Personalization and your practice brand
Building a distinctive brand and maintaining your market presence are vital elements helping you to attract new patients. If you are reading this article, you already know that you need creative ideas to differentiate yourself and your practice. If your message is “outside the box” of traditional advertising you are much more likely to find success with your marketing dollars. Ironically, research shows many businesses reap long-term rewards from items that actually arrive “in a box” like promotional items given away to promote their identity and value proposition. Promotional products make excellent incentives for new patients, classroom gifts, and prizes for your reward drawings and giveaways.
Consistent, creative messaging makes your dental practice stand out from the rest in your community. One interesting example is from Mary Kay® cosmetics and the iconic pink Cadillac® vehicles issued to their best representatives. Not only is it a big incentive for the recipient, but it’s a high profile mobile billboard for the company. Everyone who sees them is instantly reminded of Mary Kay. By giving patients an extraordinary gift that is both personalized and relevant to the services you provide, they remember you when the topic of oral care in on their mind or part of a discussion with friends.
You want to use your marketing dollars in the most effective way, so the question becomes; how does the expense of promotional products compare with the expense of other forms of promotion and advertising on a ROI basis? What are the benefits and the drawbacks of choosing promotional products? And what choice is right for you and your marketing dollars? The effectiveness and enduring influence promotional products can have is well known yet not just any promo item is going to get results for you. What arguably agree on is that products that feature your dental practice name that your patients can see every day and share with their friends and family can be an invaluable asset to your practice.
In a recent study entitled, “Effectiveness of Promotional Products As An Advertising Medium”:
- 94% of participants could recall specific promotional products they had received in the past 24 months.
- The majority of them—89%—also remembered who gave them the item.
- 83% said they enjoyed getting promotional products.
- 48% wished they received promotional products more often.
- 69% said they typically keep the promotional products they receive.To be an effective form of promotion, the product is best when it is used regularly, kept nearby for fast reference, and inspires positive feelings and actions.
Another finding stated that consumers were more likely to make a purchase after receiving a promotional product than after being exposed to other types of advertising. For your practice, it is important not only to get the new patient through the door but to retain them as a patient and to create patient advocates for your practice that will share their positive experience with friends.
Of those that received branded promotional products in the survey, 7.6% reported letting a friend use the item, and 4.4% passed the product on to someone else. The conclusion of this study is that most consumers like and want promotional products, are likely to keep them and more likely to patronize your business in the future as a result of receiving a promotional product from you.
Writing instruments were the most widely recalled advertising specialty items, with 54% of respondents possessing them and of course they are a reasonable analog to toothbrushes. They were followed by shirts, caps and bags. Interestingly, in the study, bags were reportedly most frequently used, by an average of nine times every month and it was estimated that each bag averages 1,038 impressions per month. Promo items that recipients will use in public have the potential to have a much greater impact for you.
According to the results of the ASI study, organizations get a more favorable return on the money they spend on specialty items/promotional products than on any other popular mode of advertising. Keep in mind that items which are not clearly related to your business or your services, may be confusing to the people who receive them. Not only will they likely have difficulty associating the merchandise with your services, but you also risk diluting your brand. Make sure the products you use are relevant to the services your offer.
An article in the New York Times®, “The Surprising Power of Promotional Products,” by M.P. Mueller, offers the following suggestions; Items that you giveaway should be gifts consumers can use as they are making decisions related to the products or services you provide. You want your organization to be on the tips of their tongues when the discussion is about your field. Your promotional product should not only support your marketing message but also set your organization apart from the others.
Inspire patient loyalty through branded items that stir their emotions while being relevant to the services you provide. Click here to learn more.
Invest in promotional products that offer lasting usability because the greater the shelf life of the item you’re giving away, the greater your return on your investment. StarSmilez plush items are an example of a meaningful prize for a cavity club drawing winner and an impressive new young patient reward. Patients are likely to keep these items for years to come, thus making a lasting impression on both them and within their circle of friends.
Researchers say it is human nature to feel grateful to someone who gives you something for free, and this is true most everywhere in world. What will the recipient of your gift be willing to give in return? In order to realize success, it’s important to first define your objectives. Establish your budget first, keeping in mind how much each recipient is worth to you and your bottom line. The quality and price point for the gifts you select should be a reflection of how much you value the recipients. With these tips in mind, you’ll not only work within your budget, you’ll show your target audience that you understand their needs, value their relationship and hope they will continue to entrust you with their dental needs.
Mueller, M. P. “The Surprising Power of Promotional Products.” You’re the Boss Blog. N.p., 18 July 2011. Web.15 June 2012. <http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/the-surprising-power-of-promotional-products
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