Editor’s Note

Finding their Voice

Laura Thill

Dental group practices today have more options than ever before for reaching out to current and prospective patients. Yet, knowing the best way to communicate with widely varying groups of people – and then conveying an image that resonates with such a diverse audience – can be challenging. In this issue, Efficiency in Group Practice explores how dental group practices can successfully accomplish both.

Particularly as more and more American households have come to revolve around smartphones, tablets and computers, digital marketing has become a widely acceptable tool for dental group practices to reach out to current patients, as well as introduce themselves to new ones. In fact, practices that don’t take advantage of digital marketing are missing out on an opportunity, according to Xavier Dao, senior director of marketing, Pacific Dental Services® (PDS®). That said, the array of digital marketing channels available to dental practice owners can be overwhelming, he points out. From websites and search engines, to social media, email, SMS, content marketing and digital display advertising, “digital marketing is not only one of the best ways to reach new and existing patients, it’s also one of the most complex ways,” he says. “Refining audience segments is an art requiring both creative and analytic processes.”

At the same time, dental practices must be ever mindful of the image – or brand – they convey to patients. This can be challenging for a large group practice or DSO that targets a diverse audience. “Our brand is one of the most valuable and important assets of our organization,” says Jacque Ramsey, director of marketing, Mortenson Dental Partners. “We teach and empower all of our team members that they are brand ambassadors who shape our brand in a more influential way than signage or a TV commercial ever could.” A strong brand will resonate with a variety of audiences, Ramsey notes. And while each audience may require a different message, each message conveys who the organization is and why that should matter, Ramsey explains.

Most importantly, an organization’s brand must help build trust with the consumer. “The ability to deliver cutting edge, quality service, while building trust with the target audience, will be the key to branding moving forward,” Ramsey says.