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Before the internet became a simple fact of everyday life, dentists reached their prospects via newspaper ads, outdoor boards, the occasional TV or radio spot, and postcard campaigns.
You might think that in this internet age “offline marketing” is no longer a viable way to attract new patients. You’d be wrong. It’s not an “either-or” question. It’s a question of what’s right for your practice and your market.
Today’s Offline Media
The sound-and-sight aspects of the internet can be very compelling for getting your marketing messages to your dental prospects. Your offline marketing needs to step up its game to be equally compelling.
A static Yellow Pages or newspaper ad that lists your services and advantages isn’t likely to sway prospects any more. The same goes for postcard campaigns that feature a special offer.
To be effective today, your offline marketing has to be as emotionally compelling as a good testimonial video on YouTube. That means telling stories about real people and how their lives were changed thanks to your efforts.
Send the Pain
In order for your prospects to be moved to take action, your offline marketing has to engage them in the story of how a particular patient suffered from his or her dental problems.
“I was embarrassed to smile because of my crooked teeth.”
“I couldn’t eat without a lot of pain.”
“My breath was horrible and my teeth were coming loose.”
“I felt awful, but I was too self-conscious about the state of my teeth to visit a dentist.”
Those are pain points that your prospects can relate to – but not all of those pain points, every time.
Which brings up another point – segmenting your offline marketing. Dental problems are specific and personal. Your marketing has to address those individual problems for specific prospects. This is a case where taking one approach for everyone does more harm than good. Don’t expect an ad about implant-supported dentures to appeal to the under-30 crowd. It won’t.
Emphasize the Solution and Life Benefits
The other part of your compelling offline marketing is to portray the decision-point, the process, and the outcome.
“I finally decided I couldn’t live with this any more, and I called Dr. X’s office. They were so wonderful. I never felt judged, they made sure that I was comfortable with everything, and now I have a smile that I’m proud to show!”
“I was afraid that there’d be a lot of pain involved with getting implants. Dr. X reassured me that he’d take great care of me before, during, and after the procedure. I’m so glad I called his office. Now, I can eat anything I want!”
Offline marketing can still have a place in your efforts to attract new dental patients. Just remember that is has to be as emotionally compelling as your online marketing to succeed with today’s internet-saturated audiences.
You didn’t go to dental school to become a spellbinding storyteller. There’s a lot of work involved with determining a concept and fleshing that concept out into an emotionally-driven, compelling ad. Generally speaking, this type of marketing is best left to professionals while you make money by treating your new dental patients.