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Focus on Differentiation in Your Dental Office Marketing

Jul 19, 2008
Last September, I decided to finally take a vacation, and headed off to fabulous Las Vegas.

Vegas is one of my favorite vacation spots because it seems as if no one there has a care in the world except what time they're going to the pool, and what casino they will attempt to win money in later.

As I walked up and down the strip (it seems like you walk more than anything in Vegas), I started to notice something very peculiar about my surroundings. All that seemed to be in Vegas were Hotels and Casinos. Nothing else. No matter what door we walked in, it was still a casino; same horrible carpet, same smoky air, same noisy slot machines that the last place had.

In fact, every place in Vegas was exactly the same business. Hotel and Casino, Hotel and Casino, Hotel and Casino...

So, what created the need to go to any one particular casino? Anywhere my wife and I went, it was just a casino, and we could gamble there the same way we could gamble anywhere else. So why did we trek up and down Las Vegas Boulevard going into each and every place we could? Because, every Hotel and Casino was different.

The Luxor has a pyramid; The Bellagio has the computerized fountains; Caesars has a great mythical theme; The Mirage has an erupting Volcano; Treasure Island has a sinking pirate ship and outdoor bar; and The Stratosphere has a space needle.

All these hotel/casinos, and not a single one of them was the same. Everything had its own UNIQUE way to get patrons in the door. The owner/marketing genius of these places realized that success as a casino relies on patronage, and without other attractions to set them apart from the crowd, they were just a casino. However, add a fountain show, or a pirate ship that sinks, and you get people in the door that, in turn, bring their money.

As applied to your dental practice, how does it compare?

Drive around your city and look at the other dental practices. Same buildings, chairs, and carpet as yours. Those other dentists most likely have the same credentials, as well.

Do you have a run-of-the-mill dental practice - same chairs, carpet, service, and pictures on the wall as the place down the street... Or have you created and promoted the kind of uniqueness that creates word-of-mouth, and curiosity by people, to help draw them into your office?

Look at your local tribal casino. A regular run-of-the-mill hotel and casino, that's all. This is like your dental practice. Successful, yes. But, has it reached it's full potential? No.

Now take Treasure Island in Vegas. Hotel and casino? Yes, it is. Successful? Yes... beyond all imagination. They have created an attraction that creates word-of-mouth (I'm telling you about it right now) and creates a need to go there to see the attraction, and probably spend some money. Do you need a pirate ship in your office? It wouldn't be a bad idea, no one else has one.

But you don't need one. You just need some simple changes and promotion to show how your dental practice really goes the extra mile to make your patients excited and pleased with you and your practice. Show the public some way you are different than the others, and it will attract them to your office like a magnet.

The computer controlled fountains aren't a bad idea either. Think of the crowds that would draw.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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