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Connecting potential patients with ADA/VDA members

Utilization initiative launches first phase, updates Find A Dentist tool

It’ll soon become easier for prospective patients to find and connect with an ADA member dentist.

The Association this month is launching the first phase of a three-year initiative to drive utilization of dental services for Association member dentists.

In the campaign’s first phase, the Association is encouraging ADA member dentists to complete their Find A Dentist online profile before it unveils an updated, more functional Find A Dentist tool in spring.

The first phase also includes funding for paid search, ensuring that when targeted consumers look for a dentist on Google and other search engines, the ADA Find A Dentist tool comes up toward the top.

“The campaign came about as a direct result of member feedback that they want the ADA to help them build successful practices,” said Dr. Craig Herre, chair of the ADA Council on Communications.

The ADA House of Delegates approved the initiative, Resolution 67H-2016, at its October 2016 meeting following a comprehensive eight-month research initiative conducted by the Division of Integrated Marketing and Communications and the Health Policy Institute to identify the ideal consumers for the campaign.

According to the Health Policy Institute, data show that ADA members have the capacity to see more patients. Based on audience research and technology, they developed a digital strategy to target about 19.6 million potential patients for ADA member dentists.

These prospective patients, according to the audience research, believe in the importance of dental visits but for some reason are not following through with regular dental check-ups.

To better ensure that these potential patients end up in ADA member dentists’ chairs, the ADA is asking its members to fill out their Find A Dentist profiles, complete with a photo, practice information, office hours and dental benefit acceptance.

The Find A Dentist tool allows prospective patients to easily find an ADA member dentist based on distance and dental insurance coverage and allows patients to contact the practice via email or phone and make appointments. Completed profiles go on top of the search results.

“This campaign is designed to help our members succeed by helping fill holes in their schedules,” said Dr. Herre. “It will only succeed if members participate by completing their profile so that consumers have a good tool to use.”

In addition, to encourage dentists to fill out their Find A Dentist profile, those with completed profiles by May 1, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, are entered in a sweepstakes to lease either a Mercedes Benz C class sedan or a Mercedes Benz GLC sport utility vehicle for a year. The sweepstakes winner can also elect to receive a cash reward of $10,000 as a substitute for the prize.

Improving search with a new Find A Dentist tool and paid support is only the beginning of the four-part campaign. The next phases involve a national digital advertising to reach the target audience using dynamic ads and videos on websites and social media; financial support for state and local dental societies seeking to amplify the national campaign; and the creation of tools and content that ADA members can use to mount their own campaign throughout their practices and social networks.

To update your Find A Dentist profile, log in to your MyADA page, ADA.org/myADA, using your member ID number and password. For more information or assistance, contact the ADA Member Service Center.

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