Word-of-mouth is important in business, and perhaps even more in the health sector where people tend to value the opinion of their friends and family and ask for advice before choosing the medical professional who will help them with their health needs. The Internet has continued to push the envelope, making reviews available to all, and thus easier for individuals to do their research before visiting a health clinic or making an appointment with a medical professional.
This new trend is pushing many organizations to leverage online reviews, using them as part of a multi-touch marketing campaign. Additionally, many businesses are using specialized Websites to market themselves to targeted audiences.
And it's not only large organizations that can leverage the power of online marketing. Dentist Daniel Camm, for example, has long known the importance of word-of-mouth marketing. In fact, this was normally the only way medical professionals became known to people when Camm started his practice in 1976. However, in an increasingly competitive market, Camm wanted to make his practice visible to more prospective patients, especially after deciding to move away from general dentistry and specialize in dental implant technology. While word-of-mouth was still an important way for people to find out about Camm's specialization, the dentist decided that this wasn't enough. "I realized that I needed more than the occasional newspaper advertisement, waiting room literature, and a website cluttered with all the things that a three-dentist office does," he told 1to1 Media in an interview.
In order to make his new specialization better known in the community, Camm started conducting public information seminars. Although his implant business was doing well, and in 2010 he performed more than double the procedures he did in previous years, the dentist was still struggling to make himself known. "I couldn't figure out how to become more recognized in the area as the person to go to for dental implants," he said. Further, Camm wanted to differentiate himself from other dentists specializing in the same area.
Last year Camm joined forces with Balihoo to develop a microsite that gives more information about the dentist's implant specialization. Camm explained that the microsite focuses specifically on implant technology and allows Camm to customize the content with new information anytime he wants, making sure that the site remains up to date.
The new site has increased the visibility of Camm's practice and the dentist has seen an increase in patients coming to him for dental implants. Camm says he has been able to track tens of additional calls within the first 10 months of marketing his dental implant specialization through the microsite, which has resulted in a 28 percent increase in revenue. "I did twice as many dental implants between 2010 and 2011," he said.
Further, marketing his dental implant specialization has had a positive impact on the general dentistry practice of both Camm and his two colleagues because of the increased visibility of the practice' name. In fact, the office has enjoyed an 8 percent patient growth.
Additionally, the marketing campaign is providing patients with the information they need to determine whether they want to invest in dental implants even before meeting Camm. "When they come to my office, they have already heard so much about me that they seem to have already made a commitment to have me perform the implant procedure they're considering," he explained.
Customers want to know their options before they part with their money and are doing a lot of research online. Savvy businesses are leveraging the Internet to relate information to both customers and prospects.