The article linked here discusses the continued decline of the Yellow Pages as a viable advertising venue. (As an aside look here for an interesting essay on the rise of Yellow Pages and their influence on society.) (Back to our regular programming) However I found this quote to be interesting;
There’s some other interesting stats from the Vistaprint survey. I’m troubled by the notion that “friends/family” is the top reply when respondents were asked where they get marketing advice.
Far from being troubled I find the fact that people still rely heavily on personal referrals unsurprising and a positive for dentists. A strong personal referral has been the best way to generate a new patient in the past and it looks like it still is. Patients who come to the office just from a marketing piece like a Yellow Pages ad always seem to be less committed and suspicious.
On the other hand I do see that people are going to the net, especially to Google, to check out a potential new dentist. They may get your name through word of mouth from a family member or friend but they then go online for more information. Online user reviews are then seen as an adjunct to actual face to face word of mouth.
That means your online footprint is important. It is not important solely as a way to attract new patients like an electronic Yellow Pages ad it is more important as an adjunct to a traditional word of mouth referral.