Dentistry on demand

Shaz Memon explains how to use the ‘binge’ culture to your profitable advantage

 The binge-watching phenomenon has been driven by consumer demand. The days of a nation collectively perched on the edge of its seat awaiting the next instalment of a drama that left us with a cliff-hanger a week ago, are long gone.

This cultural shift teaches us a great deal about consumer preference and it is a savvy dental marketing expert plan that incorporates the ‘binge’ boom.

Telling a story

In essence, dental marketing is a form of storytelling. It needs to be deliverable across all platforms and accessed on all devices. Take a look at the 20-something sitting opposite you on the commute into work. Plugged into their iPhone, they’re most probably binge-watching Killing Eve, the latest season of Orange is the New Black or some other Netflix delight.

Netflix has led the way in creating a consumer-centric experience with its dramas accessible any time, any place, anywhere – the choice to ‘binge’ controlled by the viewers who may opt to watch as many or as few episodes as they wish. They can go deep and delight in the full-on binge experience in one single sitting one rainy Sunday, or they may choose to eke out their enjoyment in bite size pieces on the train into work.

These may be preferences based on lifestyle (preferred time to access entertainment, for example), device, choice of platform or an amalgam of all of these.

The point is that TV on demand is here to stay and serves to meet different demands and requirements for different people and, as marketers, it is our job to turn this to a profitable advantage.

Binge viewing

Incidentally, binge viewing is not confined to millennials.

According to a recent survey, one in three people in the UK having skipped two and a half or more hours of sleep due to binge-watching TV, whilst another poll reveals that 65% of the UK’s over sixties have binge-watched a box set, too.

Binge behaviour happens outside of the world of entertainment, too. In our purchase of big ticket items, such as a new home, a laptop or a car, for example, we all surf the net looking at spec, location, prices, reviews and so on. We binge on the information readily available to us so we can reach a conclusion – and that’s often before we’ve physically begun our research.

Embrace the online surge

Dentistry is no exception so, if your dental marketing is still on one platform using only one media, then here are some ways to use the bingeing trend to convert interested parties into patients.

First of all, you need to embrace omni-channel marketing strategies to reach a wider audience. This isn’t to say you need to have your brand on every social media platform (alongside a powerful and easy-to-navigate dental website design, of course), but there is an argument to have a presence on those where your target market is most active.

In the dental marketing arena, this should also involve delivering your key practice messages in a variety of ways, offering solutions to their dental problems packaged in a way to suit everyone you are trying to reach.

As we know, visuals are key to the role of a dentist but we also know that people have a preference for different learning styles. Does your dental marketing strategy appeal to the visual, the auditory or those who prefer reading in order to learn. Obviously it’s a tad harder to reach the kinaesthetic in a virtual world!

To meet the needs of many learning styles, your dental marketing needs to involve blogs and vlogs, YouTube videos, articles and static images. Provide content that everyone can digest in their preferred style to make the patient journey easy.

Monitor content consumption patterns, track activity and learns what works as well as what doesn’t. If you haven’t the time or skills to do so, invest in a dental marketing agency that is experienced to do so. It will help guide a prospective patient into your chair rather than someone else’s.

Content personalisation is as much about the consumer as it is you, so place people before your practice when talking about treatments in order to make your storytelling relatable.

The real-life back-story as to why Patient A chose to align their teeth is a good start.

This also might include the storytelling of an Invisalign patient’s specific journey in the form of a vlog. Select a patient who represents the demographic most likely to consider this procedure and showcase the results on a platform where they are most likely to be. Use Instagram, for example, to share before and after images. Make it interactive so they have to swipe to see the end results and then give them an opportunity to go deeper into the story by adding a link to a YouTube video where they can hear from the patient themselves.

Alternatively, it may be a link to a step-by-step guide to adult orthodontics, a ‘frequently asked Q&As’ page or a written patient testimonial – with a ‘book a free consultation with us’ button accompanying all of these next stages.

In effect, craft your dental marketing with a view to meeting the needs of your audience rather than simply promoting your brand.

Show and tell a story, reflect on the interaction and plan your follow up.

Content consumption for some may be a case of bingeing on information ‘while they are in the moment’ so ensure you deliver an experience that is seamless and information that is enhanced and of high quality at every level.

Your storyline needs to progress with each step and, ultimately, steer your audience toward the desired action, so do include subtle calls to action along the journey. Allow them to learn a little more at each step, but leave them wanting more.

By combining data and technology and personalised content that is easily accessible, your dental marketing agency should deliver a tailored and appealing consumer experience, whatever the preferred platform, learning style and device.


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