News From The Wealthy Dentist #24 Dental Marketing Newsletter
by Jim Du Molin
My Ultimate All-Time Greatest Marketing Campaign (Part I)
So what is the greatest marketing program I’ve designed over the last 20 years? I’m going to lay it out for you as an illustration of exactly the power of the marketing strategies we promote at The Wealthy Dentist.
Let’s start with me in 1982. I had hair then and was a good 20 pounds slimmer.
I had a beautiful red V-type Jaguar convertible. It’s the kind of car you have when you’re single: tan interior, wire wheels, two tops, twelve cylinders. My life was just where I wanted it. I was running a marketing company and living on San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill. Every day I’d run down the steps, around the Embarcadero, to the club to work out, then back to my place for a shower.
One day I was working out at the San Francisco Bay Club (the ultimate yuppie workout place!). A friend of mine said, “Jim, come on over here. The bulletin board says you can sign up to be interviewed as a candidate for a book.”
“Well, what’s the book?”
“They’re looking for the 100 most eligible bachelors in San Francisco.”
So I asked, “How much does it cost?”
He said, “It doesn’t cost anything. Just sign up, and if you qualify, they’ll put you in the book.”
I didn’t have anything to lose. I put down my name and number and forgot about it. A few weeks later, I got a call from an editor with Random House. Here’s what happened:
EDITOR: I’d like to talk to you a little bit to see if you qualify as one of the 100
most eligible bachelors in San Francisco.
EDITOR: Some of my questions are a little personal.
JIM: No problem. You can ask me anything you want.
EDITOR: Well, are you single?
Have you ever been married?
EDITOR: How old are you?
EDITOR: (pause) Are you open to the concept of marriage?
JIM: Yes. To be honest with you, I’ve come to that point in my life when I think it’s
time that I get married.
EDITOR: Fine. I only have one more question for you.
JIM: Lay it on me.
EDITOR: Are you straight?
EDITOR: Congratulations, you qualify!
Basically, they were having a very hard time trying to find 100 straight and eligible men in San Francisco for this book. So I qualified.
I had an interview with the author of the book. I took a hot picture next to my V-type Jaguar convertible. She said, “I’m going to send you my write-up. If you don’t like it, just correct it and send it back the way you want.”
A month later, my partner opened an envelope in the mail. He exclaimed, “Jim, I’m reading this bio this woman wrote about your life and what you want in a woman – and it is total #@%&!!!”
“Oh,” I said.
He said, “I think we need to rewrite this in detail.”
I said, “What do you mean, ‘we’? It’s my life.”
And he said, “Look, I think I can help you on this. I’ve known you for quite some time, and I know what kind of woman you need.”
So we rewrote it as a direct-mail marketing piece. We outlined just what I wanted in a woman and sent it in. Remember to be very specific in your marketing and to ask for exactly what you want!
A few weeks later the Random House editor called. She told me, “We’re going to have a launch party for the book. It’s going to be a good time, and we want you to come on down. It will be at a disco on the waterfront, not far from where you live.”
I said, “Fine. I’ll be there.”
A week before the party I was driving down the street in my V-type Jaguar convertible and listening to the radio when an ad caught my attention. “Win a chance to meet the 100 most eligible bachelors in San Francisco!” All of sudden
I realized this was getting a little bigger than I had thought. The event was being publicized all over town: in the newspaper, on the radio and television, there were ads to meet the 100 most eligible bachelors. They were even raffling off chances to meet the 100 most eligible bachelors.
Want to hear about the big party? Stay tuned next week!
Jim Du Molin
Wyoming Dental Hygienist Offers HIV Testing
A Wyoming dental hygienist has teamed up with an AIDS educator to offer HIV testing right in the dentist’s office! The CDC recommended this fall that voluntary HIV screening become a part of regular medical care for all teens and
adults. Hygienist Stacy Smith is doing her part by offering to take an oral swab as part of her standard dental cleaning routine. The swabs are sent to an outside lab for analysis, and results take about two weeks. Once she completes
her training, Smith will offer OraQuick testing, which returns results in only 20 minutes.
Other dental practices have not been quick to join the trend. Fear of a positive HIV test result has kept some doctors away. A crucial aspect of offering testing is being able to properly handle notification and follow-up should a positive
result arise. In addition, some dentists may be wary of being perceived as “the AIDS dentist.” And last (but certainly not least) are financial considerations: the program is state-funded and so offered free to patients, but that model
doesn’t apply to dentists in private practice.
Wyoming’s HIV rates are relatively low. With a population of about half a million, the state’s Department of Health estimates that about 140 residents are living with HIV/AIDS. Of course, 25% of those infected with HIV in the US don’t
know it. Since they don’t know they’re infected, they’re far more likely to infect someone else. Smith is enthusiastic about making testing more commonplace. She also thinks it’s a natural match for dentists and dental hygienists, because HIV infection can lead to changes in the mouth.
How to Turn Free Dental Work into Free Advertising
One IDA dentist has been working hard to use the marketing know-how he’s picked up from The Wealthy Dentist to pick up new patients and increase name recognition of his practice. Dr. Jeff Clay of Shady Spring, West Virginia,
teamed up with local radio station WTNJ-FM to offer a holiday dental giveaway.
Listeners are invited to enter on the radio’s website (where there’s a prominent link to Dr. Clay’s IDA site, of course!). Visitors get to vote on which candidate needs dental work the most, and the winner will receive up to $2,000
in free dental work from Dr. Clay’s practice. In return for providing free care, the radio station is airing 100 60-second contest promos and another 100 five-second spots – that’s a $2400 advertising value!
How brilliant is Dr. Clay’s strategy? Remember, there are more ways to pay for advertising than with money alone.
Check out Dr. Clay’s “Two Front Teeth” radio ad.
Dreams of Horse Dentistry in Scotland
A young Scottish woman has made her dream come true and is now working as an equine dental technician. Laura Chaffe has loved horses since she was a child. When an equine dentist stopped by to look at her horse’s teeth, she decided to follow him to learn more about his work. She quickly decided she would like to follow the same path, but several obstacles stood in her way. At age 25 she had to go back to high school to finish her biology requirements; then she enrolled in an Australian program where she was one of only four students. Her next goal is to qualify with the British Equine Veterinary Association.
With very few horse dentists in Scotland, she’s finding plenty of work. Painful teeth in horses can cause temperamental trouble, as when sharp edges on their teeth cause ulcers that make it difficult for the horse to eat properly. Many
owners aren’t aware of the need for horse dentistry, and otherwise healthy horses are too often put down due to easily preventable dental problems. Who knows how many horses Laura Chaffe will save from this unkind fate? Let’s hope
it’s lots of them!
Connecticut Dentist Volunteers to Fix Cambodian Smiles
Connecticut dentist Robert Arbuckle joined a team of ten New England dental practitioners on a recent mission to Cambodia. During the 10-day stint, the volunteers traveled throughout the impoverished country. They provided dental care to over 1700 children, many of whom had never seen a dentist. The majority of the dentists’ time was spent extracting rotten teeth, some of which were decayed down to the jaw. Without access to proper dental care, these decaying teeth could lead to serious infections and other health complications.
Dental education was also a top priority. Local translators were employed along with the traditional free toothbrushes and floss.
The mission was organized by the nonprofit Heal the Children Northeast (HTCNE), with additional support from several other nonprofit groups. In addition to the time they donate, volunteers also pay their own travel expenses. Arbuckle
previously volunteered for a dental mission to Brazil, and he’s already signed up for next year’s HTCNE mission to Madagascar. When home in Connecticut, he’s involved with the Give Back a Smile Program, a project providing free cosmetic dental care to survivors of domestic violence.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Not only has Dr. Arbuckle helped the poor and improved his karma, he’s also gotten great press for doing so. The next time you do something worth bragging about, remember his clever strategy for making the most of his good deeds!
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