Dental Marketing - Tyson Steele Associates - Advanced Dental Marketing Concepts
Consumer Confidence: No Paper Tiger
Written By: Tyson Steele on 2010-09-28
In China -- or at least China Town if you're closer to home -- a paper tiger is something that looks threatening but is really relatively harmless.
Economists are telling us that the Great Recession is now over. Apparently this "real tiger" snuck out the back door in June, 2009 and didn't think to leave a note. Government officials are trying to get the word out. "The tiger has left the building!" But it doesn't appear to be soothing the fears of the average consumer.
In the intervening year and a quarter since the Recession ended, unemployment has remained at record highs, home starts are at record lows, and businesses everywhere seem uncertain about the future -- or at least our politician's handle on the future. "Never mind that," say the politicos, "the real tiger is gone. You don't have to be afraid of a paper tiger." (Apparently when your salary is guaranteed by the government, you have little fear of double dip recessions.)
Unfortunately, today's report on the Consumer Confidence Index shows the tiger is alive and well, and ready to wreak havoc on your dental practice. The new reading puts the index at just 48.5. (An index of 90 would indicate a stable economy. In the roaring 2000's the index regularly peaked over 100. )
The dental industry is incredibly sensitive to consumer confidence. That's because most of the dentistry our clients perform is primarily elective -- in other words, it could be put off until later. (Remember your patient's attitudes in the beginning of 2009, when consumer confidence hit rock bottom for just a couple months?) Unfortunately for us, the politician's paper tiger is the dental industry's real tiger.
So get out your chair and whip, because it's time to improve your internal marketing systems in order to find patients who will make a genuine investment in their dental health. They're really out there. And some of them don't even live in Washington, D.C.