Beautiful Smiles Are Like Diamonds in Orthodontic Marketing

diamonds.jpgBuying decisions, no matter what the product or service, is based on emotion…

DeBeers, who is responsible for 40% of world wide diamond productions and has a retail presence in 25 countries world wide, did extensive research on why men and woman buy diamonds.  Their research shows that men and woman buy diamonds for totally different reasons. And though their reasons are different, they are both based on emotion, not on size, color, clarity and long term value. The same is true when patients and parents are seeking the services of an orthodontic provider. They are looking for a beautiful smile and straight teeth. They aren’t looking for perfection, but the emotional feeling and self confidence one feels after their teeth are straightened.

A man, when purchasing a diamond for a woman, wants to experience the look… the look on her face and in her eyes when she sees the diamond.  A woman, on the other hand buys herself diamonds so that she can experience other women admiring the jewelry she is wearing.

From this research, DeBeers opted for two different marketing tactics in magazines and TV commercials:
1. A man putting a ring on a woman’s finger or giving her earrings or a necklace as a special occasion gift. The woman responding with surprise, love, tears…evoking great emotion from her.

2. A woman walking through a crowd at a party, wearing a diamond necklace or earrings and other women turning around to admire her jewelry.  In the video commercial, the admirer nudges her escort to turn around and see for himself how nice the diamonds look on the other woman and how she herself would like the same thing.

Both are powerful ads and both are based on emotion, depending upon each targeted market.  If the printed word creates a picture in your mind worth 10,000 words, a video is worth 1,000,000.

Click on DeBeers ad below from the male perspective

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This is why they are the most successful diamond marketer in the world and have lead the industry in marketing strategies and sales.  They are the leaders that set the bar. They marketed their audience based on emotion, which developes personal relationships, and consequently built a name you can trust when purchasing diamonds.

Their success is also based on their positioning.  They were the first ones out of the gate with this emotional tactic in the diamond industry and now all the followers are campaigning with “ME TOO knockoffs.” DeBeers latest marketing tactics, even though the old ones are still being aired and are very successful, are evoking different emotions with different ads. Rather than resting on previous success, they moved on to the next campaign and are again creating new trends in their efforts to maintain first position.

The Heart of a New Patient Exam
In a new patient exam, getting to know the patient personally and determining the reason they are seeking orthodontic treatment, is obviously the first to do in any NP appointment. This step is no different than DeBeers surveying their audience.  Within a few minutes, any marketing savvy TC asks the key questions necessary to elicit personal information from the patient/parents.  She then informs the Dr of the results, so he/she can immediately develop a personalized treatment plan based on their answers and emotional concerns.  Questions like…
•What are your orthodontic concerns?
•What don’t you like about their teeth
•If you require treatment, what type of treatment are you interested in?
•Is this the first time you have undergone an orthodontic evaluation?
•Have any friends or family gone through orthodontic treatment themselves?  Were they pleased with their treatment results.

The main objective of a TC is to begin building the relationship with patient/parent, provide pertinent information to the Dr so you can continue the personal relationship, and pave the way for your practice as the #1choice as their orthodontic care provider.

Now, what I would like you to do is consider this… instead of waiting for the TC to introduce you and your practice at  the New Patient exam, like every other practice, why not introduce yourself and your practice to patients/parents before the first appointment.  Give perspective patients/parents an opportunity to see your office, your team, and listen to you first hand. Start developing a personal relationship with patients/parents before they walk through the door and give them the opportunity to feel like they already know you before you walk into the room.

You can easily direct new patients/parents to your website with your welcome letter and once the word gets around, referring patients will direct friends to the Internet.  On your website, communicate with them, personally, who you are and what you can do for them.  Create an interactive virtual office tour or personalized welcome on the home page (either as a video or photographs with narrated audio for those that are camera shy).

Today, with all the new advances in digital technology, there is no better way to market yourself, your team, your treatment modalities and your services than the Internet.  You can present your entire marketing “elevator speech” in less than 3 minutes.  The Internet is available 24/7, for convenience, and its marketing appeal for today’s digital savvy generations is unprecedented and groundbreaking.

The Internet, like television, allows you, as a business owner and professional to convey emotion with audio and video on your website.  You no longer have to spend huge dollars getting the word out to your perspective patients.  Today, it is easy and inexpensive to create good video for your website or, if you are so inclined with a minor learning curve, you can do it yourself right in the office.  It’s not rocket science.  All you need is a HDDV camcorder for high quality taping, minimal training, the ability to overcome camera shyness, and the desire to set yourself apart from other practices in your area.

Online video marketing is still virgin territory in marketing any businesses. But it won’t remain that way much longer. 

Patients and parents choose their orthodontist, like diamonds, based on emotion and with some element of logic. But,emotion will make the final decision.  If they trust you and feel you understand why they have come to you for treatment, they will most likely choose you as their service provider. With online video marketing, angle your tactics towards the mindset of what you want to portray to your patients, and give yourself a head start on promoting your practice.  Instead of telling them about you, your practice and your accomlishments, tell patients what orthodontics will do for them such as improved self esteem with new, less noticeable appliances. Allow the TC, your team and your patients to talk about you, rather than yourself, to build trust and provide verifiable truth.

Watch this professionally created video as a good example of orthodontic video marketing. Minimal footage is currently available on the Internet.  The time to start is now…. Be the first in your area to set the new bar in orthodontic marketing.

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This 2nd video was captured by personnel in an Invisalign practice. It is of the same video quality, but obviously not created by a professional videographer and storyboard.  However, the testimonial, given by the patient is verifiable truth of treatment expertise.  It evokes a must higher level of trust from a consumer than the professionally created video that tells a better story.  With some minor training and tweaking on technique, future videos could be created looking much more professional, even though done unprofessionally in the office.

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Ultimately what most patients want is a remarkable smile that everyone will notice when they, or their child, walk into a room or has their picture taken.  How they get that smile is logistics.  It is a feature of your treatment, not the main product.  Your product is a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.  Target the product, not the features in your marketing tactics and videos to be an EXTRAordinary, marketing savvy orthopreneur™.

Food for thought…then take action!

Here’s to marketing smarter, faster and with less effort.