In business and entrepreneurial pursuits, I’m a big fan of exploring other industries to glean marketing ideas.
In my marketing consulting business, I end up working quite a bit with independent service providers – commercial real estate brokers, other coaches and consultants.
I’m always interested in understanding how some services, like dentistry, are able to market and differentiate themselves from other similar service providers.
I mean, often the biggest determining factor when picking a new dentist is whether or not they take your dental insurance and if their location is convenient – close to your work or home.
Beyond that, until you actually go to the dentist and experience what it’s like at that office, you don’t really know if you’ll return for your next cleaning or not.
That ‘experience’ you have while there is a dental clinic’s best market differentiator.
In those situations perhaps the trouble isn't in getting new patients to come in, but rather keeping them coming back.
So what is a market differentiator? It's a strength of your organization that is often unique and gives you an advantage over your competition.
It's the reason one patient may choose your clinic over another. To the average consumer, dental practices often seem fairly equal, so their personal experience at your dental office becomes a variable that can be attractive to new patients or turn them away.
In this case, you're essentially using customer service as a differntiator. Think Zappos!
Here's an example I found online of a dental office that does a nice job communicating their 'experience' and 'customer service' differentiation. Check out, SmilesUnlimited.ca.
Smiles Unlimited's website utilizes a lot of testimonials, fun images of their team and facilities, which by the way showcases some unique features, including a coffee bar.
The same phenomenon is true of other medical clinics or practices. Check out these sites to identify how they differentiate themselves -- perhaps you can glean some ideas for your practice. Review medicalfootsolutions.com and meadowlandsortho.com.
I'll leave you with this final question:
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors and how are you marketing that differentiation?
Posted by: Nick Venturella