Your Media Message
All good messages designed to move your audience need the proper media to convey that message.
Dental audiences can be segmented into 1) Potential Patients, 2) New Patients, 3) Current Patients, 4) Former Patients, 5) Referring Friends and 6) Team Members. In order to reach each segment with the ideal message that fits their need, you need to have a very good sense of how they like to receive their information.
Considering that your purpose in communicating with a dental audience segment is to build, support and grow your business, you need to develop a clear, controllable, seamless and predictable way to reach them. But each segment is entirely different. That’s why the message you craft and the media you use to reach them must be tailored to each segment individually.
To be successful with some segments (like potential patients) you’ll want to use the funnel approach- broadcasting to a large group. Think of being a lion on the hunt, finding a big herd of antelope roaming the grazing land and picking off a likely candidate to invite for dinner that night.
Everything starts with a plan. You set up shop in a desirous location with plenty of opportunity, you work in tandem with a group of like-minded team members and you select the target market to funnel into your marketing attack plan. You deliver your message to many and the susceptible ones select themselves to come closer, learn more, do more, be more involved with you.
Now the lion pride attack plan was straight forward and no wooing was involved, just stealth followed by pure speed, power and force. When time came for the lion to strike, all courtesy was suspended and a fateful deed was completed. The Lioness got ROI, dinner for six on the Serengeti.
But in dentistry, particularly in a family dental practice, we don’t like to “eat” our patients (use them up in a one-time Big Bang deal). We generally look at and value the lifetime value of a new patient. We want to cultivate a long and lasting relationship with them.
So, how do we seethe game of attraction if it’s not to follow that way of the lion? Perhaps it’s the way of the heroes of Duck Dynasty: the stealthy way, the decoy way, the alluring way. Many a marketer has learned to attract to flock of followers, ie ducks, by appearing to be one of them, putting out duck decoys on the pond, quacking with the elite level silver plated duck dynasty quacker to be more… mallard-like.
You see, appealing to others by letting them know you’re just like them is an effective way of marketing. It attracts them. People like to do business with people they know, that look like them, that act like them and they think understands them.
Duck Dynasty was built on hunters learning to behave more like ducks… to attract more ducks!
Similarly, your practice will be better built if you can master ways of being more attractive to your audience in the same manner. By the way, we talk about being more attractive in many of our teaching points in Solstice. Have you read about Affinity Groups, The New Patient Experience, The Experience Economy, Expert Status or Personal and Professional Appearance? Each focuses on why and how to be seen as more attractive to your patients, to your array of audience segments.
Media can be used to entertain, inform or cause action to be taken. Typically, it’s the message that creates these not the media, however. The media is just the method of delivery. We use the media to get our carefully crafted message where and how we want it presented.
Media selection is based on how you want people to receive information and the cost involved. For instance some media is very specific, targeted and local such as direct mail. It is physical, can be stored, saved, passed to others and has shelf life at times… but not as much of that say, as a magazine. Besides that, it can be any length- long or short. We like direct mail more now than ever before.