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Dental Marketing Mediums: Television


Dental TV ads are a high-risk dental marekting medium. Before investing your time & your marketing budget on this medium, make sure to do your homework! – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dental Marketing Mediums: Television

Dental Marketing Mediums Television
  • Part two of our blog series on high-risk
    marketing mediums covers television. Similar to
    what we discussed during the first blog posting
    of this series, television is one of the first
    marketing mediums most dentists want to try.
    However, before trying this mass medium, you will
    want to do your best to determine if it will
    deliver the kind of results that justify the high
    price tag. Are dental TV ads really the right way
    to go for your practice?

  • Television a big-ticket medium with sizable
    potentialThere is no medium in the history of
    western civilization that has had more of an
    impact on buying decisions than television. Most
    of us can still remember television commercials
    from our childhood. Maybe it was Clara Peller
    asking us Wheres the Beef?, or Bartles and
    Jaymes standing out in their field, or even Mr.

  • Whipple asking us not to squeeze the Charmin.
    Even if we havent seen these commercials in over
    20 years, most of us can still picture them in
    our minds eye, and whether we buy the companys
    product or not, we maintain a strong sense of
    familiarity with it.

  • Given the power that television commercials
    continue to have over us, its no surprise that
    many of us want to harness that power and get it
    working for our businesses. And for many
    businesses, a good TV commercial can have a
    tremendous impact on brand recognition and,
    ultimately, sales. However, its not a medium for
    the faint of heart or light of wallet. Purchasing
    airtime for a dental TV ad campaign can be an
    expensive proposition. And before you start
    shelling out for airtime, you may be looking at
    an even bigger expense the development of the ad.

  • As with radio, we counsel our clients to
    establish themselves in other mediums first, such
    as online marketing, direct mail and print,
    before considering a television ad campaign. In
    most cases, you just wont see good returns on
    television advertising unless you have a robust,
    well-established marketing plan that has been in
    place for a few years. In terms of deployment
    progression, television is the marketing medium
    you will break into LASTafter online marketing,
    after direct mail and after various forms of
    print media.

  • The reality is that in most US markets, the
    over-the-air television ad rates (for instance,
    those of your local ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates)
    are likely to be far beyond your available
    budget. But cable television IS a viable
    promotion medium for a dentist.

  • If you are ready to invest in a dental TV ad
    campaign, youll need to put some careful thought
    into the creative content for the ad. Without a
    clear, compelling message and a memorable
    creative concept, your ad is likely to be lost in
    the general noise that people can now easily
    silence with a click of the remote.

  • So, what do you need to develop a strong
    creative concept and a great and memorable ad? A
    lot. To begin with, you need a concept capable of
    communicating the essence of what you do and why
    someone should care in 30 seconds or less. That
    alone is a spectacular challenge. Now, maybe
    youre the Steven Spielberg of dentistry, but you
    may want to leave the development of a creative
    concept to a professional ad agency. Then youll
    need to flesh out the concept with a good script,
    hire actors or a professional voice-over actor
    and find a competent audio and video company to
    shoot and edit the spot.

  • When larger companies consider television
    advertising, the creative work and production is
    usually far less expensive than the airtime that
    they will be purchasing. However, most dental
    practices will not have a big budget, and
    deploying a large amount on production and
    creative could result in the campaign not even
    getting off the ground.

  • You could save some money by writing the script
    yourself, and getting your local cable company to
    come out and do the shoot for you inexpensively,
    but the results are often amateurish and
    ineffective. Thats not to say it isnt possible
    to shoot a good commercial this way, but you need
    a strong, memorable concept, professionally
    executed, to help you break through the clutter
    on TV and leave an impression in viewers minds.
    If your creative stinks, it doesnt matter how
    many TV spots you buy, youre just going to be
    throwing money away.

  • Thats not to say that a television ad is always
    a bad ideasome dental practices have seen
    tremendous returns from their television
    advertising campaigns. But you need to go into
    this type of marketing with your eyes wide open,
    both in terms of the costs involved and in terms
    of the returns you expect to see.
  • Here are some key considerations when creating a
    television ad and making an ad buy

  • Television footprint Make sure your ads will
    be seen throughout your core geographic market,
    and with cable television, watch for what is
    called market fragmentation. An example of market
    fragmentation might be when two large cable
    companies each service your core market. In this
    case, you would have to make two media buys with
    two different cable companies.

  • In order to afford both buys, you would need
    to purchase half the volume on each station,
    which dilutes your frequency. You would also be
    paying a higher rate for each buy, because youre
    purchasing smaller amounts from each vendor. Even
    worse, you will probably be buying broadcast
    coverage that extends beyond your target area,
    which means youre wasting a portion of your ad
    budget on reaching people who wont use your

  • Television programming As with radio, you will
    want to focus on getting airtime on channels that
    cater to a female demographic aged 25 years and
    above. In this regard, television is much simpler
    than radio. It is easy to tell the cable
    advertising rep, We want our ads to run on
    LifeTime, Soap Channel, the History Channel, the
    Discovery Channel, and HGTV.

  • Television scripting When you promote on
    cable TV, the TV production crew will generally
    come out to your practice, do an interview with
    you and perhaps film a patient testimonial or
    two. These crews are knowledgeable professionals,
    but they can still make a few mistakes

  • Make sure they dont film an operatory, as
    dental chairs in an operatory actually evoke a
    fear response in many dental consumers. There is
    nothing to gain and everything to lose if you
    show a dental operatory. If you have a lovely
    practice and a warm, inviting reception area,
    restrict the filming to those areas, or shoot the
    ad off-location in some attractive, neutral space.

  • As with radio, you wont have enough time to
    tell the whole story of the practice. Choose
    instead to showcase a limited number of benefits
    perhaps two or three. Focus on the aspects of
    your practice that your target audience would be
    most interested in and those that differentiate
    you from other dentists. If you welcome families
    with kids, youll want to say that.

  • If a benefit of your practice is that you do
    everything under one roof so the patients wont
    have to be referred out, then say that. Maybe
    youre open on Saturdaythats a huge benefit for
    a working family. So, in this example youve got
    three benefits to promote. Dont try to do much
    more than that. A very workable approach is to
    shoot multiple advertisements that each highlight
    two or three different services or benefits. Then
    you rotate the spots just like you do with radio.

  • Why your tight budget might stretch to a
    television ad campaign
  • Its getting harder and harder to put together
    an effective ad campaign on the
    televisionbecause theres more and more of it!
    Notice how the channels just keep proliferating
    and fragmenting? Well, the audience is
    fragmenting, too, AND globalizing, which makes it
    harder and harder to find the right pairs of eyes
    for your television ad.

  • Fortunately, the same forces that are creating
    1,000s of different channels are also creating
    new opportunities for local businesses looking
    for worthwhile television advertising

  • Television advertising crisis small business
  • Television has been undergoing some pretty
    seismic changes in the past 25 years. Cable TV
    originally started in places like the Appalachian
    Mountains in order to help people get better
    television reception. Back in the early 1980s,
    when networks like ESPN, MTV and CNN were
    launched, it wasnt even known if these companies
    could survive. By 1988, it seemed that these
    networks were going to make it, and the
    viewership looked something like this

  • Daytime PrimeTime
  • Broadcast Television 76.9 78.8
  • Ad-Supported Cable (networks like
    CNN) 13.8 11.6
  • Pay TV (Showtime, HBO) 9.3 9.6

  • Cable grew steadily over the years, and
    today, ad-supported cable television has a
    stronger viewership than any other type of
    programming source.
  • The following chart shows television viewership
    by programming source. You can see for yourself
    in the chart below

(No Transcript)
  • The dominance of cable television is good news
    and bad news for small advertisers.
  • First, the bad news.

  • As you know from watching television, the
    choices in programming are endlessly growing.
    Every time they add something like the cooking
    channel, the fitness channel, or the Outdoor Life
    Network, another group of people becomes regular
    watchers of those channels. For big companies
    that rely on broadcast TV and its ability to get
    big audiences, this is a problem. How much has
    broadcast viewership dwindled over the years?

  • As an indicator of mainstream popularity,
    take a look at how the ratings for these seventh
    highest rated shows have dwindled over the
  • In 1979, MASH received an average Nielsen
    rating of 25. In 2006, Greys Anatomy received a
    Nielsen rating of 11.8. In 2010, Two and a Half
    Men received a Nielsen rating of 6.1.

  • The impact of this trend on American society
    (and on advertisers) is enormous. Back in the
    middle of the 20th century, when programming
    choices were few and large groups of people
    watched the same shows, it was relatively easy
    for large corporations to buy advertising time on
    network television and promote their megabrands.

  • A media director for Colgate-Palmolive or
    Coca Cola could simply pick their media slots on
    prime-time network television, run their ads, and
    the big audience was assured. The networks could
    charge high prices, purchase whatever programming
    they chose and profitably operate their

  • But today, technologies such as cable
    television, digital video recorders (that can
    skip commercials) and Internet television are
    dramatically affecting American viewership. As a
    result, the value (and the price) of network
    advertising is dropping. Thats great for Pepsi
    and Nike, but maybe not so great for you.
  • Network ad rates are still far beyond what the
    average (or even the extraordinary) dental
    practice can afford.

  • But there IS good news
  • In exchange for broadcast fees, ad-supported
    cable channels (like ESPN or TBS) allow for local
    businesses to run advertising. These ad-supported
    channels charge cable or satellite providers a
    certain fee per subscriber (anywhere from a few
    dollars to a few cents, depending on the
    popularity of the content), and allow them to
    earn revenues by selling a certain amount of
    advertising inventory to local advertisers.

  • This is why you might see an ad for a
    national or global brand like FedEx or Coke next
    to an ad for the pizza store down the street.

  • This trend we are describing is often referred
    to as disintermediation. It means that the
    intermediary (the television programmers) are
    experiencing a shift in their audiences, and the
    buyers of airtime (advertisers) must change their
    purchases because the large television audiences
    on network television simply dont exist as they
    once did.

  • And while disintermediation creates a unique set
    of challenges for networks, production companies,
    and large corporate advertisers, it creates an
    emerging and attractive opportunity for smaller,
    more localized businesses that might benefit from
    communicating with a more targeted audience.

  • Dental practices are uniquely positioned to
    benefit from this emerging trend.
  • Because the cable companies have advertising
    inventory that they NEED TO SELL.
  • In your local area, your cable system has scores
    of channels for which it has available
    advertising inventory. Some of those channels,
    such as ESPN, Fox News, or TBS, have substantial
    audiences that, in many time slots, compete with
    network programming. Other channels are likely to
    have audiences of less than 50 people.

  • Thats right, there are channels on your cable
    television system right now that are being
    watched by less than 50 people. As you can
    imagine, this inventory is being sold off at very
    cheap prices. Often, you can buy advertising
    segments on some of these local cable systems for
    as little as 5-10 per spot. And most of the
    time, you can buy advertising time on more
    popular networks for as little as 75-100 per

  • Are we now talking about an advertising
    opportunity that seems to be in your budget?
    Before you run right out and call your local ad
    sales rep, take a few minutes with us and let us
    give you a crash course in media planning and

  • Television media planning and buying first,
    forget high-school math
  • Many of us may struggle to remember all the
    things we learned in high-school math classes. We
    feel pretty certain we understand how
    multiplication and addition work, and were
    comfortable around basic equations, but then it
    all starts to get fuzzy.

  • Fortunately, when it comes to media planning
    and buying, you can forget everything you ever
    knew about basic math. Because in media math,
    this equation makes sense
  • 6 X 10000 ? 60000 X 1
  • Thats right.
  • Six times 10,000 does NOT equal 60,000 times 1.

  • Because an ad shown six times to 10,000 people
    does not equal the effect of an ad shown one time
    to 60,000 people.

  • The networks will actually charge you a little
    more to show your ad six times to 10,000 people
    than they will to show it once to 60,000. And at
    first glance, you might think that getting to
    show your ad to 60,000 people would result in a
    far better return than showing it to 10,000.
    After all, its a numbers game, and the more
    people who see your ad, the more people are
    likely to act on it. So why wouldnt you go for
    the ad buy that delivers six times as many

  • Well tell you why. Lets start with a
    two-million-dollar example.
  • You may remember the dot-com days of the late
    nineties. Companies were fighting over Internet
    space, where untold wealth lay waiting to be
    discovered. Venture capitalists and stockholders
    alike were wildly funding Internet companies that
    promised to capture millions of online customers
    and deliver billions in profits.

  • Of course, we know in hindsight how well that
    idea worked out.
  • But you may remember that some of these
    companies actually chose to spend their
    television advertising budget based on the
    principle that 60,000 eyeballs were better than
    10,000. In fact, in 2000, 17 dot-com, e-commerce
    and tech companies bet upwards of two million
    dollars that putting their ad in front of 88.5
    million pairs of eyes JUST ONCE was going to pay
    off big.

  • During the 2000 Super Bowl, hopeful upstarts
    such as,, and spent their venture capital
    money on 30 seconds of precious ad space during
    the game. And while some of these ads may have
    been entertaining or even funny, we never saw
    them before, we never saw them since, and the
    ads, like the companies that paid to produce and
    air them, are now faded memories.

  • When planning an advertising campaign, six
    times 10,000 is worth a heck of a lot more than
    one times 60,000. Successful advertising is ALL

  • On average, you can expect it to take five
    exposures to a television ad before a particular
    viewer feels as though they know or recognize
    the advertiser. If your ad is not memorable, it
    will take even more. (And it wont be memorable
    if you do what people expectlike show them
    shots of your front door, your waiting room, a
    few seconds of you, and maybe an operatory, all
    while trying to speed-read everything you do in
    your practice in 30 seconds and still have time
    left over to read your address, phone number, or

  • So how do you make sure you get the most out of
    your ads?
  • Get the response curve working for you
  • When you show your ad to the same people more
    than once, the chances that they will respond to
    it go up exponentially each time they see it.
    This is the response curve, and its your new
    best friend.
  • Heres how it works.

  • As you buy advertising, people will begin to
    see your ads for the first time. And most of the
    time, if theyve never seen it before, they will
    promptly forget it. Think of your own viewing
    patterns. You turned your television set on to
    see the news, or get caught up in a movie, or
    view some sporting event. You did not turn on
    your television to find a beer that tastes great
    or a local restaurant, garage or plumber. These
    ads are interruptive, and many viewers disregard
    the ads. The ads will be less disregarded if they
    are entertaining or interesting.

  • As our dot-com friends found out in 2000, not
    even a thrilling game where the outcome hung on a
    last-second stretch to the end zone by Titan
    receiver Kevin Dyson (who came up one agonizing
    yard short!) could make you remember anything
    that had to say, or even that even existed. You watched the ad,
    promptly forgot it, and then never heard from
    them again. Really not very effective.

  • But if you had heard from them four more times,
    you might have started to become more familiar
    with their business and, perhaps, have started to
    think about the benefits of their business to you
    as a consumer.
  • As an advertiser, once you have established
    familiarity and the audience feels that it
    knows you, then you get the opportunity to do
    some really effective advertising, as you come
    out with ads that communicate the benefits you
    offer, hoping to create preference in the mind
    of your audience.

  • Heres a chart that shows you exactly how much
    of a response you can expect, depending on the
    number of times your audience is exposed to your

  • Advertising Exposure Message Recognition
  • 1.) 16.55
  • 2.) 61.92
  • 3.) 78.82

  • 4.) 85.12
  • 5.) 87.47
  • 6.) 88.34
  • 7.) 88.67
  • 8.) 88.79
  • 9.) 88.83
  • 10.) 88.85

  • Source Developments in Business Simulation
    Experiential Exercises, MODELING ADVERTISING
    MEDIA EFFECTIVENESS Hugh M. Cannon, John D.
    Leckenby, Avery M. Abernethy

  • In the table above, you can see that you make
    incremental gains as you expose people to your ad
    the second and third time. The table shown
    represents the attempt of market research experts
    to plot out a generic level of recognition
    gained by exposure to an ad. Of course,
    recognition does not equal preference or
    buying behavior, but it does, of itself,
    represent a value to any business, including your
    dental practice.

  • What the chart is saying is that the first time
    your audience sees your ad, perhaps 16 percent of
    them will feel they recognize the company.
    After three exposures, the number goes to 78.8
    percent. Can you see how showing your commercial
    three times to four people is more beneficial
    than showing your commercial one time to 12

  • Keep in mind that interesting, surprising or
    entertaining features help to heighten your
    audiences awareness and retention of your ad.
    Conversely, if your ad is generic and has nothing
    speciala catchy jingle, interesting visuals or
    humor, for examplethat makes it memorable, the
    curve will shift to the right, meaning it will
    require more exposures to achieve recognition.

  • Making sure you allocate enough budget to ensure
    optimal repetition of your ad is critical to its
    success. Please, before you blow two million
    bucks on a Super Bowl extravaganza, come talk to
    us! As we have shown you, disintermediation
    offers some incredible opportunities for
    affordable, effective television advertising. As
    audiences become more localized, fragmented, and
    smaller, advertising prices will decline to where
    there will be opportunities for a dental practice
    to target a highly relevant audience at a cost
    that ensures a good return on investment.

  • Syndicated ads the big-budget commercials
    with the little price tags
  • One way to get a big-budget ad at an affordable
    price is to purchase a syndicated ad for

  • A syndicated ad is shot by an advertising agency
    and then sold to local businesses in a number of
    different cities across the country. You might be
    surprised, when traveling in another city, to
    turn on the television in your hotel room, and
    see a commercial for a car dealer, jeweler or
    lawyer that looks very similar to one you
    regularly see promoting a local business in your

  • Thats a syndicated commercial. Using
    syndication, a local business can get celebrity
    endorsements, the advertising rights to popular
    songs, or characters portrayed by professional
    actors at a much lower price than if the
    commercial had been produced directly.

  • If youre interested in learning more about
    syndicated ads, the information is as close as
    your computer. Simply Google Dentist Television
    Commercials and youll find a number of
    companies that will sell you pre-shot ads and
    customize them with your own name, business
    information and logo.

  • The three stages of a successful television ad
  • Okay, the cost of television advertising hasnt
    scared you off, and you want to take the plunge
    and develop fresh creative instead of relying on
    the commercial-in-a-can approach that
    syndicated advertising offers. If you plan to
    develop television ads to promote your practice,
    you need to know something about the three
    progressive stages of a television ad campaign.

  • Most successful television campaigns revolve
    around three distinct objectives aided recall,
    unaided recall, and preference. Advertisers
    generally attempt to develop these objectives in
    stages. Aided recall comes first this is the
    phase in which an ad viewer might not remember
    that the Wheres the Beef ad was for Wendys,
    but when presented with a list that includes
    Arbys, Wendys and Burger King, theyll recall
    that the ad was, in fact, for Wendys.

  • When a viewer can recall your ad with some help,
    it means the ad is starting to penetrate their
    consciousness and build awareness of your brand
    or business. Unaided recall is the next, later
    phase in an ad campaign. At this stage, viewers
    will be able to recall the right brand when they
    hear the Wheres the Beef slogan. At this
    point, the advertiser has managed to instill an
    active awareness in the viewer. Once that level
    of awareness has been achieved, the final phase
    can be undertaken encouraging a preference for
    YOUR products and services over those of your

  • Using frequency and variety to engage your
  • One thing that you will see in the syndicated
    commercialsand something that should certainly
    be a part of your television production
    planningis the development of a related series
    of commercials. These are commercials that are
    recognizably part of a series, but which
    incorporate different ideas or content in each ad.

  • This technique helps you build enough
    frequency to gain memorability, but stops your
    ads from becoming a boring and unwelcome
    intrusion into peoples television watching.
    Remember that your ad is interruptive no one
    turns on their television set because they want
    to hear from a dentist. They turn it on to be
    entertained, so the least you can do is try to
    incorporate some variety into each ad.

  • If you develop a differentiated series of
    commercials, people will start to remember your
    commercials, and will almost be intrigued at what
    comes next. If you are going to get syndicated
    commercials, you might consider getting a series
    of commercials that communicate ideas about your
    practice in an entertaining manner. That way, you
    will have content to run for a sustained period
    of time.

  • Perhaps most importantly, resist the urge to try
    to say everything you want to say in 30 or 60
    seconds. That is an incredibly short amount of
    time, and cramming your ad full of information
    and messages will overwhelm and confuse your
    viewers. We can remember one dental commercial we
    reviewed that had 26 different images (we
    counted!) in a 30 second commercial. Obviously,
    the dentist had a lot to say, but this is an
    extremely ineffective way of saying it. Limit
    yourself to two or three main benefits in each ad.

  • Measuring returns on a television ad campaign
  • When dentists consider advertising, one of
    their first questions is often, What kind of
    returns can I expect to see? What theyre
    usually really asking is Will I recoup my

  • The truth is, its very difficult to measure
    the returns in this direct way. Often, a
    television ad campaign will yield returns in
    terms of general awareness or recall, as
    described above. Most dental practices do not
    consider awareness or recall to be business
    assets in themselves, and its difficult to
    measure the effect of these assets on actual

  • If you want to give patients the reasons to
    choose your dental practice, it is awfully hard
    to do in a 30-second commercial. If you want to
    get patients to notice you and emotionally react
    to your practice in a particular way, then
    television might be effective. In our view,
    television is a better tool for emotional
    response (branding) than it is for direct
    response. Since most practices tend to measure
    return on investment in the form of short-term
    direct response, television is not highly
    utilized by dental practices, nor is it a medium
    that most practices consider first in choosing
    marketing media.

  • Now that we have thoroughly reviewed the
    advantages and challenges of television
    advertising campaigns you have gained the
    knowledge to decide if this is worth while risk
    for your dental practice. Television is one of
    the most popular mass mediums with the potential
    for great returns, but not without risk. You
    should only attempt a television ad if

  • Your dental practice is established
  • Your current dental marketing plan includes
    direct, print and online marketing campaigns
  • Your marketing budget is extensive enough to
    accommodate both your current marketing plan and
    cover the cost to create good ads with the
    appropriate reach and frequency
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