How to attract patients through the right marketing channels

By Chris Barrow, Extreme Business

Around 3 years ago I wrote an article for The Implant Hub on “marketing implants to the over-50’s in the digital age.”

I began by complaining that internet advertisers assumed my age (then 62 and now 65) indicated a preference for information on slippers, cruises and economical motor cars.

So, having been asked to write again, it seemed appropriate to review the current landscape and see what changes (if any) had occurred.

I have to say that internet advertisers do seem to have become savvier over the intervening years and, in my case, have spotted that what I’m really interested in is running and cycling gear and quality adventure experiences.

Well done them – they are monitoring what I’m buying (because they can) and continuing with that mantra of “people like you also bought things like this” (which, I have to say, I find hugely annoying as I thought I was truly special?).

The other thing that has changed, however, isn’t so good for internet advertisers:

  • I’ve learned how to block most of their attempts to manipulate me and
  • On the odd occasion that they do get through, I’ve learned to take no notice;
  • In short, I’ve stopped listening.

In that respect, I believe that I’ve become similar to the majority of the population – all, in fact, except those who are looking for the lowest price and, thus, who we least want to meet.

As a result, I continue with my one-man campaign to educate the dental world that ploughing significant amounts of your hard-earned money into Google and Facebook advertising might be keeping a lot of Millennial “experts” in the 911’s to which they have become accustomed – but it ain’t doing you and your business any good.

Wannabe page 1 for organic search for “implants Glasgow”?

“No problem!” says our tech marketing expert as she simultaneously checks her Pinterest account and rollerblades across the astro-turf in her hot-desking office, listening to your plea for help on her AirPods, “that’ll be £5,000 per month – inclusive of our 10% agency fee.”

£60,000 a year that might (!) attract hordes of price-shoppers to your front of house and TCO team and more than likely have them seeking counselling to deal with the 85% attrition rate on new patient enquiries to first consults (even if you offer them for free).


You could establish the following:

  • A patient recall system in your existing general practice that gently educates the patients that you are ready when they are to talk about implants;
  • The constant population of your social media channels with stories about implant patients you have been able to help;
  • A web site that has a bounce rate below 30% because visitors are curious and engaged;
  • A weekly practice blog that shares implant patient stories;
  • A monthly patient newsletter that shares implant patient stories;
  • A monthly GDP newsletter that shows local practitioners how you can help them;
  • A well-managed daily huddle that allows team members to alert the marketing team to potential new patient conversations;
  • A robust end of treatment review that enrolls all implant patients as ambassadors for the practice

Most of which, of course, is denominated in time and people – not money.

I’m typical of the implant patient you want to see.

I’ve blocked out the noise of advertising and I cannot be manipulated any more.

I’m not searching for the lowest price, I want the best experience.

I listen to my family, friends and colleagues and I value their recommendations.

The question is – are my tribe recommending you?

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