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Junk food

Supermarket aisle motion blur

My definition of processed food is any real food that has been altered in any way in order to lower its production cost, lengthen its shelf life, make it look more appealing, or make you want to eat more of it, and that results in the reduction of its nutritional content and/or the increase of toxins.

Chatting to my New York based friend and fellow business coach Andrew Finkelstein last night, we both chuckled as we observed that processed food can often make you feel great (momentarily) and look like crap, whereas whole food can make you look great but it sometimes feels like crap to prepare and eat! Only kidding but you get the point perhaps, that much of the processed food we see on our supermarket shelves is attractively packaged with a promise of instant (ding) gratification, whereas the whole food shelves probably require a bit of effort. Thus so in the business of dentistry and, especially in marketing. The term
"done for you" seems to be creeping in to the marketing landscape and I have always maintained that this is simply bollocks. If you think that you can give your money to a marketing agency, web development company or, for that matter, any external supplier of services - then get back to your surgery and wait for the results - you are in for a nasty financial shock. The business of dentistry is a team effort. That's why the megalomaniac micro-managing control freak Principals never grow beyond their own ability to answer WhatsApp messages at 22:00 on a Sunday night (who the hell wants to make a fortune if that's the price?). Equally, it's why the
"I gave this agency a pile of money and got nothing in return" Principals were either deluded into thinking that
"done for you" was true or simply wanted to get the problem off their plate and play with teeth and gums. I'll be presenting a regional event on marketing for Practice Plan tomorrow in Leicester (home of the Premier League trophy and managers who keep their jobs). My two main messages will be:

  1. marketing begins with your existing patients, moves on to word of mouth and ends with complete strangers;
  2. marketing is a "done with you" activity - and requires buy in from and training for the whole dental team

If the marketing proposal you are reading tells you that all your problems will be over, that you won't have to worry again about attracting new patients and that all you have to do is pay and sit back - imagine a shelf full of processed food at your supermarket - full of toxins and no nutrition. Real marketing, like whole food, will need you and your team to do a bit of preparation and cooking when you get back home. The results, in the long term, will be worth the effort.

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