Getting the best return: Google Adwords or Social Media?

I had a very interesting response to one of my online-marketing themed articles in Dentistry magazine recently.
I’d love to hear your views on this reponse
Hi Chris,
I just read your article in Dentistry. While I agree with almost all of it, there are some nuances that I wanted to present.
1)      Google adwords is by far the most directly measurable marketing opportunity. The problem is not with the media it is the knowledge, skill and experience of the people (mis)using it.  Many small businesses and most dental practices dabble with a poorly conceived campaign and get rubbish results. As you know Google has 2 networks.  Search and Display. Both can be tightly targeted. I agree it is a tough call to sell a crown using adwords. So why try that. Instead could a practice not offer and eReport to get the contact and follow up properly to sell the visit. The crown will come if the trust is developed.
2)      This requires some business marketing systems. SOE, R4 et al are operational systems that just don’t do it. (Get Infusionsoft
3)      There isn’t much point doing social media if you aren’t sociable and you don’t understand the media communication channel (it is just another channel).
4)      All direct response marketing can be measured and tested. Without tests how will one find the MOST successful routes.
5)      Practices need to be testing multiple communications channels. Anything with a +ROI is worth doing. The lifetime value of dental patients is where the profit is.
6)      Dental businesses are moving into an era where professional marketing managers are required. These people will need to be paid the going rate for their services (which is more than many associates earn). So the economic will have to change. If you think employing professionals is expensive, try employing amateurs.
In summary, I agree 100% with your article but I suggest practices learn Google Advertising (or yes drop it) and learn Social Media (or don’t start it).
07812 201818


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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.