Adrian’s Articles

Emotional Branding

Friday 6th June 2014

We believe Emotional Branding is central to responsive dental marketing, i.e. understanding people’s concerns, fears and aspirations (especially as dentistry is a lot about appearance, confidence and trust).

Interestingly, we note that now SoftBank in Japan have developed a robot that is capable of deciphering emotions.

It can tell if you’ve had a bad day and are feeling stressed or if you’re feeling sad and need a shoulder to cry on.

All very well – but for your dental marketing you’d be better off talking to Dental Focus, who as part of their strategy, interpret and understand how human emotions can drive dental patients.

For now, we do not rely much on human-like robots using proprietary algorithms and voice recognition technology.

Call Dental Focus: 020 7183 8388

See more at:

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.

Best Practice in Digital Design for a Dental Practice

Friday 30th May 2014

Digital Design for a Dental Practice

Creative design is becoming steadily more important in the digital age for dentistry – not less so.

More and more practices are seeking to and are able to, provide their patients with the best and most beautifully designed experiences – across all digital touch points.

They can now communicate, utilising the highest standard of creative marketing excellence, across email, mobile, social, display and web.

That’s what we do at Dental Focus. Literally we first ‘focus’ on the dental marketing message, and then the most effective means of innovative execution.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.

Creative Thinking

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Dental Focus design web sites for dental practices. To design, we think ‘creatively’, not ‘subjectively’. 


Thinking creatively is not “thinking outside the box”, but instead “thinking from firmly within the box”.

This is because, first we need to know the objectives, the relevant imagery, your treatments, the practice’s “Point of Difference” etc, before starting any design work.

Designers (many assume), should be tortured, cynical, self-conscious souls. Not a bit of it. Nevertheless, here for some light relief, are the top ten common mistakes supposedly made – which can be worth thinking about. See the link:


Creative Thinking

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Dental Focus design web sites for dental practices. To design, we think ‘creatively’, not ‘subjectively’. Thinking creatively is not “thinking outside he box”, but instead “thinking from firmly within the box”. We need to know the objectives, the relevant imagery, your treatments, the practice’s “Point of Difference” etc, before starting to design. Designers (many assume), can be tortured, cynical, self-conscious souls. But we are not really.

Nevertheless, here for some light relief, are the top ten common mistakes supposedly made by designers (I can relate to these, being the ex-Creative Director of a Design consultancy). These points can be worth applying to any thought process that you are about to undertake.

1. Flogging a dead horse

Sometimes when a client rejects an idea we go back one too many times trying to persuade them otherwise. Learning to tear up your own ideas and come back again with a better one is a right of passage for any great designer. And trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way.

2. Killing a great idea too early

Of course, it works the other way too. If it’s a good thought, let others know and don’t be afraid to fight your corner. Sometimes tweaking, rather than binning, works wonders. We’d have lost so many design classics to the wastepaper basket had it not been for the bravery and tenacity of good designers with a bee in their bonnet.

3. Underestimating yourself

Designers are an insecure breed. This can lead to a lack of confidence when starting a new brief, presenting work or even when selling yourself to a potential employer. But the trick is to learn to love the fear – after all, if it wasn’t so scary, would it be so rewarding? It’s worth embracing your anxieties and the adrenaline rush that creativity provides. Turn nerves into pure nerve and you’ll be surprised at the effect.

4. Bad spelling

A letterform is a beautiful thing to a creative. We don’t write letters, we draw them. So often we’re so focused on the way they look that we neglect to make sure that they’re in the right order, at the despair of every copywriter we work with (not to mention the eagle-eyed client). Just don’t forget that good design can be completely demolished by poor spelling. Get friendly with your dictionary, or failing that find a decent proof-reader.

5. Using a favourite typeface too often

Isn’t it better when a typeface is used because it’s right for a particular brief, not just because we like it?

6. Being precious about awards

Ah, the glory of standing up there, award in hand, eyes ablaze at the prospect of an evening spent drunkenly dancing whilst grinning from ear to ear. But for every victor, there’s a grumpy designer at the back of the auditorium lamenting his loss to anyone who’ll listen. Design awards aren’t the be-all and end-all. There will always be an element of subjectivity in judging design work. The fact is, if a project is the best that you could have made it then you should feel proud to have it in your portfolio – silverware or no. And you’d only leave the award in the taxi on the way home anyway.

7. Missing talent

I’ve interviewed graduates in the past and offered them a placement only to see them get snapped up by another consultancy in a permanent role. When you wholeheartedly believe in someone, you will never regret employing them. (And always, always hire people better than yourself).

8. Getting overly emotionally involved in a pitch

When we win, it’s sheer joy. When we lose – deepest despair. If only we could pitch without exposing ourselves to potential agony. But then would that take the fun out of pitching?

9. Shelf-stacking

OK – so this is one for the packaging designers. We often find ourselves standing in supermarkets, rearranging shelves or displays, making our designs look neat and tidy – drawing confused glances from our fellow shoppers. Some would call this a mistake, I call it good marketing practice.

10. Trying to ‘Apple-Z’ real life

This keyboard shortcut is now so ingrained in our brains that when we accidentally knock over a glass of water we try to ‘undo’ real life. Note to self: keep the keyboard shortcuts to the keyboard, and always have some kitchen-paper handy.

11. Designing inappropriate leaving/birthday cards

When a brief isn’t real, it’s all too tempting to cross the line. Rumour has it that designers have lost their jobs over such things. Leading to more leaving cards, and yet more opportunities for offence. Be careful, and get yourself to the nearest Paperchase if needs be.

12. Poor numeracy skills

Hmm, yes, you’ll have noticed the deliberate mistake here. Ten design mistakes? Well, I’ve never been able to restrain myself from throwing more ideas into the mix. Which leads me onto number 13… no, sorry, I’ll stop there. But in all seriousness, mistakes are what make us human, perhaps even what makes us creative. So maybe we should be less self-deprecating, and a little more accepting of our foibles – after all, don’t we creatives take enough of a beating? So my advice is this; go forth, make mistakes, fail, come back the next day, learn. But whatever you do, do use spell-check along the way.


adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.

Is Your Practice Website Optimised For Mobile Devices?

Thursday 3rd April 2014

Like them or loathe them there can be no escaping the fact that mobile phones are everywhere. In fact, last year Cisco reported that the amount of mobile phones on the planet would surpass the number of people. And with the technology behind mobile phones improving and getting cheaper year on year, it’s fair to say that the mobile phone phenomena won’t be going away any time soon.

This has important implications for dentistry and dental marketing, as patients are increasingly using their mobile phones to access the internet and search for dental practices online. It’s therefore no longer good enough just to have a basic dental website advertising your services to the world. If a patients comes across your website on their mobile device and your website isn’t designed to be rendered on a mobile phone, then they will quite simply just look elsewhere.

Here at Dental Focus ® we are in the fairly unique position of being able to study visitor trends across the many hundreds of dental websites that we have helped to create over the years, and so are able to build a picture of how the market is changing. By studying our own Google Analytics we have found that on average up to 1 in 3 of visitors to dental practice websites are now using a mobile device to do so. We predict this number to rise towards 1 in 2 within 12 months.

These figures really reinforce the need to ensure your dental marketing is working for you and not against you. For example, our research would suggest that if a mobile user is not happy with your website, there is a 40% chance they will go visit a competitor. Furthermore, if a mobile user has a poor experience on your website, they are 57% less likely to recommend your business to others.

What this tells us then is that there is a really pressing need for all forward-thinking practice owners and managers to consider the practice website for what it is – a valuable marketing resource that needs to be exploited and put to best use. If you already have a practice website then that’s great – you’re making a good start – but ask yourself this: are you proud of your website? Does your website ‘sell’ your practice in the best possible way? And crucially, how does your practice website appear to mobile visitors?

Given the stark statistic that around half of your web traffic will come from mobile devices within the next 12 months, there is a greater need than ever to ensure that your practice website is completely compatible with mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. These mobile optimised sites should allow users to browse your site quickly and easily, and so find key pages with minimal effort. These pages should include an appointment form, a treatment menu, a testimonials page, and a page describing the dentists and the team, as well as your fees and perhaps also a page of testimonials. Importantly, your website should also include all the necessary contact details (with a ‘click to call’ feature), along with opening hours and addresses linking to Google maps for directions. Remember, if a prospective patient can’t find the information they are looking for quickly and easily, there is every chance they will decide to search elsewhere. With competition between practices so rife these days, the chances are they will end up at your nearest competitor and you will have just lost out on a new patient.

Now is the time to have both a “classic website” which is mobile and tablet friendly as well as a separate fast-action “mobile website” that downloads hot pages within 3 seconds when patients are “on-the-go” so you can attract as many patient enquiries as possible.

Make no mistake, dental marketing is tough, and is bound to get even tougher as more and more practices discover the benefits that an effective online presence brings. This is why it’s absolutely crucial that you make best use of the tools and resources available to you, that you establish a high quality website that you are proud of, and that you market your website to your patients. By combining online marketing strategies with other tactics that include internal and external tactics, slowly but surely your practice will climb the Google ladder and you will really make your practice stand out ahead of the competition.

So… if you haven’t got a practice website already, then you really do need to make sure you get one. You are potentially missing out on hundreds of potential new patients by not being online, and your competitors will only gain as a result. Similarly, if you are already online, is your website mobile friendly? Does it adequately reflect your practice? Imagine your website as a shop window. Does it make any sense for only half the passing customers to be able to see into that shop window?

With technology and social trend changing rapidly, it pays to use the services of an experience online dental marketing team you can trust. The award winning team at Dental Focus ® “Websites for your profit” have over 500 dental practices websites to their name, and thousands of Google Page 1 results for natural (organic) search. To make your practice an online success, contact the experts today.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit

‘More mobiles than humans in 2012, says Cisco’, BBC News, 15 February 2012 <>.

Web Traffic

Saturday 8th March 2014


Did you know humans account for less than 40% of global web traffic?

Bringing traffic to your site is important, but then engaging with some of that traffic is crucial. This is especially true since over half the recorded visits to a site may not even be by a human.

Statistics show they are by ‘bots’ etc and the ‘bots’ presumably will not ever require dentistry. So instead we concentrate our efforts on relating to the ‘human’, emotional concerns of the 40% who are real people and interested in dental health. That is why, not only do we Search Engine Optimize our dental websites, we also emotionally relate to the ‘humans’, by featuring content that will engage them.

See the chart showing the statistics:

Four Big Web Trends Coming this Year

Monday 17th February 2014

In the fast-paced tech sector, it is important to always anticipate and prepare for changing technological trends. By doing this Dental Focus are able to offer clients, up-to-date, relevant dental web marketing know-how.

See this link:


adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.

Point Of Difference

Tuesday 4th February 2014

A dentist needs to emphasize his/her Point Of Difference, as this will help stop their practice from becoming a “me too” and distinguish it from it’s competitors. It’s POD will usually be based on it’s competitive strengths (whether it’s treatments, quality of care, experience, location or ability to understand patients’ concerns). The goal is for a dentist to find a feature or benefit that is valued by patients. When the point of difference is also an emotional benefit (rather than simply a practice feature), the claim is strengthened by then providing reasons to believe in this benefit claim.

For this reason, brand positions often rely on image to provide a rationale for a benefit point of difference. The endorsement of testimonials can greatly help to provide patients with a reason to believe – that a particular practice will look after their dental concerns. But it is important that the image then ‘fits’ with the reality of the practice and does not appear to be ‘grafted’ on.

Leading brands generally adopt the benefit that motivates category use as their point of difference, whereas “follower” brands often need to choose a niche. Example: A leading detergent may simply announce it is superior at cleaning clothes. Follower brands may find it more powerful to make narrower claims: i.e. ‘cleans clothes in cold water’ or ‘strong at stain removal’.

So bigger, better known practices may justifiably and more easily offer a broader dental service, whereas smaller practices may find it more effective to concentrate on narrower ‘points of difference’.

In choosing a point of difference, prefer benefits that reflect existing patients’ beliefs. So it’s important to first ‘know’ your audience (your patients) and what they are looking for. If a practice was to wish to distinguish itself with a benefit or belief that patients have not yet accepted, efforts to change their opinions or ‘educate’ them, can be more costly than adopting accepted beliefs about benefits. For instance, Listerine mouthwash was successful in overcoming consumers’ negative perceptions of its taste by convincing consumers that the unpleasant taste indicated that it was working to kill bacteria and combat bad breath.

For most brands or practices, a single benefit can serve as the point of difference and convince the patient of the benefit’s importance when making their choice.

Value is enhanced by increasing the perceived benefits and also reducing the costs. To illustrate this value equation, a benefit can often be largely emotional. Patients need to feel confident that their dental health will be in safe hands, i.e. through careful monitoring of their progress and/or frequent proactive suggestions of related treatments.

When selecting benefits, it is also important to assess their fit with each other. For example, when the value proposition is that a brand or practice has high quality, a low price might undermine this belief.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.


Friday 18th October 2013

This is a term used within marketing that refers to building a brand that appeals directly to a client’s emotional state and aspirations. It triggers an emotional response. In the case of a dentist, a patient could want to visit a certain practice, even though the patient may not be able to fully rationalize the reason for his or her choice.

Emotional brands develop a strong attachment, a feeling of bonding, of common purpose (with the patient). Examples of non dental brands that have this ‘mojo’ include Apple, Nike and Starbucks. Each of them, although seemingly part of the ‘establishment’, challenge conventions a bit. So a high tech computer company has a fruit as an icon! A sportswear company says: ”Just do it” (i.e. ‘you take control’)! A massive coffee chain individualizes every outlet to make it unique and relevant to each location’s surroundings! This makes each brand more ‘personal’, more ‘emotional’ (challenge “big brother”, think ‘local’, personalize your message).

With Dental Focus, the ‘df’ symbol represents, not only the initials ‘d’ & ‘f’, but also: 1) the ‘infinity’ symbol – because of the infinite complex solutions and online options offered, and 2) a ‘£’ sign – because of the increased revenue dental practices will experience.

A generation ago, brands were dismissed by some as being devoid of value. But in the internet age, we can encounter so many brands at the instant click of a button. Now each of us are brands ourselves (with the help of Facebook, Twitter, etc) – we create online ‘brand’ profiles for ourselves, reflecting our personality, our interests, our social circles, our professions. We each have our own story to tell.

‘Want-needs’ can also be very much part of emotional branding. These are about generating an emotional desire so powerful that … it has to be satisfied, no matter what the cost. So to turn a ‘want’ into a ‘want-need’, a dentist could impose scarcity (only four ‘20% off’ teeth whitenings left).

Likewise, if you were aware that your website was under-performing (because of design ineffectiveness, non-compliance or inaccessibility across different devices), wouldn’t you want to know why you were missing out….

But to deal with this particular “want-need”, just contact Dental Focus.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.

Video marketing on the web

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

Video is the best way to communicate on the web. Most people would prefer watching a video to reading plain text. And when they watch a video, they stay on your web page longer, spend more time browsing the web and its also more likely that they’ll book an appointment at your practice. Whether a video recorded mission statement, treatment advice, or a testimonial, people love it. Please see this link:

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.