Could Your Marketing Be Like Root Canal?

old dental chair

Is it always best to reach the biggest audience? Or is that a big marketing mistake?

A firm that markets to dentists sent a friend of mine the following email on Facebook:

New Patients from Facebook?

On Facebook:

• There are more than 500 million potential patients.

• You can target your patients by location and age.

• You can test and use what works.

• You set the daily budget you are comfortable with.

More info here (then it gives contact details)

Talking to the wrong people

Really? 500 million. Gee, my friend is gonna need a bigger office!

But seriously, this makes no sense. Does anyone go to Facebook looking for a dentist? No. When you need a dentist, and don’t know one, you ask your friends.

And how is my friend supposed to fill cavities for people who live 100 or 200 or 3000 miles away? Has this firm invented the virtual dentist?

Interruption, not permission

My dentist friend doesn’t want these emails. Yet, the company sending them doesn’t care (and I guess Facebook doesn’t either).

He, (and anyone else wanting to grow their business, is much better off using permission marketing to build a fan base of people who WANT to hear from him.

Numbers instead of niches

It doesn’t matter how many people are on Facebook. Numbers don’t matter. What does matter is reaching people who actually need/want your services, and who you can help. You cannot clean someone’s teeth if they’re in London and you’re in Philadelphia. You want to reach the right people, not just any people.  You can’t make money selling water skis to a list of 1,000,000 people who live in the desert.

Marketing like this is painful – both for you and your potential clients.  You won’t make money, and they’ll get mad at you (instead of wanting to do business with you).  Kinda like root canal (which, thankfully, I’ve never had).

Share your thoughts

Have you tried Facebook marketing?  What happened? Have you gotten any silly emails like my friend did?

Image: Wikimedia

2 thoughts on “Could Your Marketing Be Like Root Canal?

  1. Jodi-
    I haven’t really used Facebook for marketing. I have a band, and we maintain a Facebook presence, and I have a NPO that also has a Facebook page, but other than event announcements, it really isn’t the right venue for promotion of either “business” so we don’t use it that way.
    However, I have a story to share with you that might be interesting considering what happened to our dentist friend. It has to do with Facebook’s attempts at narrowing the scope of their ads and “targeting” specific audiences.
    I have a friend who suffered a dramatic tragedy in her life. She decided that she would use Facebook therapeutically to help heal. She posted the ups and downs of her emotional journey in grief, and drew a lot of comfort from friends and family rallying to support her in this forum. She found other parents suffering like she was, and conversed with them – both publicly and in “private” messages. And then she found that the ads on her page started to reflect the content of her messages. Every day her Facebook was littered with ads for funeral homes, for florests, for estate planning and life insurance for children, for businesses that deal in death. It was horrible and so inappropriate.
    This is what happens when Facebook tries to target their marketing…seems to me that both the broad “500 million potential customers” and the narrow “well, she is typing about this topic, so she must need this” are failures.
    I wonder if Social networking sites might fare better as a business tool if they thought of marketing more as attraction than promotion.

    • That’s disgusting! They should be ashamed of themselves!!

      Meanwhile, a friend of mine died a few months ago (suddenly), but her page is still nagging people to reply to friend requests. GACK!!!!

Comments are closed.