We as a society have entered into what economists and the like are calling The Fourth Industrial Revolution or as Deloitte Global calls it, “The Big Shift”.* The digitization of the way we as a society function and interact through technology is dramatically shifting the way businesses are starting to function both with the internal systems of their businesses as well as with their external efforts to attract business TO their businesses. Dental practices are no different.
From an internal perspective, dentists must take a hard look at the way their practices run, the way their employees work, and the way they provide treatment to patients. The more technologically savvy our population becomes, the more likely practices that don’t invest in up-to-date and relevant technology to care for their patients are going to become obsolete.
From an external perspective, the way dentists market to prospective patients in their communities must shift as well. In marketing, there are terms for the efforts that a business makes – they are called “Push and Pull Marketing”. Push Marketing is the traditional, advertising approach to marketing that we all are familiar with – direct mail, advertisements, radio and TV, etc. We are literally PUSHING our message out to the audiences we are trying to attract. Pull Marketing is what the digital era has taken to an entirely new level – permission based marketing, social media, referrals, blogs, Facebook groups and more. People choose to find you, to follow you, to engage with you and your efforts. Because of this overwhelming shift to digital, this is where many are lacking in their efforts and must begin placing focus and energy.
A beautiful mix of both push and pull would create a fantastic, comprehensive approach to attracting new patients to your practice. Regardless of how you feel about social media, the internet and digital’s place in our world, if you are not there, you are not being found.
It’s time to assess. Take an internal assessment of your systems – are you up to date with your clinical technology? Where do you need to invest? Are you maximizing a patient communication software that helps you connect with your patients in the way that they have come to prefer – by text and online? Are you engaging through a website, blog, Facebook business page and more to bring your presence to the forefront and to show your relevance in today’s day and age? Are you driving your patient family to provide online reviews where you need them (i.e. Google & Yelp)? These are all powerful questions to ask.