Written by Zachary Ledbetter

On January 31, 2012, Newell Ledbetter Advertising, Inc., Reach Local, and Q2 Interactive Media held the first in a series of Webinars geared toward educating dentists about increasing top-of-mind awareness in their advertising strategies and goals. The topics covered included choosing the correct media to reach target demographics, branding and continuity of advertising messages, how to rank your current marketing plan, how to best mix your media to obtain high reach and frequency, consumer research and decision-making processes, social networking strategies, explanation of SEO, SMM, and SEM and how to utilize these virtual venues to increase your business presence, branded vs. non-branded advertising models, key terms, and website upgrading.

Webinar Highlights from Newell Ledbetter Advertising, Inc.

During the Webinar, Newell Ledbetter, owner and president of Newell Ledbetter Advertising, Inc., emphasized the importance of the “sales funnel” model, which breaks down the various advertising media (radio, billboard, newspaper, television) and their effectiveness in reaching target demographics with high frequency. One issue with using billboards and newsprint outlets is the inconsistency in advertising messages from month-to-month. However, using broadcast radio and television outlets has been proven again and again to effectively reach target demographics multiple times during the course of the media campaign. The key is building top-of-mind awareness in the viewer/ listener so that when they need a good or service, their consciousness automatically goes to the advertising message they’ve seen and heard the most. Choosing the right awareness-building campaign is key to a business’s long-term success. According to recent media rankings provided by TVB Media Comparisons Study 2010, television remains the primary medium that women age 18 and over rely on. Internet is the second and broadcast radio is third. Print, billboard, and mobile outlets come in last in the race to potential consumers. Statistical analysis shows that regardless of age bracket, broadcast television and radio in conjunction with Internet are the top three most effective means of reaching potential patients, regardless of median household income level. To rank your current marketing plan, follow this formula:
Rank Your Current Marketing Plan!

TV – 10 points
Internet/ Website – 8 points
Radio – 7 points
Cable – 5 points
Newspaper – 4 points
Direct Mail – 1 point
Mobile – 1 point

Results
18+ – Good
12-17 – Fair
Below 12 – Poor
Below 5 – Go Fishing!

For a marketing plan to be successful, several stipulations must be considered. The first is making sure the advertising incorporates an accurate message about the dental practice. This is where the idea of “to brand or not to brand?” comes in. Creating a message that brands the practice as THE ONLY practice to consider when shopping for a specific dental service is becoming the norm, as it should. Creating a brand keeps that top-of-mind awareness sharp and focused in the viewer/ listener mind. The second mandate is to target the correct demographic with the branded message. Selling a good or service to someone who would never buy that good or service is an obvious waste of the client’s time and money. Next is researching and putting together the correct media mix. This involves detailed research as far as age and gender demographics, income level of the target audience, advertising budget constraints, and creative ideas. Taking into account marketing limitations is also key to developing a successful marketing campaign. This could be due to the specific region in which the practice is located. Lastly, developing a strategy in an energetic team environment helps to ensure a successful campaign that is sure to increase patient counts as well as boost practice revenue.

Developing a successful marketing strategy from start to finish is crucial to Newell Ledbetter Advertising, Inc.’s success. Of course, our success depends on our clients’ success!

Webinar Highlights from ReachLocal

So, what happens on the Internet in any 60-second time frame? 600 new videos are uploaded to YouTube. 1500 blog entries are posted. 168,000,000 emails are sent. More than 695,000 Facebook status updates are posted. 98,000 tweets fly by. And nearly 700,000 Google inquiries are made – several of which could be for a dentist. All that (and so much more) in just 60-seconds!

As Google’s only global premier SMB partner, Reach Local helps businesses improve their Web presence, an absolute necessity in today’s ever-changing world of technology. During the Webinar, Art Ruiz, Jr., internet marketing consultant at Reach Local, spoke about the importance of the Internet in terms of the “new patient buying cycle.” Understanding how virtual technology is impacting the ways in which potential patients are finding dental practices that offer specific services and treatments is vital to utilizing the power and the reach of the Internet as efficiently as possible. The new patient buying cycle has changed as Internet technology has become more readily available; knowing how this powerful tool works can help boost the number of phone calls a potential patient makes to a dental practice.

Whereas a woman would have in the recent past asked for a referral from a friend or family member, today that same woman will likely “Google it” to find a dentist. Once a dentist’s website has caught her interest, she will spend some time getting to know the dentist by perusing his or her website for information about the practice BEFORE she ever even picks up the phone to make an appointment. She will also “Facebook it” and/or “Tweet it,” posting an inquiry on Facebook or Twitter to receive suggestions from others. This “research and evaluate” process is now part of the new patient buying cycle in the 21stcentury. So it’s obvious that having a viable, accessible online presence and website is necessary in promoting top-of-mind awareness. There are a few ways to boost the likelihood of a potential patient calling your practice above all others: search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), and search engine marketing (SEM).

  • SEO – optimizing the key words/ phrases associated with the dental practice so the practice name shows at the top of the link lists on Google.
  • SMM – using all of the social networking venues available (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, blog posts, reviews, etc.)
  • SEM – remarketing through strategic ad display placement on homepages.
    Utilizing each of these strategies can help increase the number of phone calls a dental practice receives, optimizing web presence and increasing patient counts.

Webinar Highlights from Q2 Interactive Media

During the Webinar, Michael Paxton, inbound marketing certified professional and founder of Q2 Interactive Media, emphasized the importance of “the law of attraction.” The law of attraction is a means of creating an inbound marketing “magnet” that draws potential patients to a dental website when Internet searches are done. This is achieved through SEO, SMM, and SEM strategies as well as branding the dental practice/ dentist name through effective advertising. To brand or not to brand is an important question when it comes to using the power of the Internet to advertise a good or service. To “brand” a dental practice or dentist name means that the potential consumer must enter the specific name into the search engine. This can be highly effective if the consumer knows the name of the business through top-of-mind awareness via broadcast television and radio advertising campaigns. “Non-branding” is also effective, wherein the consumer finds a dental practice by searching the service rather than the name. Ideally, in order to build a strong Internet presence and continued top-of-mind awareness, the dental practice must pursue both branding and non-branding approaches to tackle the competition from as many directions as possible. Key phrases, highest-performing key words, and regular evaluations are vital to the branding and non-branding process.

Some common challenges many dental practices encounter when trying to build and maintain a viable website include a general disconnect from the practice culture, a stale and outdated website, a lack of strategy and implementation, and a lack of desired results. Q2 Interactive Media is a leading expert on the best practices for Web development. Q2 stresses concepts like having a brand-centric design, how to position critical information about the dental practice’s services, implementing an intuitive and aesthetically pleasing layout, initiating a call to action, and making the website fun, engaging, and relevant to the dental practice’s mission statement. In creating an easy to navigate website, a dental practice will experience a positive interchange with potential patients.

To conclude…

This series of Dental Marketing Webinars is designed to help dentists and other professionals optimize their advertising message and increase their new patient counts by learning how to effectively utilize a variety of media to reach their target demographic multiple times.

The second installment of the series, Dental Marketing-201 Webinar, will be held on March 13, 2012 at 6:00pm-MST. Click www.nlamedia.com/webinar to participate or call 1-800-978-6295 for more information.

Zachary Ledbetter is an Account Executive with Newell Ledbetter Advertising Inc. Zach specializes in marketing for dental practices as well as creating marketing strategies using network television, cable television, radio and the internet. Call (719) 635-9988 for more information or contact us on www.nlamedia.com