6 Dental Marketing Myths [Busted]: Myth #1

For the next 2 weeks we’re tackling the most common dental marketing myths and disproving them one by one.

Have you ever heard “misinformation” disguised as “facts” when it comes to marketing? There's so much information available these days, how can you tell whether it's a myth or a fact?

Try to remove any preconceived ideas you have about online marketing for your dental practice as we dive into this 6-part blog series. By dismissing these myths you'll be taking an important step toward making sure you get the most benefits from your future marketing efforts.

Myth #1: Word-of-mouth referrals are better than any form of marketing, including digital/online dental marketing

Have you heard this one?

We come across this myth fairly often when we talk to dentists who are skeptical about making marketing work for their dental practice. They just can't see how digital dental marketing can have a positive effect on their patient numbers.

Now don't get me wrong, word-of-mouth is an important part of attracting new patients. In fact 92% of consumers stating that they would trust a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend or relative!

The problem is, it doesn't have to be one or the other. Word-of-mouth referrals are most effective when they're a part of a complete dental marketing strategy, not the only way to generate new patients.

two women looking at a cell phone checking the results of online dental marketing

Remember that mentioning a good dentist to a friend is not something that immediately turns that person into a new patient.

Think of it this way: a friend of yours knows you're looking for a new car and recommends the model she drives. Would you immediately take her word for it and go purchase the car without doing any research?

Of course not!

When a happy patient refers your dental practice to a friend or family member that person will most likely go straight to Google to learn more about you and your practice.

They'll do a search for dentists in their city area and see how highly ranked your practice is compared to other dentists.

They might venture onto your website to see if they can find information about what services you offer and what insurances you accept. Most importantly they'll read those Google reviews.

All of that research goes into them deciding whether to take the recommendation from their friend or family member and book an appointment with your practice.

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In other words, whether it’s word-of-mouth, a billboard or a flyer in the mail, there is no single new patient scenario today that does not involve at least one interaction with your online presence.

Let me challenge you to think of digital dental marketing as a necessary supplement to the positive word-of-mouth marketing you already have.

You've worked hard to establish a positive reputation in your local community, so why not advertise it to new patients?

Relying solely on referrals is often why so many dentists we speak to are experiencing stagnant new patient growth or declining new patient appointments.

Waiting for referrals to call or walk-in is a passive approach, one that can easily set you up for failure.


Instead of focusing solely on referrals, consider taking a proactive step to attract new patients by focusing wherever they are likely to make contact with your practice online.

This can take the form of your website, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, online reviews and more.

The bottom line is that word-of-mouth referrals can help, but digital dental marketing is what you need to accelerate the results from that and all other marketing efforts you make.

Make sure to keep reading over the next 2 weeks as we bust more dental marketing myths and help set your practice up to succeed!

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