Back in the day, dentists were reliant to word of mouth and recommendations to attract new patients. They don’t even have to create dental marketing strategies because the positive recommendations of their present patients are enough. When they did begin to market their practices, they used the Yellow Pages, which is sort of where Google was based on.
Oh, those days are long gone now. There is still Yellow Pages today, but it’s online. Dentists still need positive reviews and recommendations but those are written on their websites and Facebook accounts, and not discussed to another personally. Dentists and any medical practitioners are now in the mercy of digital marketing.
Before you go ahead and create dental marketing strategies, here are some government policies you need to keep in mind:
The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) prohibits you from claiming overall superiority over your dental competitions. This means you cannot unequivocally claim that you are the best dentist in the state or the country.
These claims cannot be verified and therefore, they cannot be made. You can only make your dental marketing strategies to promote and advertise your dental practice based on what clients can verify through proper government channels.
When developing dental marketing strategies, remember that the FTC Act deems it a violation if you mislead or deceive clients via false advertisements, create unjustified expectations, guarantee uncharacteristic results, and misrepresent charges.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the legislation that provides security and privacy for medical information. Even if you have access to the clients’ medical files, you are not authorized to use that information for marketing purposes.
For example, a client of yours happened to be an NBA player. Although you want to use that information to let other people know you are being trusted by their idols, this isn’t the way for you to move forward. Unless the NBA player explicitly gave you permission to use his name and image, you are prohibited from doing so.
You are allowed to gather data from your patients. You can ask for their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. However, take note that unless they sign up to receive a newsletter from your practice, you are not allowed to send one.
You can collect this information via surveys, social media, online forms, and other approved means of data collection. Make sure that your patients are aware that you are going to use this information to send them newsletters.