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VIDEO - DUwHF #870 - Ruairi Gough
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AUDIO - DUwHF #870 - Ruairi Gough
Ruairi Gough is a Marketing Graduate from Trinity College Dublin and has worked in Sales & Marketing for over 20 years in 3 different countries - Ireland, UK and USA. On graduation from University Ruairi spent 10 years working for some high profile companies including News Corporation and IMG World, and also smaller companies involved in radio and ambient media. In 2011 Ruairi identified a niche for dental marketing in Ireland, just around the same time that the Irish Dental Council started to relax the rules about dentists marketing directly to patients. Having successfully dominated the marketing in Ireland, Ruairi set about building his business outside Ireland, and now boasts clients in 5 countries including UK, USA, Germany and Japan. While visiting dentist clients over the years, Ruairi came up with the idea for the toothsign.com unit, to help patients easily identify their local dental office. In the last 12 months almost 100 units have been sold into 5 countries.
Some interesting things about Ruairi
- Ruairi is an avid triathlete and has completed numerous triathlon races including several half ironman distance events
- Ruairi participated in the successful Guinness World Record attempt for the longest softball game in 2004, at just over 55 hours
- Ruairi has visited 30 states in the USA, which is 10 more than the average American man or woman
- Ruairi previously worked and lived in New York City for 3 years, working on marketing programs for Boeing, Ann Taylor, Wrigleys, Madison Square Garden, NYPD, Pentax, Sony and American Airlines.
Howard: It's just a huge honor for me to be podcast interviewing Ruairi Gough all the way from Dublin, Ireland. It's 8:40 in the morning on a Sunday here in Phoenix and it's 4:40 p.m. in Dublin, Ireland. Just an honor to have you on the show. Ruairi Gough is a marketing graduate from Trinity College Dublin and has worked in sales and marketing for over twenty years in three different countries: Ireland, U.K. and the United States. On graduation from university, Ruairi spent ten years working for some high-profile companies including News Corporation and IMG World, and also smaller companies involved in radio and ambient media. In 2011 Ruairi identified a niche for dental marketing in Ireland, just around the same time that the Irish Dental Councils started to relax the rules about dentists marketing directly to patients. Having successfully dominated the marketing in Ireland, Ruairi set about building his business outside Ireland and now boasts clients in five countries including the U.K., United States, Germany and Japan. While visiting dentist clients over the years, Ruairi came up with the idea for the TOOTHSIGN.com unit to help patients easily identify their local dental office. In the last twelve months, almost one hundred units have been sold into five countries. Some interesting things about Ruairi. He's an avid triathlete and has completed numerous triathlon races, including several half-Ironman distance events. He's participated in a successful Guinness World Record attempt for the longest softball game in 2004 - just over 55 hours. He's visited thirty states of the United States, which is ten times more than the average American man or woman. And he previously worked and lived in New York City for three years, working on marketing programs for Boeing, Ann Taylor, Wrigley’s, Madison Square Garden, the New York Police Department, Pentax, Sony and American Airlines. It's just an honor to have you on the show.
Ruairi: It's great to be on the show.
Howard: It reminds me of one of the most painful events I ever had in my life. It was way back in the day, I think it was 1998. I came out with the thirty-day dental MBA and it was a thirty-hour, thirty-day program and it sold all over the world and it got a lot of dentists in trouble because they were listening to me and they started doing this marketing stuff and then found out it was completely illegal. And I think that people don't realize that dentistry is a sovereign profession and it was illegal for any form of marketing and advertising for dentists or physicians in 1973. In fact, just only recently in the United States have they allowed pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs on television. And it just seems shocking that just now in 2011 really became legal to advertise in Ireland. And it's still extremely illegal in many parts of the world. And I should've put a footnote, like, you know, check with your local attorney, this is not advice, please check with a local attorney if everything I'm saying in the United States is legal in your country. In fact, it was in 1973 when two lawyers from Phoenix, Arizona - they have a huge law firm - they actually sued their Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners, saying that their right to advertise was free speech and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. It wasn't until 1973 that the Supreme Court said, "Yeah, lawyers should be able to tell people". I think it was about personal injury and they wanted to be able to tell people that, "Look, we specialize in personal injury as opposed to other attorneys who do other things", you know, and Supreme Court agreed. So, '73 is when the whole dentist advertising started in the United States. So, what was going on in Ireland in 2011 that made the Irish Dental Council relax its rules?
Ruairi: I think, from 2010, 2011, there was obviously dental guidelines put down saying that dentists couldn't advertise. But then with the plethora of social media communications, websites are becoming more mainstream, and, you know, I think the Dental Council realized they had to move with the times and I suppose, as I was saying before, one of the dentists was doing this anyway. So, I think they had to create a level playing field. You can't have some guys, you know, taking the lead on this and saying, well, other guys playing by the rules are not being able to do it. So, I think, then in 2012, they came along with new guidelines and said, yes, as long as the communications are honest and, you know, you're talking - similar to your lawyer situation in the States - as long as you're just talking about the services you're providing, then there is no problem. So, it's becoming all mainstream in the last five to six years. So, I think that's it, you know.
Howard: And I was surprised when you said you're now working in five countries, including Japan. Japan is an extremely conservative country. I was surprised to hear you talking, saying that Japan is now listening to your advertising and marketing.
Ruairi: Yeah, I mean, this the thing, we started out in Ireland six, seven years ago to learn our trade, and it's very easy ... well, relatively-speaking ... to go to the U.K. and the States because they're all English-speaking countries, I suppose. We're different. One of the guys that works with us has spent, you know, ten, twelve years in Japan, so, that gives us the ability to communicate in Japanese. And then, I suppose, it's just a matter of explaining the proposition to Japanese dentists. We've had a lot of success with our tooth sign over there because, if you've been to Japan or Tokyo before, they love LED lights, they love lit signage and that kind of got us in the door with some dental practices and when they saw how well the tooth sign was working for them, they came along and said, “Can you do websites and social media and all the other things that we do?”, and we said, “Yes, we can.” So, that's how the Japanese thing came about. And similarly, in Germany, one of our team members, our graphic designer, is German. So, we automatically have language skills there and then we're only transferring skills that we do in English-speaking markets over to Japan and Germany.
Howard: So, your website is TOOTHSIGN.com? TOOTHSIGN.com. What would my homies find if they went to TOOTHSIGN.com?
Ruairi: We have two websites, Howard. We've dentalmarketinginternational.com, which is our mainstream marketing website, and then, as an offshoot, we had to develop a website purely for our TOOTHSIGN.com business. So, if your homies, as you like to call them, visit the website, they'll just find the specs and the criteria for our tooth sign and they'll also find pictures from our happy clients and all the details of how they could order them to the States. We've done a lot of successful deliveries there in last two years. It's been really good for us.
Howard: It's going to really confuse the Americans because the dimensions of your sign are five hundred millimeters times seven hundred millimeters, and I don't think any American has any idea how big five hundred millimeters by seven hundred millimeters are! We're the only country that uses imperial math. Everyone else went metric and we're still measuring our horses in hands and our distances in monkey feet.
Ruairi: Well, I should know better, you know, from living in New York but I never measured anything when I was there. But, no, look if you want to talk about...
Howard: About how big is that sign?
Ruairi: If you talk about maybe two feet across the width and about three feet high in height.
Howard: Yeah, and if you're watching this on YouTube, you can see some of those signs behind you. The Number 8 clinic. It's a really neat sign. And, you know, a lot of ... what do you think of the mix on advertising is between getting a good location, like, a lot of dentists, they don't get a good commercial location where they have visibility from traffic and foot traffic because it's more expensive. So, then, like, Manhattan is a classic example. You know, they don't go on the main floor were the subway lets out where a gazillion people are walking by all day long. Well, they say, that's expensive. So, they go forty stories up the building where no one in the world would know they exist. So, then they have to spend so much more money on other types of marketing. I always thought location, location, location was the best marketing especially if it came with demographics. I mean, we know dentists who open up in an area where there's a dentist for every five hundred people really struggle. And by the time they get to an area there's only one dentist for every five thousand, everyone collects a million Dollars a year and takes home three fifty. But, how important of the mix do you think is location versus just all the direct mail and Internet marketing and Facebook and all that?
Ruairi: I suppose, look, 'cause you rightly said, in a lot of cases it can be dictated by what's available or the price that people are willing to pay for real estate. I suppose from our point of view in terms of the tooth sign business, there's a lot that can be protected buildings, protected structural planning laws. So, you've got to be wary of that in terms of that specific thing. But, like, I would agree with you. I mean I think if you have a high-profile location with lots of foot fall, and, you know, it's a built-up area, people are spending money in shops on either side of your dental office, then absolutely that's going to spill over into your business and you probably don't need to spend as much money telling people where you are because they'll find you. But if you are in a strip mall or if you're in somewhere, you know, five, ten storeys up, then absolutely a lot of money has to be spent on social media, you know, Google Maps, and other digital marketing forms to tell people where you are.
Howard: But, you know, I've done this, you know, a dozen times where some dentist is forty floors up in Manhattan, and when we're walking down leaving, I'll stop in the restaurant, and I'll tell them, the restaurant owner, I'll say, “Can I ask for the ... is the owner here?” and they'll say, “Yeah, he's over there”; and you go talk to him and then I'll tell him, you know, “This guy, do you know who he is?” And then he doesn't know. Then I'll say his name, “Do you know who he is?” “No.” And he's like forty storeys above and then I'll say, “I'm just curious. You know, we're just wondering, you know, could a dental business afford something like this? What is your total sales?” And on those floors, I mean, there's little gift shops that sell t-shirts and hats and trinkets and little miniature Statue of Liberties and they don't even do four hundred thousand a year in sales or it'd be some little restaurant that is doing five hundred thousand a year in sales. And then here is this dentist, forty storeys up doing seven hundred thousand, eight hundred thousand, nine hundred thousand. But in their mindset, their culture, you know, they have this certain price range for rent, and they don't realize that that extra rent between forty storeys up and on the main [00:10:49] front, [0.2] that extra rent is probably the best marketing you can do because there's always a hundred people walking past that office or that location around the clock.
Ruairi: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think, you know, for your homies again, as you call them, I see a lot of cases, like, we work with guys in Chicago, New York, Missouri, and, like, one of our guys in Missouri is moving to a new dental office, and I just said to him, look, you know, he's going to be on ... he's gone from a strip mall to a corner location. He's going to have, like, four roads of traffic approaching his dental office and I just said, “Make sure your practice is visible.” He has a tooth sign already. But, like, you know, simple things like window vinyl, like LED lit frames, you know. So, just making the best use of your real estate because you're paying for all of that. So, you know, absolutely. But it still comes down to what I think, you know, even in Ireland, we're a smaller country, and in Dublin there's maybe a million people, but the places with the best locations, the extra money seems to pay off in extra sales. And that's, you know, that seems to be a fact.
Howard: Oh, yeah, it's location, location, location. And then, in some areas, the Historical Society won't let people put a sign, as you say, or they won't let them build a monument sign. I call the Historical Society the Hysterical Society. I mean, they're just ... and I mean, it's amazing. I mean, people literally believe that you shouldn't ... people driving down the street shouldn't have the right to know there is a dentist here or build a monument sign - they think it's going to look like Las Vegas or something - and it's ... even in the different suburbs of where I live in Phoenix, like Tempe, you know, they just ... it's so hard to have any lit signage and even if you have a lit sign it's got to be turned off by 10 o'clock in the morning and, you know, I mean 10 o'clock in the evening and, I mean, it is tough - those zoning requirements can get really tough.
Ruairi: Yeah, yeah, I mean, absolutely, you know, and we come up against that in the U.K. as well, there's protected structures, but, like, in most cases a local council or community or ... I don't know what you have in the States ... they'll give you guidelines as to what signage you can, and when we developed the tooth sign, we tried to stay within the guidelines of several countries, and the size that we made the unit would be similar in size to any projecting sign that would come off a building in, say, the States or the U.K. So, that's kind of helped to sell them. And, in a lot of cases, the guidelines that are set down for signage will say, as long as the sign represents your business, which, you know, from any point of view the tooth sign represents a dentist in my book and therefore I don't think, you know, a lot of guys are going to have issues with that.
Ruairi: You know, actually, Howard, I'm sorry to cut across you but I was going to say, in most cases, other guys are looking for the tooth sign to be twice as big as it is.
Howard: Yeah, and it is nice, and, I mean, it's very effective because it's so lit and bright. I mean, the picture ... if you go to dentalmarketinginternational.com - he's got two websites: TOOTHSIGN.com and dentalmarketinginternational.com - and those are just some gorgeous pictures of letting a dentist [00:13:51] know there. [0.4] And a lot of times when I'm in foreign countries, I always like to go a day or two early, and me and Ryan and the boys walk around, and we just drop in on a lot of dental offices, and I'm telling you, a lot of them it's very hard. Like when we were in Cambodia, I mean, we had to, you know, go find taxi drivers and not get in their car and say, “Do you know of any dentists in this town?” And they would sit there, and they'd think and they'd think and I'd be standing there thinking, “This is a huge town. I know there's hundreds of dentists in here.” And he's telling me, you know, “I'm not sure.” And then the taxi driver gets out of the car and goes to, you know, some local market vendor and starts talking to them and then, I mean, it was like an effort to find a dentist. And I'm just like, man, the dentist that could capture that understanding that, here's taxi drivers and street vendors and they can't even name a dentist, but you know in the size of this area, there is probably a dentist for every two thousand people.
Ruairi: Exactly. And like, this is the thing: you've got to think, if you were dropped, if you were parachuted into any country in the world, any city, and you have, like, an emergency toothache, how are you going to find the dentist if you don't speak the language or somebody can't point you in the direction, and, like, you see a tooth sign, it's LED, it burns night and day, and, like, it's clear as crystal. Bang! There's a dentist.
Howard: Well, I mean, and think about these vendors, here, I mean, the taxi driver, the street vendors we were talking to, the shops, the restaurants. I mean, any of those employees that live there in that city in Cambodia, I mean, they don't even know if there's a dentist there.
Howard: And that's ... it's crazy. It's not just tourists, it's, like, the locals there couldn't even tell me where a dentist was. In fact, where was it where I was actually bribing them, where I had to bribe up to $50 U.S., right? You remember that? That was Cambodia, wasn't it? Yeah. So, at $10, no taxi driver could find it, at $20, no-one, but when I pulled out a $50 U.S. bill they started ... they started absolutely thinking, getting on their cell phones, you know, they started ... and, I think we only got, what, two? Two in that big town? Was it two? Yes, so, I mean, it took a $100 U.S. just for a taxi driver to find me two different dental offices that I could go in there and meet the dentist. I mean, just crazy. So, do you think there's any real difference in marketing between the countries you're at? I mean, you lived in the United States, Ireland, U.K., Japan. I mean, is dental marketing, dental marketing, dental marketing? Or do you see variances between countries?
Ruairi: I think, you know, I think dental marketing is the same across the world. You know, I might get pulled up for saying that. I've been in sales and marketing for twenty years and, you know, even dentists that I meet for the first time in Ireland or the U.K. and I say to them, “This is not ... we're not selling anything here. What we're trying to do is improve the level of communication you have with your patients or prospective patients. That's what we're trying to do.” It's about communication more than selling. Now, obviously, there is selling, you know, that's what marketing is, but I think if you get the communication right, dentistry is a, you know, it's a personality business. People, I'm sure, still come to you forty years on in Arizona because of the guy that you are, and they prefer to come to you than Joe Bloggs down the road. And you know this day and age you've got the likes of Facebook, Google AdWords, Instagram - they're the same in every country, every country has websites and every country has, you know, direct marketing newsletters. And that's why, I mean, we like to think of the tooth sign as our unique contribution to dentistry, a bit like Dentaltown.com. But I can't compare ... it's apples and oranges, when I compare it to that behemoth. But I think it's the same across the board. I don't, you know, I think if guys get it right on a couple of ... you know, up until 2011 in Ireland, but thirty years ago in America, it was all about direct marketing. But now, you know, even with practice management software tools, it's all about regular communication. You've got to touch, you can connect with people on so many different platforms and you've just got to find where your patients or prospective patients are hanging out and just contact them through that medium. It's really that straightforward.
Howard: So, let's go through those ... you list a lot of things. And let's talk about the two four hundred-pound gorillas, Google AdWords and Facebook. Who do you think's more, of those two, just Google versus Facebook, which also owns Instagram, who do you think's a better return on investment between Google or Facebook/Instagram?
Ruairi: When I started doing this 2011, I was all about Google AdWords and, you know, I was, like, let's go out, we'll just put our, you know, sponsored ads up where the search results are. And, to be fair, back then it was working quite well because only a handful of dentists - I'm talking specifically about the Irish market at the moment - were on using Google AdWords. The problem with Google AdWords is, it's got such a low point of entry. I know it's different in the U.K. and in the States. Say a cost per click in Ireland, could cost you maybe fifty cents or a Dollar. In the U.K. and in the States, it costs you $5, $6, $7. So, what's happened in Ireland is, you've got a situation where five to ten dentists are on Google AdWords, you've actually got, like, fifty to sixty dentists are on AdWords. So, it's kind of become a crowded market. The thing I like about ... and in the last two or three years, we've transitioned a lot more over to the Facebook platform, but, like, and the reason being, first of all you connect with your existing patients straight away and, through their advertising tools, you connect with their family and friends, which are probably more of the right type in patients that you want to connect with. So, I think there are pluses and minuses to both. One of the guys we work with in the States is adding a periodontist to his practice recently and he wants to get the message out there tomorrow to as many people as he can that he has a periodontist in his zip code. So, like, if you want to achieve that, Google AdWords is probably the place to do it because you got the post code tools, you can advertise, you know, you can look out for specific key words. Again, Facebook has caught up on that and if you want to advertise in a specific zip code or within five to ten miles of your practice, to the same type of people who already come to your practice, then Facebook is the place to be. So, I think, right now, if I was trying to ... if I had to choose between the two of them, I would say Facebook because you get a link, you get a relationship with the patient. If I had the money, I'd probably spend a bit of money on both, for the reasons as I've already said. Facebook, you have the links, but Google you can do stuff instantly. The mistake I see people making though is, they go on Google AdWords with the same message, the same advertising all year round. It's like reading a magazine. If I was to read, you know, the Dentaltown magazine and the same ad appeared one version after the next, after a while you'd tune out to it. You've got to be creative with the copy and creative with the message, and then people pay attention.
Howard: Well, I want to ... when you say Facebook and their friends, etc. is bringing in the right type of patient, what he's really saying is that when you bring in a ... you know, you sell the invisible, nobody knows. I mean, people know what the iPhone is, they know what a Starbucks coffee is, they know what a Honda Accord is, but they ... when you come in and someone says, “You have four cavities”, that's invisible. They have to trust you. And when a stranger comes into your practice with no trust, they'll spend a Dollar. But when someone comes in - a word-of-mouth referral or a friend of someone who does business with you and they recommend you - they'll spend $3. So, it's a three to one to get, you know, so if you did something on Facebook and my friend said, “Oh, Howard goes to this dentist and I trust Howard”, and then I could text them and say, “Hey, Howard, I see that you've been going to Ruairi Gough. Is he any good?” And he says, “Oh, yeah, he's really good. I've been going there ten years and I like his staff.” Then when you come in and you say, “You have two cavities”, they believe you. But when you're a stranger off the street and they don't have any trust and you're selling the invisible, it's difficult. It's the same thing when they advertise on TV for these big air conditioner repairmen in Phoenix and the guy comes out and says, Well, I can't fix your air conditioner. You need a whole new one. Well, everybody in America will be standing there thinking, “Is that true or do you just want to sell me a $5000 air conditioner?” They need trust when you sell the invisible, that's why you like the Facebook friends.
Ruairi: I mean, you make a really good point there. Like you're trying to sell the invisible. If you go onto Facebook or people are on your Facebook page and they like your dental office, they can leave a review and that review is there forever, as long as that Facebook page is live. So, exactly what you're talking about there. You're waiting for a verbal referral from a friend. People who don't know you at all can go onto Facebook and see that you've got twenty positive reviews and they can start building the trust straight away without ever setting foot in your dental practice. Similarly, that's why it's important to make sure you get your branding and your website for your dental office right from the start, because more and more people are making decisions by what they see on Google and what they see on their tablet or laptop before they ever even meet you. So, you know, and that's been a big part of our business recently, is about trying to help dentists get that message across through video, through social media, through all the platforms and through their website, so that people ... you know, all the boxes it takes before the patient makes a decision and picks up the phone to book in. They've seen that you've got good reviews, they've looked on your before and afters of your teeth straightening, let's talk about, or your veneers or your crown work, and they make that decision, and all of those things build trust. So, when they pick up the phone, they sit in your chair and you say, “You need three cavities filled”, and they say, “Yes, absolutely, put them in my mouth.”
Howard: The father of advertising is David Ogilvy and he had a lot of quotes. Do like reading David Ogilvy?
Ruairi: Not particularly, but I've heard of his quotes and I'm familiar with his work.
Howard: I mean, the things he was saying back then you now have data from Facebook. Like he used to say, on average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. Now we see data that North of eighty five percent of all people who share a news story on social media never even opened up the story and read it. They just see the headline and they share. I mean, he used to say never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally, they are hallmarks of pretentious ass. I mean, he had so many good quotes. But the reason I thought of David Ogilvy, is because you said that a lot of people keep running the same ad over and over and over, and it's difficult because a lot of dentists, they might have an ad and it's working so they're, like ... David Ogilvie said, you know, it takes a lot of discipline not to change an ad that works. And, so, how do you balance if the ad's working and never change it versus the monotony of running the same damn ad over and over and over?
Ruairi: I suppose just to be clearer on that, I suppose it could be as simple as, if you have a special scale and polish offer for new patients coming in and it's working, all I'm talking about is maybe changing the image, changing the colors, changing the size, just something different, so that people don't look at the page and go, Oh, same ad again. Something to just get their attention, that's what I mean. So, a slight change, bit of graphic design and it looks like a new ad to people and maybe new people look at it.
Howard: Yeah, and some more of his quotes: 'If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative'. I love his quote: 'You grow as fast as you deserve'. But my favorite one is this: 'Hard work never killed a man. Men die of boredom, psychological conflict and disease. They do not die of hard work'. And I'm always telling dentists, you know, you got to get out there and hustle. Hustle, hustle, hustle, you know. And advertising is hustling, marketing is hustling. So, what about ... I want you to talk about, you know, Facebook bought Instagram a few years back for a billion Dollars. So, what's the difference between advertising on Facebook and Instagram?
Ruairi: If I could ...
Howard: What is the difference really between Facebook and Instagram, as far as getting a new patient in?
Ruairi: I suppose, from our point of view, we ... if I'm honest with you, we don't really use Facebook that much and, you know, maybe some people will say to me, Oh, you should be using it more. I suppose, the big challenge with Facebook, with Instagram, everything is on mobile phones now and Instagram is more geared towards people taking pictures on cell phones. Cell phones, you say, or mobile phones? So, like, unless I ... if I'm working on marketing for a dental office, I'm not going to be in the dental office with a phone, taking pictures of patients before and after, or what's happening in the practice. So, I can't really contribute to a business using Instagram. The dentist can do that, but, like, I really wonder how much time dentists have on their hands to be standing there with a phone, taking a picture of each job or each case, the patient case comes in. So, you know, Instagram, the big difference between Instagram and Facebook is Instagram is all about images. So, if you like taking pictures on your cell phone of your patients and your friends and your staff and your lifestyle - there's one dentist in New York, does is really well and he's got tens of thousands of followers - but, I think, unless you can follow that up with a bit of text, you know, explaining maybe what you've done on the case or how, you know, the work was achieved, so, you've gone from, you know, a broken up smile to a nice, pearly whites, I don't really see a lot of value in using Instagram and, you know, I think, it's a lot more popular in the States than it would be in Ireland and the U.K. People are more set on Facebook and Google, and also their advertising platforms are easy and more straightforward to use and to be accountable on.
Howard: You talk about the patient multiplier, turning each patient into an advocate for your practice. What do you really mean by that?
Ruairi: Exactly as one of the points you made earlier about a happy patient going away saying, “This guy is the best dentist I've ever been to. I've never had any pain and I was nervous. His dental work is top quality.” What we want to do is, with every patient that comes in, we want them to go away and recommend you to treat five of their friends and - you were quoting David Ogilvy there on statistics - I think a happy person will go away and tell maybe three to five people; an unhappy person to go away and tell up to ten to twelve people. So, what we're trying to do is change attitudes, to change minds of people. And I think that, you know, as you say about a dentist being proactive, every patient that comes into their practice, I think you need to give them an incentive or you need to say to them, Look, we're always looking for new patients. We're always looking to, you, know, fix people's problems, make people smile whiter and brighter and be in a good place. And every patient that goes away is an opportunity to achieve that. So, I, one of the programs I developed five or six years ago in Ireland is a patient referral program. Every patient that leaves, we give them a little business card and there's a little incentive on it, like $20 off, you know, their next call into the dental office and they can give them to family and friends and there's a box where they fill in their name and they fill in the name of their friend or family member, and, I think, you know, it's a multiplier. For every person that goes out of your practice, they could bring five people in, and it's the easiest, simplest thing to put in place and it's the cheapest marketing advertising you'll ever do.
Howard: So, another one that went public recently was Snapchat. I found it interesting that it actually ... that's the latest new social media platform. It IPO'd and it went public at 27, and the stock is damn near down, it's almost at 10. I mean, it has basically almost gone from 30 to 10. I guess that didn't work out like Wall Street thought or do you think that's something for dentists to look at or is Snapchat not got your attention and the stock price shows that?
Ruairi: Well, you know, I think, you know, Snapchat, I hate to say maybe it was a bit of a flash in the pan. You know, Snapchat, for people who don't know, you take an image, you send it to a friend of yours and it disappears within a couple of seconds. And, I suppose, you need something ... again, going back to Facebook and Google, that they have structure, that they have the advertising platforms in place. If you're trying to explain to people where the money is being spent and it's transparent - transparent is the word. Snapchat, I don't think they got the revenue flow right, they didn't get the advertising platform right, and that's why it went from 27 down to 10 bucks. It's the same with Twitter. You know, Twitter has been great for the last number of years, but they couldn't make money out of the business and then nobody is interested.
Howard: Well, you know, when I'm thinking about their stock prices, I just think, Well, who do I give money - I give money to Google AdWords a lot, I give money to Facebook a lot. I've never given a penny to Twitter or Pinterest or LinkedIn or Google Plus. So, how could that be a good stock to buy, if you've never given them a Dollar?
Ruairi: Exactly, and, you know, I think you've got to be ... your listeners and your homies, as you call them, they have to be careful. You know, I see [00:31:20] guys go into practice [0.9] and guys are trying to do Google, they're trying to do Facebook, they're trying to update their own website, they're trying to, you know, do referral programs in the practice, they're trying to do their windows, they're trying to do signage, like, how can you do all of these and then focus on making the proper money that you need to make every hour, the patient flow every day, and deal with staff and deal with all these other things. So, like, you know, I think people ... like one of the things I said to you there was, if I was to give advice to a dentist [00:31:53] taking on a new [0.9] dental office, is three things: take responsibility for the things, and focus on things that you can be good at and you do the best, so, that is dentistry and treating patients; after that you need to look at staff members and other people that can do that for you - have a plan. So, have a plan as to, you know, what you're going to try and achieve over six months to a year and try and stick to that plan as rigidly as possible. People, they fret, and they think that they have to be on Google and Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram, and they just can't keep up with all these platforms changing. They can't keep up then with treating patients properly. I get e-mails from dentists at, like, six and seven o'clock in the morning, which is probably, like, midnight or 1 a.m. in the morning in the States, and I'm like, “What are you doing? You need to get sleep to treat your patients tomorrow!” So, you know, I think people need to pick a couple of things, try them over three to six months, stay within their budget - their marketing budget - and then, if they're not working, then move on to the next platform and see whether that works better for them.
Howard: Well, you know, the reason I feel sorry for you is because they can hire you to do a marketing campaign and you could generate a hundred new phone calls to their office in the next month, but the receptionist might only convert one out of three to come in as a patient. So, two thirds the marketing didn't work. You might be able to drive literally a hundred people to the website, where they click the website, but their website is so pathetic ... I mean, the average data I see is that ten people have to the land on a dentist's website before it converts one to call the office. How could, if you do great marketing with Google AdWords or Facebook and you drive a lot of traffic to the website, how could you make the website, when I see your website, convert more people to call the office? I mean, I'd rather fix the converting only one out of ten. Hell, if you could just convert that to two out of ten, you just doubled your marketing return on investment.
Ruairi: Yeah, I mean, that's a good point. You know, Google AdWords is all about driving the traffic to your website. Same with Facebook, although Facebook does want to keep you within what they call the walled garden. So, they'd rather you spend more time...
Howard: The walled garden?
Ruairi: The walled garden, which is Facebook, because they want to keep you on Facebook longer so that they can say the people spend longer on the Facebook platform, so they can drive advertising Dollars. But, coming back to websites, you've got to remember that, you know, it's very easy for people to go into Google and put in let's say, 'dentist Missouri', and they'll pull up fifty dentists on page one through the sponsored ads and through the organic results. After that, it's a lottery. They can pick any one of those. They're basing that on, you know, a title and a description. As you said earlier about the big title on a page, but they don't even read the news story. So, people ... some people will look at the description for a website and click through to that website. When they get on the website ... you know, one of the things we've done more recently ... three things: number one, we put videos on the home page; number two, we either put an online booking appointments - I presume that's very popular in the States; and number three is, you're either going to have a contact call to action, a contact form or a download, which is like an e-zine or a free ... say for example, you're trying to sell more dental implants, you might have a prepared e-zine that people put in their contact details to download the e-zine and then you've got their e-mail details for life and you can then slot that into your marketing and gently push communications out sort of by e-mail forever more, until they're ready to make that decision to get a dental implant done. So, video, contact form and book appointments online. People don't ... some people don't want to interact with people and pick up the phone. So, the easier you make it for them, I think, the closer you'll get to going from one to two people out of ten that will do something on your website.
Howard: Yeah, and online booking, probably the ... there's all kinds of different practice management systems out there but Open Dental is, I think, the fastest growing one and they have a little thing you put on your website and then your patients can click that and do online scheduling, and the Millennials get it. If you're born after 1980, they get it, they install that and the lowest number of new patients per month I've seen on that is two, and I've seen and met several dentists, they get over fifty, sixty, some a hundred new patients a month from it. But older dentists, they just freak out. They're like, “What do you mean, get online and schedule an appointment? I mean, I'm very particular about how I schedule.” Some of the old guys used to talk about rocks, sand and water - that they only want the big rocks in the morning and then they want sand in the afternoon, water - all that particular stuff. But the dentist has got to get that out of their head. Talk about online booking, I mean. And I remember when they came out with the ATM machine, people were saying, well, who the hell would use an ATM machine? They want to go in there and have the lady at the counter do their banking for them. And now the ATM machines are more popular than dealing with a receptionist. A lot of Millennials say, “I would actually rather do it on my iPhone and not have to talk to a human.” And this is so counter-intuitive, that dentists are fifty, sixty, seventy years old, they just don't get it.
Ruairi: Yeah, I mean, I think, we don't do an online booking service ourselves, but we've seen them all over the place and what we do is we'll put the little button that you talk about onto the website in a high-profile place that people are going to see. I suppose, in terms of the older dentists, absolutely, I mean social media, digital marketing and websites must be a nightmare for some of these guys. And, like, when I met ... even in Ireland, I still meet guys that don't have websites, and, like, you think that's Marketing 101. The key thing, I think, with online booking and with any type of marketing, is you've got to have a plan. So, when you set up the diary ... as you were saying there with some of your guys about setting up a diary for the day, I think you only make ... I see it with a lot of dental offices that, say, they have a new associate coming in and what they'll do is they'll set up so many new appointments just for that dental associate. Because I think the biggest fear with online booking is, you don't know who the people are, and you have no credit card details if they don't show up. So, you know, I do understand they have a fear. Where I've seen it the most successful - one of our practices in Dublin, with their existing patients, they have a huge … seventy, maybe eighty percent of their patients re-book in Ireland online, because they go in, they know what the service is going to be like, they know the staff members, they know what they need, they're told what they need on the previous appointment, and they just go in and they pick out the appointments to suit them. And it's all about making yourself as convenient to people's busy lifestyle. That's something that you do for them, you know, that's why they choose you over the dentists.
Howard: Well, I already learnt something. I have never heard of a closed platform and I just Googled it. It says, 'a closed platform, walled garden or closed ecosystem is a software system where the carrier or service provider has control over applications, content and media and restricts convenient access to non-approved applications or contacts'. And I've noticed that, you know, when you make your posts on Facebook, say you have a hundred friends, you make a post - it doesn't go to all your hundred friends. If you make ... if you have a hundred followers on Twitter and make a tweet - it goes all a hundred. You make a post on LinkedIn - it goes to all hundred. Google+ - all hundred. But Facebook massively controls how many of your own friends are going to see your post, and if you post a link to leave Facebook and go to your website or YouTube or some other link, they really ... they might ... hardly any of your friends will see it.
Ruairi: Yeah, you know, that's a very good point. Like Facebook, maybe due to their popularity or the amount of advertising revenue they're making, in the last couple years it's got harder and harder to, you know, promote yourself on Facebook. One of our cosmetic dentists in Dublin, you know, years ago - he has thousands, maybe eight thousand followers, which is a huge following in Ireland - and he used to put before and afters of cosmetic cases that he would treat. But they've all got declined in the last couple of years. And what Facebook's actually done is, they've developed a library of stock images and they want you to choose from pre-approved images to put up with your ads. So, like, they very ... it is very much a walled garden. You make a good point, and maybe a lot of dentists are not aware of this, but when you post something on Facebook, if you ... without boosting or spending money on the advertising platform, you maybe have ten percent of your followers. So, you know, in real terms you've a thousand people following you, only a hundred people are going to see that ad unless you boost it. Now, you know, with all the Facebook accounts that we manage - we do a managed service for dental offices, so we'll post, like, dental industry content, depending on the country you're in we'll reference, like, industry bodies or what's in the news that, you know, or trusted content providers all over the world and then we'll drop in ads for specific services, like dental implants, like teeth straightening and all that kind of thing. But they have to be boosted to get effect, or to get to the followers or the base that you've already established. And that's, you know, that's the way Facebook makes money. And that's maybe where Twitter fell down. You know, they give you access to everyone who follows you for free, so, why should you pay for it?
Howard: Good point. That is why, I mean, in a nutshell, that's why Facebook stock has basically gone from $50 at their IPO in 2012 to 167. I mean, 50 to 150 is threefold. Twitter has gone down from 40 to 20. And Snap has gone from 27 to 10. I mean, my gosh, so. And, then again, you can predict that because I don't know a single dentist who's ever given Twitter or Snap a Dollar, and LinkedIn advertising - I don't even know where, I know they have advertising, but I don't know anybody who's given LinkedIn a Dollar to try to get a new patient. So, yes, so, Facebook...
Ruairi: I think, Howard, I think with LinkedIn, you know, it's more just a job ... it's like a job recruiter's website. So, they ... the advertising there really doesn't make sense for dentists. And, you know, I think, any dentist I meet for the first time and their head's in a spin and they say, Look, I need a website and I need video and I need social media platforms and I need digital marketing, and I'm saying, like, “Have you actually got the basics right in your dental office? So, when somebody rings in, what does your practice manager or your front desk person say to them when they pick up the phone and are you, you know, asking for referrals from existing patients; are you sending out, you know, quarterly or six-month newsletters saying, ‘Hey, I'm your dentist. I'm still here. We're still a great office.’” And, you know, I think you could do a lot of basic things with low budgets rather than jump straight in. I saw on Dentaltown recently, one guy spending maybe two, three thousand Dollars a month on Google AdWords. That's thirty-six thousand, forty thousand Dollars a year! So, like, I think that money could be better spent, maybe half of that money could be taken off Google AdWords. People waste a lot of money on Google AdWords, putting their ads in the wrong market. So, although they can use the advertising tools, people in Ireland, for example, they're using Google AdWords, but they're advertising for their services in Galway when their dental office is based in Dublin, which is four hours' drive away. Nobody's going to drive four hours to a dental practice or a dental office. So, you know, you've got to be clever and do the basics right. One of the things we do and, you know, I'm sure most of your listeners and your Dentaltown guys are active in their local communities, but we see huge returns for guys on local sponsorships. In Ireland, rugby, soccer, GA, tennis, hockey, the guys go in and they, like, put their name all over their jerseys, they sponsor kick bikes for the kids and they get, like, a tenfold return on their money. And similarly, you know, we've had a recession here in Ireland for the last seven or eight years and I suppose the goal has been finding people who are working, they're, you know, they own property and they want to spend money on dentistry - and one of the things that we pioneered over the last seven or eight years, is corporate programs and we would work with dental offices to go into local companies and say, Hey, why don't you make us your dentist of choice? Now, I know in the States you've got lots of established dental programs but I'm talking about like twenty to fifty-person offices, where they'd go, “You know, Howard's a really good guy. I'm going to send all my staff down there, you know, give us some discounts or be my guy if I have an emergency.” Where that makes sense is, people don't need to take a half day from work, they can just walk ten minutes down the road, go to the dentist and go back to the office within two hours, or an hour depending on the procedure, you know. So, I think, while people can get caught up in digital, website, video, YouTube, online marketing, all that kind of stuff, there is very much a place for getting the basics right, changing minds in your practice, family and friends, getting a positive staff and looking at talking to companies who are within five miles of your practice.
Howard: I think this going around ... having someone going around to all the small businesses ... I've seen it where they talk about the dental office has their own, in-office dental insurance plan. It's an explosion in the United States. The dentists that are doing it, it seems like after doing it a year, they're already up to like three hundred and fifty to four hundred patients, you know, because Americans are bizarre in the fact that they buy their own house, they buy their own car, they buy their own $800 iPhone, but they feel like if they're going to go the dentist, well, that they should have insurance, and when they don't have insurance they get paralyzed, because they just think that, you know, well, you only go to the dentist if you have insurance. And so, a lot of these dentists are starting these in-office dental insurance plans - it's a membership plan where they'll ding your credit card say $25 a month for a year so that's $250, and that will cover cleaning, exam and x-rays and a discount on fillings and all that stuff. But, yeah, and then they'll find a marketeer to go around to all the small businesses on a three-mile radius of their office in Phoenix, telling everybody, Well, does your company of twenty-five employees or less have dental insurance? And, you know, half of them say, No. And then they give everybody a brochure on this plan and, I mean, it's crazy. And then one person - you know, if there's twenty people in this company - if one person will probably come in and then if that person goes back and says, Oh, man, that was an awesome experience. I really like that guy and he's close and he's up the street. I mean, it's just huge. Huge, huge, huge.
Ruairi: And I think, you know, like, when I was back in New York, you know, it's ten years ago now, I'm back in Ireland now ten years from New York, and, g*d, I miss it! But we used to have a drawer of takeaway menus from all the local places, an eat-out menu that, you know, if we wanted to eat Mexican, we'd have the menu in the drawer. But similarly, people want stuff which is local, it's close, it's trusted, it's, you know, as you rightly said one person goes there and has a positive experience and all of ... it just takes one conversation and all of a sudden, you've got twenty or fifty new patients. The other thing is, they tick the box, they're going to be there for a couple of years and, hopefully, if they're good, they're a good member of staff and they're getting paid. So, the chances are they tick a lot of boxes and they'll be able to pay for higher end dental treatments, whereas - and just going back to Google and Facebook for a minute, our experience with Google is that you'll drive a lot of traffic to websites but whether they'll actually pick up the phone, the numbers are quite low and also you get a lot of what we call tire kickers or time wasters, people who were ringing and maybe they're price-hunting, they'll go onto your fees page and go, Oh, a scale and polish is seventy bucks. Oh, well, it's fifty bucks, I'm going to go there, and they won't look any further. And, you know, so, absolutely. I think, you know, if I was a dentist and I was trying to build a long term sustainable business, I would be looking at local companies, SMEs, on my doorstep and I would be trying to change minds. I would go to local business networking things. You know, that was one thing I noticed back in 2011, when I was meeting dentists for the first time. Many of them are not very good at putting themselves about and meeting other local businesses. Now, you could argue they don't have the time to do it because they're too busy treating patients, but I think there's always a time, a day a month, to maybe get known in your local community, and I think that's going to pay more dividends than spending thirty grand a year on Google AdWords.
Howard: Yeah, and if you're a dental assistant or a hygienist listening to this and you want to do something other than dental assisting or this, I mean, I know some of the biggest specialty practices in the world, they have a full-time employee that's doing all these marketing programs, whether it's referring general dentists or business. You know, according to the National Association of Dental Plans, forty percent of Americans do not have dental insurance as compared to only thirteen percent without health insurance. So, you know, if you had someone, even if she only works for you one day a week, who is going around to all the restaurants - like, how many restaurants don't have dental insurance, what would you guess? Almost all of them. I mean, most of the dental insurance I see is from companies that have over fifty employees. They almost always have it if they have over five hundred employees. But all these small restaurants and small businesses, they don't have dental insurance. And, back to your saying the videos on the website, I mean, half the market is afraid of the dentist, so you should have a video of the dentist talking about fear and how you treat it and all that; and then another video ... then the other half of America is fear of the cost, so you should have a video about your in-office insurance plan or how use financing companies like CareCredit or how you can stage the treatment out over time. But, yeah, I'm still surprised at how many dentists, I'll go to their website, I'll Google their name and then it'll show you on Google the deal, and it doesn't even have a button to click to their website, they haven't even activated that. And I know the damn dentist's website because I see the e-mail address, so I'll go www and that, and it's not even ... he hasn't even found his own website in his own Google profile. I mean, a lot of these dentists, I mean, they're not even in the ballpark.
Ruairi: Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I think, you know, you've got to remember, like, there's a laptop or computer in every house in the country almost, you know, and people make a decision online based on what they're seeing before they ever set foot in your practice. So, a video gives you an opportunity to explain how well they're going to be treated, how you can look after them, how you can structure payments, and it might be the difference between them making a decision to come to your dental office or to go somewhere else. So, you know, it's an important tool. One of the things that we advocate is getting patient testimonials, and it might, you know, it might take a bit of time but if you have patients that love your dental office, what we usually do is we line up three of them in an afternoon, we get a videographer in and then we'll use those testimonial videos within a video of you saying how great your practice is and it makes it, from a new patient perspective, it makes it more genuine and it makes it more trustworthy, and people say, Well, you know, you can't coerce and you can't make people say things they don't believe. Maybe you can somehow, but, you know, people don't go on camera and give testimonials unless they're genuine about them. And I think some people make a decision, they'll look at the testimonials and they'll say, Hey, that's me, that's my problem. I want to be like that guy, and that will make them one step closer to making an appointment with your dental office. So, I think video is key.
Howard: Yeah, and, I mean, and a lot of dentists, they don't have a mug ... they don't even have a picture of themselves or if they do, it's a mugshot and I just think that humans want to feel something, that's why they like rollercoasters, that's why they like scary movies, that's why they like to kiss and snuggle or drink a coffee. They always want to feel something, and so many websites, they don't make you feel anything, and the picture of the dentist is some mug shot, and I know the dentists and they have massive chemistry and it'll only come out if they had a video. How long do you think those videos should last? I mean, we keep hearing the attention span of a human is about the length of a gerbil or a goldfish. If you are going to put a video on your website and you're the dentist and introducing and saying, you know, “Come on, let me be your dentist.” How long do you think that video should be?
Ruairi: I think, in an ideal world, no longer than one minute. So, no longer than a minute. And that gives you a chance then to explain about yourself, your practice, and do your bits of testimonials and then maybe a call to action. From my experience, marketing advertising is no good unless you've got to call to action. You've got to say to somebody, Yes, come spend money with me. Yes, come be my patient. And if you don't do that, you're wasting your time, you know. But, you know, a minute is generally a good time period. And, again, I think people are a lot more visual these days. They're looking at stuff on tablets, they're looking at websites on tablets, like pictures, images, video is a lot better than reams and reams and pages of text. You can say, you know, even, for example, our TOOTHSIGN website, we go for pictures. Same with our dental marketing website. Pictures, pictures, pictures - because people make a decision based on that. Just on your point, in terms of photography and mugshots, for a couple of hundred bucks, you can get a local photographer to come into your dental office and take proper pictures of your staff and yourself, and, you know, that adds a lot of weight and it adds a lot of professionalism to your website, and you can do that once every three years. And, I think, again, I think it's the best money you'll ever spend. And also, the interior of your dental office, what it looks like. Hopefully, it's a nice dental office, but, you know, I think ... and all of that makes you look like a transparent dentist and an operator and that people can trust you.
Howard: Yeah, another thing about those photos, like when you show the staff and you show the office, that's all fluffy and pretty and nice but a lot of these dentists, they show a lot of gory before and after pictures. Like they'll be trying to show off, you know, gum surgeries and the aesthetics of an implant or a crown, and, I mean, what do you think a picture crosses the line between effective and scary and gory?
Ruairi: I think that you've got to remember a lot of people are nervous of the dentist. A lot of people, it's not their favorite place in the world. I remember, one dentist said to me recently, when I sold him a tooth sign, he said, “Why didn't you put some, like, entrails and guts on the end of the roots?” And I was like, “Then nobody would go into that dental office.” So, you know, I think a good clean, you know, no blood, just simply showing what you've achieved. So, if it's a teeth whitening case, you show the dark, you show the bad smile, and then you show the good smile. You know, I don't think anyone is going to be sold on, like, you know, teeth pulled out and, like, blood everywhere and guts. I don't think that's going to achieve anything for you.
Howard: Yeah. And do you think there's anything different between marketing and advertising for a brand new de novo, startup practice versus an existing practice?
Ruairi: You know, I think, if you were starting a practice tomorrow, I would recommend, you know, you've got to be smarter because obviously budgets are tight, you're already out spending a lot of money on your new practice, your new dental office, you've got to be more aggressive, and, I think, you know, you've got to remember, one of the key things I talk to dentists about is the lifetime value of a patient. So, even if, you know, get a patient in the door, a good patient in the door and it costs you a hundred bucks today, but they spend five hundred bucks with you every year for the next twenty years then, absolutely. You know, I think you've got to be aggressive, but you've got to be smart. And the most important thing is, before you market or advertise a new practice is, you've got to know what type of patient you want in that practice. So, do you want families, do you want cosmetic dentistry, do you want, you know, mom and pop, do you want people who veneers, crowns, you know, and then everything else has to draw from that. Are you going to be higher end and you've got to also look at what the other dentists are doing around you and where you slot into the existing market that's already there? So, for a new practice, I think you ... going back to what I was saying about having a plan, setting down what you want to achieve, and I would try and be as aggressive as possible and maybe some people will disagree with me on that, but this is a case of survival, survival of the fittest. And unless you go in, put your best foot forward and do the best you can from the start, you know, there's no point in crying in two years when you're closing the doors and moving somewhere else.
Howard: Final deal. What if someone's listening to you and wants to ... and they just basically want more new patients, how do they contact you? Go to dentalmarketinginternational.com? They can e-mail you, Ruairi (which is R-U-A-I-R-I) @dentalmarketinginternational.com. R-U-A-I-R-I@dentalmarketinginternational.com. And what if they have a question? What if they want to talk to you? How much is that?
Ruairi: Well, what we'll do is, you know, for all of your Dentaltown guys and all the guys listening to this, we will do a completely complementary Skype consultation, like we're talking now, and we'll do that for twenty minutes, you know, twenty minutes, maybe get a feel for the practice, figure out what the dentist wants and then we will send a transcript, a document outlining what we're planning to achieve, how we're going to do it and the costs involved. I mean, I don't think I can be fairer than that.
Howard: Nice! Well, hey, it is just so cool, I mean, I couldn't imagine when I got out of dental school that someday I'd have an iPhone and I'd have a Dentaltown app and I'd have a quarter million dentists in my pocket. I never would have thought that someday I'd be sitting here in my house without shoes and socks on talking to a dental colleague in Ireland. By the way, my mom and dad always told us we were a hundred percent Irish, so I had my family tree done and sure enough Mom and Dad were a hundred percent Irish, so were my four grandparents, so were my eight great-grandparents. They traced our lineage all the way back to 1850, the Irish diaspora, when a million Irish people starved to death and a million left and landed on the American shores between New York and Boston, forty years before they even had the Statue of Liberty. And my brother and I went back, and so did my mom and others, but anyway there's a city, a little bitty village and it's called Farran, but they pronounce it, I think, Foreign.
Ruairi: Fern, yeah, okay.
Howard: Fern, and so it's pretty damn cool to be sitting here on a Sunday morning talking to an Irish lad clear across the pond. And, so, but, hey, thank you so much for coming on the show, talking to my homies and, my g*d. And, by the way, you do business in Japan, we have a lot of Townies from Japan. We ... Ryan and I, we lectured there last year.
Howard: Yeah. Loved Japan. Goddang, that is a neat, neat society. It's just really, really cool. But, thank you so much for coming on the show. Any last words?
Ruairi: Well, last words for you. If you ever come to Ireland, I'll bring you for a pint of Guinness.
Howard: Right on. Where ... I'm trying to think of where I lectured last time in Ireland, the city starts with G.
Howard: Galway, that was it. Yeah. Love it.
Ruairi: Okay, cool.
Howard: It was so darn fun.
Howard: And I just love Ireland. And who's your prediction on the big fight coming up? We have Floyd Mayweather going against the Irish lad, Conor McGregor. I’m sure you're aware of that fight coming up.
Ruairi: Absolutely. I have to back my boy, you know, he's done massive things for UFC and I'll be watching the fight. So, I have to back my guy. I think Floyd Mayweather, you know, could better him, but I have to back my Irish brother.
Howard: Now, is ... where is Conor from? Is he from Dublin, where you're at right now?
Ruairi: He's from Dublin. He's from about five miles down the road from here.
Howard: Have you ever seen him?
Ruairi: I've never seen him, but he hangs out in Dublin a lot, so, if you want to come to Ireland, we'll get that Guinness and we can go and look for him, if you want.
Howard: Well, you know, the thing that's interesting about boxing is, you know, there are many, many soccer games and football games where ... and especially in the NFL, where this team really doesn't have a chance of winning, you know what I mean. But in boxing, you're always one lucky punch away from knocking someone out. So, even though Floyd Mayweather is 49 and 0 and he's spent his entire life dodging punches - you just can't hit the guy, I mean, he just knows where you're coming, and he moves around, and you just can’t hit him - and he just never gets hit, he never gets hurt and he's never lost. But Conor McGregor could throw some wild ass punch out of nowhere and connect and knock him out. That's what's exciting about boxing, you could always knock out someone that you can't beat.
Ruairi: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, we'll have to see.
Howard: All right, well, I hope you get lucky. Have a rockin' hot day. Thanks so much for coming on the show.
Ruairi: Yeah. Thank you for having me, Howard. Talk to you soon.
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