Dental Marketing Strategies: What you can learn from #EpicFails

Disclaimer – This blog is in no way intended to cause the noted companies further embarrassment. It is written solely as a cautionary tale to provide readers with the benefit of knowing what not to do.

Most people don’t like to see others fail – emphasis on “most”. But what if learning from someone else’s mistake prevented you from making the same one? While the #EpicFails highlighted here probably occurred on a larger stage than you practice, the lessons they teach are applicable anywhere.

Learning from Coca-Cola

When Coke first entered the Chinese market they named their product something that sounded like “Coca-Cola” when pronounced. Unfortunately, due to the characters used it was often translated as “Bite the Wax Tadpole,” which doesn’t sound refreshing in any language. Lesson learned? Know your target market.

If your practice is in mid-town Manhattan and caters to busy professionals it doesn’t make sense to waste your marketing budget targeting families miles away. This is where local search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. Local SEO gives you the ability to specifically target your practice location; meaning when those busy professionals search online for a dentist within walking distance your practice appears.

What if your practice isn’t in a city center and you want to reach prospective patients in surrounding areas? Then you need pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in your marketing mix. PPC advertising allows you to expand the reach of your advertising to specific locations and cities near your practice, where you may not show up organically in local results. Another benefit of PPC is that you only pay when a prospective patient clicks on your ad.

Learning from Apple

Not even Apple is immune to the occasional marketing failure. When the iPhone 6 was released Apple automatically loaded U2’s latest album into iTunes accounts around the world – for free! The only problem was not everyone wanted the album and backlash ensued, quickly followed by the release of a one-click tool to remove said album. Lesson Learned? Give your audience what they want.

The average adult checks social media 17 times a day (and we’re pretty sure that’s not all done outside of working hours – wink, wink). So, it’s fair to assume that your followers might be looking for a quick distraction from work. Why not offer them a mid-day laugh with an oral hygiene meme or a quick tip on how to get kids to brush? This type of easily digestible information was made for social media!  Not only is it what your patients are looking for, if your posts are deemed valuable enough to share you get in front of an exponential number of potential patients.

Learning from Burger King

Everyone likes to feel involved, even if it’s in a trivial way.  Which is why when Burger King ran their Whopper Sacrifice campaign asking followers to delete 10 Facebook friends in exchange for a free whopper – people did. In fact, close to 234k friends were removed by over 82k people in less than a week, which is when Facebook shut the campaign down for violating the platform’s terms. Lesson learned? Engage your audience (wisely). 

Ask patients to post a selfie or share their favorite tooth fairy story – the post with the most votes gets half off a whitening treatment or an electric toothbrush. As Burger King’s campaign proves, people probably don’t need as much of an enticement as you think.  Be sure to carry the excitement over to your physical location by putting selfie props in your waiting area and signage directing patients to your social media pages.

Marketing may not have been on your radar when you entered dental school, but you now know that it’s just as essential to your success as the services you offer. Check out our free online resources for tips on how to effectively market your dental practice.

Don’t have time to spend on attracting new patients?  ProSites can do it for you. With over a decade of experience in the dental industry, our Internet marketing and web design gurus know what it takes to retain current patients and attract new ones. Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor today at 888-932-3644 to discuss how we can help you meet your practice goals. Lesson learned? There’s value in leaving it to the experts.