members “adopt” a referring practice & be responsible for improving the relationship, increasing referrals and making their GP office feel appreciated year round.
  2. Communicate in a way that is convenient for the GP. Ask if they prefer email or phone conversations, or if there is a specific day/time that is best for them to connect with you.
  3. Have a secure “dentist login” function on your website to easily share patient info/records/notes.
  4. Acknowledge GPs on social media and in blog posts. Don’t mention patients by name but you can express appreciation for their partnership or something specific you appreciate about them/their team.
  5. Take the GP out to lunch or for coffee – and actually talk to them about the challenges or learning opportunities involved with a common case.

These are just a few ways to improve the relationships with your GP referral sources, which can have a big impact on increasing business from now and into the future. And for a closer look at the GP- Specialist relationship, check out a recent article I contributed to, Serving the Endodontist, published in First Impressions Magazine.