Fact: More than 83 million moms nationwide
exert a whopping $2.1 trillion in
spending power and control most family
spending and shopping.
When it comes to family's health care, it's no secret that
mom is the primary decision maker or CPO, Chief Purchasing
Officer. She chooses the practitioners, schedules the appointments
and approves (or vetoes) the procedures. So how do you
get "choosy" moms into your practice? What factors weigh into
a mom's decision when selecting a dentist? How can your practice
increase its appeal to moms? What are you doing that may
inadvertently be causing moms to stray?
It makes good financial sense to explore these questions.
Women, in general, spend 85 cents of every dollar…over $2.1
trillion nationwide. It's no wonder that the winning prize in
many sports competitions is referred to as "the purse."
Productive Dentist Academy is at the forefront of gender
marketing and research. From reaching mom, to engendering
her loyalty, to making it easy for her to refer friends and family –
we've explored, dissected and developed each stage of the cycle.
Along the way, we've learned some surprising things about what
works and what doesn't when it comes to engaging moms.
Here's some research that may help you in your practice:
Profiling Moms: What You Need to Know
The first and most important thing to understand is that
moms are all different and cannot be treated as a homogenous
group. A mom with toddlers has needs that are quite different
than a mom with teens. Additionally, moms are unique within
each subgroup – for example, a mom with an at-home infant
may also be a self-employed businesswoman or she may be an
older, first-time mom.
Two important points to keep in mind: 1). Women, moms
especially, think and assess the longer-term ramifications of
everything, and 2). Women tend to use both left and right brain
in decision-making. As her dental health provider, it is important
to understand the priorities a mom faces at each stage, and
to evolve your conversations so that you can show and provide
support according to her family's season of need. In conversations,
it's important to cite facts and figures, yet also be aware of
the empathetic right side of the brain she uses in decision making.
As a general guideline, here are typical lines of division
among moms and things on the forefront of their minds.
Pregnant or New Moms. Focus on prenatal health of the
mom, special needs of pregnancy, and infant care, i.e., bottlemouth
Moms of Toddlers – busy hands and on the go. Make the
office reception area family friendly and include a special area
for children. Make sure staff is friendly and engages siblings
Moms of Elementary Children to Teens – a time for further
education and counsel. Provide nutritional counseling and
stress importance of healthy dental habits. Introduce benefits of
fluoride, Carifree, and xylitol for caries reduction. Discuss readiness
level for orthodontic treatment.
Moms of Teens – preparing kids for high school and
college. Help with third molars and explain saving extracted
teeth in a Stem Cell bank (www.stemsave.com) for possible use
later in life.
Empty-Nester Moms – progressive separation of children
to college and beyond. Moms at this stage are experiencing new
found freedom. This is an opportunity for self-reflection and self-nurturing.
Consider complimentary whitening with complete
re-exam (every three to five years) and cosmetic dentistry.
Differences in age of brood and careers aside, the single factor
uniting all these moms is a desire to ensure the best for their
families while managing the household budget. The bottom line
is that each woman is different and the only relationship that
truly endures is a one-to-one relationship. That means you must
first listen to what she values in her dental service provider and
then let her know she's been heard by following through on
what is important to her.
She's Waiting! How to Reach
& Engage Moms
Marketing to moms is so important, but with everyone
from retail centers to automakers targeting moms, how does
your practice reach them? After all, you're not just competing
with practices in your community; you are competing with all
companies, products and services that are vying for mom's time
It all starts with earning her trust. Selecting a health care
provider is vitally important to a mom because the decision
affects the well being of her whole family. The number-one
thing that keeps mom coming back to your practice instead of
heading to your competitor is a personal, one-to-one relationship
with you and your staff. Authentic connection, respect and
professional service all weigh heavily on her mind. Without
those, not only is she quick to walk out the door, she's also quick
to tell her friends and family about her experience.
A mom also relies on her intuitive instincts when it comes to
relationships between you and your staff. They are quick to sniff
out insincerity of any kind and favor practices that have a good
working environment and promote harmonious relationships
Make it convenient for her to come to your practice. Create convenience for busy moms by allowing the entire family
to schedule appointments at the same time. Announce "family
day" twice a year (select a Thursday or a school holiday like
in-service teacher days when kids are home from school). Make
it a fun event for the entire team by declaring a theme or wearing
your favorite sports team jerseys. Turn the entire office into
an educational center with dental coloring books, refreshments,
etc. An office with five operatories can clear about 50 child prophy
appointments and minor restorations in one day, keeping
the schedule open for valuable, late afternoon appointments for
Help her help her family. Educate moms about nutritional
facts and substitutes for healthier lunches and fewer cavities.
Give away samples of chewing gum and mints containing
xylitol – Trident for example – so kids can freshen breath and
reduce opportunities for cavities. Also provide information on
CariFree products to regulate children's pH levels.
Win her heart by doing good deeds in your community. When all other things are equal (and for many moms the initials
behind dentists' names renders them equals) your practice's "good
citizenship program" can be the deciding factor that builds a bridge to your practice. Moms look for community in every walk
of life and are drawn toward people and organizations that have
similar values. They pay attention to products and service
providers who are doing good deeds and support causes. It's the
"practice halo" effect. Consider a 10K fundraising run/walk in
your area. Or consider supporting a local charity by giving a portion
of your proceeds to that charity. The opportunities to do
good are endless and everyone (you, your staff and patients) benefit
from what researchers coin the "helpers high," a reduction in
stress and depression, a decrease in physical pain, and a rush of
endorphins that makes people feel joy and happiness.
Ease her burden about managing the family budget. Offer convenient financial arrangements to make it easy for her
to say "yes" to optimal treatment for her family.
Surprise and delight her with thoughtful and random
acts of kindness. This is one of the strongest ways you can build
and promote word-of-mouth marketing.
Connect with her through new media. Moms rely heavily
on their social network for referrals and recommendations, especially
as it relates to matters about heart, family and home. Nine
out of 10 moms regularly or occasionally seek the advice of others
before buying a service or product. Additionally, 97.2 percent
of moms give advice to others about the products or
services they've used.*
- Give moms a back-to-school supply gift card as part of
your referral program
- Host a "night of pampering" for loyal patients (http://
- Provide a "treasure chest" of spa products for moms to
In the past, moms relied almost exclusively on the old party
line, but today's mom is wired. She embraces new technology
and relies on it to get information on products and services and
to enhance her circle of relationships. Perhaps even more important,
is the speed at which that information now flows from mom
to friends and family. If she is not happy with a product or service,
it quickly becomes known; and the reverse is true as well. Use
social media, such as Facebook and Twitter to get connected to
moms. A survey by BIGresearch in conjunction with the Retail
Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA)* shows that
women with children at home are more likely to use social media
than the average adult. They use it to connect with other moms,
research companies and products, share photos, etc.
The good news is that you can use technology, such as social
media programs, to build relationships and engender loyalty
among moms. It's also a great place to offer same-day service
advertisements using online tools such as Smile Reminders.
Give her what she wants. When asked to rank (on a scale
from 0 to 5), what types of promotions most influence their
purchase, Moms gave the following responses:*
There is nothing more powerful and loyal than a grateful
mom. Earn her trust and take care of her family and she will serve
as a powerful and loyal goodwill ambassador for your practice.
- in-office product samples (3.8)
- product samples delivered to home (3.6)
- loyalty cards (3.5)
- special displays in practices (3.4)
To cater to these wants:
- Provide a back to school dental health kit for brushing
- Offer samples of related products (like skincare products)
- Engage in free "whitening for life" programs
Gaining MOMentum in Your Practice
Want to learn more about the best ways to gain MOMentum in
your practice? Attend Productive Dentist Academy's free Webinar:
Marketing to Moms. Visit www.productivedentist.com or contact
Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*BIGresearch's Simultaneous Media Usage Survey (SIMM 14) was compiled for the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation
and published in Marketing Profs. The survey polled 4,206 moms and 22,624 adults 18+ and was conducted April 29-June 18, 2009. "Moms" are defined as woman with
children at home who are under 18 years of age. Published in Marketing Profs, September 2009.