A few years ago, I pulled the chair away from my business partner’s desk and took a picture of the repository of clutter I found there. To me, it spoke a world shift in the way we consume media, from an analog format to a digital one. What I have learned over time, however, is that this sordid pile of printed media also showed its lack of relevance to the practicing dentist.
An oversized, slippery-page collection of advertisements did nothing to address the problems I faced or the pain-points I experienced on a daily basis in my own practice. Many dentists I talk to find a few tidbits of useful information in the swarm of dental print publications but essentially treat them as junk mail.
Why is that? It certainly is not due to a lack of talent on those editorial teams. I have met several gifted writers who work for those magazines that are passionate about this industry. Our own editor, Noah Levine, worked at Dental Lab Products for several years and has brought a torrent of great ideas and innovation to the Dentalcompare platform. In most ways, it seems we are instead looking at a method of relaying information that is outdated and irrelevant.
It is virtually impossible to deliver quality content that addresses every need the practicing dentist may have in a print format. For example, if I am struggling with my endodontic files today, it doesn’t really matter that “Endo month” is next June. Even beyond that, a simple question regarding the material that ends up being printed in these publications is, “Did you bother to ask your end user, the dentist, if they wanted this information anyway?”
Dentalcompare is all about the user experience for the dentist. The goal is to deliver unbiased content in a way that educates me on what I what, when I want, how I want. We use dynamic media such as video and webinars to bring concepts to life to improve your efforts as a business owner and clinician. The goal is to align the uniqueness of each dentist with the perfect product for his or her practice. The product listings are not just an A to Z reference filled with marketing copy, but a useful breakdown of specifications that can be compared to similar products. Even our “Top 10” type features showing the most viewed products are based on statistics showcasing what clinicians are actually looking for, rather than a list of products from “these people who paid us advertising dollars this year.”
The idea here is that by providing unbiased education, Dentalcompare can help play a role in practices’ decisions about where to spend money on products. Considering most offices in this country have seen some effect from the recession in the last few years, it is more important than ever to make the right decision up front. A review from a real dentist who actually used the product and is ready to share both the good and bad about it? Useful. A paid testimonial with an ad by its side or an ambiguous numerical rating system that, again, gets tweaked based on advertising dollars? Not so much.
Years after I took that original picture of the print media debris beneath my partner’s desk, Dentalcompare has gone through a tremendous number of changes to improve our site and make it more useful than ever. We are in constant contact with clinicians to ensure the “experience” of coming to Dentalcompare is useful and relevant. Have a product you need more information on? Drop a comment or email to fill us in. Can’t make it to an upcoming trade show but have a product you wanted to research or preview? Let us know and we will do the homework for you.
More than just highlighting the problems, my goal at Dentalcompare is to create the solution.