Instead of doing splits and causing all that strain, dentists must leap ahead, and more patients gain, by employing the proper brand, which includes logos and websites, but also deploying a branding strategy efficiently, coherently, consistently and comprehensively.
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You know what I mean, those Dentists who regularly presents more comprehensive restorative and/or aesthetic smile makeovers (or cosmetic dentistry of any kind). Of course, this occurrence is also reminiscent of how the dental branding process can play out (or not).
Patients get their free whitening with that one tooth crowned or maybe even as far as enhancing the front four veneers, but often need more than the ‘patient's minimum/get-by' level of work, and just stop there indefinitely. This stalling pattern can be for an ‘unknown' reason or because of a ‘supposed' road block.
The patient feels fine about the minimal work done, but you/the dentist have missed a great opportunity to really enhance their life. As a marketing consultant, I often notice a point in the dentist's brand development with similar, corresponding attributes.
Analogous in the marketing for dentists realm: think of creating dental logos as teeth whitening and office websites as the front four veneers. Both branding elements offer similar immediate and beautiful benefits to our respective clients. Yet the client's long-term financial situation/health and increased production/oral functionality has been treated in a mostly superficial way, and not in a sustainable fashion.
When a dentist completes a ‘basic' branding package, they are very happy, but there are often elements that are subtracted, which means long-term viability is potentially greatly hampered. Either the dentist was not ready to proceed with the entire marketing case plan for various reasons or they have a more specific objection like current funding is insufficient.
Notice the similarities the above paragraph has with the patient's comprehensive dental health situation. While these objections may have realistic initial downsides, the upside sufficiently protects against the potential likelihood of long-term failure caused by scrimping on an ongoing marketing program with multiple (yet affordable) facets.
Presentation of the dental office brand is not merely designing the pieces or product development (such as business cards or letterhead) but the practice message and structure and consistency of overall marketing strategies.
As a dental treatment comparison, what does smile whitening achieve if the patient settles for it rather than progressing to veneers, especially if their condition would not improve much? Regardless of what the dentist tells the patient about taking care of their smile, the value of the dentist's expertise/services will be diminished.
Likewise, the perfect dental logo and accompanying dentist website will be ineffective if it is not deployed expertly, comprehensively or whatever is right for the situation. Like being displayed at appropriate intervals (monthly dental care postcards, videos uploaded regularly...) and in proper venues (Facebook, other social media). To properly ‘take care of' dental office's brand, there must be consistency in deployment and a comprehensive ‘web of inputs' to catch the consumer where they are at and that provide a constant value boost.
If dental logos and dentist websites were ultimately ‘ineffective' - marketing deployment is listless, then dentists would value the ‘artwork' of even great dentistry design less. The result would be fewer dentist-client referrals for the marketing consulting agency, and the design firm.
|Dr. Walter Owens, Meharry in Nashville, and Richard Chwalek, Dental Consultant|
Take the patient/dental office & dentist/marketer comparison idea one step further…
A dentistry practice can have a great doctor/team combination when it comes to one-on-one patient interaction, but if their external patient communication strategies are weak, the effect may be a total wash as to bringing in enough new dental patients to be successful over and above basic survival.
Not getting the dental logo, practice website and complementary brand information in front of patients at the right time or often enough, can reduce office treatment production revenue significantly. This problem eats away at the value built up internally by the dentist's expertise and everything the team brings to the table.
This disassociation of the dentistry brand from the daily reality (of how communication works) will cause long-term patient retention issues, difficulties upgrading current patients to higher-level treatments, and lowering the percentage of case acceptance by new, as well as, current patients.
It's like a marketing periodontal disease that gets the best of the dental communication process. The waiting, stalling, sitting on hands, deteriorating dental marketing condition should not allowed to become rampant. If my "gum disease communication statistics" are up to date, three out of four dental practices have periodontitis and often don't even want to know it.
Current patients will migrate to other dentists if the value the current dentist offers is not communicated proactively and assertively to his/her audience, whether internal or neighborhood. Without ongoing, integrated dental marketing, patients will perceive that competing practices put a higher value on their care (than you do), are more up to date (than you), and provide an wide open environment of free flowing knowledge (compared to you).
Patients not properly informed will find reasons why the non-communicative dentist's services and expertise are not valid. Trust can be less a matter of expertise or even interpersonal interactions initially because people can get a ‘feeling' from various communication inputs and formats.
Attaching meaning to your dental brand through multi-dimensional contact with the consumer is essential in this hyperkinetic era of marketing influences.
Why so easily abdicate anything to that dentist competitor on the north, south, east, west side?
- Retain stronger new patient referral agents!
- Empower even MORE dental care referral agents!
- Better educate more consumers to upgrade their dentistry to value your dental brand!
|Dental logos design firm that collaborates with Niche Dental is @ TPVhq.com|
As actual periodontal disease dissolves the supporting structure around teeth, the infrequent ‘socializing of contacts' or a near total lack of a public presence will cause current patients to fall by the wayside, disintegrate a referral network and miss out on developing the next generation of new patients.
Additional issue that creates difficulties in the long run for the dental brand is the functionality of only getting to the front four, which can mean getting overextended in today's high flyers like Facebook (only one example). In this hyperactive communication environment, dentists need to be flexible and know what really works from a dentistry perspective not just from marketing ‘industry' or Internet craze side.
Keeping current patients, attracting new patients, and solidifying referrals is not a one off, yesterday or today type gimmick. Dental marketing brands cannot hold up or take higher ground when presented as an everyone else brand. Being on Facebook (or whatever is the newest, best thing the after I write this article) is merely only one element of today's dental brand strategy.
One superb dental marketing platform can become the generic platform, much like the yellow pages 15 or 20 years ago. While the yellow pages had value back then, and may still have some, it stopped differentiating one dentist from another in any major way because the platform had became ubiquitous: the directory where ‘every dentist' should be/probably was (consumer perspective).
The yellow page dentistry advertisement would differentiate the dentist, but the platform lost its power to be a ‘I'm the different dentist/game changer' as more assertive marketing was pursued by other dentists.
No one or two dental marketing sources will ever attain the level of success dentists ultimately require unless it has many posterior (brand supportive) campaign elements and platforms. Dentists that hope one marketing shingle will trend in a ever higher positive direction without a posterior overarching system of support, will end up with a crowning redo achievement on their front-four alone failed strategy.
The obligatory ‘Facebook' treatment (or front four) will almost always dissolve from the stress of carrying the load all by itself, as competitors pile on, byte into the initial vein of porcelain inlay. Shortsighted (not looking around the obvious) solutions will nullify the initial brand investment, meaning lower new patient stock activity and lower advanced care acceptance returns.
While it often makes sense execute dental practice branding development in phases to cushion the financial portion, the brand appointments cannot be continually cancelled. Dentists need to quickly tie the branding ecosystem together to solidify their brands in each patient's mind and with the public at large.
Waiting and waiting longer can create branding transition frustrations and difficulties, when the dentist-client, like the patient is not staying in the loop to make legitimate and long term value/results possible. Momentum can be lost in the time that elapses between doing the dental logo and when the remainder is deployed.
If dentists move toward deployment as seamless as possible, everyone stays excited about the dentistry brand development/treatment process, which means no one ends up waiting too long to find out what the benefits will be. Letting the branding process take a vacation at the juncture of initial design elements to implementation of the dentist's message and various platforms (online and off) can have long-term marketing consequences.
Outstanding in the dental services crowd is very possible, but the process must be ongoing, additive and flexible to meet all the challenges dentists reading this are envisioning. Yet, as dentists know, letting the patient lag in the comprehensive phased treatment process can put an end to it, and often for many years thereafter or forever. These patients will leave when they have lost trust in some form, not been prepped effectively from a marketing standpoint, and other dilemmas that arise in the interim.
It is the same with a logos/dental branding process. Just because the teeth are whitened (dental logos) and front four done (dentist practice website) does not mean the dental marketing consultant or the dentist is done branding advancing.
Yes, a cool dental logo and dentistry office website are great (and a Facebook account deployed), but don't expect that these elements alone will provide the healthy and long-lasting results dentists like you really are expecting and more importantly, require.
Like your patients, you have the freedom to choose: a super looking yet superficially limiting solution or ongoing ‘outstanding' branding success.
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