Illustration of dental care application on digital tablet

When I present on marketing to dentists that don’t know me there is often quite a barrier to start off with… and that barrier is currently held Marketing Assumptions by dentists – see if any of these assumptions are held by you:

  1. Marketing doesn’t work
  2. Marketing is about special offers
  3. Marketing is the same as selling
  4. I’ve never done any marketing in my practice
  5. Marketing is telling people about new products

I want you now to hand over all those assumptions to me, to park them, to accept for one moment in time that you have no assumptions at all…and that we are working on a clean slate…

For me, dentistry is about the exquisite relationship that you have with your patient, it is built on trust and that trust is built over a period of time.

Here’s a great example from a dentist in Harley Street, London. Notice how they use a free guide to encourage new patients to download information and begin the relationship building process.

What i believe marketing is, building relationships.

Modern dental practice marketing should be about building those relationships and allowing patients to relax with you knowing that YOU are the best dentist in town, so these are the assumptions I have about marketing:

  1. Marketing is about building a relationship, great relationships lead to a profitable business – so build relationships well and marketing will work
  2. Special Offers are what is known as ‘transactional marketing’, this certainly has its place, but comes AFTER the ‘relationship marketing’ to engender trust first.
  3. Relationship Marketing is about allowing people to ‘buy from’ you, rather than ‘sell to’ them. 
  4. You are constantly marketing, every time you speak to a patient you are marketing as you are building relationships
  5. When you talk to your patients you find out what they genuinely WANT, this allows you to mention products and services to them and they will ‘buy from you’ because they trust you

There are many ways, but one of the most successful and efficient ways is online. Online marketing allows you to build relationships with many people at the same time. Online marketing should also be permission based… if a patient ‘likes’ your Facebook fan page, they have given you unique permission to demand a small amount of attention from them in their own personal space each day. 

This ‘permission’ to talk to them in their personal space (their Facebook friend stream) is uniquely powerful and can be used to gently and slowly build trust with potential patients whilst setting you up as THE expert in your local area.

Email works in the same way, if a prospective patient ‘allows’ you to send them an email, this is a unique opportunity to communicate with them in their own space (theircomputer) at convenient intervals…  but it’s a fine balance… too much information and you’ll be accused of spam…. too little and you’ll have no impact.

On my continuous travels around the internet I get to see loads of dental websites. Many suffer from the same problems, so here’s my top 10 list of common mistakes:

  1. They place aesthetics over function.
  2. Missing or weak ‘calls to action’ i.e. tell the visitor in no uncertain terms what they gotta do now, tell them nothing and guess what, they’ll do nothing!
  3. They talk about products and services not solutions to problems
  4. They make no attempt to counter prospective patient objections
  5. They are too generic and do not make the dentist look like an absolute expert in their field… more of a ‘jack of all trades’ (whitening, implants, cosmetics, ortho, botox etc)
  6. No analytics are running. Who visited the site? Where did they come from? What are the ‘hot’ pages on the site? How long did they spend on the site? Who is linking to the site?
  7. Weak ‘copy’ (the text is not compelling)
  8. There is no up to date content on the site so the site looks dead, e.g. Blog or Twitter feed
  9. The site has no mechanism to gather targeted data from prospective patients in order to market to them at a later date with information they are interested in
  10. The sites don’t have any emotion. People buy with emotion and justify with logic, tap in to the emotion first!

Now here are my top questions you should ask yourself when reviewing or designing a website.

  • ‘What does my site DO’? What is it’s purpose?
  • Once I know what my sites DOES, how am I going to measure it’s performance – what metrics best reflect what my site DOES
  • How am I going to convert visitors to leads i.e. add visitors’ contact details to a database
  • How am I going to convert those leads to patients?
  • How can I ensure people keep coming back for more?
  • How can I use my site to start to develop a relationship with the visitor?

Measuring site performance is crucial as is working towards starting a relationship with your visitors, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and free give aways are great ways to do this .

So, now you see that relationship marketing is effective, how do you go about this relationship building process?

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.