The Super Bowl of Dental Advertising – Is It Worth It?

Every year companies save their marketing and advertising dollars to get their name in front of the largest group of people at one time—The Super Bowl. The hope is to generate business and recognition for their company.  This event is known as the biggest time to advertise all year long.  Companies pay top dollar for a spot.  However, according to AdAge Magazine, approximately 80% of all Super Bowl Ads do nothing to support or encourage purchases.  In other words, 80% of the ads are wasted.  Why? Communicus CEO, Jeri Smith, believes “that one ad exposure often isn’t enough to make anything happen.”

This one-time shotgun approach to advertising is very similar to the “Best Of…” features in magazines. Magazines all over the country, every year have specials that features dentists.  Normally they are named “Best Dentists” or “Top Dentists.”  Then they invite you, as a dentist, to be featured in their edition.  You can choose ad space and/or have a small photo with 50-100 words describing your practice.  You are featured right along with other dentists from all over the area.  Most people choose to participate because everyone else is doing it and it will be seen by everyone.  The reason that magazines do the “Best of” is not to educate readers but to help boost their advertising sales.  And it works!

This is the same problem we at Jameson have always seen with dental practices who invest their advertising dollars into “Best of” special editions.  People need to see, hear, feel, and experience your message consistently a minimum of five to seven times before they will act on it. So placing an ad one time in any venue, whether it is print, radio or TV, will unlikely garner you any results.  In addition, placing an ad or mention in a publication one time that is different from other marketing you are doing won’t help you obtain the results you desire and need.

Considering that, when is it appropriate to advertise in special editions?  Here are scenarios where it does in fact add to your ROI:

  1. You are already advertising in the publication.
  2. You plan to begin advertising in the publication and will do so frequently.

Follow these tips to make your profile or advertisement more successful:

  1. Make your profile about patients and not about you.  Profiles that go on about the doctor’s credentials will be lost in the sea of other dentists’ profiles.  Stand out by speaking directly to and about the reader.
  2. Choose a photo where you are wearing business professional clothing as opposed to scrubs or a lab coat.  It humanizes you and allows the viewer to feel more connected to you.
  3. Close with a call to action.  Ask them to call with a strong statement like, “Call and schedule your appointment today!”
  4. Keep your ad consistent with your other ads as opposed to using something drastically different.  Consistency is the key to increasing your ROI.
  5. Get the most out of your listing by placing it front and center on your website, in social media forums, emailing it to your patient base, and displaying it proudly in your office.  The more you show it, the more bang you get for your buck.

Any opportunity to market or advertise that targets your ideal audience can in fact yield you results as long as it executed properly.