Have you ever noticed how all dental yellow pages ads look the same? How about all the post cards dentists send out, or the dental ValPak coupons?
This is what I like to call “me too” marketing. Basically dentists look to see what the other dentists in their area are doing in terms of marketing and advertising and they assume that since everyone else is doing it they need to be doing it also.
As an example, this month’s issue of the community magazine here in McKinney has ads from 12 dentists (see red check marks below) – in a 54 page magazine!. That’s one dental ad every 4 1/2 pages. And with one exception all the dental ads look the same.
This is what’s called the herd mentality – “if all the other dentists are doing it, I guess I better as well”.
There are several problems with this approach:
1) It’s expensive – those types of magazines can run anywhere from $500 to $6,000+ per month
2) If you look just like everyone else, why would a prospective patient choose you over the other 10 dentists that are advertising?
3) Most people ignore the ads when they’re reading a magazine
4) Most people don’t read those magazines because they’re looking for a dentist. Probably 95+% of the readers aren’t prospects for you because they’re not in the market for a new dentist.
So, those dentists are spending a lot of money to have a “me too” ad that is competing with the ads of 11 other dentists that all basically look the same and have the same marketing message. Furthermore, the majority of people won’t even see their ads, and of those that do, only a fraction of them are actually looking for a new dentist.
If you’re going to spend money marketing, don’t do what everyone else is doing. Try something new and different and position yourself so that when someone is actually looking for a new dentist they’re able to find you.