Posted on 4/21/2016 by Rosalea Peters, WEO Media Staff
|Voice search is here. Facebook is launching a local search service. More desktop traffic comes from Facebook than any other social service. SEO is more than optimizing for Google. Content is king, but only relevant, rich, story. These are headlines of articles you can find when you're looking for the latest information on digital marketing - which really doesn't need the qualifier of "digital" - because Everything is Marketing (right Fred Joyal).
The other headlines you'll see talk about ROI (return on investment for the uninitiated) and how as dentists, you are responsible for YOUR business, and you should always "trust but verify" that your marketing team is doing well by you.
To a dentist sitting in the latest marketing course put on by her state association or trade association, she is told that she's wasting money if she's not measuring the results of her marketing plan, and that she should ask these 10 soul-searching questions of any SEO company that she plans to hire. Is it really that easy?
This is where you should take your cue from the title. Marketing is messy - and it's pretty rare that you'll find an even trajectory from point A (congratulations! you hired an SEO company or marketing agency) to point B (congratulations! you have 20 new patients a month from your website).
This graphic below is one of my favorites - from a great blog article by Ian Lurie about how marketers aren't storytellers - we are world builders. What this represents is the path that a consumer interacts with your brand. As marketers, we know that there is a high likelihood that a prospect will have brushed elbows with your brand multiple times before they are at a point of conversion.
Those "brushes with brand" are such excellent representations of why marketing is messy, and why it can be difficult for a dentist to measure the ROI of their marketing efforts.
Example: A prospective patient may have seen a sponsored ad in their Facebook newsfeed, or even better, one of their Facebook friends shared a post from their dentist's page. A few weeks later, they run into another friend who tells them about the amazing experience they had at their last dental appointment because "Of all the things, the evening after my surgery, the dentist called me to make sure I was doing okay!". A few months go by and our prospective patient realizes they're past due on their twice-yearly (okay, in reality - their once yearly) dental visit and can't remember the name of this fantastic dentist that their friend recommended, so searches "dentist in Austin, TX". A few names pop up at the top of the first page, and they recognize Dr. Toothy Adams. After a few seconds on the website to find contact information, a call goes in to the office.
Now we all know what happens next. Our friendly receptionist asks, "Who referred you to our office" Our prospective patient says "my friend Amy". No mention of the online interactions the patient has had.
Would the prospect have called the office if their website wasn't on page 1? Maybe. Was the office or dentist's name heightened in their conscious mind because of the three touches (Facebook, in person, website search)? A case would likely be made that yes it was. How then, does the dentist measure the true results of their marketing efforts?
Marketing is messy. It requires trial and error to finesse the "sweet spot". It requires research, time, and collaboration. It's constantly changing and innovating. There are new things to learn everyday - as we noted from our introduction - the headlines can be mind-boggling. But when the mess of marketing comes together in just the right way - a work of art is born; and the synergy it creates? Amazing.
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