You’re told you should outsource marketing. But in the near future, insourcing will be more advantageous. To reveal why, Kirk Behrendt brings in Dr. Christian Coachman and Brendon Macdonald from Digital Smile Design to talk about the upcoming revolution in marketing and how to get ahead of the curve. AI is changing the landscape of marketing — be an early adopter! For everything you need to know about leveraging AI tools, listen to Episode 628 of The Best Practices Show!
Links Mentioned in This Episode:
Listen to Episode 627 with Dr. Coachman
Register for Brendon’s DSD course (November 2023)
Trust is currency.
Start to insource your marketing.
Your website is your number-one asset.
Word-of-mouth is the strongest form of marketing.
Generative AI will become the gold standard. Leverage it now!
“The clock model is a decision framework used when building brand. So, as we know, brand is not any one thing. It’s not a logo. It’s not a design. It’s actually every interaction with your patient or your prospective patient. That’s brand-building. As Christian has mentioned many times, it’s about how you greet somebody. It’s how quickly or how friendly you answer the phone. It’s the waiting room. It’s your social media. It’s everything all together. Basically, it’s a gut emotion that your patient has with an interaction with the brand. And so, the challenge you have is you don’t have one brand — you have a brand every patient has. That’s why the clock model really helps you understand which brand-building activities to tackle first, because it’s about understanding which activities will give you the fastest return on investment. We all have finite resources. We don’t have unlimited resources. So, for my $1,000, I need to look at the clock model and say, ‘Where will I invest my money to build my brand the most efficient and effective way?’” (8:50—10:03) -Brendon
“The most effective and efficient use of your money, initially, is going to be in the purchase moment. If you master that moment, you’ll get great return and you’ll build amazing brand with that. Then, the second moment to invest in is the post-purchase moment, after case acceptance, the treatment, how the treatment goes, the referral program . . . And then, finally, when you’ve mastered those two moments and everything is covered, then we can look at . . . the pre-purchase moment.” (10:09—10:46) -Brendon
“The clock concept shows that before you invest in marketing, you need to invest on that in-person moment where you are starting the relationship, starting the trust, building your plan, and presenting your plan. It’s in DSD what we call the first and second appointment. In Apple, they call it the Apple Store experience. That is our number-one inspiration.” (11:41—12:07) -Dr. Coachman
“Samsung, it costs $400,000 to build a store, whereas an Apple Store, it’s $18 million. That’s how much they invest in that moment . . . That’s the difference in how much they value the Apple Store experience. The idea of the Apple Store experience originated from Steve Jobs. He saw his initial iPod and iPhone inside Best Buy, I think it was. He said, ‘Oh my gosh, my beautiful products. I can’t control the environment. It’s being put next to other products. It’s being devalued.’ He realized in that moment that, ‘I need to build my own experience, my own environment, so that I can position my product in the right light,’ which is what DSD does. It’s about positioning yourself to the patient so that you can get the positive case acceptance. That’s the key.” (12:10—12:59) -Brendon
“There are many people out there that can master the purchase moment and do bad dentistry. That’s the reason why I always say, to deserve to benefit from the purchase moment, you need to be a good dentist first. Because if you have a great purchase experience, you’re going to convince almost anybody to do anything. That’s how powerful it is, and that’s why I call it the magic . . . So, the first moment of the clock is marketing. The second moment is the magic. And the third moment is the treatment.” (13:12—13:50) -Dr. Coachman
“When we talk about the pre-purchase moments, there is actually a moment inside the pre-purchase moment that we aim for as businesses, and it’s what we call the zero moment of truth. It’s that moment when somebody who is anonymous who’s been researching you, they’ve been trying to find out if they can trust you, whether you’re the right individual and business to go and give their money to to have the treatment, they give us their information either in the form of an email, telephone number, or a message. That’s the moment in the pre-purchase segment of the clock we are aiming for. That’s the goal.” (14:20—14:59) -Brendon
“Everything you do in terms of communication, marketing, PR, social media, charity, word of mouth, anything that you do in this pre-purchase moment, your one goal should be to get information from people that you don’t have information from — a contact.” (15:00—15:23) -Dr. Coachman
“Everything is about stages of intimacy. You have to earn trust to move one step further along the intimacy journey. The ultimate intimacy is that they come and schedule an appointment and they come into your office. But there are steps before that. The first major win for you in a pre-purchase moment is the individual makes themselves known to you in the form of an email address, telephone number, or something like that.” (15:23—15:50) -Brendon
“I think we are going to live through the biggest revolution of our time as individuals. It’s going to be the most impactful thing that’s ever happened. It’s not just a technology innovation — it’s an entire platform shift. It’s going to produce so much economic value. It’s going to produce so many changes in our lives because generative AI, which is what the hype — and what you guys might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed with, or that everybody is talking about, is this idea of large language models. Which, if we explain it in easy-to-understand language, is basically a very smart robot that has a brain that helps and speaks to us and understands how to answer our questions. It’s basically going to be smarter, quicker, and faster than a human brain. So, anything relating to communication, computation, and creativity, generative AI is going to permeate, and it’s going to basically influence everything. Technology is no longer going to be technology. It’s going to be our interface to our lives. It’s going to touch everything that we do in our life.” (16:52—18:05) -Brendon
“If you think about generative AI, it does language, it does computation, it does creativity, and it empowers individuals who use it to basically process, consume, and output content ten times faster, a hundred times faster. And so, the possibilities are huge, and the impact is huge.” (18:59—19:21) -Brendon
“As a small business owner, as a dental clinic owner, there are three truths that Kirk mentioned that we have to accept to move forward. The first truth, when it comes to our brand and promoting ourselves, is that we are going to have to insource our marketing. We’re going to have to find a system where our own team generates all our pre-purchase marketing activities. So, I’m talking about blogs, social media updates, video content, production, creation, etc. You will not be competitive or sustainable if you continue to pay your agency to do those activities because your competitor or your office next door or down the road, if they insource, they have a huge advantage over you.” (19:55—20:43) -Brendon
“You need to find your stories. You need to develop your stories. You need to produce your stories. You need to edit your stories. And you need to share and spread your stories with your own team.” (20:44—20:58) -Dr. Coachman
“If I still had an agency, I would be finding a way to teach clinic owners how to leverage AI and coach them how to insource models. That’s what I would be doing because that’s the only future for you.” (21:06—21:18) -Brendon
“If we were to break down the practical marketing activities, if you’re currently doing marketing and you’re paying an agency, if you list what you should start to insource and what you should keep outsourced, I think the solutions at the moment aren’t — some activities, you still need to outsource. Mainly, it’s going to be paid media. So, if you pay Meta — so, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, as well as Google Ads — then keep outsourcing that. Because, at the moment, the solutions aren’t there yet for your team to manage that successfully.” (21:37—22:11) -Brendon
“I do think that, in the future, you will be able to tell Google, ‘I want this type of patient,’ and it will do it automatically. That’s coming — 100%, it’s coming.” (22:28—22:38) -Brendon
“The other one [to keep outsourcing] is setting up websites. At the moment, I would still pay someone who has know-how because of the technical aspects of the domain, getting the template up and ready, all that sort of stuff. Don’t get your team to learn that, because you do it once, and then you optimize your website afterwards. But the rest needs to be insourced. SEO, local SEO, social media updates, blog post writing, video creation, email marketing, all the tactics that you might be aware of, that is done by an in-house individual leveraging the AI tools that are there, as well as the system. So, that’s truth number one — insource. You have to insource your marketing.” (22:49—23:33) -Brendon
“The third truth is to leverage the AI tools that are available to you, because generative AI is about automation, augmentation, and acceleration, those three things. If you use them correctly, you accelerate your output, you accelerate your consumption, and reasoning and processing. And it’s not hard, because that’s what I’ve been learning, is trying to understand how to bring across this complex field to dental office team members in an easy-to-understand way, not because I’m smart, but because I understand the realities of running a practice. They’re not agencies, and they can’t sit down and write code, and be complex in the way that they process stuff. So, there is a way to make it super simple, and the tools are evolving so quickly that it’s becoming easier, easier, and easier to do. So, I think those two truths match each other. You need to develop a resource dedicated to doing your content marketing, and leveraging it, and then you need to leverage the AI tools. You need to accept, adopt, and be excited by them, not fight them and put your head in the sand, which is the favorite form of marketing, right? Ostrich marketing. You put your head in the sand and pretend there’s nothing that’s wrong.” (23:43—25:01) -Brendon
“With the advent of cheap content creation, and the ease of the output that you’re going to be able to do this with, and the tools that are going to help you do it, you need to have a sales and marketing strategy that, at its fundamentals, outperforms tactics. Your strategy always outperforms tactics. And so, the strategy you need to focus on from a sales and marketing perspective is this idea of becoming the most trusted voice in your space. You have to obsess about educating your patients. You have to obsess about transparently sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of everything that you do. You have to compare. You have to talk about prices. You need to talk about the things that dentists don’t want to talk about. You need to show the things that dentists don’t want to show. And you need to sell like you’ve never sold before, which is just education.” (25:23—26:17) -Brendon
“Trust is going to become so important because of the volume that you’re going to have. Everybody is going to be able to create stories. You press buttons, and there are stories. There are pictures, content, and millions and millions of things that you’re exposed to.” (26:23—26:39) -Dr. Coachman
“Every interaction, you either earn a positive credit or a negative credit. Earning trust is about earning as many positive credits as you can. If you’re answering questions, key questions you know that I have, an anonymous person, on every step of my journey, I’m getting more green, positive emotional credits so that zero moment of truth is much more likely to happen than if not. And so, you in your pre-purchase moment, you have to obsess about all the activities and tactics that you know will earn trust.” (26:46—27:20) -Brendon
“Eighty percent of the buying decision is made when they’ve filled in that form. So, the final 20% is just about understanding the details that you can share on the website, the specifics about my problem, my situation. It’s, ‘I can trust you. You’ve shown me that you can solve my problem. You’ve shown me that I’m the right fit for you.’ Now, it’s just about the specifics of what needs to happen, the next steps. And normally, it goes very quickly. And so, if that is the case that 80% of a buying decision is made before we even know them or they contact us, then how important do you think that pre-purchase marketing activities about earning trust is? It’s huge.” (28:31—29:13) -Brendon
“That is the currency of all business, is trust. Every business trades on trust. If I don’t trust you, I’m not coming to see you, and I’m not going to give you money. Regardless of AI or anything, the currency of business is trust. And so, in the advent of this wall of information that’s going to potentially flood us, yes, we need to demonstrate trust. Actually, our most important entity is going to be our website now. Your website is going to be your number-one salesperson.” (31:30—32:02) -Brendon
“It’s about trust. I think that’s the best marketing possible.” (34:56—35:01) -Dr. Coachman
“On the pre-purchase moment, you need to look at your website as your number-one asset because it’s actually an employee that never sleeps, doesn’t take vacation, and works for you 24/7. That’s the reality. And so, how do I develop this website to become a really trusted advisor? Because that’s what you want that person to feel when they go to the website. So, how do I do that on my website? What are the practical tips? Talk about the five topics that no one wants to talk about: cost, comparisons, the best of, problems with. Even though I sign up for orthodontic treatment, what could happen? This is what people want to know. They want to understand these things. Talk about those topics. No one ever wants to talk about the topics, and there are multiple topics on treatments that you can talk about.” (35:17—36:03) -Brendon
“You need to do a “culture of” video. You need to create video — more video than ever before. Ninety percent of all internet users, the only content they consume is video. In a week, 90% of the content they consume is video. So, as a business, you have to learn how to insource your video production because that’s the way to win. It’s about trust. I hear and see the team, and I start to earn a little bit more trust.” (36:04—36:32) -Brendon
“You need to build your website and think of a human, not think of search engines. And so, it’s a bit of a challenge because everybody says, ‘What are the SEO tactics? What are the key words that I need to create?’ And it’s like, no. Think about your patient. Think about what they want to know the answers to. And guess what? You will be rewarded by the platforms because, guess what? They’re looking for trust indicators. Trust indicators are, I come back to your website multiple times. I stay on your web page, and I read for a very long time. I watch website videos. I share. I do all these things. And that’s not an SEO tactic. That is, ‘I think about my patients. I think about all the questions that they will have in the journey to becoming my patients, and I answer those questions.’” (36:42—37:28) -Brendon
“It’s funny because it’s making us more human as we think about digital marketing, connecting to the things that really matter.” (37:28—37:36) -Dr. Coachman
“We get asked questions every single day by our clients and our patients. We’re just not listening.” (37:46—37:51) -Brendon
“Learn how to listen. Learn how to understand which part of the journey the person is in, because it’s not only about pre-purchase and purchase, but each moment has moments in that journey that people are asking different questions in different ways in each part of the journey. So, you need to feed the funnel with trust, with transparency, straight to the point, but differentiating the content according to the moment of the journey. And on top of that, customize this for your buyer persona that you and your team decide is the type of people that you want to attract.” (38:20—39:06) -Dr. Coachman
“If you write the blog posts, or you let AI write the blog posts for you, you in the future — this is what’s going to happen probably within the next six to 12 months. Every website is going to have an agent or a chatbot that my patient — it’s not going to look for information. It’s going to ask the chatbot a question. And then, that chatbot is going to reference my answers, not ChatGPT, and it’s going to interact with me like a human. And so, it will be either like dental clinic assistants or front office assistants, and you’ll be confident that the answers it gives are the right answers because the answers it’s reading and processing are your content. So, that’s why you need to start to develop the content because you want your chatbot to be very specific to you and give the right information.” (40:10—40:56) -Brendon
“There are three AI business modes that you look at when you say, ‘Where do I start?’ or, ‘What should I use?’ The first one is, ‘How do I improve my efficiency, my internal efficiencies?’ So, I’m looking to understand that, in my business, what are the ways and the workflows that will improve my internal efficiencies? The second way is to improve your service. So, you’re looking at your product or your service, and you’re going to augment it with a bit of automation, a bit of acceleration. And then, the third way is that you’re going to develop a whole new solution now that you have the capabilities of AI. So, for a dental office, I would be looking at the internal efficiencies. There are many, to be honest, and it can touch every part of your business, from interviewing scripts, from translating Google Sheets, your finances, to obviously the marketing that we’ve been talking about. I use it, to be honest, most days.” (46:17—47:24) -Brendon
“The reality is that the big companies like Tesla and Apple have proved that you can just master the purchase and post-purchase moments and thrive and be the best in your area. Because, at the end of the day, the strongest form of marketing is word of mouth. In dentistry, it’s the number-one reason why patients come to you, is because of the trust that their friends and family have instilled in you by recommending you to their friends and family. And so, word of mouth is the strongest form of marketing you can do.” (53:53—54:30) -Brendon
“I’m going to be positive about this change and say that I’m really excited because it now unlocks the potential of everyone who is a good dentist to reach more people because we’re always, as dental owners, limited by the resources that you have available to you. And so, your message, your good work, doesn’t get out, and you can’t find enough people. You can’t reach enough people. And I think, now, you have that possibility, the ability to spread the right message times a hundred. It’s super exciting that more people that should be getting dental treatment will now get that treatment because your team is building trust, developing the content, and reaching those individuals. That’s the way I see it, and that’s why I’m so excited to share this because every clinic, I’m going to teach them how to create the content that all the patients are looking for.” (54:45—55:43) -Brendon
“What’s happening now is that a lot of marketing agencies will be selling services and using generative AI to deliver those services, unfortunately. And so, you can save your money and invest it in your own team. That’s one of the first-mover advantages. It’s more sustainable.” (56:26—56:43) -Brendon
2:14 Brendon’s background.
8:42 The clock concept, explained.
13:54 The pre-purchase moment, explained.
15:52 The next big revolution.
19:24 Start insourcing your marketing.
25:03 Become the most trusted voice in your space.
29:24 Trust is the brand currency.
41:52 The future of generative AI.
44:53 Is ChatGPT the gold standard?
48:00 More about the Digital Smile Design course.
51:47 Last thoughts.
57:35 Earned growth rate, explained.
Dr. Christian Coachman Bio:
Combining his advanced skills, experience, and technology solutions, Dr. Christian Coachman pioneered the Digital Smile Design methodology and founded Digital Smile Design company (DSD). Since its inception, thousands of dentists worldwide have attended DSD courses and workshops, such as the renowned DSD Residency program.
Dr. Coachman is the developer of worldwide, well-known concepts such as the Digital Smile Design, the Pink Hybrid Implant Restoration, the Digital Planning Center, Emotional Dentistry, Interdisciplinary Treatment Simulation, and Digital Smile Donator.
He regularly consults for dental industry companies, developing products, implementing concepts, and marketing strategies, such as the Facially Driven Digital Orthodontic Workflow developed in collaboration with Invisalign, Align Technology.
He has lectured and published internationally in the fields of esthetic and digital dentistry, dental photography, oral rehabilitation, dental ceramics, implants, and communication strategies and marketing in dentistry.
Brendon Macdonald Bio:
Brendon Macdonald is the Founder and CEO of Yello Veedub Inbound Marketing Agency, A Gold Certified Hubspot Partner. Prior to starting Yello Veedub in 2015, Brendon was involved in several social media consulting and management businesses focusing and specializing in the global dental sector.
Brendon has extensive experience in digital marketing strategies in the B2B & B2C healthcare & e-commerce sectors. He has a Bachelor of Economics from Rhodes University (2003) and worked in investment banking for a number of years before starting his own businesses in the retail sector and marketing for dental practices, respectively.