At face value, a dental practice website has one key function – to provide information to the user and lead them on a journey into your practice as quickly as possible. Yet, in an age of ever-evolving technology, meeting this core requirement is not enough. Patients will make an assessment about your dental practice marketing based on how your website looks, feels and functions. As a result, it is essential it communicates to your target audience – within just three seconds.
Here are some questions you should be asking yourself about your dental practice website.
1. Does it function well?
In the fast-speed digital world, nobody expects to work hard for information anymore. In essence, what we expect from any website we land on is twofold – an easy-to-navigate website that is also pleasant to look at. Having to hunt for contact numbers or forcing visitors to click through several pages to find a location are instant turn-offs. We’ve all experienced the frustration that comes with that! For many of us, it may redirect our search to someone else’s website – and, in the case of a dental practice, it will most likely be a competitor. For the sake of your credibility – and your profits – invest in a fully functioning dental practice website with minimal issues. Do all the links work? Are your contact details easy to find – and use? How quickly does the website load? What is the browsing experience across desktop and mobile?
Don’t hold back on hiring a tech-savvy professional to do the hard work for you. It’s worth finding someone who knows dentistry, too, and has a deep understanding on the related dos and don’ts of dental-specific content.
We are craving human connection more than ever before. Relationships give us the feeling of belonging as well as a sense of identity. In the digital world, it is easy to lose the essence of those all-essential human connections.
Online, while the efficient and flexible exchange of information is a commodity, there needs to exist a deeper and more meaningful relationship between a business and its clients if it is to build and nurture trust.
Too often we view online interactions as a shortcut to building relationships. How many of us refer to our 600 Facebook friends and 1,000 Instagram followers. But then rarely actively engage with the people behind the accounts?
In dentistry, the role of a dental practice – in its most simplistic terms – is to help solve people’s problems.
We often associate the rise of the internet with the loss of essential human elements. This is unfortunate for dentists who arguably still have to work hard at appealing to the general public.
An appointment with the dentist rates highly on the list of most common fears. Statistics from the Oral Health Foundation suggest almost half of UK adults have a fear to some degree.
Happily, cosmetic dentistry is helping to changing that general perception. Accessibility to aesthetic improvements and smile makeovers entice many into the chair.
What is important in any dental marketing campaign is the need to personalise social media posts. Add a layer of intimacy and familiarity to the treatments you promote.
Additionally, any dental marketing activity should give voice to the team as well as focus on their capabilities. Be inclusive as well as targeting the right audience. Showcase real people who are happy with how you’ve solved their ‘problems’.
In a culture of instant gratification and easy access to information, it is vital dentists and their teams support relationships with communication in the real world. Whilst the foundations can be built digitally, dental teams need to follow through with more human interactions.
In effect, your online profile should reflect the in-house experience and vice versa. It should also impart with clarity the treatments you offer and the experience they can expect at the door.
Good communication lies at the heart of dentistry. And there is an expectation on those working within the industry to engage with clarity and honesty.
Running a successful practice relies on a team who are confident in effectively handling any challenging conversations with patients too. And this includes those that directly involve marketing the treatments you offer.
Most businesses now rely on online patient reviews to raise a profile and entice further custom. Indeed, patients consider Google reviews a valuable and measurable source of information. They illustrate the highs and lows of any customer/patient experience.
Many dental practices with exceptional Google ratings will stand out from their competition. Those with consistently good feedback often report a boost in footfall because most new patients are relying on the views of others for reassurance in their confidence in a practice’s abilities to deliver exceptional care.
But if your bank of patient testimonials is running dry or may even be non-existent, how best to boost that all-essential star rating?
The way in which we communicate is constantly changing. This change is powered by technology that creates new and ever-increasing digital opportunities to interact.
As business owners we must meet the needs of the changing habits of an ‘always switched on’ audience. They prefer to communicate at a pace they dictate.
As a practice you may have some direct and active marketing costs such as Facebook campaigns, dental SEO, pay per click, print media and more. You also have non-direct marketing investments. This includes your practice signage, established time in the locality, word of mouth referral and much more bringing you a steady flow of inbound leads.
Most practices are quite poor at following up leads that enquired but then went cold. They are too busy dealing with engaged leads so cannot invest the time to nurture leads that haven’t replied. What if you could convert leads you are already receiving, just by broadening the way you communicate with potential patients? This could increase your turnover and give you a better return on your marketing investment. Correction, this does give you better return on your marketing investment!
A book is about to be published that offers dentists insight into how best to use Instagram to boost their business.
Written by dental marketing expert Shaz Memon, the book offers a step-by-step guide to getting the best out of one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
Considered the most visual of all platforms, Instagram boasts an incredible one billion monthly active users and is cited as the best place online to get great engagement.
Shaz Memon is the creative director of Digimax and Digimax Dental and has worked with leading dental and non-dental names for many years.
The new book – Instagram for dentists – offers key pointers, including: the type of Instagram account to have; how to brand an account; how to be interesting; identifying your own voice; attracting new patients; growing your followers authentically; how to hashtag; defining the type of patients you want; using the ‘influencer’ approach; using Instagram stories; using IGTV; how to create the right images; and what and when to post.
We are the architects of our own destiny and the designers of our own future. At least, that’s the consensus of opinion should you ever choose to conduct a philosophical Google search. But what hope is there for those of us for whom the dental marketing vision is a tad blurry? Where do we unearth that all-essential inspiration for a strategy to match our business plan – and who best to turn to when we’re struck by a crisis in confidence?
I have worked with many dentists on the development of their practice website, professional online profile, brand and marketing strategies – either at the very start of their business journey or some years down the line when they feel they have lost their way – and no two projects are ever the same. Indeed, nor should they be. Equally, the source of their ideas can vary tremendously, too.
When it comes to dental marketing, it is not unusual for a practice principal to seek a little help in ‘joining the dots’ in order to see the bigger picture.
What is surprising is how many arrive in my studio, having drawn a blank or reached a creative brick wall, but not first sought inspiration from elsewhere.
Creative stimulus comes in many guises and from the most unexpected of places – from the practice team to patients, from a business unrelated to dentistry to your biggest competitors – and drawing on these sources can be helpful before seeking professional input from a marketer.
In fact, rather than someone on the payroll, sometimes it can be your biggest critic who will nudge your brand into an illuminating and refreshingly new direction.
Dentists seem to have two mindsets when it comes to marketing their practices: some are passionate about their online presence and carefully craft social media profiles and practice websites that showcase their work well, while the rest vary, from the perfectly acceptable “checking all boxes” approach to the more lackluster or non-existent approach.
Dentists are, of course, primarily clinicians who aim to perform their finest work. Additionally, if they have their own practices, they are business entrepreneurs who must balance staff management, clinical skills, and regulatory demands, all while keeping their practices profitable. The last thing on their to-do list might be developing a website, as the all-important dental marketing plan often gets placed on the back burner. With its time-consuming demand for engaging content, the creation of a great website is often viewed as a chore.
A quick way to develop a dental practice website might therefore be to copy content from elsewhere. You might ask, why create new words when those on other websites serve the purpose so well? On the whole, treatments are universal, and it follows that treatment descriptions are similar. Surely there is only so much that can be said about the importance of replacing missing teeth and the benefits of teeth whitening.
The short answer is that duplicated copy from anywhere else on the web will detrimentally affect your online presence. Aside from the obvious perils of plagiarism—what you may think is acceptable could in fact be an infringement of somebody else’s work—you run the risk of Google ignoring you due to the lifted content that now populates your website.
What is it about Amazon that makes the whole online shopping experience so appealing?
Aside from its seamless purchasing and returns services, Amazon communicates to us our ‘purchase beacons’ within moments of searching its site, personalising the complete consumer journey.
This is a term I coined to help my design team and our clients understand an important, yet very simple, concept behind the psychology of great user-interface design.
In essence, a ‘purchase beacon’ is made up of one or more pieces of information we will view that will push us over the line to making a purchase or enquiry.
dental website design
What are we looking for?
Of course, we are all wired differently. We all place different values on what it is that matters to our purchasing decisions. Indeed, this is evident in any given patient base and the wide range of questions that emerge.
The essence of good online dental marketing lies, of course, not only in the quality of content of your social media posts, but also in their frequency. Posting regularly maximises opportunities for dentists to promote their practice to potential patients – high engagement requires high input.
But how important is this consistency over the Christmas holidays? With the family waiting on you to make your next move in this year’s ‘must have’ board game or to join them in the annual amble round the park, would it not be wiser to take a social media detox, drop your smartphone into a lidded box and unwrap it only once the celebrations are over?
Social media, however, is such an integral part of social fabric, it is almost impossible to live life without it. Compulsive for some and a necessary evil for others, it’s also an essential tool in any marketing strategy.
Those of us running a business rarely wish to drop the reins – whatever the occasion. For those at the helm of a growing dental practice, relinquishing control is not an option. And isn’t the hiatus between 24 December and 2 January a perfect time to capture the imagination of those people with time on their hands, resolutions on their mind and a desire in their heart for a smile makeover?
If people are scrolling through the accounts of your rivals, who continue to post before and after photos, seasonal offers and a call to action, won’t you be missing a trick if you choose to take a social media detox for a few days?
New Year means fresh patients and if your online activity ceases – and your competitor’s flourishes – there’s bound to be a heart-sink feeling of lost opportunity.
More than 120 people took part in a charity walk to honour dentist Anoop Maini, who tragically passed away recently.
Money was raised for the charity Wells on Wheels, which provides a rolling solution to water carriers in India.
Participants walked two miles around the boating lake in Regent’s Park in London, each carrying heavy bottles of water.
Organised by dental marketing expert, Shaz Memon, the event added to funds already raised, bringing it to a total of £27,000.
The strength of a brand lies in the passion and consistency of the voice that promotes it, ensuring familiarity and long-lasting appeal.
And, whilst delegation and team work are core principles of the business of dentistry – think scope of practice and clinical skills – when it comes to developing an Instagram profile, this is often best left in the hands of someone who best understands you and your business. Most likely, this is going to be you or someone within the four walls of your practice.
Only you will know what you want to say, the image you wish to project and how to appeal to your target audience.
How do you communicate? What language do you use? What are your interests and core skills? What area of your profession are you passionate about? And, who knows the answer to these better than you and your internal team?
A successful Instagram account
The nurturing of an online personality, or indeed the marketing of any brand, plays an essential supporting role in the promotion of dental services – and success lies in the authenticity of all communication, both online as well as face-to-face.
In dentistry, a culture of honesty and openness lies at the heart of your practice and the same should apply to your digital marketing. Indeed, you run the risk of losing trust should a patient recognise a disparity between the online version of you and the real deal when in your chair.
I’ve met many dental professionals who often seem confused about how to use Instagram to their advantage – and, whilst my area of expertise is dental marketing, I believe outsourcing the job to an agency is not always the best option if the practice is looking to achieve and nurture on-going and fruitful relationships with patients.
A successful Instagram account is reliant on instant engagement, which means responding to followers, acknowledging mentions and ‘regramming’ posts as and when this needs to happen.
Frequent activity plays a considerable role in building a successful Instagram presence, and outsourcing your account might impact this negatively due to a lengthy process of approval that goes against the ‘in the moment’ principles of online interactions.
British cultural perceptions of masculinity are slowly edging away from the idealised archetypes, with their archaic associations with power and strength, and heading for more enlightened paths.
Notwithstanding the results of a 2018 YouGov poll – which revealed that damaging male stereotypes persisted to impact on our general perception of gender – boundaries, in the context of marketing at least, are broadening.
Social media has a huge influence in shaping 21st-century culture. Heavily focused on aesthetics and the concept that we should all aim to ‘become the best version of ourselves’, the digital sharing of many different masculine ideal fuels the general desire to seek ways to enhance appearances.
What this means is a more discerning male consumer who is influenced by what he sees and experiences online. Modern masculinity, therefore, appears to be as much to do with male grooming, style trends and fashion, as it is gym bodies, healthy eating and fitness fads.
Today’s cosmetically focused, body-conscious male has a part to play in developing business marketing strategies – and this includes those of a dental practice.
‘Free’ is a hugely powerful and persuasive concept. The notion of boosting sales with giveaways, bonuses and complimentary gifts and services is a popular marketing strategy for many businesses.
Commonly known as the ‘reciprocity principle’, the idea is that people often feel obliged to return a favour when something is given to them. This makes for a powerful marketing tool, helping to attract new clients, as well as retain existing customers.
The secret to successfully rewarding clients lies in maintaining authenticity, being relevant and appearing altruistic in nature – even if the end game is obviously to boost sales. At the very least, the recipient needs to feel the goodwill gesture is sincere, even if they may also understand that, ultimately, it forms part of a company’s ethical marketing strategy.
So, what place, if any, does this have in dentistry?
The concept of complimentary care and products to complement your dentistry can seem somewhat of an anomaly within a clinical setting.
The term ‘free’ in itself not only creates a poor image of the practice, it may also jar with those patients seeking high quality care. ‘Free’ can weaken a brand and reduce the overall appeal for a practice that strives to maintain a reputation as a safe and respected environment in which a qualified and trustworthy dental team cares for its patients.
It is also worth remembering that patient loyalty is not something that can be bought and that the patient-clinician dynamic is clearly one that needs to be nurtured over time and, fundamentally, built on trust – not secured with a free goodie bag at a first consultation.
However, what a complimentary approach can do is raise the ‘feel-good factor’ within your practice. If done well, dental practices can turn kind gestures into profit without cheapening their brand.
Even now, some dentists remain uncomfortable with dental marketing as a concept, but adding value to the patient experience with gift-giving is acceptable if it complements your style of dentistry and reflects your brand and practice ethos.
A giveaway and gift strategy can be useful in establishing on-going and purposeful engagement with patients.
Gifting reinforces the message that yours is a giving and generous practice and is a great way of maintaining contact with existing patients, whilst reminding those who have lapsed that you’re still interested in their welfare.
Patient retention is key to sustainable growth and freebies can ‘reward’ those patients who are already committed, whilst enticing others who are simply interested parties.
And so it seems that, in a world more focused on environmental issues than ever before, the Green party entered the European political arena as likely ‘kingmakers’.
With a surge that revealed its strongest ever showing yet – across Europe as well as in the UK – the result, so the political pundits say, gives the Green party every chance of having greater influence in this new dawn of politics as it benefits from a newly fragmented parliament.
A disenchanted electorate has possibly bolstered its popularity but it also suggests an increasing concern about climate change that has, according to one Netherlands Green MEP, Bas Eickhout: ‘Rocketed up people’s list of priorities’.
So, what has this got to do with the day-to-day life of the small business owner, such as the high street dentist, for example?
The dental industry is notorious for its large carbon footprint, with procedures often producing large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and the need for travel adding to the load. Administration, material and lab services all have impact, and so too the more obvious areas of energy and water usage and clinical waste disposal.
However, according to the Public Health England paper, Carbon modelling within dentistry: Towards a sustainable future, sustainability within dentistry is as much to do with delivering high quality care to reduce invasive treatments and repeat visits as it is remedying the above with cycle-to-work projects, an improved stock control strategy, renewable energy, efficiency audits and the all-important ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ principles.
An eco-friendly dental practice may also wish to consider some but not all of the following. Are the products it uses non-animal tested? Are they vegan friendly? How much of what you use is reusable? What is biodegradable and what can be recycled?
As healthcare practitioners, practice owners can sometimes feel torn between making the best (and safest) choices for their patients and balancing the books with savvy business decisions – but, ultimately, both ensure the sustainability of a dental business.
There is so much more to choosing a name than how well it rolls off the tongue. As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently discovered, everybody has an opinion about titles – and not all of them supportive in the choices made.
The naming – or renaming of a dental practice, if you are an existing owner – presents challenges beyond placating family, honouring tradition and shrugging off the critics.
Indeed, the pitfalls are many and you ignore your patients’ views at your peril. If you move too fast to refresh your brand or speed through a renaming journey without a nod to your biggest supporters, you run the risk of confusing them and, in the process, sending them elsewhere – lost without the luxury of instant recognition.
You may also alienate those with whom you’ve built up trust if they feel they have been wrong-footed or side stepped. Transparency is everything and engagement key, especially if you enjoy healthy on-going communication with your current patient base.
Few of us welcome change and, in a dental setting – an environment where relationships are nurtured over time and with a core business that thrives on familiarity and loyalty – this is particularly so.
When changes are made, many patients comment that ‘it’s not the same place anymore’ or ‘its not what it used to be’.
However, apply my four steps to a patient-engaging approach and you will create a name that will not only resonate with existing patients, but will also secure their loyalty and may even boost business.
We live in a world of an ‘in the moment’ culture. Communication is instant and almost any event is Instagrammable. We can ‘meet’ people online and gain an inside track on their private and professional lives, even if we are never likely to press the flesh with them.
Fast is not just furious, it’s essential for a dental practice to stay afloat. The internet is a conduit for great dental marketing – and, ultimately, a profitable business. In effect, you have to be in it to win it. Social media platforms are the equivalent of show and tell on steroids, giving dentists endless opportunities to showcase smile makeovers, shout about their teams, show off their practice refurbs, highlight award wins and educate and entertain their audience (and possible next patient) to boot.
In a world where content is king and bold is beautiful, dentists need to make an indelible mark online as part of a successful marketing strategy, adding immense value to the patient experience – sometimes before they’ve even stepped inside a practice door.
In an Instagram-driven world of ‘see it, snap it, post it’, practices are perfectly placed to capitalise on the opportunities this platform affords them.
However, whilst digital dental marketing is essential, dentists should be wary of neglecting the more traditional channels of communication.
Indeed, the secret ingredient to successful marketing campaigns is ‘consistency’ – across all channels and in the real world as well as online.
The delivery of care behind the ‘flash and dash’ of any digital marketing needs to reflect what your patients see in the palm of their hands – in effect, their dental experience with you in the chair needs to be synonymous with your smartphone storytelling.
To ensure business sustainability, the time given to online patient engagement needs to translate seamlessly into the clinic. A brand that evidently takes time to engage in every way reaps the benefits and will be one that patients consider worthy of their long-term investment.
Mutual respect is a key component in any relationship and a practice team should be well versed in – and be able to deliver on – the ethos you expect and the virtues you extol within your digital marketing activity.
Shaz Memon is reaching out to the dental world to help him fund an innovative idea that will ease the burden of the women in rural India who risk their health daily, carrying heavy buckets of water on their heads to their communities.
Women still carry most of the world’s water and many living in rural regions of India walk an average of one to two miles a day in temperatures as high as 40°C, carrying water in pails on their heads.
‘Weʼre raising £20,000 to ease the burden on females as young as seven years old who have to walk miles in the blazing heat to transport water in order to survive,’ Mr Memon said.
Wells on Wheels, launched last week, is a crowdfunding initiative that Shaz hopes will raise £20,000 to pay for an easier alternative to this painstaking practice.
The Waterwheel, designed by Wello, is a large, round water drum that is fitted with handles so it can be rolled along the ground with ease.
These round containers enable water collectors to roll liquid from wells rather than carry it on their heads and can hold up to five times more water than a single bucket.
They spend considerable time supplying water to their households and, over time, the weight leads to chronic neck and back pain, as well as musculoskeletal disorders leading to complications during childbirth.
Women may be pregnant or carry a baby on their back in addition to their load.
Shaz Memon of Digimax Dental, explains: ‘I want to make a difference to at least 500 families, so we are raising £20,000 to ease the burden on females as young as seven years old who have to walk miles in the blazing heat to transport water in order to survive.’
Christopher Lasch’s 1979 book, The Culture of Narcissism, took what was then a very narrowly-applied clinical term and used it to diagnose a cultural pathology he viewed rampant within American society. Taking Freud’s original definition of the term “narcissism,” Lasch’s text focusses upon the repressed rage and self-loathing which is transformed by the narcissist into grandiose notions of selfhood and self-important, to include a complete abandon of reason and connection with the material present.
Rereading Lasch’s book, I am struck by how the ethos of what he analyzes is very much with us today, and in hyper-drive as he writes presciently of our society’s obsession with fame, power, and control, all this circulating what he refers to as an “apotheosis of individualism”:
It is true that a “present-oriented hedonism,” as Riesman went on to argue, has replaced the work ethic “among the very classes which in the earlier stages of industrialization were oriented toward the future, toward distant goals and delayed gratification.” But this hedonism is a fraud: the pursuit of pleasure disguises a struggle for power. Americans have not really become more sociable and cooperative, as the theorists of other-direction ad conformity would like us to believe; they have merely become more adept at exploiting the convention of interpersonal relations for their own benefit.
Nothing speaks so clearly to this paradigm today than how woke culture has emerged among the left which results in the regular social media callouts of feminists who challenge gender ideology and the more recent media frenzy over a child, Desmond Naples, whose life has become co-opted by both transgender advocacy and Converse’s latest advertising campaign. The message is clear when it comes to marketing ideology as woke religiosity: there are no ethical limits to what humans will do to grab hold of power.
It’s also no coincidence that Lasch’s book appeared during the Carter presidency amidst extreme inflation and a recession which was accompanied by oil shortages, record-high crime rates, and crumbling infrastructure in major cities. It was amidst such crises that the culture of narcissism emerged so forcefully within American culture in light of no economic prospects for the younger generation and high rates of unemployment. Where material reality failed to provide any comfort, emotional cultural tropes emerged where an obsession with fashion and celebrity coupled with exaggerated notions of self-worth came to mark American society from the 1970s onward. All this even if his diagnosis was of a condition which he views originating in the nineteenth century as he analyzes Emma Bovary as the “prototypical consumer of mass culture, still dreams; and her dreams, shared by millions, intensify dissatisfaction with jobs and social routine.”
Where do we go when capitalism does not offer us any reprieve from the dreams left unmatched and the waning of jobs in a world where medieval feudalism is fast returning?
Last month I spoke with Shaz Memon, Founder of Digimax and a dental marketing specialist, who tells me how many millennials today are turning to connect to themselves rather than a community in this era of being overworked and often underpaid. Memon postulated, “I think in this current economic climate where the under-thirty crowd is more highly educated than ever while paradoxically these same individuals face diminishing job opportunities, the result is a generation which is struggling to stay afloat while facing steeper odds for any sort of economic advancement and social importance. Where do you go for reassurance or a feel-good moment? Many are turning to treatments which improve how they look, and how you look directly reflects upon how you feel.”
Customers now look at how well companies look after them rather than short-term gains, Shaz Memon says.
These days, money-off incentives have a very short shelf life. A once popular default sales technique, its demise has been accelerated by the dawning of the internet. In essence, a customer would buy into a brand at a reduced cost only to see a price hike at a later stage but would (most likely) continue their loyalty indefinitely and without question. This was often due to a lack of opportunity to compare like with like.
The digital age has changed the marketing status quo forever and, with it, the fortunes of this somewhat cynical approach. With 24/7 access to online reviews, for example, today’s savvy public is able to see – with clarity – if and how well companies look after their customers.
Indeed, we have grown to expect more than just an attractive initial price point from any given business. According to those who measure marketing trends, consumers are far more interested in service than cost – and this is particularly true of dentistry, with many patients now seeking added value to their investment of both time and money.
Digimax Dental, specialist website design company for dentists, hosted a glitzy VIP evening at Farzi Café in London recently.
For the full event, details visit www.forthechosenfew.co.uk
Quoted from Dentistry.co.uk:
Called ‘For the chosen few’, only 150 leaders in the dental profession were invited to the inaugural event.
The selection consisted of Digimax clients based in the south and some dental industry friends.
‘The idea of today, it started out with 15 of us just having a dinner to celebrate their support for Digimax, and I just got carried away,’ Shaz Memon, creative director at Digimax, said.
‘Today isn’t about me or my company, today is about celebrating you, all of the amazing things you’re doing.
‘Everyone invited tonight, has one thing in common, everybody here is doing something amazing and inspiring.
‘I look up to a lot of people here and I’m sure many other people do too.’
The event made the national media after Demi Rose, British model and social media influencer, made an appearance.
Posing for pictures with guests, Ms Rose featured in the Mailonline as she made her way to the event.
After reading about the roughly two million Londoners living in parts of the city that have dangerously high—not to mention illegal—levels of air pollution, I recalled a woman in a London hair salon who turned to me one day and exclaimed, “Getting my hair and nails done is the only way I can cope with the economic and ecological disaster out there.” Since hearing this, I have wondered if cosmetic treatments are how many Londoners react to the toxicity of their environment and the economic downturn.
With Brexit weighing upon the nation and the bulk of the country’s economic capital based in London, it is unsurprising that London’s beauty culture is a major center for both economic growth (£6.2 billion nationally) and body therapy. Of the country’s 35 thousand plus hair salons, over 13.4% of them are in London. This above figure doesn’t even include the country’s 13,107 beauty salons and 1,512 nail bars in addition to the hundreds of cosmetic medical clinics and esthetic dental services.
I spoke with Shaz Memon, a dental marketing expert based in London, who elaborates how the marketing of esthetics clinics and the increase of botox training courses is just part of the city’s changing cultural panorama. He states, “It used to be that Londoners defined themselves through their professional and personal lives alone. Today, it is more the case that we also define ourselves through an awareness of health and beauty which is integral to our cultural identity and communities.” Walking around London there is no shortage of nail salons and hairdressers with many specifically tailored to men. Along with the boom of aesthetic dental clinics in London and Weybridge, a suburban town within Greater London, the beauty industry is not showing any signs of the economic slowdown in Britain’s capital. Compared to what other industries have suffered in recent years, it is clear that the pervasive use of esthetic technologies by Londoners is part of a larger story about how the beauty industry is hooking into local cultural dialogues and social networks.
British cultural perceptions of masculinity are slowly edging away from the idealised archetypes, with their archaic associations with power and strength, and heading for more enlightened paths.
Notwithstanding the results of a 2018 Yougov poll (futuremen.org) – which revealed that damaging male stereotypes persisted to impact on our general perception of gender – boundaries, in the context of marketing at least, are broadening.
Social media has a huge influence in shaping 21st-century culture. Heavily focused on aesthetics and the concept that we should all aim to ‘become the best version of ourselves’, the digital sharing of many different masculine ideals fuels the general desire to seek ways to enhance appearances.
Ostensibly, what this means is a more discerning male consumer who is influenced by what he sees and experiences online.
Modern masculinity, therefore, appears to be as much to do with male grooming, style trends and fashion, as it is gym bodies, healthy eating and fitness fads.
Today’s cosmetically focused, body-conscious male has a part to play in developing business marketing strategies – and this includes your own.
As with dentistry, when it comes to facial aesthetic procedures, it remains imperative that clinicians tailor treatments specifically to their patients.
Employing a minimally invasive strategy, there is an expectation upon them to deliver high quality results whilst managing the expectations of patients.
Quite simply, ‘one size does not fit all’ (to coin a much-hackneyed phrase) – and, arguably, nowhere is this more relevant in business than in the dual worlds of dentistry and facial aesthetics.
With the popularity of anti-ageing procedures booming, many dental practices are now adding a facial aesthetics treatment service to complement their suite of cosmetic dental options.
Non-surgical facial rejuvenation and cosmetic dentistry make natural bedfellows, with Botox, dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and so on beginning to appear on the menu of treatment options for many a dental practice.
Of course, dentists understand better than most how facial and dental aesthetics can be enhanced to work in harmony. However, for those seeking to broaden their clinical horizons, key to any business expansion will inevitably lie in how they market themselves to attract new leads as well as future proof their practice.
So, how best to market this new avenue of revenue without it detracting from – or negatively impacting upon – a long-nurtured and thriving dental business?
I often find myself on the receiving end of a call from a panicked principal, seeking advice on how to handle a negative Google review.
After discussing the issue at length, often we draw the conclusion that it could have been prevented and dealt with in-house before the patient even thought to vent online.
We also both agree that the practice will do things slightly differently next time to avoid this ‘reactive’ situation. That led me to thinking if practices could actively work to build a culture of ‘prevention’ when it came to Google reviews – which would naturally lead to five star reviews – then this would minimise any hard feelings surrounding negative public comments.
Here are eight great ways to ensure five-star reviews – and avoid bad ones!
‘Prevention is better than cure’ is the dental profession’s mantra. Apply this to the digital world of patient reviews and you won’t go far wrong, for it is as important to have strong foundations on which to build a positive online profile, as it is to have the skills to ensure optimum oral health in order to create healthy smiles. If you’re looking to ensure an impressive ‘five star’ reputation, here are eight ways to make the right impression
We spoke to Shaz about why he set up Digimax Dental but also why it is important for practices to have an outstanding online presence in order to attract and retain patients.
How was the concept of Digimax Dental brought about?
Going back to high school, Digimax was a name I came up with in Maths class. This was merged from ‘Digital Design’ and ‘Maximum Effect’. Digimax Dental, an arm of Digimax, came about in 2004, when I first started working with dental practices. The brand was started after I quickly realised that marketing for dental practices was unlike marketing for any other non-dental business. Practices needed help promoting ‘outcomes’ instead of services.
Digimax Dental is situated in Marylebone, London and has a team of dental web designers, SEO experts,
branding specialists and graphic designers. At Digimax Dental, we have a vast amount of marketing experience in order to help create solutions for dental businesses – we want practices to be able to stand out to their target
audiences and grow using digital marketing. I work as a designer in my own company – every design that leaves Digimax has either been seen by me, or I have personally worked on it.
What challenges and opportunities did you face when you first created Digimax Dental?
The biggest challenge was the amount of knowledge about dentistry that was required from both a dentist’s perspective and a patient’s perspective. Short of studying for a BDS, I spent a lot of time with Principals who were happy to transfer their knowledge to me. I was able to sit in the practice, see consultations and witness the patient journey to understand how dental treatments needed to be marketed. Failing a few times was a challenge for
me, as I wasn’t used to negative feedback — but this is what has made us so strong today. It was incredible, how something that was traditionally seen as a ‘needs based’ service, was now changing lives and the confidence of patients throughout the country with the emergence of cosmetic dentistry. I remember seeing a patient after they had their teeth aligned, and cosmetically enhanced with whitening. She was beaming with confidence and excitement and almost in tears of joy with the outcome!
Dentists beware – your website might be breaching new restrictions laid down by advertising watchdogs over what you can and cannot say about the teeth-straightening options your practice offers.
The treatment claims of orthodontic systems have recently come under close scrutiny by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The upshot is that, if you’re making unfounded claims online, it might mean your practice website is breaching new rules.
An ASA enforcement notice, published in December, comes down heavily on the dental marketing of any dental device that suggests any named braces are ‘faster’ or ‘less painful’ than the traditional bracket-and-wire system.
In fact, it’s not the first time dental device companies have come under fire. The advertising watchdog previously named a company that ‘misleadingly implied’ the benefits of its braces – in both speed and comfort.
Now, having assessed on-going promotions, the ASA says: ‘It has come to our attention that there are a significant number of websites advertising braces and dental devices. Some of these websites have claimed that their brace systems are less painful and have a faster effect than traditional braces.
‘Such claims would need to be substantiated with robust documentary evidence in the form of high quality human clinical trials, which we are yet to see in relation to pain and speed of treatment claims.’…….
Prevention – or oral health promotion – is the cornerstone of all dentistry. Today’s dental practice is focused on the health and wellbeing of its patients, particularly with the wealth of evidencebased studies highlighting the systemic links to other inflammatory disease that stretch beyond the oral cavity.
Public Health England’s Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention (third edition 22 March 2017) placed oral health education firmly at the heart of general practice with guidance for GDPs and their teams highlighting risks, advice and actions needed to prevent disease.
Oral health education is no longer confined to the surgery. 21st century care requires practices to break traditional communication channels and embrace the digital world – these days online is very often where your potential patients will first experience your business.
In the UK, 85% of the population are using smartphones, with 78% using laptops, which requires practices to have a robust social media strategy as well as an engaging and easy-to-navigate practice website if they are to reach patients with key messages.
With a profession facing a growing epidemic of child tooth decay and associated diseases, practices need to up their game to preserve the health of the nation.
Stop the rot – Tooth decay continues to be a major problem
in the UK, placing significant burden not just on individuals but also on dental care professionals, the NHS and society. From the cradle to grey, innovation is a driving source in reshaping the oral health and preventative dental care market. There is a very real need to innovate in an ever-expanding oral health market that includes three key areas:
The need to see children before they reach their first birthday. The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry has dedicated much time and enthusiasm to raising awareness of this within the profession as well as with patients. It has led a great dental marketing campaign on social media – ‘Dental Check by One or #DCby1 – with the aim of getting children in the dental chair before their first birthday
Educating patients on diet and lifestyle choices and the impact this has on oral health (erosion/sugar intake/smoking/alcohol, etc) is important and dental teams can encourage patients to keep diet diaries or direct them to websites such as the government’s Change4Life Sugar Smart campaign (https:// www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/food-facts/ sugar#MwtImyHwwiAOLXE5.97). Key public awareness drives, such as World Oral Health Day, National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month, all help to promote the need to view dental health care as a priority.
Treating the increasing number of older patients who will remain dentate into their ‘golden years’ but with complex health issues and problems re: dexterity. The term ‘elderly’ is, of course, diverse but do consider talking about the problems that come with age and raise awareness of how your practice is investing in new technology to help remedy some of the problem – easy access, easy payments and innovative cosmetic solutions for older patients should all be included in your dental marketing plans.
Shaz Memon is the creative director of Digimax and Digimax Dental. He says: ‘Reviews, referrals and testimonials are powerful marketing tools. Invite feedback from your happy patients to boost the number of positive online comments about your business. Statistics suggest 97%
of consumers are likely to read online reviews before settling on a local
business. Regularly monitor your rating on Google. With patients chiefly concerned with quality of care, affordability and convenience, make sure you deliver on these areas. If your practice is particularly strong in any sector, shout about it on social media. Be sure to handle any disgruntled patients sensitively and react to their online posts immediately and professionally with a positive approach. Good complaints handling has been known to change around a negative viewpoint. Also, ensure that the whole team understands your dental marketing strategy, is encouraged to share the “good news” and knows to invites patient feedback. Effective team training is the backbone of any successful practice and marketing is no exception.
In Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), Neil Postman examines how television has informed public discourse, labelling the medium of television as Americans’ “vast descent into triviality.” It is no surprise that the 1980s gave birth to the popular Canadian board game, Trivial Pursuit, where “intelligence” was measured on the ability to correctly answer questions pertaining to six different categories of general knowledge, much of which was media-based. But this game only evaluated one’s familiarity within a range of topics and limited number of question cards such that trivial and highly mediatized knowledge became conflated with intelligence. Indeed, the way we speak to each other today is riddled with the language of media and television—from advertising to television series, and most everyone pretty much stays in step.
Even the way we acquire language is strongly influenced by television, hence the Canadian accent with which I grew up is hardly present today and the many elderly folks who use “woke” in sentences. Television is an amazingly powerful communications tool and it has allowed us to relay very complex or long-winded ideas in a phrase: “to jump the shark,” “to take the red pill,” “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” and “wax on, wax off.” Even the most resistant to media would have a hard time feigning unfamiliarity with most popularized media tropes down to the referentiality used between advertisements and film. How many commercials have you seen that replicate a scene out of Tarzan, Casablanca, and The Wizard of Oz? Certainly, today nothing is sacred from how our media infiltrates the everyday. But how has advertising inflected its discourse into our culture?
Social influencer marketing has garnered a lot of media interest in a very short space of time – thanks largely perhaps to posts that flout the general rules of advertising.
Incidents of shameless product promotion dressed up as enthusiastic support has given the dental marketing world some food for thought regarding the shape of its rapid digital development and brands now have to tread carefully in how they engage and with whom.
But influencer marketing is booming in the dental sector.
It offers practices and dentists an amazing opportunity to engage with patients who may otherwise ignore the more obvious advertising channels.
Critics aside, many brands cleverly use influencers well in their day-to-day marketing strategy and to great benefit, with paid partnerships, that are clearly flagged up as such, an effective tool.
Good influencer marketing is transparent about paid content and, with a small business reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations, a dental practice owner knows only too well better the power of patient persuasion.
Absent friends is a big theme of the New Year celebrations – I’m pretty sure we all raised a glass to those we have loved and lost or were apart from as the clock struck midnight to mark the start of 2019.
But as practice principals kick-start the year with one eye on the books, missing persons from the dental chair can be problematic – and January is notoriously a long month. With bank balances emptied and patient enthusiasm wilting, what can teams do to ignite those appointment books?
Arguably, the Scottish government’s controversial proposal to extend the dental recall interval for so-called ‘low-risk’ patients to intervals of 24 months doesn’t do dental practices any favours.
Aside from the concerns regarding the need for regular screenings and tackling oral diseases early and successfully, patients can see this as a green light to side step appointments – whatever the state of their oral health and in whatever country they reside.
Your dental marketing therefore sometimes has to partake in a little fire fighting to nip in the bud those common myths and misconceptions that arise for generic media coverage.
A year is a long time in dentistry let alone politics (as 2018 proved) so there needs to be engagement throughout the 12 months in order to hammer home these key oral health messages among existing patients and to reel in new ones.
Successful online dental marketing depends on great ideas and a big passion for social media. Dental marketing and design expert Shaz Memon forecasts six sensational trends for you and your team
This year, it is estimated there will be 2.77 billion social media users worldwide. With these phenomenal numbers in mind, how best to ensure your dental practice is choosing the relevant platforms and tools to reach its target audience and increase footfall? Dental businesses should consider starting the 2019 showing off what makes them special, developing their conversations with their existing audiences and users while securing relationships with new ones. So, why not add a new skill to your role and get involved in some dental marketing…
What can an award mean for your practice?
There are countless opportunities for career-defining moments in dentistry.
From the first successful placement of an implant to something as simple as a ‘thank you’ card from a loyal patient or a smile from a once fearful child – these noteworthy milestones can make all the difference to an average day.
Dedication does pay off and the significance of these moments should remain a happy memory for many years to come, with each an important benchmark in your career progression.
But who else gets to know of these small successes other than your dental nurse, practice team or partner, perhaps?
A team that triumphs daily in its delivery of dental care deserves recognition and credibility and, whilst your appreciation of their efforts matters, sometimes you need to go that extra mile to demonstrate it.
How can dental practices use social media to their advantage instead of being subject to social media scrutiny?
Social media – is an essential part of marketing. Millions of businesses sport online
profiles posting links and stories spanning numerous platforms, all fighting to make their voices heard, products sold, and services delivered. Dental practices that embrace this fare well.
Of course, the flipside is online reviews and the ability to share opinions with thousands of people within a matter of seconds far and wide is made easy by the internet – a simplicity arguably fuelling social media scrutiny.
This is not to say you should admit defeat. The promotional opportunities social media offers without much cost – is invaluable. So, give your dental practice a voice by becoming a digital marketing warrior.
Be proactive rather than reactive. Have a strong positive presence. This goes beyond simply responding to poor reviews. Defending your practice from online criticism is only half a job. An active online presence is essential if you are to own your brand and encourage new patients.
Published: 11/15/2018 12:00:00 AM
For many brands, there are countless seasonal opportunities to market their services over the coming weeks, says digital marketer Shaz Memon.
Dental practices look to Christmas as a way of raising their profile, plugging teeth whitening, talking about the need to limit sugar intake or simply drawing attention to their guide to what to do in a dental emergency and so on.
However, opportunities for optimum patient engagement through effective dental marketing do not stop the moment the festivities are over; a marketing strategy should not be left to wilt alongside the Christmas tree or left abandoned with those perennial unwanted gifts.
In a plugged-in world, there are no end of occasions to tell your story or share the stories of those who place their trust in your business – and, whilst it is arguably a profitable move to ramp up marketing over the holidays, there is little point in all that activity if come January the last post in your social media schedule pre-dated you Christmas jumper-wearing celebrations on the 24th.
Stories are continuous, which means your brand and your team and the services they market and deliver, should combine over a period of time to continually raise the profile of your business long after the non-stop online ‘noise’ of short-term viral posts and general Christmas clickbait is over.
The festive season, of course, brings out the best in big business branding – so much so that the anticipation of the run of Christmas TV ads is now a national obsession.
In an online world where everyone’s a critic, your dental practice will have done well to avoid poor feedback thus far.
Realistically, you will most probably have received your fair share of both negative and positive reviews – and it is important to respond to both.
A policy of ‘duck and cover’ on the one hand and a failure to offer polite acknowledgement on the other will only serve to do your business an injustice, appearing disingenuous and dispirited at best and indifferent at worst.
Prospective patients like to get a ‘feel’ of a dental practice – and their journey more often than not begins online, which means courting them so that they offer honest feedback once they’ve experienced your care will guide others to your door.
Therefore, this ethos of online patient engagement both supports and markets your practice.
Digital technology has arguably homogenized the consumer experience, so much so that it has forever reshaped the way we access services and buy merchandise. The route to purchases has been simplified to ensure an easy interaction and predictable results.
Brands, of course, thrive on consistent successes, and they monopolize on the effective marketing messages that promote these successes. Incongruously, digital businesses such as Amazon and Netflix have grown adept at personalizing this consumer experience at the touch of a button, which adds value and streamlines delivery to suit personal choices.
Technology also drives dentistry. Digital advances have made dental treatments safer and faster while at the same time guaranteeing results. Of course, there is little room for a one-size-fits-all approach in a profession that is expected to assess and meet individual needs based on specific diagnoses. On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for evidence-based predictability.
Additionally, software simulation programs can offer patients a digital preview of outcomes, thereby personalizing the across-the-board dental procedures available in a practice. But whatever tools, equipment, and modalities are available to dental clinicians, treatment delivery will always require a tailored and personal approach.
The binge-watching phenomenon has been driven by consumer demand. The days of a nation collectively perched on the edge of its seat awaiting the next instalment of a drama that left us with a cliff-hanger a week ago, are long gone.
This cultural shift teaches us a great deal about consumer preference and it is a savvy dental marketing expert plan that incorporates the ‘binge’ boom.
Telling a story
In essence, dental marketing is a form of storytelling. It needs to be deliverable across all platforms and accessed on all devices. Take a look at the 20-something sitting opposite you on the commute into work. Plugged into their iPhone, they’re most probably binge-watching Killing Eve, the latest season of Orange is the New Black or some other Netflix delight.
Dentistry, as experienced by our parents and their parents before them, has changed enormously – and the differences are immeasurable in a world of healthcare now shaped and driven by digital technology.
Looking ahead to the next decade, this new order will develop even further to embrace many forms of digital clinician-patient connectivity – via the internet, apps, wearable devices, social networks and teledentistry.
In-clinic patient education technologies and diagnostic tools, such as the intraoral camera, face scanners, 3D smile design, lasers, CAD/CAM software, digital orthodontics, cone beam computed tomography and pain-free injections delivered the computerised tool, The Wand, are already redrawing the landscape of traditional dentist-patient interactions. Developing technologies such as artificial intelligence look set to raise the bar even further when applied to treatment education, treatment planning and, ultimately, treatment results.
The British are a notoriously nosy nation. According to a poll by Anglian Home Improvements, almost one third of us admit to curtain twitching, with 21% braver souls even discreetly opening a window in the hope of hearing a snatch of a neighbour’s private conversations.
In the world of dental marketing, it is worth taking a moment to look at this neighbourly competition.
Spying on other people is a modern-day digital phenomenon. Social networking thrives on the belief that we all have an innate desire to glimpse into the inner sanctum of the lives and business of others.
Social media also taps into the very basic human need for approval, which is why so many of us share everyday moments with an audience of ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ to garner likes and other interactions.
What are the most important factors of dental website design? Digimax gives us an easy to understand guide.
Unfortunately, I hear from a lot of dentists that their website designer went down a process of asking the dentist what they like and don’t like and seems that more consideration has been given to the dentist’s own personal tastes than using statistics that tell us what patients want to see and how. A website is a business tool, a dental website design is meant to get you more patients so you can build a business that helps you lead the life you want.
Beauty, branding, colour, typography and imagery are extremely important factors of a website – but not at the expense of some key elements that constantly fail websites we see on a day-to-day basis. We simply don’t have the capacity to re-build every single dental website design we see, but we do want everyone to benefit from the research we have been doing for the last 15 years, which makes Digimax websites the most powerful dental websites in the world.
Dental marketing activity can range from the sparse to the sporadic to full-speed ahead – within a very short timeframe and in one practice. As a small business operating in the highly competitive arena of dental health care, the marketing of a practicebrand is often left wanting. Frequently side-lined in favour of issues more worthy of their attention, practice principals will focus on the areas of the business more akin to the practice of dentistry.
The need to stay up to date with clinical innovation, new infection control protocols, the demands of regulators, staffing issues and stock-taking all demand attention. In fact, the list of ‘more important things to do’ is seemingly incessant. But dentistry is an industry fast becoming shaped by its successful marketing – and the canny dentists among you are those already sharing Instagram makeovers, Facebook patient feedback and ‘dental tips’ tweets.
Dentistry is a care-giving profession in which trust, respect and empathy – alongside open communication – equate to successful clinical outcomes within a risk adverse environment.
But have you ever considered these qualities in a wider context? In other words, does the practice where you work demonstrate all of the above in a community – or even – global setting?
Having a purpose beyond profit should be an integral part of any forward-thinking company. Indeed, 21st-century commerce now expects businesses to have an ethical approach to their operations, purchasing and behaviours
There has been a lot in the press about superheroes over the summer. If the England team reaching the World Cup semi-finals warranted a collective hailing, then the young Wild Boar football team and their rescuers who escaped the caves in Thailand – all bar the heroic Thai Navy Seal who tragically lost his in the mission – most definitely do. Bravery and courage, the triumph of good over evil and a fitting fancy outfit are the staples of fantasy superheroes but, as Twitter told us mid-rescue mission, not all heroes wear capes.
Indeed, sometimes they might be in your midst on a day- to-day basis, assisting with suction in rubber clogs and a pink tunic, or handling infection control regulations and challenging patients with good humour and aplomb.
Last month, a story tucked away on a local news website hailed as heroes a dentist and a dental nurse who had worked together for some 30 years delivering dental care to the residents of Suffolk – often having treated three
generations of the same family. So impressive was the longevity of this partnership that their local MP sent a letter of thanks in acknowledgment for their service. Newly retired Elaine Cavey and Robert Bradbury were also inundated with gifts and thank you cards from appreciative patients – testimony perhaps to their ‘super hero’ value in the community.
Shaz Memon suggests it is far better to promote your practice with the benefits of a healthy smile than pique interest with celebrity lifestyles.
Dentists rarely get a good press, and we have a chequered history to thank for that. A profession that has its roots in the barbershop and a poor record of movie portrayals hasn’t helped – neither have, more latterly, the ‘no-win no fee’ doom-mongers and, with some of the media happy to leap on this dentist bashing bandwagon, little wonder the profession faces an uphill struggle trying to reverse negative trains of thought.
Suffice to say, it is a daily battle. Dentists are sometimes forced to defend the integrity of the job and their own professional reputation whilst promoting the dental practice and the services it offers. For many, walking this marketing tightrope between safe ethical advertising and illegally overblown promises is best left with marketing experts well practised in this unique balancing act.
With news that Superdrug is to offer Botox and dermal fillers in store, now might be the perfect the time to inject new life into your own marketing strategy, says Shaz Memon
Botulinum toxin is Ms Popularity when it comes to minimally invasive aesthetic procedures, with dermal fillers close to stealing the crown. With their wrinkle-smoothing properties, these non-invasive treatments have seamlessly entered the arena of dentistry – with many aesthetic-focused practices now offering non-surgical cosmetic treatments. They’re a great boon for business, and complement aesthetic dental procedures. However, when the high street chain Superdrug announced plans to offer Botox and dermal fillers at its flagship store in London’s West End, clinicians were queuing up to find flaws.
Clinical innovations have raised the bar for the profession, making diagnosis, treatment planning and patient education exciting, easier and more predictable. But how many practice owners have enlisted the power of digital dentistry for the purposes of marketing and engagement in order to signpost potential patients to the wonderful things that happen inside their surgeries?
Did you know that most patient journeys now begin online?
Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, along with an easy-to-navigate website, provide significant opportunities to promote the practice and engage effectively with patients (new and old) on all aspects of oral health and treatment options.
Instagram has taken the world by storm over the last few years, with statistics showing it now boasts more than 500 million daily users. However, very few businesses are correctly clued up on the best ways to reach out to as many potential customers as possible.
Facebook and Twitter alone are no longer enough. In fact, a study recently discovered that teenagers are abandoning Facebook in favor of other social media sites—Instagram included. Indeed, around 72% of the teenagers studied said they used the app—and these are your patients of the future.
Globalisation has shrunk the world and enlarged your reach, so what does that mean for your marketing strategy? Shaz Memon explains
Thanks to the digital revolution, small businesses are now competing on a global stage – and dental practices are no exception. Whilst a weighty and frequent presence online is not necessarily going to garner new patients from the otherside of the world, it will raise your profile massively
What have ‘pleases’ and thank yous’ to do with business success? Digital marketing expert Shaz Memon reveals the importance of small gestures and social media etiquette
The feedback culture of the internet has made critics of us all, but how best to handle one too many poor reviews? Shaz Memon considers the current landscape.
The internet is seemingly an unstoppable force, a giant mountain of information that is forever growing with its proliferation of 24/7 communication opportunities. Indeed, its instant gratification is something most of us now consider necessary and desirable in varying degrees.
According to a recent Forbes article on the top 10 SEO trends influencing digital marketing, it’s no longer enough to simply have well-written content on your website. Previously, a unique copy was king, a high frequency of posts essential, and relevant keywords vital ‘must haves’ – with content targeted and optimised – in the bid to cannily attract Google’s attention.
‘The trick is to approach your dental marketing as you would a clinical paper. Providing links to verified websites offers much the same reassurance to the reader and
With practices becoming ever more digital savvy and the introduction of GDPR, we speak to Shaz Memon about his company, Digimax Dental.
Dentistry magazine (DM): What is Digimax Dental?
Shaz Memon: (SM): Digimax Dental is a dental design and marketing company that infuses its vast experience designing for multiple industries to create solutions for dental businesses. With beautiful, powerful and unique designs – backed with proven marketing principles – we can make a dental practice stand out to its target audience and grow, using digital marketing. Our team of 18 is based in
It’s half a century since The Beatles first visit to India – a journey that was to prove significantly influential in shaping the iconic band’s brand.
Their search for spirituality changed not only their music and their style but their philosophy, too – and, in doing so, raised the profile of Indian music in the western world while handing The Beatles an iconic album that, in turn, would influence the sound of pop music for many years to come.
One of the biggest predictions for upcoming marketing strategies has its feet firmly planted in the world of politics. Big brands are seizing upon controversies in order to build their presence online. Using powerful and meaningful engagement, they are sharing proactive and reactive comment and voicing strong opinions – not only to join a chorus of condemnation or wave the flag for a particular cause – but also to raise a profile.
Launched in 2013 popular messaging service WhatsApp now has more than 1.3bn users globally.
But according to new research businesses are not making the most of its capabilities.
Digital maketing specialists Digimax have found that less than half of British businesses have switched on to the power of WhatsApp for client communication and marketing.
Allowing an informal way to communicate quickly and for free WhatsApp was originally adopted by the teenage demographic, but it’s the messaging app’s other features that most appeal to business users.
Do you know who you are speaking to when it comes to your dental marketing efforts? If you are making some big noises on social media but nobody seems to be listening, your branded content may just need adjusting.
Shaz Memon shares eight great hacks to get your dental marketing in the mood for 2018.
Shaz Memon considers the fine line we tread online between an ‘over-sharing’ egotist and an ‘undercover’ virtual wallflower
How people perceive us matters. Increasingly, this applies not only in the real world but in the virtual world, too, and across all social media platforms. The dental industry thrives on this premise and it would be naïve to suggest otherwise.
While some of us might profess not to care what others think, the truth is we are psychologically tuned to seek approval and validation from others – particularly if looking to attract people to buy into our business.
Dentistry is beset by poor media coverage – so what can you do to flip the negative publicity and get more patients through your door? Shaz Memon explains
Very few of us are blessed with the ability to create prose that flows as perfectly as the ink from a Montblanc fountain pen.
As a clinician, you are unlikely to need to add this to an already comprehensive skillset, even though written communication plays a big role in dentistry as the spoken
The power of words – especially in a world built on trust and where patients hang on to every one you share – is a key part of your professionalism that requires frequent revisiting and fine-tuning.
Words need to be communicated with clarity, they need to be kind, caring and comforting, but they also need to engage and, essentially, make what you do – dentistry – attractive and appealing. Not easy when the media often shines a spotlight on the less palatable side of the profession!
JOB-HUNTERS are frequently warned about the potential ill effects of social media upon job applications, but new research by online marketing specialists, Digimax, reveals that it goes both ways – with 22 percent of candidates confessing to checking out their interviewers on social media.
While it’s hardly surprising to learn that 68 percent of people looking for work now utilise social media to find vacancies, with LinkedIn being the favourite social media recruitment method, candidates are also using social sites to prepare before their interviews, with almost a quarter (24 percent) using social media sites to find common interests to discuss and curry favour during interviews. A further 18 percent say that they use social media to check out the interviewer’s work background, while almost half (48 percent) use it for general interview prep.
Why marketing your dental practice has a lot more in common with the harry potter brand than your magic touch.
The concepts of ‘selling’ and ‘advertising’ can rankle a little for some dentists. The struggle to reconcile the delivery of health care with the running of a healthcare business is a lot to do with the seemingly incongruous ‘salesmanship’ of dentistry. In the process, the marketing of a practice can be neglected if it is a tough one to face. However, the promotion of a practice and its team and treatments is increasingly a reality of modern-day dentistry and, rest assured, any sales strategy offering opportunities for patients to learn about treatments and products need not always be considered a manipulative move to maximise profits.
Read the full article clicking the link below
As a small business owner, hopefully, you’ll have already recognised the importance of having a company Facebook page. Not only does it increase your online presence and give you huge reach, globally, it is also the biggest and most reliable social media platform. So, are you taking full advantage of the new and improved Messenger service?
Likening dental treatments to purchasing a new pair of brogues or designer heels may seem somewhat incongruous, but there is a very real similarity in the purchasing journey.
Increasingly, patients are beginning their research online – inspired perhaps by images of smile makeovers that have been posted on social media platforms or just curiosity as to how best to solve a dental problem they might have.
What do you believe?
We’ve all done it – had a sneaky search on Google to see what the internet is saying about us, but now it seems that Google has become an integral tool for businesses wanting to suss out their client-appeal, with 82 per cent of companies admitting to Googling themselves as part of company image control.
Read the full article clicking the link below
The expectation upon dentists to educate their customers no longer begins in the chair. Shaz Memon suggests educational tools now come in many guises.
Once upon a time, patient instruction was limited to within the four walls of the surgery – or, perhaps, the boundaries extended a little further into the practice’s waiting room, with ageing oral health posters and dental care leaflets hidden among the pile of well-thumbed and dog-eared glossies.
There’s been a lot in the media recently about the potential evils of its social counterpart. Social media is becoming too powerful, they say. It’s too big an influencer, and it’s taking over too much of our lives. Of course, at the heart of Silicon Valley that’s exactly what they want. Zuckerburg and all his Facebook friends want us to use social media in every aspect of our lives; to ‘check in’ on our excursions, to celebrate birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, voice political allegiances, record exercise regimes, share our entertainment preferences and announce our relationship status; all so that they can target their advertising, and as some suspect – influence our decisions.
It’s just over a month since the UK’s General Election, and people are still talking about it. But it’s not the policies, or the working of government which is capturing the attention; the theme of most conversations is still ‘how could she get it so wrong?’
Branding permeates all areas of our life – we are influenced by it in our purchasing choices and lifestyle habits and instinctively respond to it. As a concept, it has grown up a lot since the advertising revolution of the 1950s.
With Article 50 having been triggered, we are entering an uncertain time in regards to how the UK economy will fare. And despite reports of growth towards the end of last year, the future is still very much uncharted, and it is not yet known how we will come through this huge political and economic shift.
Business confidence has since wavered and the pound has been unable to gain momentum since the referendum. So what does this mean for the digital world?
As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK economy, now, more than ever, businesses need to invest in their digital strategies to secure their future workforce and trading capabilities.
FAIL 1: Right job, wrong person
WIN: Social media marketing can be fun and a cost effective way of promoting you and your clinic. It can also feel like a drain in precious time and resources and a bit of a headache for those of us not particularly au fait with the inner workings of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like.
It can also prove a chore if you have neither the desire nor skills to create snappy, short, sharp posts and tweets, source eye-catching images and engage with others in a virtual world. As with any role within the dental team, you need to appoint someone with both passion and aptitude to make it work successfully.
Often when I take on a new business client, they request an app custom built for their brand. Sometimes they don’t even know what sort of app they want, or what the app should do. They just want an app, because that’s what companies do these days!
Soho House asked me to contribute to their private members magazine, alongside some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and product designers.
More than 1,300 apps are added to the Apple store each day, yet less than 0.01% of those will ever be financially successful.
Despite the fact that an estimated 2.3 billion people own smartphones, it’s incredibly hard to build an app that users actually want…
When it comes to your website’s landing page, there are two fundamental questions: how do you make it easy on these prospective customers and, more importantly, how do you get them to buy?
Your online marketing strategy is vital to growing your business. There’s little point of investing your time, money and patience into a digital marketing strategy if it doesn’t get visitors who do finally arrive at your website to engage, act and keep clicking.
Remember that little thing that happened in November last year? The one where the world was left shocked, stunned and open-mouthed? When Donald Trump did the impossible?
Fewer than one in ten small business owners are fully aware of how search engine optimisation (SEO) can be used to support their company’s online presence, new research has shown.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, has been a buzzword in the business tech world for so long now that it has truly made its way into common parlance.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, has been a buzz term in the business tech world for so long now that it has truly made its way into common parlance. Every business with an online presence, from the FTSE 100 high performer to the bedroom blogger, strives to attract visitors through enhanced SEO performance.
SEO is really what makes websites more attractive to search engines such as Google. By making a website search engine-friendly, and increasing the buzz around it, SEO attracts Google’s attention, which in turn vastly increases the number of potential visitors to a site.
Ransomware has become the biggest cause of major recovery in the UK, with over 60 new variants emerging since the start of 2016 and with new families continuing to appear
Web expert Shaz Memon shares his top tips on how to get your web page to the top of Google’s search rankings.
Just 9% of the time small businesses spent in discussions with a web designer focuses on conversion, and even less time (3%) is given to branding, according to new research.
While nearly all (98%) of small businesses admit that they build a website to make more money, 91% do not consider this when it comes to designing a website, according to a survey conducted by Digimax.
New research reveals that only 9 per cent of time spent in discussion with a website designer is focused on conversion and even less time is given over to branding, with just 3 per cent of the process spent developing the brand in relation to the website.
Business leaders discussed making the most of quiet trading periods and getting strategies in place. How can you use the new year as a fresh start for employee engagement?
Small businesses may lack the marketing budget of big brands, but can use festive imagination to reach new customers.
A panel of experts discuss how your small business can turn a challenging time of year into a success.
SEO and keywords are closely related. The former improves a website’s chances of ranking highly for relevant search terms while the latter are inserted into web coding and content to improve search engine visibility. Shaz Memon of Digimax explains what both SEO and keywords can do for your site once you’ve got a winning combination.
Nearly nine in ten businesses aren’t measuring their social media marketing efforts, according to new research. Specialist web design and marketing agency, Digimax found that just 14% of businesses surveyed said they currently measure their social media campaigns and track results.
New research from web design and marketing agency Digimax reveals that very few businesses in the UK currently track social media campaign performance and results.
New research from specialist web design and marketing agency, Digimax, suggests that nearly nine in ten businesses aren’t measuring their social media marketing efforts as it’s revealed just 14% of businesses surveyed said they currently measure their social media campaigns and track results.
Nearly nine in ten businesses aren’t measuring their social media marketing efforts as it’s revealed just 14% of businesses surveyed said they currently measure their social media campaigns and track results, according to new research.
New research from specialist web design and marketing agency, Digimax, suggests that nearly nine in ten businesses aren’t measuring their social media marketing efforts as it’s revealed just 14% of businesses surveyed said they currently measure their social media campaigns and track results.
Nearly nine in ten businesses aren’t measuring their social media marketing efforts as it’s revealed just 14% of businesses surveyed said they currently measure their social media campaigns and track results, according to new research.
Businesses are failing to measure their social media marketing efforts regularly, according to new research.
Sometimes it seems like Google releases a new product every day, and it’s easy to miss one in the shuffle. Sometimes it’s even easy to miss a game-changing new service like Google Flights. Flights is Google’s entry into the travel market, and the ways in which the tech giant applies their search engine wizardry to the real world make it unique. Both travelers and travel industry businesses operators can learn a great deal from Google Flights.
Businesses are failing to measure their social media marketing efforts regularly, according to new research.
Nearly nine in ten businesses aren’t measuring their social media marketing efforts, according to new research from web design and marketing agency, Digimax.
Nearly two thirds of businesses in the UK have no marketing strategy in place for the year ahead, according to research by web design and marketing agency, Digimax.
A brand is not simply a logo and / or catchy name. It is an identity that reflects the character and quality of your business, product, or service – it is a promise to your clientele. To reinforce the story you’re telling, every encounter with your brand needs to consistently communicate what it both offers and stands for.
New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t confined to individuals: even companies can benefit from a fresh take on things. One area that deserves special attention is the marketing department.
Without the benefit of a major marketing budget, small businesses can boost sales and encourage customer loyalty with a few neat (and low-cost) tricks.
Most hotels are listed on accommodation/booking portals, and I don’t dispute that guests love these websites are they’re a one-stop shop for practically every hotel in any destination. For hoteliers, however, there’s a glass ceiling: these listings can’t normally be customised to show how amazing their place truly is, and the portal takes a percentage of each booking. Surely there’s a way to reach more guests directly?
The Internet is jam packed with advice on how to start, grow, or maintain your business.If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably been on the prowl for solid marketing and management advice for some time. Every ‘guru’ has their own style and their own hit list of surefire, success guaranteed ways to end up on a beach sipping Mai Tais. In the end, don’t they seem to run together a bit?
The hospitality industry is a very old one. There have been hotels, inns, bed & breakfast establishments, and other hospitality locations for as long as weary travelers have needed a place to rest their heads. Because it is such an old industry, hospitality has historically been slow to catch up to modern marketing practices, in particular social media.
From minimalism to content to remarketing, 2015 was a year that saw a few digital trends come to the fore. How had they impacted business and what’s in store for 2016?
Marketing is challenging in that there is no single ‘right’ way to promote a business. What works for your brand might not be as useful to another. Mistakes are different: they tend to apply across the board. Here are five marketing mistakes that small businesses frequently made in 2015, and what we can learn from them.
It may seem tough to market a small business today. Despite being short on time and resources, you have to constantly master new technologies and communication platforms. There is also very little margin for error: one mistake can translate into a time-consuming setback.
Marketing has gone mobile – and if your business isn’t part of this rapidly growing movement, it needs to be. DIGIMIAX’S Shaz Memon explains how.
An old website is like decaying teeth – a lot of people will struggle to look past it. Many existing patients and most new patients will visit your website and judge your practice accordingly. Patients will associate a modern, functional and attractive website with a clean, professional and reliable dental surgery.
Nilesh Parmar speaks to dental website designer Shaz Memon and tries to dispel the myths surrounding dental marketing and practice websites.
Shaz Memon, Creative Director of the digital marketing agency Digimax, explains how the use of purchase beacons can improve your marketing investment
Shaz Memon, Creative Director of the digital marketing agency Digimax, explains how the use of purchase beacons can improve your marketing investment.
In these times of increasing and updated Care Quality standards, it becomes important to offer existing and potential patients the assurance that your practice is properly registered and in fullest compliance.
As we race towards the coming New Year, many practice owners look forways to make their business resolutions become a reality and not something forgotten by half-past February.
TV entrepreneur James Caan, of Dragons’ Den fame, has handed the contract for revamping his website to dental digital marketing experts at Digimax.
In today’s competitive, global marketplace an online presence is essential to a successful business. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to recognise the vital need to transfer offline marketing principles to their online business persona.
Dragon’s Den’s James Caan has handed the contract for revamping his personal and business website to digital marketing firm Digimax.