As the distinction between oral and overall health continues to blur, the opportunity to develop patient referral sources from both within and outside of dentistry continues to expand. Referrals from health professionals outside dentistry
The new paradigm introduced by the Internet has drastically and fundamentally changed how consumers seek, evaluate and communicate with service providers. Google, Bing and Yelp have replaced the Yellow Pages as the lead sources of information. Word-of-mouth and referrals have transformed from neighborly conversations to Web communications through social media channels such as blogs, Facebook and YouTube. These changes have impacted all industries and dentistry isn’t immune to these transitions.
Frequently, I find I have to convince dentists that their technology plays an important role in their practice marketing. The fact is, technology has huge marketing implications—especially for dentists who have added CAD/CAM technology, such as CEREC® or E4D, to their practice. While these types of devices are on the high end of equipment expenditure, they are also on the high end of consumer appeal. Quite simply, patients are eager to find ways to spend less time in the dentist’s office.
As dental practice marketing completely transforms from the simplicity of running a few ads in the Yellow Pages to the complexity of updating your website and regularly contributing to social media, photographs are becoming more and more important to your practice.
In October 2010, I attended the American Dental Association’s annual conference in Orlando. Just a few months before, I started a Facebook page for our practice and was struggling to come up with new and interesting posts. So, while at the conference, I attended a presentation on Social Media to learn how to use Facebook to benefit the practice.
Value Defined We all want and deserve to receive value for our investment. Value can mean different things to different people. One might value getting his or her website up and running quickly, while another might be more exacting and patient. One practice might value appearance more highly than function. Still another might prefer quantity over quality of website visitors.
Has this ever happened to you? The other day I was watching TV and eating some pistachios, and before I knew it, I had eaten nearly half the bag. I realized that if I didn’t stop I might not be hungry for dinner, so I decided to have one last nut. I fished one out, cracked the shell, bit down and immediately my mouth was filled with a harsh, bitter flavor. I realized the nut I had grabbed was burnt and overdone, and the taste was so bad I had to run to the kitchen just to rinse my mouth. After that, I didn’t even want to look at the bag of pistachios.
I use E-volution to denote the Electronic Revolution sweeping over us. One area where growth and change are particularly great is the relatively new phenomenon called Online Reputation Management (ORM), which, according to Wikipedia (as of 1/2010) is: The practice of consistent research and analysis of one’s personal or professional business or industry reputation, as represented by the content across all types of online media.
For more than 50 years dental laboratories have worked hard to differentiate their individual laboratory from the masses. In the early 1960s porcelain fused to metal restorations were just beginning to “come of age” and a few smart dental laboratories took advantage of this new technique to try to stand out from the crowd. There have been other techniques, materials and product/service innovations that laboratories have used over the years to try and gain a competitive advantage in an industry where everyone offers the same types of products and services.