Sophie Cameron, Director of Marketing at dentalcorp
Word of mouth can be considered the oldest form of marketing, dating back to the 1600’s. Originating with the town crier, word of mouth marketing has evolved throughout the years from storytelling and street plays to modern social media. In today’s hyper-connected world, the impact of information spread through word of mouth is amplified and accessible to an even broader audience.
The digital and social media savvy consumer is on the rise. Being conscious of the patient experience and its impact on your brand is now more important than ever.
A recent (2018) nationwide survey on consumer behaviour indicates that personal recommendations are still the number one trusted source. Research further suggests four out of five people will tell an average of three others about a positive experience they had. Online opinions are on the rise with an astonishing 80% of Canadians trusting reviews they have read online1. People who in the past sought out recommendations casually over coffee, playdates and dinner parties, are now turning to online reviews as their trusted source. The internet has allowed these conversations to travel quickly, without any restrictions.
Dentistry is an opinion-dependant industry
When receiving a service, a high level of trust needs to first be established between the patient and the practitioner. People are more inclined to be comfortable with a service when they receive a recommendation from a friend, family member or colleague. But a personal recommendation is no longer enough.
What does this mean for your practice?
Based on initial recommendations, people go online to further research your practice and narrow down their choices. They look at your website, RateMDs, google reviews, Facebook page and any other online sources to validate their decision. The role of the town crier has been replaced. Potential patients now take their clues from your online persona.
When choosing a new dentist, most people will have consciously or unconsciously asked these questions about your online presence.
1. Do you have a presence on all relevant social media and review platforms?
2. Are you interacting with patients on social media?
3. Do you respond to all reviews?
4. Does the look and feel of your website represent the personality of your practice?
5. Does your website contain easy-to-understand and engaging content?
6. Is your website optimized for search?
7. Do you make it easy for patients to book appointments with an online booking tool?
As originally published in Oral Health.
About the Author
As dentalcorp’s Director of Practice Marketing, Sophie is responsible for driving gross new patients and incremental revenue across a large network of Practices. She has over 10 years of marketing experience with a strong focus on digital, including websites, SEO and paid media. She continues to demonstrate success in driving results through patient acquisition, leadership and relationship management.