The tides of the dental profession are shifting in major ways. Those who sell to dentists need to be aware of these changes. However, at the heart of these trends remains one constant: The importance of providing the best customer experience possible. Whether your position as dental marketer is on the manufacturing or supplier side, there's no denying that a positive, memorable client experience is still the key to lasting success.
To help keep you in touch with today's changing industry, let's review three influential trends that can help ensure a strong, personal connection with your target audience.
1. The Continued Prevalence of Online Influence
The idea of having a website is certainly not new, but that doesn't diminish the importance of having a modern and dynamic website. Your business's website is often your customers' first impression of you, so make it count.
For example, if your site currently doesn't utilize responsive design, then it definitely deserves attention and warrants an upgrade. What is responsive design? It's the most common and preferred way of ensuring that a website functions properly across all devices (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.). Did you know Google hides websites that aren't optimized for mobile devices from any search conducted on a those devices? With almost two-thirds of Americans now owning smartphones, having your website optimized for mobile devices is a must.1
To see if your site is mobile-friendly, simply cut and paste your URL into the search bar at this site.
If your website isn't up-to-date, you risk missing out on new prospects. Make sure that your website gives the best first impression possible and makes every page view count.
2. The Rise of Comfort-Conscious Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry has been a boon to our profession. Patients today view dentists as the people who can help them get the smiles they've always wanted. However, dentists still continue to fight an uphill battle to remove the negative stigmas typically associated with visits to the dental office. That's why more and more dentists are choosing to focus on the concept of patient-centric dentistry. Anything that can be done to make patients more comfortable while in the chair will enhance the patient experience and help them view dentistry in a more positive light.
As a result, if your company has a product that helps dentists appeal to patients, dentists will take notice. Dentists flock to clinical courses that teach new techniques for the procedures patients want most. Similarly, they rave about innovative patient communication technology that enhances the patient experience. Here are some examples: Weave Communications' VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service comes with software that provides patient-centric front-desk prompts, and Dental Sesame from Sesame Communications simplifies, automates, and facilitates patient communication via e-mail and text messaging.
The bottom line? If your product makes dental treatment more comfortable or makes the dentist-patient relationship more secure, dentists are more interested than ever.
3. The Need for Innovative Financial Patient Solutions
As dentists become increasingly aware of making patients more comfortable, they're also in need of new financial solutions to offer their patients so that they can move forward with the treatment they want and need.
One innovative company is turning out to be a game changer for dentists: Comprehensive Finance is an in-house patient-financing plan that professionalizes the approval process, automates monthly payments, and outsources soft collections. As a result, it helps greater numbers of patients afford comprehensive care, especially on high-ticket items like implants, CAD/CAM restorations, and multiple units, without burdening the dentist with large amounts of risk.
Industry innovations like this one demonstrate that the more a company can provide value to patients, the more valuable they are to dentists.
The Bottom Line
What's a dental marketer to do? First, identify your unique selling proposition and home in on exactly how it helps your dentist customers provide a higher level of patient care while maintaining a personal touch. When marketing your products and services to dentists, always remember to keep the patient's comfort top of mind!
1. Smith A. U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. Pew Research Center website. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/. Published April 1, 2015. Accessed February 2, 2016.
Naomi Cooper is CEO and cofounder of Doctor Distillery, a B2B advertising and media-buying network that targets more than 100,000 dentists in the United States and connects them with dental companies online. She is also president and founder of Minoa Marketing and serves as chief marketing consultant for Pride Institute. Dental companies seeking more information about reaching dentists and generating dentist leads online through Doctor Distillery's advertising network may contact her via e-mail at [email protected].