Jacob Baadsgaard the Founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising, an INC 500 tech enabled agency that has grown from his independent consulting days to an organization of 85 people servicing over 500 businesses. Jacob has developed a technology and team that specialize in helping companies grow profitably using ad platforms like Google and Facebook.
VIDEO - DUwHF #1058 - Jacob Baadsgaard
AUDIO - DUwHF #1058 - Jacob Baadsgaard
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Howard: It is just a huge, huge honor for me today to be podcast-interviewing Jacob Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of disruptiveadvertising.com, an INC 500 tech enabled agency that has grown from his independent consulting days to an organization of eighty-five people servicing over five hundred businesses. Jacob has developed a technology and team that specialize in helping companies grow profitably using ad platforms like Google and Facebook. And I love your website, disruptiveadvertising.com, because the first thing it says on it 76% of Google and Facebook budgets are wasted. Our marketing experts and software can help you fix that. So let's start with the obvious question. Why do you think 76% of Google and Facebook budgets are wasted?
Jacob: Yeah, I don't think that, I know that. We've actually developed a software that audits these ad platforms based on what people are doing. We've got over four thousand audits complete and documented in there, and that is the average amount of waste that our software has measured.
Howard: So right now, there seems to be this public outrage- You know how dentistry is related to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, his dad is a dentist, Ed Zuckerberg, and he's been on this show three times. But the Cambridge Analytica, he had to testify to D.C, yesterday he just testified to the EU. Is that a bunch of smoke and mirrors because I don't really see anybody telling me that people are leaving Facebook for privacy issues. Do you think that's going to hurt their business or is that just gone with the wind?
Jacob: I don't think that's going to have any substantial impact. It's a great platform. The amount of information that they provide to advertisers it only makes people's lives better. You'd rather see an ad that's relevant to you than an ad that's not relevant to you, and that's really all it's doing.
Howard: I got four sons and we've all had this conversation and they liked the fact that the ads are tailored to them. When I watch TV, none of those ads are targeted. I'm sitting there and I was trying to watch (unclear 00:02:27) and they're trying to advertise a thing that carries me up the stairway because I can't walk and then restless leg syndrome and then call the law firm Hughie & Louie. I love Target and it's like, when I get on Google if I type in a name, I don't even get the last name half spelled out and it prompts the dentist I'm looking for, Google knows. If I type in a name on Google, they know Howie is looking for a dentist. I mean there's no other thing he searches for. And then there's a lot of laws passed if you own a website where on your terms and conditions, one of the things you have to ask is your age because I guess there's a lot of underage laws and you got to do things differently if minors are on your site and some of these dentists email and say, "Well I don't want to give you my birthday," and I go on Facebook, type in their name and in three seconds I know their birthday. So when you are going to advertise, I think you would first need to know what is the value of your customer and how much are you paying for it. And when I ask dentists they'll say, "I got twenty new patients a month." I'll say, "How many of those came from advertising?" They'll say, "Well, half came from advertising, half came from word of mouth." And I'll say, "Well the ones that came from advertising, you got ten. How much did you have to pay per person to get that patient?" They never know, and then the follow up question is, well when a patient comes into your office, what is the average patient worth? Does your average patient get $400 worth of dentistry or four thousand? I've always thought orthodontists were more serious about marketing because their average Invisalign case is sixty-five hundred bucks. So the orthodontist, they always know, but the general dentists, they never know. So how do you recommend dentists find out what their customer lifetime value is, and then based on that, how much do you think it's worth to spend getting a new patient?
Jacob: Yeah, I think that the key here is that dentists already know what clients are worth to them generally speaking. It's a concerted effort to get more of the patients that they want that are higher margin, are going to be around longer, are going to be better for their business. What's interesting is that what we've found is that getting a new patient for general dentistry versus dental implants can cost almost the exact same. So why wouldn't you get more dental implant patients because A, that's going to be a higher transaction operation and it's very likely that you'll keep them on as an ongoing patient as well, and so why not focus the advertising dollars on the areas where it's making you the most? And so even if you couldn't track which ones are turning into customers for you, why not focus on the ones that are making you more money to begin with and that being said, in a perfect world like you've just described, you should be able to measure what you're actually spending in advertising dollars and what that's turning into patients for you. And like I mentioned, each practice is going to have its areas of specialty and the types of practices that are going to be higher margin for them, so we should focus on those and with digital advertising, the great thing is when you work with someone that knows what they're doing in this arena, it's all trackable with a high degree of accuracy. You're still going to have some that you can't track, but 90+% accuracy you're going to be able to know what's going and what you're getting from it.
Howard: Yeah, and I think that's why so much advertising revenue is flowing to Facebook and Google. Facebook and Google still concern me because almost all their money is from ads. Whereas take someone like Microsoft. They have seven different sources of sales. Even Amazon has two; half of their revenue comes from Amazon web services, Cloud hosting and only half of it comes from everything you associate with Amazon selling retail. But I think that all that money is going to Facebook and Google simply because it is trackable. When you drive down the road and you see a billboard, well how do they know that I went to that website based on driving by that billboard or when you're sitting there watching a television show and it has a thirty-second commercial to buy the most comfortable pillow on earth. A lot of this stuff is hard to track, but marketing should be trackable.
Jacob: Yeha, that's one of the challenges of traditional marketing and it's not that it doesn't still have a place. The challenges is one out of quite a few people is even going to be your target audience to begin with if it's a billboard, if it's a radio ad, if it's whatever. And that's one of the things that I've always loved about Adwords specifically is if you put an ad in front of someone that's literally searching for a dentist near me, orthodontists near me, dental implants near me, there is no better time in the entire history of mankind to advertise to someone. And not only is that the best time because every single person looking is the right person to be seeing your ad. You can track through. Cool, not only did their eyeballs see my ad, they clicked on it, they came in, they either fill out a form or called me and I can actually track that through to an actual patient coming in and working with us. That's what's so beautiful about the whole thing. Where with the traditional, you don't get as much of that and you can't track it through to patients. You kinda just have to ask, "How did you hear about us?" And the unfortunate reality is consumers don't even remember. They might've seen you in five or six different places and getting that question answered could actually take you down completely the wrong path with your marketing dollars.
Howard: So is Google better then. Because Facebook, you see all these dentists working their Facebook page like maybe every day, they'll post something on their Facebook page, but when people go to search, it's still Google, isn't it? When you go to look for a dentist, I can't imagine that you would go open up your Facebook page and start scrolling down until you see a dentist ad. All the people I see in my world, they go to Google and probably two-thirds of them search with their thumbs and one third hit that microphone and talk into it. So wouldn't Google be a much superior advertising platform than Facebook or not really?
Jacob: So the answer depends on how we're asking the question. For a net new patient, yes, Google is the best because people are going to look for you. They found you, great, you've got any patient. That doesn't mean that there's not a place for Facebook. Dentists on average are just approaching Facebook all wrong because no one cares about your practice from a social media standpoint. No one wants to follow you. No one wants to engage with you on that. I'm sorry. They've got other things that they want to do on social media and so the best way is you can actually upload all of your patients into Facebook and every six months, a month before their six-month recurring visit, start pushing an ad then to say, "Hey, excited to have you back for your six-month checkup." Or for someone that did click through Google and came and checked you out for the first time and then retarget them on Facebook and follow them around with an ad for a little bit while they're making that decision on what dentist to go to. They definitely play extremely well together, but if I had to choose between these two platforms to get me new patients today, Google is better, but Facebook is great at helping you get more lifetime value from your customers and staying in front of them as they're making these decisions.
Howard: So what would your patients say? I got a physician and I have a proctologist for my five-year colonoscopy. I kind of think if my proctologist I found out he entered me and all the other old men in his practice into Facebook. Would that really set well with consumers? What would your patients think if they found out you gave Facebook all the names of your patients?
Jacob: Well, they probably already know that anyway. It's actually all done in a non personally identifiable fashion, meaning you can't upload one person and advertise to them. You have to upload a certain volume of people so that you can't single them out, so to speak. On Google, you need a thousand people to do that. On Facebook, you need at least a hundred people — it might be two hundred now as well. But the reality is all it's doing is just matching, because they're already in the system, they're already on their platforms and it's just saying, "Hey, these are the relevant people for me to advertise to."
Howard: The number one practice management software in market shares is Dentrix. Number two is Eaglesoft. Number three is Open Dental. So do they have a format where you just export patient data into Facebook or Google?
Jacob: You can. They have policies around what information you can upload and it has to be information that people have given you and opted in to allow you to use that information. So you can't just take a cold list and upload that end. That does violate the policies that they have there, and that is something that some people still do. You can obviously get in trouble for doing those types of things, but yeah, they have to be opted in and they have to be okay with you reaching out to them. Same if you want to text them or if you want to email them. They need to give you permission to do that.
Howard: Interesting. You used the word, they visited your website so you want to "retarget" them. I don't think 90% of dentists know what retargeting means. What does retargeting in ad mean?
Jacob: So retargeting is simply this. Someone came to my website and you've heard the term "cookies", right? What a cookie is is if someone comes to your website and you're able to place an identifier on that individual so that when they go to another website that allows advertising, it looks to see where that ID is and if someone wants to advertise to that ID. And so I come to your website, I then leave and go to Facebook or go to ESPN or go wherever that is. I can then follow you around with an ad for a certain period of time with the message that I want to keep it in front of you.
Howard: When you look at (unclear 00:13:20). When I went to school in 1987, thirty years, advertising was taboo. When I was twenty-five and doing it in Phoenix, when I would go to study clubs, things like that, sixty, seventy year old dentists would take me to the side and say, "Come on man, what are you doing? Knock that shit off." Now it's just the norm. Again, in 87, most dentists spent zero on advertising and then it's been about fifteen years later, some of them were really serious and doing 2% to 3%. What do you think is a normal percentage of collected revenue to spend on advertising? And is it different for any of the nine specialists? Would orthodontists spend more than a general dentist? What kind of budgets are you usually looking at?
Jacob: There's a few questions that kind of help us determine what is the right amount as a percentage of revenue to use as a rule of thumb. So the first one might be, if I'm a new practice, I'm really having to get a lot of new patients because I don't have a good recurring base of patients at this point. Then I'm going to have to spend more of my revenue to get new patients. It's just a simple matter of fact, especially if you want to get them sooner rather than later. Now, for a practice that's established that does not want to grow, that is optimizing for profitability in their practice right now, then they may want to spend a very low percent in advertising because they've got a good base there. They're known in their city and their area. And so really we see anywhere from 5% up to 25%, even 30% of total revenue being spent on advertising, depending on where they fall in those circumstances.
Howard: I've always thought it was amazing that half of America has dental insurance and half doesn't. And you say, "What do you charge for a crown?" And they say a thousand bucks. But then they've signed up with like Delta dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield, all these PPOs and you find out that almost all the crowns they do are for say, six fifty, seven hundred, so they don't blink at dropping their fee 30% to get an insurance plan. And then when you say, "Would you consider spending 10% to get cash patients that would pay you a thousand dollars for a crown?" "Oh, no way." Like they don't want to spend on advertising, but it just takes a little pinky twist and they'll sign up for "I'll do all your dentistry for one third off." And then you say, "What's your overhead?" And then they'd say "Two-thirds." "Okay, so all you want to do is free dentistry for PPOs. You don't want to advertise?" And they say, "No," you know. SO what do you think of that? Why do you think they're so quick to sign up for a PPO and really hesitate about getting serious with spending money on marketing?
Jacob: There's two reasons that I would say. The first one is what we talked about at the beginning. 76% of budgets are wasted and so I think that that dentists do have, or at least the dental industry has a good gut sense that their dollars are not being well spent because on average they're not. And so that is one of the challenges and I think that there is some good intuition there. If you're going to do it, you've got to do it right or it's still wasting money. And then the other thing that I've noticed is that generally speaking in the dental industry, most owners are operating with the scarcity mentality and it actually holds them back from growing the practice, perhaps having several locations, from doing a lot of things where they could grow their practice and do phenomenally better than they currently are, but they're kind of scared to take some of those steps that it would take to get there. Those are the two things that I would highlight.
Howard: So on your website, disruptiveadvertising.com, you say, "Get my free PPC proposal." What is your free PPC proposal?
Jacob: There's two ways that we go about that. Some practices are already advertising on Google AdWords or Facebook and we can plug in with our software, scan, do an audit and give a deliverable that says, "Here's what's working and here's what's not," and then they're welcome to take and implement that on their own or they can use us to help with that. For groups that have never actually spent advertising dollars on these platforms before, we can some research into the demand and their marketplace and what's even available to them to come up with a plan if it's going to make sense and what they could reasonably expect from it if they did start to invest there.
Howard: And what are my homies' going to find when they go to your website disruptiveadvertising.com?
Jacob: There's a couple of things that they can find there. We actually have a blog where we have written quite a bit about the dental industry and so you'll find some good information about what's working and what's not in this industry, but what you're going to find is a website that's set up to get you where we want you to go and that is to reach out to us, get an audit and let's tell you if there's something that we can do to help add value to your practice and go from there
Howard: Ryan, will you take that? So talk us through scenarios. When I was in MBA school at Arizona State University, they used to always talk about case studies. So go over some case studies. Why are dentists calling you and what are you doing for them?
Jacob: We've got a lot of practices that work with us and the reason why is we're able to drive in new patients at a price that makes sense for them. And one of the things why most dental practices that work with us is because we're able to help drive the types of procedures that they're looking for. Like I mentioned earlier, we've found that in most markets, we can get a dental implant patient for the same price and advertising if you get a general dentistry patient as well. And so a lot of them say, "Hey, that's perfect because now I'm making more money on that first interaction with that patient and we're set up for success long term with them now." That's what they like about working with us and most don't realize that it doesn't cost that much more to get the type of patients that they want and that they can really focus their dollars that way.
Howard: So you like target marketing, and that's where old traditional advertising, like cable television, doesn't work as there's nothing targeted about a message on cable television or billboards or even direct mailing to everyone in your community. It's just not targeted. So of the nine specialties, which ones do you work with the most?
Jacob: We work with a lot of general practices and we work with a lot of orthodontists as well. Those are the areas where we definitely do the most.
Howard: Yeah, and when you're targeting orthodontists, ain't it kind of weird because the customer is the teenage kid, but the one making the appointment and bringing him in is his mom. So how do you do orthodontic advertising when you want to hit the person who's going to make the appointment and pay the bill, but it's the daughter that's going to be the patient.
Jacob: Well, the reality is usually the decision maker, the parent in this situation, is still the one hopping online and looking. We don't get a lot of fifteen year olds to seventeen year olds jumping on, doing some research and making the calls themselves. It's usually the parents that are hopping on Google, on their phone or on their laptop and searching "orthodontists near me", making the phone call, making it happen. So it's actually pretty straight-forward from that standpoint. Usually ninety-seven out of a hundred times, it's the decision maker actually doing the search and reaching out.
Howard: And when people call, searching out, looking for appointments, how many of them are moms versus dads, or females versus males? Do you see much demographic difference?
Jacob: Specifically for orthodontistry or in general?
Howard: Just in general. In every household I know, mom kind of does the parent-teacher stuff, the doctor's appointment stuff. When I grew up, if you had asked your dad what your birthday was, you couldn't have gotten it out of him if you hit him with a pipe, let alone, "Dad, which dentist takes our dental insurance?" It just seems like in most households, mom's the one with the maternal instincts doing this. I just wondered if you've seen it in your data where the customer that's actually calling through to the office, is it more likely to be women than men? Do you have any hard numbers on that or…
Jacob: I don't have the hard numbers in front of me, but I do know that it skews more female than male by a decent amount. I mean probably at least seventy five-twenty five if not more.
Howard: Yeah, and when you're doing disruptive advertising, do you also evaluate their website? Because I know my dentist and I mean they bought their website five to ten years- They were at a dental convention, they walked by a booth. Someone says, "Hey, give me your credit card and I'll build you a website," and most of them haven't even looked at it, like some of my closest friends, they might be totally into implants and they might go to an implant course once a month for the last five years and they're amazing, but you go to their website, you wouldn't even know they do implants. And I tell everybody listening to this, when was the last time you even visited your website and some of these dentists, the picture of themselves on their website- I mean, why don't you just go put your high school yearbook picture in there. I don't even recognize you and you're my friend. How would you evaluate the average dentist website when they call you up as a client?
Jacob: So for those of you that actually see the video of this, you'll see that I'm putting two thumbs down. Most of them are pretty bad to be honest, and when we talked about that 76% of budgets being wasted, one of the biggest reasons why is because someone looks for something specific like a dental implant procedure and they click on an ad that takes someone to a dentist homepage that talks about all the things that they do and they've got to search the website to even see if they do what they're good at, and by then you've already lost them because they want to work with someone that's good at this, that's specialized at this, not someone that they've got to come and dig around on their website to see if they're good at it. Most websites are not set up very well and the other thing is when you're running digital advertising campaigns, it's actually best to either create a specific landing page or a page on your website that is specifically for that practice with things like you've mentioned, case studies, why you're a differentiator, benefits, those types of things and point them straight to that page so they don't have to monkey around looking to see if I'm talking to the right practice or not.
Howard: Is it really just Google? I mean Microsoft does own Bing. They also own LinkedIn. Right now you and I are talking on Skype; they own Skype. Does anyone still search on Bing?
Jacob: Yeah, you'd be surprised. The report is varied, but it’s about twenty to 30% of the market is still using that. There are browsers that still default to Bing like Firefox and other ones as well, and so yeah, you've got about twenty to 30% of your audience and the audience that tends to use Bing is an older audience.
Howard: Because they're still on Microsoft Explorer.
Jacob: Internet Explorer, yeah.
Howard: Internet Explorer. They don't know about downloading Google Chrome or anything like that, and your implant patients- I mean your implant patients aren't thirty-year-old yoga instructors that like eating yogurt. They're always grandma and grandpa, so if you're really searching for dental implants, do you think it would be better to do Bing ads than Google ads?
Jacob: I wouldn't say it would be better. No, I would say that it's just- Again, this is where it comes back to focusing that budget on the procedures that you want, and so I would maximize both. I would use Google and Bing and I would focus on dental implants before I start bidding on terms that are more for general dentistry. You know, "a dentist near me"? Maybe I'm holding off on advertising on that at all until I maximize my market share on dental implants on Google and Bing first.
Howard: And when people are calling you up and hiring your services for advertising and for implants, are they more likely to be general dentists or are they more likely to be periodontists or oral surgeons?
Jacob: Like I mentioned, we work with all of them. The general dentist, there is just more of them out there, so we tend to have more of those as well, but we get all of them.
Howard: Another thing is the reason I would never go into your space and I would never start a dental advertising campaign is because the dentist do not understand their funnel and they don't measure- Like I could hire you and you could be the best delivering people to my website, but the website so bad, maybe a hundred people there on the website, maybe only three call. And then let's say three people do call. Your receptionist is so poorly trained at closing that she can only convert one out of three that call to schedule a patient and that's the only the patient that's begging to get in, and then when that one person does come in, three people have to come in with a cavity before the dentist can even close one to get a filling. So that funnel is so bad. I mean a hundred people land on your page for three to call, three call, only one gets scheduled. Three have to come in for you to do one filling. So to do one filling, three had to come in. For three to come in, nine had to call. For nine to have to call, damn near a thousand had to land on your website, and then they say, "Well, you know the problem is, Jacob, I gave him some money and I didn't double myself." And then I'll say, "How many people have to land on your website before they can convert a call?" They don't know. I'll say, "Well, how many new numbers have to call your dental office before your receptionist convinces one to come in?" "I don't know." "Well, just tell me this. Just what is your close rate? Not on bleaching, bonding, veneers and implants and All on 4, but just for a cavity. If ten people came in with a cavity, how many of them would get it filled?" They don't know that. And it's like, "So what are you doing this weekend?" "Oh, I'm going to a bonding course in Utah. I'm going to go to Provo and seen Gordon talk about bonding agents." So you're kind of dealing in an industry where all your customers aren't going to have any good measurements or data to even tell you if you're doing a good job or not.
Jacob: You bring up a great point, and that is a very real challenge that we deal with. Generally speaking, we do work with larger practices that have a lot of these in place and there's a few of the challenges that you've described that we specifically have as part of our offering to overcome that. Number one is, we don't just point advertising traffic to the website; we actually do require that we can build custom landing pages for each of their practice areas and we point the traffic to the pages that we create, so we're getting more like one out of four, one out of five are actually picking up the phone and calling in. We then listen to those phone calls and see how many of them they're actually picking up and talking to you and where those are going and then provide them feedback on that process. And so generally speaking, what we see is that yeah, we're getting the leads of people actually calling in. Like I said, one out of four, one out of five clicks on an ad is actually turning into someone called in. They're getting information and most practices are going to get one out of two, one out of three actually set up with an appointment. So the funnel is actually pretty favorable, and we addressed those specific pain points to help with that because we know that most practices don't have those things in place.
Howard: A lot of dentists are listening to this asking- There's pay-to-play. SCO. There's pay-to-play where I just buy the ad and when I search for a dentist's name, a lot of times, Google prompts the name, but the name might be third or fourth place down. There might be three other ads for a dentist. What's better? To build an amazing website and get organic search where they're coming when you type in "dentists near me" that your website is so damn good that yours comes up first or is it better to pay-to-play? What's better pay-to-play or organic?
Jacob: The answer is yes Howie, we want to do both. You typically shouldn't choose one or the other. You typically should be doing both, because what we've actually found, and Google's published some research about this is- Synergy is where one plus one equals three. When you do both of these, you're getting typically twice the results that you would by doing either of them in isolation, and so it's worth doing both because a good website's going to convert organic or paid traffic better, but if I had to choose, I'm going to go with ads because I know that I can get it instantaneous, I know that it's a dial that I can turn on or off depending on how my practice is doing and I have a lot more control over what's going on versus organically. You might've ranked last month, but you may not rank this month because of a competitor and changes that Google is making to its organic algorithms.
Howard: Now, this is Dentistry Uncensored, so let's talk the politically incorrect, the uncensored, the money. I know what my homies are thinking. They're driving to work. This is exactly what they are thinking, they’re thinking, "Dude, I already pay my rent, mortgage, (unclear 00:31:30), insurance malpractice. I pay all my bills. If I could just get ten more patients a month, it'd be gravy. How much would it cost me, and if I called you up, could you really get me ten more new patients a month?"
Jacob: So it will depend on the market, what's available to make those things happen, but for ten patients a month, the answer is absolutely yes. I mean, most markets, that's pretty easy to achieve that. In fact, you can do quite a bit more, and like I said, the great thing about advertising is you can choose if you want to turn that dial up or you can turn that dial down, and so on the month where you're booked out, you might want to spend a little less on advertising that month, and that's okay. The month where, hey, it's starting to look pretty empty. There's some holes in the calendar. Let's get those filled up. You can turn that dial up. That's my favorite thing about PPC advertising is you have a lot of control, and to get ten patients a month, that's usually on the lower end of what we see our clients getting.
Howard: When you talked about social media, you keep talking about Facebook and Google. Are any others worth a dentist focusing on? Gosh, there's Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snap. Do you recommend that dentists just focus on Google and Facebook or are any of those other social media companies all the way to Reddit worth your time?
Jacob: Well, keep in mind that when you advertise on Facebook, Instagram is actually owned by Facebook and you do both on the same platform. When you're advertising on Facebook, you're also advertising on Instagram or at least you can do both through the same platform. Google also includes not just search but also YouTube and other things as well. So between Google and Facebook, no I wouldn't waste your time on anything else to be honest. You could, but the value- I mean 85% of the market is going through Google and Facebook anyway, so why not spend your time where you're going to get the best bang for your buck? Definitely I wouldn't spend any time on LinkedIn, not in the dental industry. Google and Facebook's where it's at.
Howard: Same question, but non-digital. Do you still see any place for direct mail, Yellow Pages, billboard, radio, TV?
Jacob: Our clients that we've seen have the most success have just shifted their budgets for more traditional to digital and that way their actual expenses stay relatively the same. They were just getting a lot more juice from the squeeze by investing those dollars in Google and Facebook and so to be honest, what we see most of the more successful practices doing is shifting those budgets right now.
Howard: Yeah, cable is dying. Basically everything I read about cable advertising is don't even think about getting on there if you're looking for anyone under fifty. My boys — I got four boys — they would rather sit and look at their iPad and watch it on YouTube or something like that. They don't sit around the front room where everybody's looking at one screen. They're all looking at their own digital iPhone or their digital iPad and my God, is it addicting. I saw the scariest thing in my life about three months ago. I tried to take my iPad away from my two year old granddaughter. I had her arm, I lifted her off the ground and she was still hanging onto her iPad. I just was holding her in the air by her forearm bone and she was screaming like a cheetah was getting her leg or something. She was hanging onto the iPad for dear life. I want to ask the same question. Some dentists — I hear this a lot on Dentaltown — sometimes they get confused. They'll say, "Isn't all that stuff that Jacob's talking about, all that digital, for the big city people? I'm out there in rural Kansas. I'm in rural Oklahoma." Does the same rules of digital marketing apply to Beaumont, Texas as it does Dallas and Houston? And are most of your clients big cities? Are rural doctors part of your clientele?
Jacob: Absolutely. The difference is both of these are an auction format, so the more people that are in the area and advertising, the higher the costs are, and so in rural areas, it's typically just a lot less expensive and a lot less competitive, but all the same rules still apply. You're just spending less to get patients than someone that's in a bigger city.
Howard: You were mentioning a term that you've got to go back and explain because you've used the term three times: "landing page". My homies do root canals and crowns. I don't think most of them know what a landing page is. And then also answer that question and the fact that a lot of dentists, they're always on Dentaltown telling about all these hot new domain names that they bought. I know dentists that have ten different domain names, but is buying domain names- Google. is pretty much just Google. Amazon just Amazon. What do you think? Well, first explain what a landing page is and then explain, because a lot of dentists, they'll get an email saying, "Hey dude, I'll sell you utahdentist.com? And he's like, "Wow, utahdentist.com, maybe I should buy that." So should dentists be buying domain names and what is a landing page?
Jacob: Yeah, so just because it's a shorter answer, the domain name used to matter for SCO and for ranking organically. It almost doesn't matter at all anymore, and so owning a bunch of domains or specific ones that have your city name in it, it just doesn't really matter. And so when you set up your Google profile and you're telling Google what you are, it's not looking at your domain to try and understand that anymore, and so, not worth your time, not worth your money. I wouldn't waste money on buying a bunch of domains. Just get a solid one. Come up with a good business name that's memorable and distinctive. Don't worry about buying a bunch of domains or fitting that in there. As far as a landing page, a landing page is simply this. When I click on an ad, what's the first page I land on on your website? What do most dentists use as their landing page? Their homepage, which is actually the faux pas of digital advertising. You don't land them on their homepage because they were looking for something specific, so land them on the page about specifically what they were looking for. Again, if I'm looking for dental implants, let's make sure that there's a page on the site that's about dental implants, the benefits, why you're different, etcetera, etcetera, and let's land them on that page. That's a landing page, the first page they see after they click through an ad or a listing and we want to make sure that it's the right page because that's the difference between, like you said, three out of a hundred reaching out to getting one out of three or one out of four or one out of five reaching out. It's by landing them on the appropriate page and most dentists don't have all the right pages created, and so that's one of the things that we do is we actually build those landing pages so that we have a perfect place to land everybody that clicks on an ad.
Howard: So do you also build websites?
Jacob: We typically operate in parallel with websites by creating landing pages in addition to that, and we have partners that build out the actual websites.
Howard: When you're working for a client and they're spending money with you, first of all, what does that cost? What is the cost for my homies to call you and become a client?
Jacob: Well, it'll depend on the scope of the engagement, but we have dentists that we work with that we're charging $300 a month and we have dentists that we're working with that we're charging a few thousand dollars a month. It just depends on the size, the scope of the engagement, and keep in mind that's our management fee. The advertising dollars are on top of that as well.
Howard: So when you're buying Google AdWords and Facebook ads and all that stuff, how important is your social confirmation from Google reviews and Facebook reviews and Yelp reviews? Is that a big factor do you think in how many new patients you get? Because some dentists are obsessed with how many reviews they get. Some dentists, I swear to God, when they get a bad review, they just internally implod. It was like, I guess all the way up until they were thirty-five, they had made every single person in life happy, and the first person that gets on Google and says, "You're not a good dentist." I mean literally they're almost going to jump from the building. So how important is social confirmation? Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews, and how do you play that in when you're managing their social media marketing?
Jacob: They are important and it is a big deal when you get negative reviews online. The best thing that you can do is accept the fact that nobody bats a thousand and respond in a professional way to those negative reviews. But keep in mind that we're in a world where everyone's trying to differentiate themselves and so if everybody has got ten reviews and you don't have ten reviews, you're on the outside looking in. If everybody has got ten reviews, you have nothing to differentiate you and so really what you're looking for is differentiation and so that's where the number of reviews and the quality of those reviews is going to make an impact, but we do see a substantial impact when you've got higher quantity and I would say really kind of the sweet spot is like that four point eight and you want a decent volume because that's when people say, "Oh, it's real because they've gotten a couple of bad ones, but they've gotten overwhelmingly a lot of good reviews." Anytime someone sees they've got two reviews that are five out of five, those are going to get discredited, because what does that really mean? Was that just mom and dad that went and left a good review for them on the website or on Google to make sure they're good? But again, it's about differentiation, it's about showing them that you're good at what you do and absolutely people that have good practices that have a lot of reviews that are a high quality, I'd say at least four point five and better, it makes a substantial impact to the performance of their account.
Howard: In my lifetime, the first president I was really aware of in high school was Jimmy Carter and then it was Reagan and then Bush, the first Bush and all that. But the most popular president in my lifetime was Ronald Reagan and 40% of America couldn't stand them. I mean if you were The Gipper and he was tall and handsome and he was nice and all that, something like that, and four out of ten Americans, they couldn't stand the guy. So why do these dentists who have two thousand active patients, why do they freak out when someone gives them one bad review? Are dentist just more fragile than- Look at athletes. How many times have you gone to an Utah Jazz game and somebody booed a player? They don't start crying. They don't freak out. They don't even lose their mindset of the game and some of these players, I would just sit there thinking, "My God, if that guy was a dentist or a physician or a lawyer, he'd run off the field crying."
Jacob: You know, it is interesting. I would say the level of sensitivity is a little higher in the dental industry, but not much. You'd be surprised. Most owners take these things very seriously and because most business owners, we associate our self-worth with our business, and so when someone makes an attack on the business, we feel like someone's devaluing us as a human being. Not only can I personally relate with that, but I think most entrepreneurs and business owners can. But yeah, we do see a little higher sensitivity in the dental industry, and it does make an impact. You get too many negative reviews and you've got a three point eight out of five stars compared to everyone else that's at four point eight, you're going to lose business because of that. So it does matter.
Howard: I think that was the biggest takeaway on back on the- Who fired Steve Jobs?
Jacob: The one that fired Steve Jobs-
Howard: It was `John Sculley. And it was really, really interesting. John Scully, who came from Coca Cola was just an amazing manager and everything, and after Steve jobs died and all that stuff, he gave a very interesting interview and he said the one thing that he never realized is that he'd always been in companies like Coca Cola that were started a hundred years ago, but he said, now looking back, companies who are started and being ran by their founder, it is such an emotional connection. And firing Steve, it was like a death of a child. It was like his baby died and he was fired, and if he would have known how emotional a founding father is of his company, he said he would have handled Steve Jobs completely differently and maybe would have kept them at the helm. He just kept going at it as an analytical business decision and he didn't realize that founding fathers have such a, like you just said, an emotional connection. Their whole identity is their business, their family farm, what they do and it really is very, very emotional. And so what questions am I not smart enough to ask you? What are you sitting there wondering that I should have asked you?
Jacob: We have addressed it from a couple of different angles, but I think one of the questions, especially in the dental industry that I see, is the fear, the scarcity mindset and the fear that prevents the owners of these dental practices for making the decisions that actually allow them to grow this into the business that they'd really like it to be. That's the part that's the most interesting to me, and that's what I see more in this industry than I do in a lot of other ones.
Howard: Interesting. So Utah has two dental schools. I'm in Arizona, we have two dental schools. These kids are coming out with a lot of debt. If some young kid was graduating dental school in Salt Lake City or Mesa, Arizona or Gilbert and they got $400,000 in student loans and they said, "Dental school just teach you the basics. I need to advance my training and learn say Invisalign or placing implants or sleep apnea or botox or all of these things." Where are you seeing the supply and demand curve? What areas would you say, "Hey, this is what everybody's looking for on the Internet. It's worth more money to learn how to fill this demand than say this demand." Are there any areas that you think are hotter than others?
Jacob: It does depend by industry and I'm a big believer in kind of focusing on the areas that you're the most passionate about and then just being really successful within that because you're going to be more fulfilled and there's plenty of money to be made in any particular category. What's disappointing to me that I see happening in the dental industry right now is that they are- They're coming out of school, they've got a ton of debt and there is a lot private equity money going into this industry in consolidation and owning a lot of these practices and given what appears to be fairly lucrative salaries and stability to these new dentists and I think a lot of people are just selling themselves short on it. I'm taking the easy way out because I'm too scared to actually go for it and make this big, and that's the part that probably the most disappointing to me. Start with the areas that you're the most passionate about. Just be the best at it. Use digital marketing to get market saturation and really gain market share and then you can look to expand if you want from there, but usually that's with the new office. You can be really good in just a couple of areas and dominate your market with that. I think that that's an appropriate way to go. Like I said, I see too many people that are selling out and going through these consolidated practices where they're just becoming an employee after all this effort. And I would say just have the courage to go for it, own your own practice, grow it, make it happen.
Howard: And all I'll say on this is the most amazing part of me being fifty-five and having grandchildren is the fact that I've seen every rodeo twice. I mean when I got to school, orthodontic centers of America was rolling up orthodontic offices. They were the only one that ever made it to the New York Stock Exchange. They had a billion dollar evaluation, there were a dozen on Nasdaq. They all imploded, then they disappeared. Now they're all back and I just want to remind you of two things. They're all back and Wall Street won't touch any of them because they turned out to be totally toxic assets the last time, and Wall Street doesn't have any faith in these DSOs. The only people that have faith in DSOs are the dentist working for them. The only people who talk about dental insurance and make them a God are the dentists. I mean, when you go to buy an iPhone, they don't say, "I'm sorry, Medicare doesn't cover iPhones." When you go to buy a car, the car dealer doesn't say, "What kind of car insurance do you have? Who will be paying for this car?" And then you go into dentistry, only 5% of dentists walk in there, look at your total mouth, X-rays, do a complete exam, and then present you the whole treatment and they don't care if it's five thousand, ten thousand or a fifty thousand dollar double arch All on 4. They just tell you this what you need. And they'll do a case like that every week. I mean the average American buys thirteen new cars between the ages of sixteen and seventy-four, and every time their car turns five years old, they go to a dealer. The median average price of a new car in America is thirty-three thousand five hundred. They finance it over five years. And then that same person walks into a dental office, you just see a whole mouth full of disease. And you say, "Well, your insurance company will only cover a thousand dollars, so even though there's a forest fire, let me just point to one tooth, that's the tooth that's the most messed up today, and let's just adore the dental insurance company. Let's forget about selling you new car." It'd be like you going in to buy a new car and they say, "Jacob, slow down, bud. We'll take your old car and this year we'll replace the wheels and then next year we'll replace the transmission and then next year we'll-" Like screw all that. I want a brand new car. The dentists are the ones that make the insurance companies Gods. It's not anybody else. They're the ones that are making this something that's not.
And if you think you're in dental school, why did all those DSOs go down the first time? Because when the orthodontist sold his practice to Lazare of Orthodontic Centers in America, Lazare said, "Okay, you got to work for me for three years." At three years and one nanosecond, they all quit. They hated it. When these dental students are in dental school, they think, "I'm just going to go work for a big DSO." Dude, if that's a great decision, then obviously you can go give me a list of all the people that graduated from dental school five years ago that are all still happily working there, but that's not what we see. They all quit after a year, so if everybody that sells to a DSO quits working for them the second they can get out of their contract, as soon as their contract expires, they're gone. If everybody that graduated from dental school two years ago has already worked for three different DSOs- If your idea is so right, then how come it's so wrong for everyone that went before you? What is so special about you where you think you're gonna be happy and the bottom line is just human nature. Humans don't like checks and balances. They don't like transparency. They want to leave their parents' home because they want their own apartment, because they don't want to listen to mom and dad's curfews or laws or rules. It's just the nature of a human. A human wants to live in their own bat cave and their own bat station on their own bat channel and the minute the office manager at a DSO starts telling you, "Jacob, 35% of your new customers should be getting scaling and root planing," and you're like, "Shut up. You're not even a dentist." That'd be like saying 35% of the people that visit their physician have diabetes. I mean, how stupid is that? You know who has diabetes? People who have diabetes. It's not a percentage of your last one hundred new customers. It's a disease.
So I tell these kids, if you want to be happy, at the end of the day, the very end of the day, you're going to own your own practice and you're also not going to be a partner. Half of the marriages fail, and when you go decide that you're going to get married with one of your dental school classmates because it will be more safe and less risky because two heads are greater than mine. Yeah, exactly. Two heads are going to fight until there's an ugly schism and a breakup, and then when are you the most happy? When you own your own house, you own your own office, you're the top dog, you're the top predator of the food chain. You only do what you want to do. You don't have to do anything you're not going to do.
But hey, I called you, you did not call me. I'm a big fan of yours, Jacob Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of disruptiveadvertising.com. Jacob, thank you so much for spending an hour of your life today with my homies, trying to tell dentists who really only want to learn information on root canals and bone grafting, and taking their head and saying, "Hey, you got to be a businessman too. You just can't do dentistry. You got to understand the business of dentistry." Thanks for coming on the show and talking the business of dentistry with me.
Jacob: Howard, thanks for having me.
Howard: All right buddy, and I hope that you should get on Dentaltown and answer some of those questions because Dentaltown's got fifty categories, root canals, fillings, crowns, but under marketing and social media marketing, there's so many questions and when you read the questions, you'll realize they have eight years of Math and Science and Physics and zero business training. So on that note, I hope you have a rocking hot day.
Jacob: Hey, thanks so much.