Groupon, Print Marketing, and Facebook Deals for Dentists

The Oregon Dental Association now says that dentists can’t use Groupon for marketing in Oregon. And, on a side note, the BCE made the same decision regarding chiropractors. Why? Because Groupon gets a referral fee or commission, and that’s against the rules.

The deal that broke the camel’s back offered a $49 Invisalign exam, x-rays, and impressions, said to be a $540 value, plus $500 off Invisalign treatment.

A chiropractor went before the board and complained that medical services, including dentistry and chiropractic, should not be put in the same realm with nail salons and restaurants.

I’ve heard mixed reviews from dentists on the effectiveness of Groupon, anyway.

Facebook offers a check-in deal, but I don’t know any dentists who use it. I’m going through the process of creating a check-in deal with Facebook today, so I’ll update this blog when I develop an opinion about the process. With a check-in deal, patients can use a smart phone to check in at your location and redeem a special offer on their phone’s screen. The benefit to the business, or you in this case, would be that the person checking in makes your practice name visible to all of her Facebook friends. The checker can add a photo and message to the post, as well.

As marketing evolves, dentists don’t know what works and what tanks. Just this week, I had a conversation with a new practice in a suburban community. We discussed newspaper advertising (which does work for some dentists), as well as direct mail (mixed reviews) – and how to tie both in with online marketing. The idea is, by driving print marketing recipients to the web, they’ll have more imprints of your brand. Thus, they’ll remember your practice when someone mentions the need for a dentist. I spoke with another client who is opting out of phone book advertising and turning to print magazine ads instead. Still another client is offering their custom version of a Care-to-Share referral program. Everyone is trying new things — which ones work?

If you’re uncertain where to put your marketing dollars, first and foremost, turn to the web. Organic search marketing is the single most effective investment. MDPM works with dentists, so we know what’s going on in the industry. We also stay on top of Google’s changes – which outnumber blades of grass on the planet it seems. The bottom line is, if you want to be found by potential patients, you need a website. Supplement the site with a blog and social networking (both require regular activity to be effective), and you’ll have a solid Internet presence. Google will respect you and rank you higher.

Call me, Jill, today at 972-781-8861 to discuss your marketing strategy.