Demystifying Digital

I’m delighted to be included in the Digital supplement to the latest issue of Dentistry magazine – and the guest contributors have made an excellent job of explaining all aspects of the revolution currently taking place.

To learn that 17% of UK practices still don’t own a computer is sobering and yet supports a long-held view that the 80/20 rule applies in dental business success as it does in so many areas of life.

My own article attempts to explain exactly what “digital marketing” really is and I wanted to take this opportunity to repeat here my core message.

Firstly, I’m going to break digital marketing down into its simplest form:

  1. Attraction – the diverse means by which you get people to your web site (now your shop window);
  2. Capture -the method by which you get permission to keep people posted;
  3. Nurture – the ways in which you keep them posted (as Seth Godin says, you “whisper to them”)

In this context, people are prospects and patients.

Secondly, I want to use just 5 words to elaborate on the above process:

  1. Reach – how many people know that you exist?
  2. Visits – how many people have visited your web site, landing pages or social platforms?
  3. Leads – how many people have exchanged their email address for information and given you permission to whisper to them?
  4. Prospects – how many people have attended for a consultation?
  5. Patients – how many people became long-term patients?

In my Dentistry article I expand upon this message, ultimately calling for more accurate measures of Return on Investment (ROI), so that dentists and their marketing teams can evaluate what works and what doesn’t faster and more accurately.

Perhaps my final message would be to say that the digital landscape evolves so rapidly that it is necessary to constantly question and test your systems – any digital campaign left unmeasured and unaltered for more than 3 months is likely to diminish in effectiveness.

Digital marketing is essential and yet remains a mystery to many.

The more intellectual time you invest in understanding the digital landscape, the more effective your financial investment.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.