According to the ADA (American Dental Association), patient migration between dentists and instances of “dental tourism” have become more prevalent in recent years as the US economy has slowed.
“Patient migration” simply means patients are less loyal to their dentist and are more likely to change their dentist. This break of loyalty indicates a trend that shouldn’t be overlooked and that goes hand in hand with dental tourism and increased instances of price shopping for dental treatments. “Dental tourism” is where a patient does research for the lowest possible price for dental procedures and often travels out-of-state or even out of the country in order to find low cost dental options.
“Marketing is very dynamic because patients buying habits constantly change,” says Barak Granot, Dental Marketing Expert and Co-Founder of DentoMetrix. “Dentists that let their marketing go stale are losing ground to their more insightful competitors.”
Granot believes that dentists are just becoming aware of problems caused in their practice by the upswing in patient migration and increased instances of dental tourism. While most dentists are utilizing traditional marketing methods such as search engine optimization, sending postcards to people who recently moved into the area and offering price matching or special deals, Granot encourages dentists to focus on building up their authority and expert status.
“If you are positioned in the mind of prospective patients as the expert in your field, patients will be willing to pay more and not haggle on prices,” he added.
The strategy Granot proposes involves a combination of tactics including garnering media coverage and building a solid reputation and presence. Granot adds, “Prospective patients are looking up the dentist’s name in a lot of cases, whether coming from referrals or after searching their insurance data and the dentist needs to control what they will see. If the dentist has a lot of great reviews and, in addition, was featured in national media outlets as an expert, then he or she is the hero.”
Frank Kern, an influential and prominent internet marketing expert, echoes Granot’s statement. He said, “Positioning, most importantly positioning yourself as an authority, is the single most important thing you can do increase your perceived value to the market place.” Los Angeles dentist, Dr. Neil McLeod agrees. “Online reviews became so important. Just yesterday I had 3 new patients that came to me and when I asked them what brought them in they said ‘we read your reviews.’ You have to have reviews.”
Granot explains, “If dentists have authority and are known as an expert, patients will be willing to come over even from other states for their procedures in order to have the best care, price becomes less the issue than quality.”
To learn more about Barak Granot and DentoMetrix please visit: http://dentometrix.com/.