My friend, who is a dentist in Orlando, just thought it was the best he could do. There was a check for thousands of dollars on his desk as we looked over some of his office management software to see if it could be improved. It was hard to believe he spent that much on the Yellow Pages each year—much more, in fact, than he was spending on the software that actually ran his office!
“Say, isn’t this,” pointing to the check which may have been none of my business in the first place, “isn’t this pretty pricey for a year of Yellow Pages?”
He looked at the check. “Oh, no, it isn’t,” he said. “It’s that pricey every month.”
Every month? A larger problem than we had met to solve was surfacing. And problems exist to be solved. Having worked out software used in airports everywhere, having worked on artificial intelligence for the Department of Defense, and having been an engineer for NASA, this too must have an answer!
“Isn’t that even more than you spend to run the entire office?”
“Ah,” he said, “but as important as running the office is, this check brings in new clients and new income. The office software doesn’t do that.” He placed his hands on his hips, the perfect picture of a doctor, and gave a little shrug as if to say, That’s just the way things are.
We went to work. We soon built him a website, researched some basic SEO for him, added an analytics feature, installed a call tracking program and more. With a background in engineering rather than primarily marketing or web design, we made the tools and methods used almost exclusively by Fortune 500 companies available to a small business like a dental office. But would it work?
For most small business owners marketing is like groping around in the dark, with more sophisticated techniques unaffordable for the little guys like my friend in Orlando, who was at the mercy of platforms like the Yellow Pages to squeeze what precious few new clients they could get from massive amounts of valuable cash. Our new system, however—known as Dental Web Now!—would find effective search terms, drive traffic to a client’s website, analyze their behavior there, monitor actual recorded calls for quality, and as a result of all of this effort, suggest refinements to the program. We then added an easy interface for the client unavailable before, so he can at any time and from any device monitor the results. But again, would it work?
Three months later we found, where his previous print ad campaign brought in 56 calls, we’d brought in over 1,000 in the same amount of time, resulting in well over 100 actual new clients, and all at a cost much less than he was spending before. So far so good. It had worked beautifully. Would it work for others?