Old School in a Digital World: The Problem with Word of Mouth Marketing

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So here’s the script with the old kind of marketing.

Betty: Hey, Joan. What’s wrong?

Joan: Oh, my tooth is just killing me! This hasn’t happened in years, not since before we moved.

Betty: Poor thing. Why don’t you go see a dentist?

Joan: I don’t have a dentist in the area that I trust. Since we’re new here and everything.

Betty: Of course. Well, why don’t you go see my dentist, Dr. Tooth? He’s the best. Really gentle. And you know he has one of those fancy lasers.

Joan: Really? I’ll check him out!

Sounds perfect, right? You have a satisfied customer who you impressed with your skill and technology, and then that satisfied customer told a potential patient to come see you. You get essentially free marketing and a new patient all for just doing your job!

But what if…?

Let’s look at a different scenario.

Joan: Oh, my tooth is just killing me!

Betty: Oh you poor thing. There’s plenty of good dentists around here, though. I’m sure you’ll find someone.

Wait, what happened? Betty! You were happy! You liked my practice!

Sometimes good referral patients don’t always make that referral. Things happen. People are fickle and sometimes they forget to mention things. Maybe Betty wasn’t feeling talkative. Maybe Betty moves away and doesn’t have a local dentist to recommend anymore. Do you see the point?

If you rely on word-of-mouth marketing and then lose your biggest referral patient, you’ve got no marketing at all.

Luckily, there is a world of marketing options at your disposal, though they may come at a price. Let’s look at some of the cutting-edge choices for marketing your dental practice.

Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

A good digital marketing strategy takes your perspective on your practice and turns that into a message, which is consistently broadcast through as many online channels as possible. A good digital marketing strategy also interacts with your patients on a personal level to keep them coming back AND referring new patients to you!

Elements of a Digital Marketing Campaign

Let’s look at the breakdown of a digital marketing campaign.

  • Inbound Marketing – This is the core of any good digital marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is using search engines like Google to draw people to your website organically. You can also bring them in through social media posts or interesting content on your blog.
     
  • Blogging – By having a blog, you’re showing the world that you know what you’re doing. You’re letting your patients know that you’re up on the latest procedures and gadgets in your field. Blogging can also let your patients know that you’re a real person, just like them, and they can trust you to have their best interests at heart.
     
  • Social Media – With social media, there are a ton of things you can do to draw in new patients. Many people focus on things like sales or discount codes shared on social media, but there’s more to it than that. The main thing social media does is show that there is a person behind the lab coat, and that you care about your patients on a personal level.
     
  • Email Marketing – So you probably have your office staff collecting emails from your patients, and what for? Email marketing is easy for medical and dental practices because you have that contact information. With an email campaign that engages your patients and excites them about your practice, you will increase your patient satisfaction and even get some of that sweet, old fashioned referral marketing going too!

See, that’s the thing about the new way of marketing….

Word of mouth marketing isn’t dead!

It’s just transformed and translated into the digital world. What used to be that literal word out of someone’s mouth has become a share on social media, a like on a blog, or a forward of an email. These days, you engage your patients, and they’ll spread your message for you, just like in the old days.

Get the digital experts in on your digital marketing.

If you think all the elements of a digital marketing strategy are a lot of things for one dentist to do, you’d be right. But a digital marketing firm can do all this for your practice. They’re trained professionals, just like you, only they’re focused on the health of your practice.

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