Standing Out in a Crowded Dental Marketplace

I recently returned from a day at Disneyland with the family and had to blog about some basics to consider when trying to stand out in a crowd.  The online dental marketplace has become so crowded in recent years with an increased amount of dental websites being added everyday.  I can remember back in 1999 when we were marketing dentists online through our dental directories that there were only a handful of doctors that were even found in the search engines.  These were the early adopters that reaped huge benefits before the rest of the profession caught up.  In those days all you really had to do was create a website, get it  ranked and the phone would ring. However, marketing a dental website online today is dramatically different because now you are competing with all the new dental websites being launched in your market everyday.  The dental consumer today has information overload, they are so many options to choose from so how can you get some of the attention?   Please see the Wikipedia page on Attention

On a typical search result page on a popular dental keyword, you will see approximately 25 - 30 clickable results !  The local map results, sponsored links and organic results.  Some of these may be individual dental sites, dental directories, yellowpages and so on.  You've paid to have someone rank you through SEO, done an Adwords campaign and get traffic to your site and the phone is not ringing as much as you would like.

Why you ask?  Well there could be a number of reasons but one thing is for sure your practice has no chance at standing out from the crowd if the bulk of your site looks similar to the rest of the websites out there.  Click. Seen it before.  Click. Seen it before.  Click. Seen it before.

So how do you make your website look unique and stand-out from the crowd? 

You can use colors, design, website fashion, words and the most efficient way " use video".  Why video, because there is no other "you",  dentistry is a relationship business and video is the best medium to connect with prospective patients and allow them to get to know you.  Add some creativity to your video program and you have a winning formula to stand out from the crowd. 

Now back to the observations at Disneyland.  It was a typical day, the attractions and rides were filled with smiling faces, there were guzzilions of people there snapping photos of characters, attractions, rides,  etc.  There was a group of friends that for some unknown reason, decided to dress up in flourescent colors: bright orange, lime green, hot pink and wigs to match.  They walked around the park and with all of the attractions going on around them, they commanded the attention of the majority of all patrons in their vicinity, people stopped in their tracks and focused their attention on this group of friends.  They even got the attention of a official Disney photographer that stopped to take not just one photo, but several photos, crowds gathered around them and they had a captive audience.  If only they could have had an advertisement plastered on their outfits, the message would have been delivered.  It was amazing, random strangers were asking to take photos with them and buzz was created.  I saw them in Adventureland three hours later and they were still stopping people in their tracks. 

Doing something like this, ( wearing a flashy "look at me" attention seeking outfit definitely would take the average person way outside their comfort zone and sometimes in marketing you have to to that to get results.  This doesn't mean as a dentist you give your intro in a pair of lime green tights but it is worth exploring ways you can be unique.  Now you may be saying dentistry in a serious profession and no one would take you seriously.  Wrong, well maybe someone with out a sense of humor.  Do you think managing finances or a stock portfolio is serious business.  Take a look at this ad below by E-Trade

You may remember the launch of this campaign during the Superbowl, well it was so successful that they've kept doing more of them. 

Does this mean that traditional dental marketing offers like:  "Free Whitening with New Patient Exam" doesn't work anymore.  No, not at all, however the public sees this offer everyday and offers like this will not work as effectively as they once did.  Its cliche, but if you want to change some things in your life, you have to change some things in your life.  The defninition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.  Dare to be different with your dental marketing!