Last week I was sitting in my shed [it’s where I work] at about 8.30 in the evening having just finished writing a report. By 8.50 I had purchased 2 personalised registration numbers and a watch! Anybody who knows me will know that one of my pet hates are personalised registration numbers as I consider them pretentious and exclusively for vain, daft people with more brass than sense and yet, I did not just buy one, I crazily bought two! Actually it’s worse… when I think about the watch purchase, as a general rule I seldom wear a watch, as they really annoy me and I already have one which I rarely wear. So what happened in that weird 20 minutes, what motivated me to make these unrelated purchases??
Well, I guess I was a 21st Century web victim. I saw something I could not resist, something I thought could make me happier. The proposition was presented to me in a format and in language that appealed to me. It spoke to me and said, ‘Actually Jonny old son, you are a long time dead and you deserve your own registration number and why not one for your darling wife too’. This purchase of the registration numbers was followed by a flood of excitement and more than a little giddiness, which prompted the watch purchase [which admittedly I have only worn twice since it arrived]. My life had changed in just 20 short minutes and so had some apparent long-held beliefs – it felt good for days.
So what has this got to do with dentistry in 2014? I firmly believe that the general public’s awareness of what dentistry can do in terms of well being, self confidence and, indeed, life-changing impacts is extremely low. I believe that dentistry can be made a spontaneous purchase, provided it engages with its audience at different levels at different times. Just imagine a web site that you visit at 21.50 on a dreary November Tuesday evening that tells you that you, too, can have a better, healthier smile, easily and painlessly. ‘Simply talk to one of our team now by clicking here and we will explain how easy, how gentle, how life-changing our dentistry can be’. Now, just imagine if you got to that web site because there was a link on the subscription site you had visited to buy a year’s subscription to your favourite car magazine, or were simply paying a mundane insurance bill, but you were bored, maybe, with life and you wanted something for you.