Dentists urged to stop the drivel!

Hello, I’m Kate Adam, marketing consultant, and this is my second blog on the Dentistry website. You may be surprised to learn that I’ve been practising what I advise (I like to think I don’t preach). Yes, with my Mint co-founder, Alex Nicolaou, I’ve been working up a marketing strategy and deciding how to spend our marketing budget in 2011. Okay, so after many years in the marketing business, it’s second nature but it still needs to be done – and not on the back of an envelope either.

With Mint, we’ve tried lots of things this year – offering many services and products to the dental community. We now have a much better idea of what works well, what’s popular and what needs a bit of tweaking. I always commend this approach to my clients.

These days there’s a lot of science involved in marketing but the large dose of art (black art in some cases!) means that results are never entirely predictable.

We now have a good idea of where to invest our ‘treasure’ (I like this word as it implies money, resources, time, favours – everything) in 2011 to achieve another step forward for mint. We’ve also been looking at how we communicate what Mint offers to our target market.

I was reminded how important this is following a recent visit to a firm of lawyers (I run Meredith Marketing as a non-dental marketing consultancy).

It had a section of the business entitled ‘Private clients’. I asked what this meant and it was the section that does wills and probate. Who’d have guessed? Certainly not potential clients. Think about your clients (patients) and remove jargon.

I’m sure many of you are great at explaining to patients what you’re about to do or are doing inside their mouths but what about in your leaflets and website, etc – are they a model of clarity?
It’s easy to check.

Go to www.plainenglish.co.uk – the website of the Plain English Campaign.

Drivel Defence* is free software which allows you to check text and web pages for the use of plain English. The website has many more useful resources, by the way.

The other bear-trap with communication is offering too much information at once.

Clients of mine had produced some classy pen and key fob sets to give away to customers. Unfortunately, the key fob contained the phone number, full postal address and (in tiny letters) the website address. The postal address was inappropriate – only the phone number and website address were required and these should have been shown large.

I saw an ‘A-board’ outside a restaurant recently. It showed everything on the menu. This made it: difficult to read (bearing in mind that people are walking past) and failed to tempt people inside – the sole purpose of an A-board.

The marketing mantra for these situations is ‘Right message, right people, right place, right time’.
And that’s my message for this month folks.

If you’d like to get in touch, email me at [email protected]

* By the way, Drivel Defence reports this text as having 11 sentences with 20 or more words and one of 37 words. The average sentence length is 15.63 words (the recommended range is 15 to 20 words).

 

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