Organising your practice
Shaz Memon explains how to get the most from marketing your practice.
The Italians are known to be very stylish. Italy is filled with iconic brands, ranging from sports cars and fashion labels to sultry perfumes. All these categories consider branding to be essential. Glamour and fashion are characteristics of the Italian lifestyle as a result of exquisite craftsmanship. Additionally, Italians take pride in showcasing their brands.
Practices across the world can learn from the Italians. A prestigious reputation for top quality products has become the country’s signature. Part of this ongoing success can be attributed to brands that focus on remaining true to their core and will not compromise.
Italian fashion houses have great focus and culture with honesty being the central principle. This ethos should resonate with all businesses.
Italian products are costly, but the quality is exceptional, which is a key factor of success. Designer Louis Vuitton compromised this Italian standard by using cheap labour in Transylvania and only finishing his much-coveted shoes in Italy. The resultant backlash caused a blemish to the brand’s reputation.
Principles of honesty
Similar to Louis Vuitton, dentists have had problems throughout the years. Dentistry is very competitive, and the customers drive the market. Many dentists have opted for cheaper equipment and turned to outsourcing for laboratory services. The amount of fake equipment recently reached levels that became dangerous.
Dentistry already poses a risk for potential litigation thus proper equipment is crucial. Dental Protection recommends that dentists use three Ps – price, packaging, place – to determine if the product is suitable.
- A product may be a fake if it is very cheap or the price seems suspicious
- Counterfeit products often have no packaging or low-quality packaging with spelling mistakes. The printing quality may also be poor
- Products sold in environments, such as a retail store, may be fake, especially if it is not where you would usually buy such a product. Online websites may also use pictures from other sites to ensure websites look real while the products are actually counterfeits.
The Pareto principle, or 80-20 rule, also has its roots in Italy. This rule needs to be considered for marketing. The rule states that 80% of the profits or proceeds from your business will stem from just 20% of your customer base.
When this is applied to marketing, it indicates that 80% of marketing communications should provide customers with experiential value, while 20% is attributed to promotional offers.
Communications with your client should not promote the practice but rather engage the customer for optimal retention. Marketing principles have shown that obtaining a new customer is a lot more work than keeping an existing client satisfied. Thus, engage your existing customers, which should result in additional purchases and customer loyalty, making the business more profitable.
Your marketing plan may benefit from the Italian’s method. Consider how you can add longevity to your business by focusing on quality.
It is difficult to rebuild a brand once its reputation is tarnished. Avoid promotional messages that come over as cheap and stay away from promotional websites, for example, Groupon, which have low-cost offers. Customers who visit your dental practice with high expectations of quality may be repelled by low-cost deals.
Marketing done by dental practices have changed with the times, but your practice should stay true to its core values to remain authentic. Short-term promotional efforts, with a ‘cheap’ emphasis, are not beneficial to the practice. The majority of people enjoy offerings that provide value for money but without the risk of getting poor quality work. Loyal patients may not be impressed with these promotions and could harm the practice’s long-term goals.
As a dental clinician, you are held to certain standards. Your promotional efforts and cheap equipment may result in you being struck off the register. Furthermore, the GDC has clear standards for dentistry, stating that all marketing efforts should be accurate promotions must adhere to ethical advertising guidelines.
The reputation and integrity of your practice may also be tarnished if you overpromise and then deliver an inferior service. Many complaints have their roots in miscommunication. A patient and dentist may not understand each other correctly, resulting in dissatisfaction. This displeasure is a great risk for dentists whose customers have exceptionally high expectations.
People are creatures of habit and prefer service to be consistent. Marketing efforts should be true to the actual service delivery to ensure the practice’s reputation is stable and not ruined by changing service levels.
Quality is essential
All your communications, via website or social media posts, should be considered carefully for unrealistic promises. For example, a practice cannot say that having cosmetic dental treatments will ensure meeting a patient’s perfect match. This statement will raise the customer’s hopes without the ability to follow through on these claims.
Your communications paint a picture of your practice. Always ensure messages are clear and cannot be interpreted incorrectly. The communication should always stay true to the brand.
Avoid comparisons with other practices or businesses. Dental marketing should focus on being authentic and creating a sustainable practice, rather than on making it seem as if your business is better than the competition. Focus on getting customer trust and then grow from this basis.
The Italian brands are sustainable due to their focus on honesty, excellence, passionate employees, and consistent delivery. Quality is at the core of the business, which allows business to remain steady, even while experiencing economic downturns.
Customers continue to demand quality even during poor economic times. Regardless of the financial circumstances, dental practices should focus on quality and remain true to their core standards. A strong ethos and good reputation will ensure your dental practice remains relevant and can experience sustainable profits.
At Digimax Dental, we help you with a variety of dental marketing needs, including dental website design, dental SEO, and dental social media. Using a number of digital marketing methods, you can achieve your goals of targeting the ideal patients for your dental practice.