As a ground marketer, I get the question asked often: “what do we bring to this event?” or “How should I set up my booth?” or “Where do I find this specific giveaways/freebies?”
These are all really great questions! It’s important to put some thought into what you are giving away and how you are setting up your booth because it’s a representation of your brand… it’s a representation of your dental practice.
It’s very easy to go down a rabbit hole and start thinking“oh no! We need to give away an Ipad, pens, mugs, sunglasses, etc.”.
However… don’t over think it! I will share with you my top tools that I have used for over a decade now to ground market all over various communities. I was able to execute each event successfully and get plenty of new patients from each event with only these specific freebies. Everything else is honestly,FLUFF.
So, consider this your guide for the tools that you will need for Ground Marketing.
So… what do you need?
Well, first it’s important to know where you are going. It doesn’t make sense to bring denture cream to an elementary school event! So, make sure your giveaways match with the theme of your event that you are attending.
Not all schools are the same… BUT the giveaways can be the same with a slight change up here and there. What I mean is, let’s say you area pediatric dentist. Then your giveaways can include:
Obviously, you want to have your dental office’s information in the baggies as well. Here is the thing, you don’t really want too much toys, or things that can easily distract the kids. You want freebies that will require the parent’s assistant. This way you get the parents right in front of your marketing material just in case you did not get a chance to meet and speak to them. That’s why.. the freebies above are great, they are simple, very affordable, and you probably already have them on hand!
Important Note: when you normally go to a Montessori School,Elementary School, Day Care, Pre-K School, you will be required to do maybe a mini-presentation to the kids. When asked to do this, something that works perfectly is “STORY TIME!” So, grab a couple of books that are dental related and read to the children… THE TEACHERS, PARENTS, AND CHILDREN LOVE THIS! Here are a couple books we personally have used that take up a good amount of time to read AND have a great message:
Now, if you are marketing to a High School, Middle School orCollege then this section is not for you. Please see the section: Adults,Teens, Families.
Would the freebies you gave to the children in their schools, make sense to give to seniors?
Probably not, right! I mean, maybe they would enjoy a sticker and a story here and there but the rest wouldn’t really make sense
I remember the first time I ever went to do a presentation at a Senior Citizen Living Facility, I brought toothbrushes, paste, mouthwash, and floss. I also brought information from the dental office.
When I arrived and set up my booth… everyone was watching and the seniors were pretty excited about the freebies and what I had to say.
So I spoke and did my whole presentation… then I told the seniors to sign-up and grab some freebies… when it came time for them to grab the freebies.. most of the seniors were wondering where the small samples of Polident and Poligrip were!
Most of the seniors would look at the freebies, grab a couple and then ask “do you have any thing for dentures”? When I said no, I saw and heard these seniors who asked me this question tell the other seniors: “he doesn’t have anything we need”.
They kept telling this to many of the other seniors who came late to the presentation!!
That cost me new potential patients!
I was pretty embarrassed and said I would come back and bring them exactly what they need.
So, let me tell you what are the best freebies to bring at theseSenior Citizen Events/ Presentations:
This is it!
The seniors who DO have dentures will go crazy (okay maybe not crazy, but they will love it) at the fact that you have Poligrip and Polident. Then while they are their grabbing those samples you sign them up and talk to them about their denture issues and so forth. Now, not every senior will have dentures, and that’s why you will also provide the other “non-denture” seniors with the regular hygiene kits(toothbrushes, paste, floss).
Important Note: what we have seen work very well when you are talking to seniors and doing your presentation in front of them is to talk about your “in-house insurance plan” and talking about the benefits of NOT having dentures/ limitations when eating and smiling. The Ground Marketing Course has a whole Unit on Senior Citizens, how to get into Senior Homes, and how to properly market to them.
Adults, Teens, Families
Let’s talk about what freebies we need to give to the rest of the population! So, if you are a general dentist, family dental office, or a cosmetic dental practice and you are going to events, doing presentations, and setting up booths at locations where people are aged from 13yrs – 55yrs old then this is exactly what you will need to hand out as freebies
It’s that simple folks, you don’t need all this extra stuff!You just need these freebies to give out to everyone.
IMPORTANT NOTE: One thing I did notice is the small whitening (you can call it travel size) tooth paste did play a big difference! What I mean is I remember going to employee health fairs at corporations and I would put out 2 types of toothpaste, regular“mint” Colgate toothpaste and then I put out one that said “whitening” on it..I ran out of the whitening one in a matter of two hours! This was also a GREAT conversation starter, I would ask them “you know, we are actually doing FreeWhitening this month for all the employees here… what’s your name so I can get you in” and BOOM they would sign-up and come in. Then I would continue the conversation about any dental questions or concerns that they had. So, if you can… try to get the toothpaste with whitening in it!
When it comes to ordering toothbrushes, paste, floss, mouthwash… basically hygiene kits.. I ALWAYS recommend you order this custom made. Meaning with your logo and dental practice’s information on it! Many of you reading this already have hygiene kits and these freebies at hand, at least you may have most on hand, and that’s fantastic! Use the hygiene kits you have at hand. Many times, I would order the products above, like the floss and toothbrushes from Amazon, as back-ups because the orders would sometimes delayOR I would run out of freebies before the next shipment of hygiene kits from the company we ordered.
A company I think that is fantastic, that can customize your freebies, and it’s a company we have used for years is OralB.
The Printed Information You Will Need.
This is the information that people can read on hand about you and your dental practice.
Make customized information about your practice, but… don’t over-do it… have these main customized informational pieces:
Business Cards should always be in every single baggie before-hand! So when a person grabs a bag and starts to stuff it with the freebies, there is already the business card inside.
The Flyer is important in case you have any event or offers happening at the time. Maybe you don’t have an offer but really want to talk about a specific procedure that you are NOW doing, like Sleep Apnea, or Orthodontics, or maybe Implants. This information is good to have on the flyers.
Brochures are old. Rack cards are new and happening now.It’s simple, a quick read, and eye-catching. They are easy to grab and read as you continue to walk around and can be jammed pack with great information. If they do want more information, then they can simply ask you in person or call you! Do not try and talk about all of what you offer, what you do, and your whole story in your printed material. This material needs to be eye catching, informational and with an intention… for the person reading to call you or visit you as soon as possible.
If you clicked the links above, one company I personally love and have backed up for a while is:
They are very sophisticated, nice, and their product and customer service truly stands out! Also, if you follow The Making of SMILE& CO on The Dental Marketer Podcast … then you will know that Dr. Ashley Joves uses MOO as well for their business cards and more!
IMPORTANT NOTE: At an event, you can have as much information out there about your practice as possible, but what matters most is what YOU say. So, don’t overwhelm them with too much information. If you are going to a Senior Citizen event then maybe carry some information about seniors and their dental health. If you are going to a children’s event, then carry information about the child and their dental health for the parent to read.
What to bring for your booth
When it comes to your booth, I want you to remember to keep it super simple!
All you will need is:
Now everything has a purpose:
This is one is pretty obvious but you’d be surprised how many people forget their table when they arrive to their event/ location. I recommend you get an easy foldable table, one that would be easy to carry around and put inside the trunk of your car.
Let’s not be tacky here folks. You really want to look decent and somewhat presentable (at least). Therefore, a table cloth is necessary. What would be best is if you make a customized table cloth, one with your dental office’s colors and your logo on it as well. However, if you are in a rush and need to start doing events ASAP and you don’t care what kind of tablecloth you get, then I’d recommend getting a decent disposable one where you can choose your color, like the one in the link above.
You need a clipboard for many reasons. Reason number one is so people know exactly where the sign-up sheet is at. Reason number two is soothers can take the sign-up sheet and write their own information (instead of you having to write their information for them). Although, I honestly recommend you always write down their information for them, only because you understand your hand writing the best.. but this leads me into my third reason. Sometimes you are really busy at an event and a group approaches you, it’s best to handout sign-up sheets on clipboards and have them sign-up instead of asking one by one individually for their information, you will lose interest this way from some people waiting. Then reason number four.. a clipboard allows you to walk around and stand up and write. So when you are out walking around talking to other vendors at events, you can easily sign people up!
You need a location where you can put all your giveaways, information, clipboards, tablecloth, displays and more. You also do not want to literally carry all of this around. There has been so many times where I arrive at an event and they tell me it’s on the other side of the building, probably10 minutes away from where I parked! I would arrive at my booth sweaty, tired, and in a rough mood! Therefore, have a solid carrying case with WHEELS! This way you can just roll everything around.
This concludes My Top (STRONGLY SUGGESTED) Tools. I hope you find this guide and list of recommendations useful. This is basically everything I ever used (and continue to use). These are the essential tools for Ground Marketing that will give you proven results!
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