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Inside Dentistry
January 2016
Volume 12, Issue 1

Unfortunately, this seems to be the default advertising mode for dental practices. It’s important to authorities in the dental industry that all dentists be viewed with equal ability—that no dentist is “better” than another, but that doesn’t mean that your practice has to be generic or anonymous.

What do you want to be known for? What’s your thing? What type of patient is a big win from your point of view, and what type of procedure really excites you? Specialists have this somewhat figured out already, but even specialists need to have branding that clarifies and distills things down to say, “If you are looking for this type of treatment, and you’re this kind of person, then we’re a perfect fit!”

Big brands know their target audience. They focus their attention on increasing brand awareness in that group, so they know how to perfectly craft their ads and whether to put those ads in Condé Nast Traveler or Budget Travel.

Big Brands Walk the Walk

A good golf swing means swinging with the whole body. It’s the same way with successful branding. You have to identify what success looks like, and then drive toward that goal in every aspect of the practice. If your marketing promises an amazing experience, you won’t inspire the kind of loyalty you’re looking for unless patient experience matches expectations.

Here are some key components in practice that need to be aligned with marketing:
• Demeanor when dealing with patients
• Quality of dental care
• CE as it pertains to your messaging
• Team communication style and follow-through
• Office systems and organization
• Office building and decor
• Logo

The more of these elements that you have aligned with your messaging, the more effective your marketing and advertising will be.

Imagine that you walked into a Mercedes-Benz dealership and there was a dead plant in the corner, and the salesman’s dirty desk had a rotary phone and a clunky computer monitor. You would immediately feel the huge disconnect between your understanding of the Mercedes-Benz brand and what you were experiencing.

This can easily happen for prospective new patients. They may find you online, see your elegant, informative website, but when they call the office, they get someone answering the phone with a hurried, “Dental office, please hold,” and then pop them on hold with the local radio station playing.

Carefully sculpt the new patient experience from start to finish. Continually polish it. The more you refine it, the more your brand will evolve and grow like those of the big brands you are trying to emulate.

The Latest and Greatest Advertising Techniques

Big brands have the resources to play on the cutting edge of marketing and advertising, so we can watch what they do and glean some ideas for dental marketing. We just have to recognize that our target audience may be different or may behave differently when they’re shopping for dental care. If we don’t remember we’re running a dental practice and not selling handbags, we can end up wasting a lot of time and money, and lose progress toward our goal.

For example, luxury brands are notorious for making their websites different for the sake of being different. They can do this because they’re usually not building their websites with direct response in mind. We can borrow the elegance and the chic, but mystique rarely makes dentists’ phones ring.

About the Author

Jonathan Fashbaugh is the president of Pro Impressions Marketing Group (, an agency working exclusively with dentists from across the United States and internationally. He is passionate about helping dentists make wise decisions about marketing, especially online. Fashbaugh has a degree in Digital Media Arts from Full Sail University and has been working in marketing and advertising for 15 years. He is also a regular contributor to Inside Dentistry’s blog.

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