In the 1950’s, TV and radio shows were a staple for dental advertisers like Colgate, Ammident and Gleem.  They were big companies who did TV and radio advertising right.  Believe it or not, the same response principles for radio and TV back then works today.  The difference is today, most dentists aren’t employing the tested principles.  Most radio and TV advertising is all alike.  Too much reliance is put on a single 30 or 60 second ad to do all the heavy lifting.   Despite what you might think personally about advertising on radio and/or television, they are still the most widely reaching (and effective) advertising mediums available to you; even above Internet and direct mail.  There are several mistakes dental advertising is making today that it didn’t ‘back in the day’.  There are 4 major mistakes made when it comes to radio and/or television (local broadcast or cable) advertising, but I’ll address only 3 here.

  1. Cost vs. Investment
  2. Listening to the ad reps
  3. Improper use of the media
  4. Message

I see a lot of dental practices making these mistakes when it comes to advertising on radio and television.  The biggest mistake is not using it.  There is any number of reasons one would not use radio or television.

TV/Radio Mistake #1: Cost vs. Investment:  The biggest I hear is because it’s too expensive.  Here are two schools of thought on this.  First, it’s expensive if you look at it as an expense. Second, it’s expensive if you’re using the media wrong.

All marketing and advertising should be considered an investment.  You buy food, beer, wine, or toilet paper.  You invest in real estate, stocks, bonds, money market funds or gold.  Things you buy are consumed and things you invest in are intended (or expected) to produce a return on the money you invest in them.  Based on my definition, marketing and advertising are investments, however, if they don’t produce a return they can feel like a purchase, at least emotionally.  All marketing and advertising is testing, just as with investing in stocks and bonds.  You have to find out what produces the best returns, but you can’t know until you test a bunch of things.

When I started advertising on radio and TV for my erectile dysfunction client, we didn’t know what message would produce results until we tested a bunch of them.  With very tight tracking we discovered what worked best and we did more of what worked.  These became our controls, but we continued to test new messages against the controls to see if we could beat them.  Sometimes we did, but often we didn’t.  Advertising and marketing is more a mechanical function than emotional one.  I know that’s easy to say and harder to do when it’s your money on the line, but think about it this way, if you’re a responsible gambler the best approach to gambling is only lay down what you can afford to lose.  You should approach advertising on radio or television the same way.  Approach it with a commitment to make it work, but don’t overspend along the way.  Unless you have the kind of experience buying and placing broadcast media you’ll tend to listen to the reps selling you the airtime.  That leads me to mistake #2.

(to be continued…)  Keep an eye out for the continuation of Ron’s tips in our next blog post on Monday, July 17th.

Ready to hear more from Ron?  Register for the August New Patient Extravaganza to hear Ron discuss that the 4th major mistake is in the message.  He’ll share examples of both effective and ineffective advertising messages.  In addition to radio and TV advertising, he’ll also be sharing 4 other media opportunities you’re either not using or not leveraging well.  For example, free publicity from philanthropic activities.  Are you making money directly from this kind of work or are you happy with only the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from doing it.  You’ll be surprised to find out the kind of money you could be doing from the free or fundraising activities.  Dentistry you do than the stuff you’re trying to sell in your advertising and marketing.  Go to to register for the August Jerry Jones NPE.

Ron Sheetz is the founder of RJ Media Magic, Inc.  Ron has made himself an absolute authority in media marketing for dentists across the country. He has become an expert in the application of television communication with more than 3 decades of experience.  His unique, innovative and proprietary marketing strategies are revolutionizing how dentists are now able to position and differentiate themselves from other dentists, group practices and the mega-corporate practices popping up in every town across the land. Ron’s strategies are leveling the playing field for the patient-centric dental practice, tipping the advantage back to the practices on a modus operandi of taking care of patients first. Ron has the distinctive ability to take a very specific asset every practice possesses, but under utilizes, and transform it into a powerful marketing and advertising advantage.