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Show Tribune United Kingdom Edition

Show Tribune United Kingdom Edition | 1/2018 BUSINESS 11 buying habits. “People like you are buying things like this” has be­ come the advertiser’s new mantra. I admit that the same mantra will become more important in dental practice advertising and marketing over the next year, with perhaps only a small change in em­ phasis that it could be something like: “Patients like you are investing in treatments like this.” Will the statistical behaviour­modification of large cohorts of patients perhaps also appear in dentistry? Frankly, it is already here, with the use of the effective recall sys­ tem, the daily use of social media channels to publish photographs and videos, the publication of prac­ tice blogs as well as the e­mailing of patient newsletters and end­of­ treatment interviews. All of these are designed to identify the charac­ teristics of our favourite patients and include them in the process of spreading our brand message. po far in dentistry, advertising is a manual exercise undertaken by committed internal marketers and treatment coordinators. Perhaps the algorithms created by the larger cor­ porates and retailers to protect and grow market share will soon also arrive in dentistry. This will make for an interesting angle, including the manipulation of patients’ atten­ tion and their perception of choice. It sounds ominous, doesn’t it? We’d better get ready to compete. An active con- sultant, trainer and coach to the UK den- tal profession, Chris Barrow regularly con- tributes to the dental press, social media and online. AD Explore both models at The Dentistry Show on Stand H30 Many dentists invest heavily in pEO and PPC even though the latest research by WIRED magazine indi­ cates that 20 per cent of people searching on Google click on the number one result and 12 per cent on the second, while the rest are not significant enough to track. Even so, the attraction of the digital advertising drug is difficult to re­ sist, especially because it means that you can hand over your money and get back to work, without hav­ ing to think too much about the numbers game you are playing. My best friend is the founder of a leading UK digital advertising agency and, having spent over £1 million per annum of his clients’ money on Facebook advertising, has a lot to say about the effective­ ness of his methods. He sees the future belonging to those who can tell emotional stories targeted at those “personas” that his tribe now talk about all the time. Indeed, you and I are no longer unique indi viduals. The agencies and their algorithms want to categorise us by age, gender, education, location and a host of other factors. A couple of years ago, I said in jest that Facebook was getting me wrong by assuming that, at age 62, I was interested in paga motor insurance (even though I did not own a car) and Mahabi slippers (even though I already owned a pair). The competition for my attention, and yours, has since evolved greatly over a short period of time. The algorithms are now following the heat map I create as I browse the web and now “they” know that, as I approach 65, I run marathons, read good fiction, take adventure holidays, enjoy red wine and watch excellent TV dra­ mas. My social media channels and my online shopping experi­ ences are littered with a constant stream of interruptions that are based on my browsing history and © Pathdoc/

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