Gamification of Dental Marketing solves the biggest challenge for Dentists today is owning and operating an effective website that generates quality new patient traffic and an above average ROI - consistently. The proliferation of a wide variety of websites, social networks and mobile apps means that the prospective patients that you want most are constantly being bombarded with a variety of digital distractions, all vying for their attention.
Traditional patient retention strategies are rendered less effective with each passing day, and Dentists are seeing patients leave their practices as fast—or sometimes faster—than they can replace them.
Gamification of Dental Marketing provides the needed assistance to Dentists who are struggling to overcome the growing problem of “digital attention deficit disorder” which is one of the fastest-growing reasons patients are leaving your practice. But some Dentists have discovered a rapidly growing technology that’s not only attracting new patients—but also engaging and retaining existing patients more effectively than ever before. The technology is gamification, and while it’s just gaining traction in the Dental profession, its widespread adoption is well underway in several key industries.
Gamification of Dental Marketing equips Dentists to convert interested new patient prospects into vocal fans and die-hard, loyal advocates and patients. Dr. Ken Newhouse and the team at Growth Hacker Central is (to-date) the first and only Growth Hacker serving the Dental profession and as a result the leading expert who specializes in Gamification of Dental Marketing programs as well as gamification of patient referral and retention programs and employee training/engagement programs at the forefront of the Dental profession’s fastest growing methodology for generating new patient traffic (and retain existing patients), is raising the bar in terms of how Dentists can more deeply engage their users.
The Internet, with all its benefits, is a fluid and evolving entity that requires constant innovation and the enthusiastic adoption of new trends and technologies. Dentists who choose to embrace Gamification of Dental Marketing methodologies are enjoying resounding success.
Managing an effective web presence has become increasingly complicated for Dentists and Dental Specialists alike. Running a successful dental practice has never been easy. Managing employees, setting priorities, selecting associates, managing revenue and undertaking long-term efforts to see your practice grow has always been a significant challenge.
Compounding that challenge is the fact that Dentists today must have dynamic and engaging websites that attract and connect with quality new patient prospects. Virtually every dental practice has some kind of web presence today, and while it undeniably helps to ensure success, it also presents additional dental marketing challenges.
Maintaining an effective web presence isn't as simple as paying a vendor to slap up a few pages with static content and a few illustrations that they've provided to hundreds of Dentists across the country.
Dentists with a strong web presence invest significant resources every day on a multitude of factors including:
The list is continuously evolving, illustrated by the current rush to translate content into a mobile format. Through this evolution, Internet-based new patient acquisition practices have been refined to the point that Dentists today can reach once unimaginable numbers of people with great speed.
A number of tools and techniques available to attract users to your website -- and through your website, to your practice’s services and products -- have flourished:
Thanks to companies like Google, the collection of tools used to attract new patients to your web site is wide, deep, and effective. But the flip side is that engaging and retaining those prospective patients is harder than ever. An explosion of internet-based activities designed to attract and monopolize the attention of users has made it significantly more difficult for Dentists to maintain the engagement of their patients.
347 million new websites were launched in the last two years, and 27 million more will launch this month. The competition for the attention of your prospective new patients is growing at a staggering rate.
So, while Growth Hacking strategies that attract new dental patients have evolved into a science, strategies for keeping the attention and loyalty of those patients has heretofore not been effectively addressed. Dentists have simply depended on the tried and true tactics of patient retention to engage and retain their patient base:
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Just a few years back, Dentists were hearing that “content was king”. Dentists either paid someone to create the content (or struggled on their own to create content) that would attract and engage quality new patients. It was understood that “quality” content—clear and concise information that people really wanted to read, would result in “quality” new patient appointments, case acceptance and retention.
Email Alerts and Communications are used to maintain communication momentum with patients. Many Dentists provide opt-in newsletters, news alerts and other communications that are especially relevant to both the practice and the patient. Delivered directly into their in-boxes, patients are informed and up-to-date without any real effort of their own, solidifying the perceived value of the Doctor/patient relationship and creating loyalty.
Social Sharing provides patients with the ability to share information easily and automatically with their friends and acquaintances. Today, you can refer a friend to your Dentist, send an article to a family member or associate, or simply choose to “like” something, spreading awareness to every Facebook friend in your circle. Social sharing is a grassroots marketing campaign that drives patients to connect further with those in their circles. And Dentists, by providing this information and the ability to easily share it, effectively insert themselves into the communication process. “Did you see the article on teeth whitening I sent you?”
Campaigns and Contests are used to further connect patients to the practice. While users may be patients, it doesn't mean they have a continuous relationship with the practice. Campaigns and contests can be used to engage the patient on a more regular basis, resulting in increased mindshare and brand loyalty. Radio stations are particularly adept at sponsoring events that both regular and prospective listeners attend. And coordinating contests is as simple as giving away concert tickets to the first five callers every afternoon. These activities keep people tuning in.
All of the above tactics remain essential. Today, however, every good website manager has come to understand the importance of sticky content, newsletters and the value of social networks. They’re no longer competitive advantages.
It’s not a matter of simply publishing interesting and/or compelling content, it’s about competing with the constant flow of information new and prospective patients are receiving from dozens—if not hundreds—of sites. Not only do Dentists have to compete with that, but they must also compete with technologies whose sole purpose seems to be to addict their users—like Facebook.
Leveraging gamification to increase patient retention
Gamification is the integration of game mechanics and theory into non-game applications and processes. Simply put, the concept applies a game-oriented approach to non-game activities, making them more engaging.
Game mechanics motivate participants to get and remain involved. For many Dentists, gamification is a powerful new tool that drives patient loyalty and retention in the same way that game designers, social networks, and the travel industry have for years.
There’s no better or faster way than implementing the Growth Hacking strategy of gamification into your Dental marketing program to motivate patients, Joint Venture partners and employees to engage with your website, improve new patient appointments and referrals, increase case acceptance and patient retention.
Dentists are facing a number of challenges today, compounded by the never-ending effort to maintain the mindshare of their patients in an increasingly crowded webosphere. Gamification presents a rich and unique opportunity to overcome many of these challenges by truly building a sense of connection with your patients and within your community. When implemented correctly and with careful design consideration, many Dentists are finding that sustainable user loyalty is just a game away.
To learn how applying the Growth Hacking strategy of GAMIFICATION to your Dental Marketing program can explode your new patient traffic, contact Dr. Newhouse and the Growth Hacker Central team here