We continue our series on traditional marketing and the need for Dentists to start concentrating on marketing past the Internet. In my local market only 46% of the population went to the dentist last year. What was it like in your market? If 54% aren’t even thinking about going to the dentist then how many are actually searching for it online?

In this article we keep things “Hyper-local” by discussing how shopping cart ads can be a great value to ad to your dental marketing strategy.

An Hour-Long Billboard

How long does an individual view a billboard on the side of a highway? Even in heavy traffic, no more than a few minutes at most. The USDA reports that consumers spend an average of 44 minutes shopping inside a grocery store. Consider that each time a consumer places an item into a cart, moves the cart from one aisle to the next, or waits in the checkout lane, they see your ad through grocery cart advertising. A dental ad placed on a shopping cart is not only viewed dozens of times throughout that 44 minute visit, it is pushed around and shown to other people through the movement of the cart. You gain the attention of a single individual for nearly an hour, and they do all the work for you, pushing your image and message around a busy area.

Hyper-Local Marketing 

We encourage dental practices to focus on their local community first. We call this hyper-local marketing and should be the focus of building out your dental marketing strategy. If you’re a start-up looking to gain traction in a new area, just introducing yourself to the local community via a shopping cart ad is a great way to gain exposure for your practice.

Dental-Related Activities

While shopping for food, it’s only natural that a consumer consider his or her mouth and teeth, as well as those belonging to their family. A painfully sensitive tooth or a looming cavity in a child springs to mind as they shop for the appropriate food, placing your ad right where it’s needed. For many going to the dentist is a check-list item. A dental ad in shopping carts will serve as a reminder for a checkup and encourage the shopper to take action.

A Community Hub

The grocery store is a common place to run into friends and neighbors, making it an excellent arena for a community-minded dentist to explore dental marketing options. As discussions in the bread aisle turn to health matters, there’s an excellent chance that dentistry can come up in conversation – and your ad will be perfectly placed to fit into that chat. Word of mouth advertising is also bolstered with these handy cart-mounted reminders of information such as your office address, business hours and phone number, allowing satisfied clients to help spread the word.

Why It Won’t Work

I get on the same forums you do and read how people who have used shopping cart advertising have had minimal success. For the ones I know that didn’t it was because they had no call to action to encourage potential new patients to call their practice and schedule an appointment. One dentist who provided a free Sonicare toothbrush to all new patients received a great response. Why buy toothbrushes when you can get a Sonicare brush for free.

You may be advertising currently, but are you working harder or smarter to gain some of those potential dental patients? Look to the supermarket aisles to find an audience that’s willing to listen, focus on your ad for extended periods of time, and associate your practice with their everyday routine until they are ready to book an appointment.

Ben Shaver
Lead Strategist & Consultant

Ben Shaver is a dental marketing consultant for Dental Inbound. He works with practices of all sizes.

His main focus is to develop strategies that provide congruency between traditional media sources and new media platforms.

You can email him at bshaver@dentalinbound.com