AIM Dental Marketing

AIM Marketing

Oral Systemic Marketing Plan

Oral Systemic Marketing Plan

If You’re Ready To Ramp Up Your Oral Systemic Practice… If so…
Click here to order your Oral Systemic Marketing Plan
(Be sure to enter promo code: FREEOSP
Promo code is case sensitive).

NOTE: A credit card is required to order the free service but no charge will be applied and your information will not be retained.

  • You will then receive a link to the Practice Situation Assessment referenced in the video above, which must be completed within 3 days.
  • The Shopping Cart requires entry of valid credit card information – no charge will be applied and your information will not be retained.
  • Upon receipt of your completed Assessment, you will receive a telephone call to arrange delivery of your Service.

Thank you for your interest in ADM’s Acclaimed Oral Systemic Marketing Plan Service!

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New (to me) Organization Worth Watching

I recently became aware of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. One of many indications of why this is an important organization to know about is their most recent blog post which directly addresses the links between oral and overall health, and the fact that THE number one illness among children is Early Childhood Caries (ECC). By comparison, asthma afflicts 1/5 as many children.

I urge you to subscribe to their free journal.

AIM MarketingNew (to me) Organization Worth Watching
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Marketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke

Marketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke

If you think your current level of attention to the needs of your patients, both current and prospective is ‘good enough,’ think again.

In his book Good To Great, author Jim Collins explains that “Good is the enemy of great.” It is all too easy for us to grow complacent with things that seem ‘good enough.’ The consequences of this can range from a loss of market share to business failure. This has always been true, but never more so than it is today. Why? Because technology advances at an ever increasing rate, which means the period of time from ‘new and different’ to ‘old and boring’ shrinks with each passing year.

This is not to say that such mainstays as valuable customer service and attention to the needs of your patients are no longer important. On the contrary, they are more important than ever. That’s because a consequence of this increased rate of technological advance is a higher standard of care when it comes to “customer service.” In other words, if you think your current level of attention to the needs of your patients, both current and prospective is ‘good enough,’ think again.

Another way to help ensure practice growth is to increase your willingness and ability to understand what motivates members of the demographic group known as Generation Y, and adapt your communications and compensation accordingly. This group, raised on the Internet, is better educated, less brand loyal and more focused on quality and speed of delivery. This spells both opportunity and challenge for your team management and motivation skills.

Our company is committed to what we term “I.C.A.N.” that is, Improvement that’s Continuous And Never-ending. A poignant example of this is in our work with social media for dentists. At this time, ‘the rules of the game’ and what constitutes an optimum social media presence are changing at an astounding rate. Case In Point: I was invited in September, 2010 to make a presentation to a group 4 months later on social media strategies and nearly drove myself crazy reworking the presentation to ensure it was ‘current.’

While the pace of change required to remain in the vanguard of dental patient service may not be quite that great, I do suggest as a worthwhile investment of time adding a “What’s New” section to your team meetings. You and your team then have an opportunity to share updates and suggestions on how to improve the patient experience in your practice. And do not think that, once you’ve implemented a change, you are stuck with it. Experimentation is a key ingredient of improvement and that elusive goal called perfection. Just be sure to give each (hoped for) enhancement a fair chance to demonstrate its value. If ninety nine people love it, and one doesn’t, remember not to set or change policy on the exception, but rather, on the rule.

Lead or Be Left Behind

What this means for your practice is to be ever on the lookout for better ways of doing and packaging what you do. You need not be an ‘early adopter’ of technology. From your patient’s perspective, offering the ‘latest and greatest’ will probably not warrant the premium price you are likely to pay, as well as the ‘growing pains’ you’ll likely encounter, by being by the first to adopt a new technology. But you can and should keep yourself apprised of shifts in the preferences of your target audience(s). For example, are you communicating with current and prospective patients in ways in which they wish to be communicated? Is your service offering consistent with what patients value?

On the ‘back office’ side, are you learning about ways to reduce your cost of practice while maintaining high standards and perceptions of quality? Submission of online dental patient forms is an excellent way to simultaneously reduce the time and effort involved with enrolling new patients while providing a valuable benefit to your patients.

How To Know

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to keep up with what your patients want is through the use of surveys. These can be mailed or distributed by your team to your patients, but why not save time and money, while simultaneously offering another technology-based convenience to your patients, namely, emailed and online patient surveys?

AIM MarketingMarketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke
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Internal Mailing Solutions

Internal Mailing Solutions

Automate your routine patient communications with personalized postcards!

Now you have the ability to communicate a personalized, time appropriate message to your current patients with a customized postcard:

  • Appointment Reminders / Confirmations
  • Birthday Greetings
  • Reactivations
  • Cross-sell services to current patients
  • Recall notices

Exceptional Response

Automated appointment reminders help increase appointment attendance and reduce internal costs related to missed appointments.

Key Benefits

  • High Quality: Reflect the quality of your practice with premium quality, full color postcards, designed specially to your dental practice.
  • Cost saving: Reduce internal overhead by automating these communications and reducing the amount of missed and rescheduled appointments.
  • Reliable: Printed and Mailed First Class, Next Business day.
  • Ultra-Personalized: Postcards are personalized with variable data specific to each individual patient!
  • Measurable: Track response by adding a Personalized URL or QR codes for appointment confirmation.
  • Easy: Simplified set up process

How It Works

ADM does it all! We help identify your patient communication needs, design your customized mailers for each correspondence, and then mail them out automatically when your system triggers us to. We manage and monitor your program to ensure flawless execution and maximum ROI.

Unlock the power of this patient retention tool!

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Integrating Medical and Dental Data

Integrating Medical and Dental Data

Integrating Medical and Dental Data: More Than a Technical Challenge

This book is about integrating processes and data in medical and dental care. Doing so is a significant challenge in multiple respects: technically, logistically, professionally and culturally. Yet, succeeding at this endeavor is inescapable: As clinicians, we simply owe it to our patients (Baron 2011). We can only improve health if we improve oral and general health at the same time. The separation of dentistry from medicine is a historical accident. As Dr. Nash explains cogently in his preface, early on “treating teeth was simply a mechanical endeavor, as no relationship was thought to exist between the health of the teeth and that of the rest of the body.” Today, we know better. Plenty of studies have shown associations, if not causal relationships, between dental and medical conditions.

Informatics is key to helping healthcare professionals realize the vision articulated in this book. Separating dentistry and medicine has kept things apart that are central to informatics: data, information and processes. Dentists and physicians keep their own records for the same patients, encode patient information using different approaches and rarely communicate about patients. Doing so does not only result in inefficiencies and unnecessary overhead, but also impedes good clinical decision making and patient outcomes. Both may easily understand similar or identical portions of their respective records, such as the medical or medication history.

However, clinicians from either field are typically not able to understand information on forms they are not familiar with. For instance, most physicians cannot make sense of a tooth chart. Neither can most dentists given a set of medical laboratory tests. So, a crucial question in integrating medicine and dentistry more closely is: How should we communicate?

The answer to this question is primarily a professional and cultural, rather than a technical, one. Exchanging electronic data among dentists and physicians, while not trivial, is a comparatively small problem. To the computer, medical and dental information looks the same – it is just a stream of bits. For clinicians, exchanging information is more complicated. The main challenge is to communicate the information that the other party needs and to ensure that its meaning, as well as its implications, can be understood and acted upon. Pediatricians must understand that a diagnosis of early childhood caries requires, among other interventions, nutritional counseling. Dentists, on the other hand, must be familiar with the implications of a range of medical conditions on oral and dental health. Topics of mutual interest and relevance may be most easily understood and considered in dental or medical schools focused on a multidisciplinary, systems approach to patient care. However, such schools are the exception rather than the rule. For the “installed base” of 150,000 dentists and 300,000 physicians other approaches will have to be found.

The best care will be delivered by dentists and physicians together, not separately, as is the case right now. Opportunities to do so abound. Imagine the day when physicians, dentists and other healthcare providers deliver smoking cessation interventions through a seamless and transparent collaboration (McDaniel et al. 2009). Or, when dentists help identify patients with previously undiagnosed, significant medical conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hepatitis and HIV infection (Greenberg et al. 2010). Or, when dentists screen for a whole host of medical conditions using saliva diagnostics (Spielmann and Wong 2011).

Foreshadowing the discussion in this book, we presented a conceptual approach for sharing health information among different clinical disciplines in a paper in 1994 (Schleyer and Eisner 1994). We first considered what information a clinician would need under various circumstances. For instance, in dental emergencies, recently updated medical information relevant to the diagnosis or treatment of the emergency would be useful. Conversely, a recent diagnosis of oral hairy leukoplakia would be of interest to a physician who is working up a patient for a potential infection with HIV. Our concept included the idea of “shareable data” contained in discipline-specific electronic patient records. What data are shared is not static, and depends on the patient, context, goal(s) and which types of clinicians are collaborating on the patient’s care. Currently, most clinicians obtain needed information from others through a written or verbal ad hoc consult. This is a cumbersome, error-prone and often slow process. In the electronic world, such information could flow much more easily, efficiently and automatically through the National Health Information Infrastructure or Health Information Exchanges, given appropriate safeguards for security and confidentiality. Standards such as the Continuing Care Record of the American Society of Testing and Materials, adapted to dentistry by the American Dental Association’s Standards Committee for Dental Informatics, have begun to address what information should be subject to exchange.

Current settings, which implement the exchange of medical and dental information among care providers are few and far between. Three examples are the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), HealthPartners in Minnesota and the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, described in this book. The electronic health records of these organizations include both medical and dental data, and provide partially integrated views of these data. Figure 6.3 in Chap . 6 shows a screenshot of Marshfield Clinic’s Cattails Dental System that displays information from a patient’s medical record in the lower left corner.

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Hygienists Play Key Role In Delivering “Third Era” Patient Care

Hygienists Play Key Role In Delivering “Third Era” Patient Care

By Charles Whitney, MD and Daniel A. ‘Danny’ Bobrow, MBA

Dental hygienists are uniquely positioned to improve the health of America. Physicians (as well as dentists) need your help! Here’s a program that’s proven to improve, not only the health of patients, but also the financial health of your practice.
Periodontal infection, whether or not inflammation is present, has been associated with many systemic diseases including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, stillbirth, preterm labor, and high blood pressure. Until insulin resistance is addressed and treated, it is difficult to eradicate this infection.

Insulin resistance raises blood sugar and, eventually, causes diabetes. Evidence suggests that a skilled hygienist can administer expert therapy and yet, unless glucose metabolism is normalized, be unable to eliminate infection and inflammation.

Dietary and other health choices leading to obesity and pre-obesity are the main causes of most insulin resistance. In fact, they are the mother and father of many preventable systemic diseases.

The obesity epidemic is the reason the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that our children’s generation will have a shorter life expectancy than our own!

Curing obesity can cure insulin resistance and prevent diabetes. Doing so also leads to greater success with eradicating periodontal infection and inflammation.

Physicians continue, by and large, to react to diseases by prescribing medication for high blood pressure, hypertension, and diabetes. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, many have already lost up to 50% of their insulin producing beta cells.

The medical community remains ineffective at treating insulin resistance because most physicians lack the time and ability to effectively treat obesity. 79% of primary care physicians have never been trained to counsel a patient about obesity. We simply tell them to eat less and move more. Of equal concern, the ‘O word’ has become a taboo subject to broach with many patients.

Fortunately, it is a simple matter to acquire the verbal skills to incorporate this conversation into your patient treatment protocol.

The Third Era of Medicine

The first era of medicine ended when we effectively controlled infectious diseases with antibiotics, immunizations, and improved public health.

Regrettably, most in the medical profession remain trapped in the second era of medicine, where the focus remains on reacting to disease, and only after end-stage symptoms (ranging from bleeding on probing to a cardiac event) has already manifested.

This second era approach in the presence of the disease-causing obesity epidemic is literally bankrupting our health care system, and bankrupting our economy!

It is incumbent upon all health professionals to move into the third era of medicine where the focus is on creating health, not just reacting to poor health. Curing obesity and teaching our patients the habits of health to maintain a healthy weight, leads to a happy and appreciative patient, and one who not only makes a positive contribution to the productivity of our society, serves as a ‘walking billboard’ for the practice that helped them succeed at achieving optimal health.

Create a Third Era Dental Practice

We are all health professionals. Accordingly, we ought to treat the whole person, not just a designated body part! A passionate dental hygienist is positioned perfectly to be the point person to champion this third era oral-systemic practice mindset, to the benefit of your patients, your practice, and society.

An effective oral-systemic practice need not be a financial loss leader. On the contrary, it can create a healthy revenue stream for all involved by offering a professional coaching service to those of your patients, as well as prospective patients, who want to create health in their lives.

In November 2011 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that, when a person possesses both a learning tool for achieving a healthy lifestyle and a health coach to work with and support them, they are significantly more likely to maintain long-term weight loss than those provided with only the learning tool. Yet, even with the benefit of a coach, those patients with class II obesity were only able to lose an average of 10 pounds after two years.

Dr. Wayne Andersen intuitively understood this information 12 years ago when he left a lucrative job at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. He created an effective coaching, and best in class learning system he calls The Habits of Health. He knew studies showed that people who use a portion controlled meal replacement (PCMR) program succeeded at losing weight. However, 85% of these people regained the weight they lost because they returned to the habits of disease that led to their original weight gain.

Dr. Andersen added safety studies and his coaching and learning programs to the PCMR, and created a comprehensive optimal health program. Individuals and practices can easily implement it at virtually no cost (the client merely shifts their grocery budget from one basket of food to another). Health professionals coach as little or much as they want, typically assigning the responsibility for coaching to the hygiene department.

Imagine the reaction of a physician when he or she discovers that their patient has successfully created health thanks to the assistance of their dental practice and team! It serves as a powerful force driving collaboration among the dental and medical professions that can only result in further improved patient outcomes.

Your patients and our country need your help. To learn more about the Third Era Model is grassroots effort to carry America into the third era of medicine today.

To learn more about the third era of healthcare send an email to

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Hitting Home

Hitting Home

Use What You Have, and What’s Available. To Make a Bigger Impact With Your Markting

The concept of market segmentation has been a part of the marketing scene since long before the phrase was coined. Any time someone with something to sell (or say, for that matter), identified and spoke directly to “…a sub-set of a market made up of people or organizations with one or more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or services based on qualities of those products such as price or function“* they employed a market segmentation strategy.

Now one might reasonably ask “Why should I bother with all this? Why don’t I just market to everyone in the area, and let them decide whether or not to join my practice?”

The main reason a business engages in market segmentation is that, when correctly conceived and implemented, it increases ones return on investment in marketing by either reducing marketing costs, increasing response, improving the suitability or ‘fit’ of patients with the practice, or all three.

In reality, marketing to everyone “in the area” is a form of market segmentation: it’s simply segmentation along geographic lines. In fact, because convenience continues to be an important factor in one’s decision to join a dental practice, it is actually more than merely geographically driven market segmentation. And, if the target audience is defined based on research such as traffic patterns and other available data, it also qualifies as segmentation based on demand characteristics. “People who live or work beyond 3 miles of our practice, or 9 miles, when our practice is located between their place of work and residence” is an example of a well thought out and soundly arrived at segmented target.

But you can do even better.

Now that we know the Why and Who, let’s discuss How & What
Knowing who are your ideal target(s) is the first necessary step toward an effective market segmentation strategy. Your next step is to confirm the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of identifying a given target audience. For instance:
You may wish to target people who are prone to, or are already experiencing obstructive sleep apnea. While such lists are available, they come with rather hefty minimum rental requirements, so the cost per lead may be prohibitive. You may, instead choose to acquire a list of people in your community who are male, over forty years of age, and overweight (yes, this list is available).

Effective identification of your target audience often requires “putting yourself in the shoes” of your target audience member. An increasing number of dentists want to promote restoration or placement of implants. Many are investing considerable sums optimizing their website for terms associated with implant dentistry (sometimes they also optimize simply for ‘implants’ understanding fully this might attract people desiring implants of a different sort: they do this because these people may be interested in ‘augmentation’ above the neck as well. But I digress).

One way we’ve found to increase your production for dental implants is by optimizing your website, and in other ways promoting denture services. Why? Because, as you already know, implants and implant supported dentures are often a superior alternative to dentures themselves, but your audience may not yet know this. Once they’re in your practice or, if your team is well versed in handling first-time telephone callers, even before the appointment, the prospective patient can be educated about this option. But that will never happen unless you choose to speak in a language your target audience understands and finds compelling.

This leads us to how to reach your chosen market segments.

Web landing pages can be created that speak to your chosen market segment e.g., and your paid search or search engine optimization campaigns can be structured so the page web visitors are sent to by search engines is determined by the search term or phrase they use. This ensures your website ‘speaks’ to their concerns and desires immediately, which is more effective than their landing on your home page and trying to find what they are looking for.

Your practice management software and the existence of variable, sometimes termed, on- demand, print technology means you are able to cost-effectively tailor the message and offer of your print communications for each desired target audience. For instance, you can, in a single print run, create a distinct message and offer to: current patients, inactive patients, new residents, home owners, women aged 40+ and even more. How many people are in each group no longer matters because the print job is performed in a single run.

The Winning Equation
The days of ‘shot gun marketing’ are over. Technology now permits a laser beam approach to reaching your desired audiences with low cost precision. So take the time to identify your ideal target audiences, determine the most cost effective way to reach those audiences with a message and offer that ‘speaks’ to them, and consistently monitor the results. The payoff is a higher return on your marketing investment and, because your patients clearly understand what you are offering ahead of time, greater case acceptance. Sound good?

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Dentistry’s “Clean” Little Secrets

Dentistry’s “Clean” Little Secrets

Doing Well By Doing Good could be your best way to grow your practice now.

Americans give at an astounding rate. In 2007, U.S. citizens privately gave $295 billion to charity. That’s more than the entire gross domestic product of all but about twenty-five nations in the world.* And that does not account for the ‘in kind’ giving, that is, donations of clothing, services, and other non-monetary assistance.

My experience suggests that those in the dental profession are well above average when it comes to being generous.

Secret #1
Anyone who has volunteered on an overseas dental project, worked in a soup kitchen, raised money for a worthwhile cause, or performed some similar selfless act already knows that, when we give of ourselves, we invariably get much more than we give.

And that leads us to the second secret.

Secret #2
Studies have shown that, given a choice between similar service providers, consumers will choose the one demonstrating social responsibility. A survey by The Golin Harris Group finds Americans are sending a clear message to Corporate America: Do more, be authentic, and the business rewards will follow.**

Since 1998 the Climb For A Cause© / Smile Tree© Foundation has helped dental practices across North America realize the simple, but powerful truth that, when a practice commits itself to making a positive difference, practice growth is an unavoidable consequence of that commitment.

Don’t take our word for it.

Here’s what this esteemed publication’s Managing Editor wrote about CFAC in 2009: … In essence, CFAC helps dental practices follow Ben Franklin’s sage advice to “do well by doing good.” Each year, CFAC organizes an event that involves dental practitioners and other industry members trekking through a spectacular mountainous area and raising money to provide needed dental care in the process. …There are many ways to participate. To learn more, visit, or stay tuned to future issues of Dental Economics®.
D.E. 5/26/09

And consider this excerpt from a Time Magazine poll (see 9/10/09 Issue):
we…look[ed] at how people are serving these days. The most striking results centered not on volunteering but on the cash register…[even] as people acknowledged that times were tough, 38% of Americans 18 and older, some 86 million people, reported…buying green products and goods from companies they thought had responsible values.

In other words, doing ‘good’ can also mean doing well.

Making It Happen
So, just how does one conceive and implement an effective cause-marketing++ strategy?

Let’s use the example of The Smile Tree+.

The Smile Tree offers practices the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children in developing nations, while making a positive impact with their patients of record and their community too. It also offers fun and rewarding ways to show you care without ever having to leave your hometown. Practices simply agree to ‘adopt’ one or more dental projects and, by so doing, becoming a ‘Branch Office’ of the Smile Tree.

Currently, funds raised help maintain dental education and treatment projects in Guatemala, Nepal, and India.
Branch Offices receive an array of tools for sharing their good works with current patients, and the community at large. Some of these include: In-Office Display Materials such as posters, lapel buttons, floss cards, and more to communicate with patients the practice’s status as a Smile Tree Branch Office. Participating practices also receive press releases to local media notifying them, and the community they serve, of their status as a Branch Office, as well as a fund raising page linked from the practice’s website home page, which drives traffic to the practice site. Practices also receive periodic communications (letters, photos and drawings) from those whose lives have been touched through the practice’s involvement and generosity.

There are a number of fun and simple ways to ‘grow the Smile Tree’, that is, to fund raise. Examples include: offering patients the option of helping grow the Smile Tree by “adding a dollar to today’s treatment” and offering to match it, including a note on monthly billing statements thanking patients for growing the Smile Tree and inviting them to learn more by visiting the practice website, from which a link to the fundraising page resides. As people donate, their name is automatically added to the roster of giving patients.

But by far the best way to both generate funds and grow the practice is by having a party. Because I also run a dental marketing firm, I offer, as a token of our appreciation to the Branch Office, complimentary assistance with organizing, promoting, and staging a successful local event.

Don’t Just Do It, Do It Right

Whatever cause you choose to support, remember that the more people you involve in your efforts, the more good you do for your selected charity. Just don’t be surprised if, in the process, you also end up with a bigger, more successful practice.

*Marriott Alumni Magazine, Brigham Young University.
**GolinHarris 2006 Corporate Citizenship Index
+Smile Tree and Climb For A Cause are 501c(3) non-profit corporations.
++ I define Cause-Related Marketing as: The process by which an individual or organization seeks to
achieve one or more business objectives as a consequence of its commitment to some form of

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Become a Dental Marketing Expert

Become a Dental Marketing Expert

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