Archive for May, 2014

The Power of Dental Branding

You may wonder what relevance branding has to a dental practice, I mean it works for Disney and Google, but how can it be applied to your dental practice?

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Firstly it is appreciating what a brand is – it’s a set of associations that people make with a company, product or service. Branding is the way organisations harness, generate and control these associations in order to improve their business.

Disney PSD Logo

Having a brand for your practice will create a difference in people’s minds between you and your competition, whether that be for patients locally or potential referring GDPs.

A brand adds value to your practice and people see a well branded service as better quality, so worth paying more for. Your challenge is to ensure your patients have an emotional attachment to your brand, as their friendly dentist for example, and that will then be applied to all your treatments and patient plans.

‘We like to think of ourselves as rational human beings but there is no escaping that the way we think and act is triggered and shaped by our initial emotional response’                                                                               Du Plessis, 2005

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Are you a specialist in Endodontics, Periodontics or Orthodontics? Your brand doesn’t have to be based on your practice, your brand can be based around you as a Specialist.

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Remember, once you’ve created your brand it isn’t set in stone. Disney and Google update their branding every few years to keep the brand current whilst retaining the existing brand associations.

For a no-obligation initial chat about branding for your practice, contact us on 0845 287 3051.

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Dental Bridal Packages Work!

Wedding Bridal Packages

Following National Smile Month we’re swiftly approaching the summer wedding season, a great opportunity to promote specialist and cosmetic treatments. Every bride wants a perfect white smile to match her white dress!

The beauty of brides (and grooms and bridesmaids!) to be is that it is possible to target them directly and reach them cost effectively via joint ventures, for example with your local florist or hairdresser. It’s a brilliant way to find patients for your practice.  Promote a Special Offer on treatment(s) and on your flyer – why not encourage your joint venture partners to do the same?

Weddings are expensive and the large budget means that your dental treatments, whether teeth whitening or some other cosmetic treatment, won’t seem so high. On average people spend £36,127* on their wedding and the photography alone is on average £748*, making it an ideal time to get their smile ‘camera-ready’.

Don’t ignore the seasonal opportunities for getting new patients and increasing the profitability of your practice. Make sure you keep checking our blog for promotional hints and tips for your dental practice. Feel like you need to promote yourselves for the wedding season but don’t know where to start?

Call Smile Marketing on 0845 287 3051 or email us and we’ll get you down the right aisle.

*Stats from Hitched Wedding Industry Facts & Economics.

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National Smile Month

It’s that time of year again, a great time to promote your practice to the local community and attract patients to your specialist dental treatments so they can get the smile that they’ve always wanted.

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National Smile Month promotes three key messages, so make sure your promotions are in line with the following:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

The aim of National Smile Month is to ultimately improve the UK’s oral health, and who better to do this for your patients than their very own dentist? Consider a Direct Mail campaign to patients you haven’t seen for a while, or how about a new patient promotion or an e-Newsletter to your patient list to remind them of your dental & hygiene membership scheme.

With the help and enthusiasm of those who are passionate about health and well being, National Smile Month 2014 will see hundreds of events and activities up and down the UK educate and engage local communities about the importance of a healthy mouth.

The campaign, which takes place between May 19 and June 19, encourages all dental and health professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges and workplaces – in fact anyone with an  interest in good oral healthcare, to join in.

For advice on how to implement cost effective patient promotions, contact us.

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Word-of-mouth is NOT marketing

When talking to businesses, they often mention that word-of-mouth is their best form of marketing, their strongest source of new customers.

But ‘word-of-mouth’ isn’t marketing is it? For dental practices, it’s the result of great customer service, happy patients and the perception that your team have made their ‘patient journey’ the best it could be, especially if those patients are nervous or a little anxious. Let’s be honest, nobody wakes up in the morning thinking “I’m really looking forward to my check-up or root canal treatment”.

Certainly, if your patients are pro-actively telling their friends, family and colleagues about your wonderful practice that’s great, it’s where dental businesses want to be. The truth is probably no more than 10% of your patients are telling others about their experience at your practice.

So what about the other 90%? How do you encourage word-of-mouth?

Assuming your patients are happy with their dental treatment and they like the wonderful warm welcome they receive on arrival as well as the glass of water or hot drink you offer them (and today’s newspaper to flick through), why are they not referring your practice to others?

Maybe they just need a little encouragement, a reminder that you ARE looking for more patients like them and that (and some practices like this) there’s a little incentive for them to refer – whether a deli voucher or oral health goody bag.

After patients leave your practice, they generally go back to their busy lives and your dental practice is no longer ‘on their radar’ and that’s the importance of a referral process in your business (which may involve some team training) and regular contact with your patients, so you remain on their radar.

For best practice advice and guidance on setting up a referral scheme for your practice, contact us on 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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Expanding the Smile Team

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Smile Marketing is searching for professionals!

With a surge in new clients this quarter Smile is looking for talented individuals to join the team as regional associates. The positions we’re are looking to fill are for the Midlands, East Anglia, North East, Scotland and Wales. We already have associates in London/South East, South West and the North West.

Smile offers a full range of marketing services including business audits, marketing planningbranding, welcome packs, referral packs, clinician and practice PR, patient recruitment campaigns, dental websites and social media strategy. Offering either retainer-based or project-based packages, the company’s flexible approach to helping practices is proving to be very popular.

Our founder, Steve Davey, commented:

Since the launch of Smile Marketing nearly 5 years ago, interest from dentists, orthodontists, endodontists, implantologists, CDTs and other specialists has been fantastic. The dental industry has become increasingly competitive so guiding Principals and Practice Managers to become self-sufficient and targeted with their marketing has proved to be a real ‘win win’.

With the constant changes in this sector, the uncertainty of the NHS and the corporates continuing to acquire practices, the need for professional support from creative, dental-savvy marketers can only increase. Dentists want advice and guidance from people who know the industry inside out and understand their issues and that’s where we fit in.

For more information call us on 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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