Market Focus - Dentists: Marketable Smiles
In addition, it can be difficult to come up with dentists’ e-mail addresses. “Nobody has more than about 15 [percent] or 20 percent of the dentists’ e-mail addresses,” says Branstetter. “E-mail, as a medium, is not yet for this market, unless somebody is really, really good at e-mail marketing and unless they’re doing it in conjunction with postal.”
Eric Shirley, vice president at the dental division of Midmark Corp., which makes dental equipment such as chairs, lighting and air compressors, is one marketer who’s had luck with direct mail. “We’ll do a lot of direct mail before a trade show,” he says. “We’ll also do some targeted marketing toward our distributors who actually sell the product.” Shirley also recommends exhibiting at trade shows because dentists like to see and try out products before making a commitment to buy.
Once you have the medium in place, it’s time to think about the message. Reliability and quality are important talking points. “There’s nothing worse than having a patient sitting in the chair and the piece of equipment or tool you’re using doesn’t work properly,” says Branstetter.
In addition, let dentists know how your products save them time and money. Dentists are entrepreneurs, and they’re interested in making their jobs easier and being able to see more patients, says Henry. “A lot of dentists are looking at how they can work fewer hours and still make a very comfortable living,” explains Henry. “‘What procedures can I learn? What products can I use that will help me work less in the office but still be very productive?’”
Another point to hit upon in your marketing is ergonomics and comfort. “Think about how physically demanding the job can be; you’re on your feet most of the time, hunched over, [working within] a workspace the size of your mouth,” says Branstetter. “So anything that makes the physical part of the job easier is something that’s going to catch a dentist’s attention.”