With this issue we bring
an end to the series of papers on practice management by Dr.Bhavana
Doshi. Not only the dentists in United Kingdom , but as well, the
rest of the globe would have surely gained a lot from the good
practice management guru . The Number of hits we have been seeing in
the previous months issues , right from December are witness of the
success of these series of articles.
Patient: Doctor, what does the X-ray of my head show?
Doctor: Absolutely nothing!
Advertising doesn’t work? -2
By Dr.Bhavna Doshi. BDS (Lon).
Dr Bhavna Doshiis an international lecturer, who has worked
extensively with the National Media including Extreme
Makeover UK. She is the CEO of Dental WEALTH
Builder, which primarily focuses on Practice
Productivity, Cost-Effective Marketing and Growth
Advertising today is almost like hitting a battle-zone. The
sheer number of adverts that clutter the market place are
breath-taking. This is a common disaster for much
advertising. It is almost like trying to get your voice
heard in a crowd of giants all shouting. I believe if you
can avoid the battle zone, do so.
Plan to position your advertising in a place where there are
not many others. This requires creativity, imagination and
knowledge of your market. But it can be done.
Creating the “hook” factor
Most ads I see are portraying very wistful thinking. Dentist
falsely believe that by spending more on advertising or
making their ads bigger and more glamorous, then those ads
will attract a hoard of patients. Unfortunately, you will
only attract a very select group of people this way and you
cannot afford to restrict yourself in this way.
Those that are fishermen amongst you will understand the
following concept very well. If you don’t have the
appropriate “bait” then you are not likely to attract
anything! Most dental ads lack the “hook” factor. They have
nothing in their ads to literally “hook” their prospective
patients and draw them into your ad. The ads are not
sufficiently enticing or compelling enough to draw your
patients into them.
So what does one do about the lack of the “hook” factor? You
just have to provide the answer to the following question in
your ad: Why would a prospective patient come to see you
over and above any other practice which provides a similar
Then make sure you put the answer to this question in your
Now this is very different to “branding” where there is no
differentiation and the message is not specific to your
services or your prospective patients. Branding does not
allow you to target a specific group of people. Often, it is
this select group of people who are the most interested in
your services – so why dilute the concentration of the
possible effect of your ads.
As I teach in my seminars and in the information I provide
for Dental Wealth Builder members, a majority of dentists
jump a few very crucial stages of marketing when they start
to place their advertising. It is because of this fact that
many dental ads just do not work! It is impossible to even
get a return on the money you invested in a particular ad by
missing out on these steps.
A common problem is that we dentists simply like to follow
protocol. We like to follow what I call “traditional
advertising”. So if we see other dentists promoting their
practice on radio for instance (and worse still if we are
advised this by advisors who have no accountability or
measurable means of ascertaining the effectiveness), then we
go head and do advertising in this way. This is incorrect.
The only reason we would want to choose a particular form of
media is because it will position our ads to be noticed by
the appropriate people. There is no other reason, unless you
have corporate or larger company objectives in mind. I do
not believe small dental business owners can truly afford
this type of marketing.
Too infrequent contact
It is very difficult for a prospective patient to see your
ad once and decide to buy from you. In most cases, they need
to be exposed to you (this means all your various forms of
promotion) a number of times before they decide that they
should pay you a visit. In fact, studies have revealed that
prospects need to see a piece of promotional material for a
minimum of seven times before they subconsciously register
you as real and worth visiting.
However, what most dental advertising is all about is it
appears between 1-3 times in a single place before the
owners decide to give up and label that advertising
Advertising is about the frequency of contact also. It’s
about the exposure of your advertising in a multimedia way.
Also there needs to be in place a good monitoring system
which will allow you to determine what is going on with a
Multiple expose of your advertising also allow you to
develop a “print” relationship. This is when you have
frequency of contact combined with a good informative (in
plain English not dental jargon) piece of written
advertising. Advertising, which allows your prospective
patients to understand and realise that you are a caring
professional which provides a superior service in a
supportive and stress-free environment. Then when they come
to see you, it is almost a continuation of this
relationship. This will make “selling” dentistry so much
In order to create effective, patient attracting ads there
are a multiple of design criteria which must be taken into
consideration. It is often the psychology behind the reason
to advertise and the objectives behind it which should
govern how to proceed with advertising and not leave your
advertising to common traditional methods which have no
accountability or proven track records as to their
As a special Dental WEALTH Builder launch gift, I have
packaged together a “7 Gift” compilation, one of which
is “The Top Ten Biggest Advertising Mistakes in
Dentistry” manual. To obtain your FREE gifts please go
www.dentalwealthbuilder.com and sign in for