I Feel for Your Patients

Have you seen the YouTube video about the little boy who was sedated after his visit to the dentist?  Almost everyone remembers “David After Dentist” even though it came out years ago.  How did that video make you feel? Many were disgusted in David’s father for recording him. Others laughed and thought it was just a really funny video.  People even felt scared for David when he asked his dad in a state of panic, “IS THIS REAL LIFE?!” No matter how it made you feel, it made you feel.

A group of scientists in California have found that all viral marketing messages have ONE thing in common —  they evoke emotion.  I’m sure you can close your eyes and picture those devastatingly sad commercials about starving children and abused animals.  I sure can. They evoke sadness and sympathy in their audience.  They are memorable and effective.  I personally hate them.

I hate them because I turn to television to help my brain take a break from worry. I personally watch TV shows that make me laugh, smile or experience joy.  The chick flick, as deceiving as it is, sucks us women in every time. It makes us feel love by how we relate to the main character.  Face it, no man is ever going to chase your plane down a runway in the pouring rain to tell you he’s sorry and propose marriage.  If he did, trust me, he’s not someone you want to date, led alone marry. But we still buy this crap because of how it makes us feel. We still watch it and enjoy it because it helps us experience emotions.

When creating any marketing materials for your practice, we consider emotion.  We consider which colors to use to evoke a particular emotion. We consider your message, goals and most importantly, we have ways to evoke the right emotion in your audience. As  a dentist, you must realize the 3 main reasons why patients say they “hate visiting the dentist”.

  1. They are afraid of being judged.
  2. They are afraid of pain.
  3. They are afraid of being receiving unfair pricing.

They rarely think “I hope this guy can provide me with a well-fitting crown.” That is almost always assumed.

Here’s an example of how emotion can effect the outcome of an ad.  Once upon a time, I worked as a marketing director for a dental office.  When I started, I noticed they had been running an ad campaign on the radio.  It was supposed to be targeted women who have interest in sedation and/or cosmetic dentistry.  The script featured a woman discussing how great her new smile looks with her best friend.  It evoked an emotion all right.  It was annoying!  It was unrealistic and it did the opposite of what it was supposed to do.  Most importantly, it wasn’t working. What was the ad supposed to do?  It was supposed to attract patients considering cosmetic or sedation dentistry.  What do these patients need to hear? Patients considering cosmetic and/or sedation dentistry need TRUST.  They need to know they won’t be judged and that they won’t be hurt and that they will be treated right.  They need to feel safe.

I re-wrote this ad.  The new ad, in 60 seconds, connected with the audience, evoked the RIGHT emotions and worked like a charm. It was the same exact station, the same budget, same length, but it evoked emotion. It was their top source of new patients for about a year.

Don’t go into marketing alone.  Let us help you make the most of your marketing.  Contact us for a free marketing analysis and let us help you become the number one dentist in your town.

– Grace Rizza, Identity Dental Marketing