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These days, especially in urban areas, we can find a place to stay through Airbnb.com, get a ride from Uber.com or carpooling.com, have household errands done via taskrabbit.com, arrange for an in-home massage through Zeel.com or get our car valet-parked by Luxe.com.
These internet-based marketplaces are part of what has been coined “the sharing economy.” Rather than getting goods or services from a traditional, centralized company or institution, we get similarly priced goods and services from other individuals mediated by some type of peer-to-peer community.
This type of collaborative consumption is considered more efficient given how infrequently we use some of the goods we own. For example, on average, our car sits idle 95% of the time and when it is used, it’s typically at 20-25% occupancy. In our industry, efficient usage is one reason why laboratory owners offer outsourcing services: one laboratory has a milling machine with excess capacity; another lab doesn’t...
When Daxton Grubb, Owner, R-Dent Dental Lab, West Bartlett, TN, began promoting the lab’s new INspire multi-layer translucent full-contour zirconia restorations, his first step was to create and promote a comprehensive guide to all-ceramic materials
After learning about the benefits of content marketing at a dental conference, Dianna Carroll, Business Manager, Carroll Dental Lab, a 27-person lab in Kinston, NC, felt a blog would be the perfect vehicle to provide added value and go the extra mile
When Bill Atkission moved from California to North Carolina five years ago and founded Bella Vita Dental Designs, he wanted to expand his client base and become a valuable resource to his customers, specifically CEREC doctors. He started emailing a q
In 2010, five prestigious prosthodontists asked Mark Frichtel, President, and Sven Jesse, Owner, Jesse & Frichtel Dental Lab, a 46-person lab in Pittsburgh, PA, to write a chapter on All-on-4 restorative procedures for their book, Dental Implants: th
More and more businesses are adopting content marketing strategies since social media has made it easier than ever to share content. In its June/July issue, LMT looked at the benefits of content marketing and profiled six laboratories that have implemented it into their marketing efforts. Read it first here.
Below, Derek Van Volkom, VP of Account Services, Lanmark360—a marketing agency specializing in dentistry and healthcare—shares some additional tips he feels every lab owner should keep in mind as they focus on content marketing:
Pictures are powerful. Videos and photos are gaining the most traction on social media. If you feel like video is too cumbersome, remember photos are super easy and can be uploaded to any medium you’re using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). If you have a great looking case that looks amazing, snap it, upload it and see how many “likes” it gets. It could be something the doctor hasn’t seen before.
Don’t forget LinkedIn....
In response to the most frequently asked questions from dentist-clients, NDX Keller has created a robust library of more than 70 free online videos. Housed on its website and hosted using YouTube, the videos range from 30 seconds up to 1 hour.
“Social media is a great tool for developing brand recognition while also promoting audience engagement and providing opportunities to convert users into customers,” says Jayme Hong, CEO, IDOC Dental Lab, a 40-person laboratory in Orange, CA.
Because of the limitless reach, immediacy, interactivity and cost-effectiveness of social media compared to many traditional marketing strategies, content marketing has become the Next-Gen marketing strategy. It’s a soft sell and relationship buildin
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- September 2015
Your website is a reflection of your laboratory; many times it’s the first impression a potential client will have of your lab. Jordon Comstock offers tips to keep in mind when designing your website.
Social media is a relationship-focused, human-to-human marketing approach that can open up communication between you and your customers. Author Mark Schaefer offers some tips to help you take on the social media world headfirst.
Respondents to LMT’s 2015 Marketing Survey are using new as well as tried-and-true strategies to cement client relationships, boost loyalty and increase referrals.
- June 2015
- December 2014
Q. The pace of change in our industry is accelerating. How do I keep up?
A. As the external environment changes your thinking and strategies need to change as well. For many of us that means acquiring new skills. You need to engage change proactively, making the necessary business changes to maintain a competitive advantage and you need to anticipate how your customer expectations are changing so you are not caught “flat footed.”
Ram Charan, a noted management consultant and author, has identified seven interrelated learnable skills that separate the performers from non-performers. Success on a continuous basis in this world of change depends on your ability to cultivate and practice these seven skills sets:
Pinpoint external changes and trends quickly and accurately.
Use this information to position your business and to re-position your thinking. This process has to happen quickly enough to be effective because of the pace of change, and means aligning your actions with today’s...
- August 2014
The R&E Tax Credit rewards companies investing resources in the development or improvement of its products, processes and techniques. If you qualify, you could receive a credit of $25,000 to $50,000 per year depending on your situation.
- June 2014
Over 40% of lab owners plan to retire within the next decade. With retirement on the horizon for so many, selling a laboratory is going to become an increasingly competitive situation. In this buyer’s market, operating a well-run, profitable lab, maximizing its value and standing out from your peers is going to be essential if your exit strategy is to sell your laboratory. Here are some key features buyers are looking at when considering a laboratory acquisition:
* Solid client base. Statistically, even if all goes smoothly, a buyer can lose 10 to 20% of your accounts so he’s going to be looking carefully at your customers: the strength of your relationships, amount of turnover, their location, overlap between your two markets, proximity to retirement age, etc.
And remember the 80/20 rule: generally 80% of a lab’s business comes from 20% of its clients. As a seller, the more you can increase the percentage of clients from which most of your work comes, say to 30 to 40%,...
SEO ensures that your target audience has the ability to quickly find your laboratory’s website through a search engine; it’s what gets your website found and helps build traffic to your site.
- October 2013
Christian Saurman, Vice President, New England Orthodontic Laboratory (NEO), Wilmington, MA, has implemented tools on his website to make case submission simple.
This Fall I’m heading to the great state of Arizona for a couple of months and I’m hoping to meet some laboratory owners while I’m there. I’m also hoping I can make some stops during the drive out (the last week of October) and possibly the first week of January on the drive back.
Our route takes us through Harrisburg, PA, then along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and over to I-70 and down to I-40. We’ll be going through Columbus, OH; Indianapolis; St. Louis and Springfield, MO; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; then across to Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; and into Flagstaff, AZ.
We are taking all three dogs and our one remaining twenty-one-and-a-half-year-old cat and renting a house in Fountain Hills, just north of Phoenix, through the end of the year. I’m letting you know so you can let me know if you’d welcome a quick hello. I’d love to know some history about your laboratory and how you’re faring in this digital age. If your lab is near any...
It's time to get involved in social media: it's free, it's easy, and more and more of your competitors are doing it.
- March 2013
For years, Laboratory Co-Owner Marc Daichman has been sponsoring continuing education events for dentists at least once a week. He finds it to be the best, fastest and easiest way to connect with clients and build his business.
- February 2012
7 Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Business: Share Your Faster, Smarter, Better Marketing Tips Here!
Problem: I'd like to boost my laboratory's name recognition in my local community. What are some low-cost public relations strategies?
Strategy: Public relations initiatives are a valuable way to promote your company without having to spend big bucks. They can enhance your credibility and help build your name recognition within your community and amongst potential clients. Here are some ideas to get your lab name out there and keep it visible:
• Call your local paper's health editor and offer to answer any questions he may have or send a letter to the editor offering your perspective on a topic that may be of interest to the paper's readers, like cosmetic dentistry or concerns about lead in restorations. Also, when you have a noteworthy business development, such as opening a new denture department, a 10-year anniversary in business or a charitable event, send a press release to the local newspaper.
• Speak before civic organizations and senior groups on relevant...
3 Faster, Smarter, Better Customer Service Strategies to Boost Your Business: What Are Your Secrets For Excellent Customer Service?
In this economy, working faster, smarter, better is the key to riding out the storm. Here are 3 easy-to-implement tips that can lead to a leaner, meaner, more efficient laboratory operation.
Problem: I want to find a concrete way to reward customers who have remained loyal to us and haven't been lured away by lower prices in this economy.
Strategy: Consider a loyalty rewards program; many laboratories have programs that award dentist-clients cash, credit or even travel credits equal to 2-5% of their total volume. In 2009, Doug Egts, Owner of Esthetic Dental Creations in Rawson, OH, was spurred by the challenging economy to implement the loyalty program he had been considering for a few years. He awards clients 3% of their monthly volume in "Creation Credit Points." Doctors can then use each point for a dollar off future lab work or 50 cents in cash back.
"I always think it's unfair when businesses give new customers all the perks, while it's the loyal, long-term customers that keep...