Forget Facebook, Twitter, the yellow pages, and direct mail. While all those marketing mediums have their place, this dental practice found outstanding results with their new signage. That’s right. The 45-year-old Parkside Dental Practice in Westland, Michigan, installed a 12 mm digital Watchfire LED message center, and then watched their number of new patients soar.
Steven Cohen, DDS, said the practice has been in its current location for seven years. “Other methods we used to gain new patients included having current patients refer family and friends, ads in the local and Spanish newspaper, listings in the yellow pages, going door to door and delivering goodie bags, and posting on social media sites. We also promote specials, such as our ‘Summer Special’ for new patients.”
The practice still wasn’t seeing the results they were hoping for in their prime location near a busy shopping center on a major thoroughfare. “You might think we wouldn’t need help with advertising in such a great location, but the area has a lot of visual competition,” Dr. Cohen said.
The four dentists that make up the practice began to question the impact of their static sign, which did little more than identify the practice. They were open to trying something new. “Our practice did not hear about the LED Message Center from a certain source,” Dr. Cohen said. “We saw a couple of the Watchfire LED signs at other businesses and saw how eye catching the messages were. We had been looking into other ways to promote our business and decided this would be a good investment.”
Since its installation in June of 2014, the practice can quantify impressive results of the LED Message Center. Within the first month, their new patient count increased by 25%. After four months, that increase was nearly 50%.The Parkside Dental Team estimates that the sign helped to bring in over $100,000 in new business in its first four months, more than enough to justify the investment.
Within the first month, their new patient count increased by 25%. After four months, that increase was nearly 50%.
Jaymie Cohen, Parkside’s hygiene coordinator, said the new display gets them noticed. “The new sign is bigger, taller, and brighter than our old one,” she said. “You can’t miss our location now. When I ask our new patients how they heard about Parkside Dental Team, they refer to seeing our new sign. As an advertising tool, it’s been incredibly successful for us.” She cites the responsiveness and flexibility of producing their own content as a major factor in the sign’s success.
The sign was expensive, acknowledged Dr. Cohen, however, it has paid off. The one year they have had the sign has been equivalent cost of three years in the yellow pages.
As the person charged with keeping the sign updated, Jaymie Cohen said, “Watchfire’s Ignite software has been easy to use, which makes the sign easy for us to update. If we have new patient specials or last minute openings for hygiene appointments, we put this on the sign and see an immediate response. Also, our ‘Zoom Room,’ an in-house teeth whitening procedure for busy people, has seen a lot of business because of the sign.”
“Everyone is welcome to add any of their ideas and messages to the sign,” said Dr. Cohen. “But the hygiene coordinator and one of our doctors have the responsibility of determining the messages regularly.”
Watchfire’s local territory manager brought in a demo truck, which allowed the Parkside team to compare and contrast several LED message center options from the convenience of their own parking lot. With that help, the team could see the visual impact of a new display for themselves.
“I would recommend the Watchfire LED Message Center for other dental practices because it’s easy to use and helped benefit our office in such a positive way,” said Dr. Cohen. “The sign is brighter and larger than our original sign, so it catches a lot of people’s attention when they pass by. It also gives us the freedom to add whatever ideas our business needs to promote.”