Dive into a complete marketing overhaul for a private dental practice in Salisbury
When Drs Raj and Neal Mehta took over Sarum Dental Practice in Salisbury, they came to us with an interesting predicament.
They understandably wanted to put their own brand on the existing practice but didn’t want to alienate the loyal patient base. It would be our job to come up with a fresh new look for them, but one that wasn’t too much of a shock for the primarily older demographic they serve.
We weren’t their first port of call, but Neal told us later that our initial work on the logo impressed him and established the necessary trust us to sit back and let us do everything else for them.
“Other marketing companies we tried previously just weren’t getting it right, even from the simple starting point of the logo, so I didn’t trust them going forward.”
Our point of departure for the logo was to incorporate the S for Sarum with a design linked to the location’s rich history. We took inspiration from aerial shots of Old Sarum, which is a circular fort on the Wiltshire plains, and worked a stylised Saxon ‘S’ into the heart of it. The result is visually stunning, yet still ties in strongly with the history of the area – perfect for their patient base.
Below we have included a few examples of the logo throughout its development.
The colour palette is essential to get right, as it sets the tone for practice branding across all platforms – print and digital.
Colour also sends subliminal messages and tells people a lot more about your practice than you might think. Together with the Mehta brothers we decided on orange, a colour psychologically connected to health and optimism, and shades of blue, which are not only associated with trust (think ‘true blue’ constants such as the sea and sky), but were also a personal preference for the dentists. Blue and orange also sit opposite each other on the colour wheel, which makes them perfectly complementary.
The website architecture
Once the brothers had signed off on the logo and colours, they were happy to let us get on with building them a website. The practice didn’t have a site previously, so we were starting from scratch, but obviously having the logo and colours in place helped to set the tone.
After agreeing the site map, a visual layout of the website’s pages and sub-sections, we got to work writing the content. It was important for them to convey all the information patients might come looking for, as well as to entice prospective patients by highlighting their services. And all in language that was appropriate to their practice ‘voice’ and rich in keywords to help search engines find the site.
Raj and Neal were especially pleased that the writing was part of the website package.
As Neal said,“Other companies we spoke with wanted to charge us extra for copywriting. Obviously that’s not something we’re trained in, so we’d have to spend more just to make sure and avoid plagiarism. With Milkshake we don’t have to worry because it’s all included.”
The design team created the site itself, crafting a visually stunning balance of images and text and ensuring a logical flow through the various sections and pages.
To keep things lively, we used a judicious combination of eye-catching animations, such as sliding images, and ‘calls to action’, which is marketing-speak for links to contact options that encourage prospective patients to take that final step and get in touch. And of course we ensured the whole site was responsive, which means that it looks just as good on any device you happen to view it on, from desktop to mobile.
Once the copy was incorporated, we gave Raj and Neal access to the development version of the site for their approval before sending it live. We’re pleased to report that it was four thumbs way up! Neal reports that they’re getting new patients, both NHS and private, finding them through the website and that their patients have also commented, saying it is ‘very well designed’ and ‘easy to navigate’ and that they ‘love the colours’. Music to our ears!
With Sarum’s new website as the cornerstone of their online presence, we set about establishing various social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, to link into it. Social media is a great way to let people know you’re there and also to direct them to your website for further details.
We started by creating the accounts and setting up all the ‘window dressing’ – header images, avatars and bios. We started following key accounts on each platform, both to establish a presence and to garner followers.
Then we started in on the content, making sure each account is regularly posting information, news, and fun facts that are both relevant and consistent with the practice image. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, we created a Google + account for Sarum, which allows them to have reviews appear in their Google search results and increases their visibility. We then used all of their social media platforms to promote their recent open day, which was a resounding success!
Sarum, like many modern practices, use the EXACT practice management system from Software of Excellence to manage patient data. So we took all the beautiful branding we’ve created for them and plopped it right into custom EXACT templates. Now, when they send out appointment confirmations, recalls or reminders, their branding is consistent. You’d be surprised how much little touches like that add to the practice’s professional image and, in turn, to patients’ confidence.
Just as we did with the EXACT templates, we branded the practice’s stationery with lovely new letterhead, for those occasions when paper is required. And, for a more modern approach, we created a fully branded e-shot to publicise their open day.
No matter how Sarum’s patients are receiving information about them, from social media to the website to print communication to emails, they’re getting the same message. Both visually and in content, they are being reminded that Sarum Dental is as trustworthy as it was before the Mehta brothers took over, but that now it’s even better.
Through the magic of modern marketing, they’re subconsciously being told that the new practice is fresh and modern, using up-to-date technologies and being run by a professional team with impeccable attention to detail. Who could ask for anything more in a dental practice?
And really, who could ask for anything more in a dental marketing agency? As Neal said, “We’re 100% happy with the work Milkshake’s done for us. Milkshake is the whole package – I can only sing their praises!”
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