The PIE Approach to Orthodontic Marketing

Pumkin gourds_web.JPGIt’s that time of year again…

Time to get into the mood and gear up for the holidays. The 4th quarter has three holidays that are major marketing targets; Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the perfect opportunity to be “ExtraOrdinary” within a group of ordinary orthodontic practices in your area.

PIE or “Presentation Is Everything” is not an innovative or new marketing concept, but it is one that has withstood the test of time. However, many offices do not utilize the full potential of this basic marketing rule of thumb, especially when practices are busy and marketing efforts begin to slide.
My favorite holiday is Halloween. Black paper bats on the operatory walls, glow in the dark spiders in huge webs and smoking cauldrons full of surprises, just to name a few. Patients and parents always love a fun, high energy atmosphere when coming to the office. When your presentation is “ExtraOrdinary”, word of mouth viral excitement about your practice from patients and parents to their friends and family is all part of a sound marketing plan.

The PIE principle also applies to your referring dentists. Most orthodontic practices target the same holidays for referring dental deliveries. You want to make sure that your thank you gift outshines and supersedes the rest. Make is memorable! 

Our practice always made pumpkin deliveries, which is not unusual. But what was “ExtraOrdinary” was how they were presented. All the referring practices in the area looked forward to our arrival every year and our gift always outshined all others. Never underestimate the power of PIE!

Here are 10 tips that will help you make your decorating task easier:        

  • Staff should always be on the lookout for cool office decorations. Buy one unusual office decoration for each season that will withstand the test of time, every year. 
  • Look for sales at the end of the season for the following year. You can find great Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations when you least expect it.
  • Mail order catalogs have unusual decorations. Suggest team members keep the office in mind when they are thumbing through catalogs at home or in the office.
  • Martha Stewart Magazine and her holiday decorating books are a great resource for unusual ideas. She provides resources and templates to construct decorations and themes. Pick an idea that you can create once and then store away for years to come.
  • If you don’t have time, hire it out.  Contact you local high school art department, ask patients or find a mom that would like to exchange services for a portion of treatment.
  • Have the entire staff participate in decorating and make a party out of it with food and drinks supplied by the practice. The job will get done faster and it is no longer a chore.
  • Combine Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations together when decorating. Remove the witches, bats and spiders after Halloween, but leave the pumpkins and fall decorations till after Thanksgiving, when the Christmas decorations go up.
  • Even though Christmas and Hanukah are religious holidays, to a child, holiday spirit is everything. Decorate the office for the holidays and consider hiring a professional holiday decorator to transform the outside of your office into something special. It is a great transparent community marketing strategy that will make you “ExtraOrdinary” in your area from Thanksgiving through the end of January.
  • Throw out old or damaged decorations.
  • Pack decorations in color coded plastic storage containers, by holiday, to protect your collection, prevent mildew, and make it easier to quickly find the decorations for each holiday. 

Great marketing strategies always include PIE for the Holidays!