The Wall Street Journal Reports that dentists are being forced to
focus more on advertising, since their regular and recurring
appointments are decreasing.
The WSJ writes In
the slowdown, even dentists are feeling the pinch.David Wong, who runs
a private practice with his wife in Tulsa, Okla., has seen his business
slip 10% since the beginning of this year. That has him spending more
time marketing and less time cleaning or pulling teeth.
Dr. Wong has upped his advertising, taking advantage of low
newspaper and broadcast rates, and now sends email reminders to
customers on top of traditional mailed postcards. He is even on
Twitter, aiming to connect with customers as “not just the guy in a
white coat with a drill in his hand.”
“It’s a lot more work,” he admits. “You can’t go to the office
and just be a dentist anymore; you have to go to the office and be a
dentist and a CEO.”
Jim Blasingame and I were recently discussing on his radio show Small Business Advocate
how this recession will force, even more so, small businesses to
rethink their entire business and in particular their marketing to
This means that business MUST market smarter and more. They must do
more to RETAIN customers (capture their contact information, sell to
them much more targeted, etc).
Here’s my take on some tips and resources you should take advantage of.
Businesses cannot afford to NOT have an email newsletter.
Most of these companies have tremendous resources to help you do
your email newsletter and make sure it’s a success. Also check out Clickz’s email marketing section.
Capturing Customer information, as dentists do already is so
important. NOT just to have a record of your customers but to REACH out
to them. Many dentists send reminders to their patients about their
appointments, but how many send INFORMATION to their patients about how
to better take care of their teeth?
Capturing customer information is not hard. Most dental offices have databases for customers already.
For those of you who don’t: You can capture information online,
using a form that customers can fill in and automatically add their
information to a database.
You can easily setup a database for customers who walk in to your
office that you receptionist can fill in or customers can fill in on
For retail stores, your point of sale system (such as QuickBooks Point of Sale) can capture customer information as well.
Online marketing is not hard, it just takes patience. You have to try. Test. And try again – just like shooting or something. Aim. Fire. Aim.
Some advertising options are: using cost per click search engine marketing, optimizing your local search listings (see Google local) and optimize your web site so when people search on key words your web site comes up (see the guys at OrangeSoda).