The Problem With Big Box “Dental Marketing Companies”

The dental industry can be very lucrative. For that reason, a number of “dental marketing companies” have found their way to the Fortune 5000 list, but that does not mean that they have the best interests of their clients in mind or that they are providing the best services. They’ve grown to be successful because they have effective sales strategies and because they have streamlined their businesses with cookie-cutter solutions that fulfill a basic need. I hate to sound so negative about this, but all too often I come across a dentist who has been sold on a cookie-cutter solution and in many cases the dentist has no idea that the technology being used is outdated and underperforming.

When we started our business, we focused solely on digital marketing strategy. We felt we would leave the technical aspects of website design and Internet marketing campaigns to “the agencies.” Pretty quickly, we learned that our clients didn’t want us to just consult, they wanted us to provide the solutions as well. While this threw us a bit of a curveball, we knew that we could work hand-in-hand with other providers who brought the skills to the table that were needed to accomplish this. Four years later, and many frustrating third-party relationships gone, we now provide many of those services in-house.

The truth is, each business is different. I’m not talking about dentists being different than plumbers; I’m talking about one dentist being remarkably different than the next. So why would it make sense that every dentist end up with virtually the same website, the same SEO strategies or the same social campaigns? It doesn’t and that’s why we stepped up to make the difference possible. I’ll give you two examples.

Outdated Website Technology

Responsive v UnresponsiveA year or so ago, a dentist who was looking for a new website was referred to me by a practice management consultant. They were in need of a new website and knew that they needed to generate more leads from the Internet. We got to know their business, evaluated their current website and provided them with a proposal that if accepted gave them a custom website that used modern technologies and exemplified what really made them different than other dentists. We were disappointed to find out that they hired one of the big-box dental marketing companies instead of us, but business is business – no hard feelings. Recently, we took a look at the website that was put together and found that they got a cookie-cutter website that wasn’t even mobile friendly. In a time when more than 50% of visits to websites are coming from mobile devices, it’s a shame that these companies would even consider selling websites like this.

Cookie-Cutter Marketing Content

In another instance, we were approach by a dentist who was in the same position, however they were more interested in generating new leads to their practice using an aggressive digital marketing campaign after their new website was launched. Having worked with many different dentists, we knew we were more than capable of delivering the results that they sought, but again, a big-box dental marketing firm got the work. The “free website” that came with “discounted” search engine optimization services was what sealed the deal.

Fortunately for this dentist, they got a mobile-friendly or “responsive” website, but it was subpar and the bare minimum that you would expect from a website. The more concerning factor was that the site was filled with content that was identical to content that was available on every other website provided by the company. What the dentist didn’t know was the duplicate content, or content that identical to content on another site will be ranked poorly by search engines because it is not unique. Only one site will get credit for it being original content and with so many dentists with the exact same content on their site, it’s possible that none of them are benefitting from the “resource library” that was provided by the company.

How a Custom Approach Makes a Difference

A few years ago, we had the pleasure of evaluating a dental practice’s digital presence. We pointed out all of the areas that their cookie-cutter digital marketing strategy was hurting them. They were eager to get ahead of their competition and decided to take a risk and invest more time, money and effort in digital marketing. We designed a new and unique website, established an online ad campaign, optimized their website, helped them understand and better evaluate their social metrics and measured the impacts of all of our efforts with detailed reporting and analysis. As we introduced solutions, we didn’t get it right the first time every time. It took understanding what was working and what wasn’t to make changes that would produce results. Today, the practice is so busy that they no longer advertise. They were able to build their business to a point where high rankings in search engines and patient referrals keep their schedules full.

Unique & Quality: Ideas that Define Success

In 2014, the phrase “content is king” was thrown around a great deal. It had a lot of merit as content is the number one factor that will drive your website to the top of search engines – or bury it where no one will ever see it. In, 2015, the popular phrase is “quality is king” because the quality of your content trumps volume any day of the week. Patients are seeking a unique experience when they visit a website. They want to know what’s different about your practice. They want to receive an education on how you care for your patients. Having a unique and quality website that is filled with unique and quality content is the best way to establish relationships with visitors, or rather potential patients.

I have no doubt that there are many marketing firms that specialize in dental marketing and provide sound advice and quality work. We like to think that we are one of them. The most important things for a dentist to do are to educate themselves on what is needed to reach their specific goals, to vet their provider, and to ensure that they get a marketing strategy and a digital presence that is unique to their practice.

If you are a dentist looking for tailored marketing assistance for your dental practice, we would be excited to provide you with a free initial consultation. Most of our prospective clients walk away from the first meeting saying “wow, I didn’t realize that,” and “we’ve got a lot of work to do.” Our number one goal is to provide you with an education first and then find out if your practice is a good fit with our firm. To receive your consultation, complete the form below and we’ll setup a time to talk.