Last month I attended the ADHA meeting for the first time. Admission #1: I did not know what to expect. Due to my experiences and interests, I have always gravitated more towards digital technologies and equipment rather than hand instruments & preventive products. So, I strode into the exhibit hall with wide eyes and keen interest in what I might find.
It wasn’t long before I met Nevi. I instantly became enamoured. Admission #2: I wasn’t enamoured with Nevi’s design, ergonomics, or other features. Frankly I’m not well-versed enough in scalers to make a real comparison between them. I was drawn however to Hu-Friedy’s marketing presence for Nevi at the show. Admission #3: I don’t work for Hu-Friedy, nor am I affiliated with the company in any way. I simply like their campaign for this product and wanted to point out some of the reasons why.
First, although a variation on a theme (the Travelocity Gnome comes to mind), I haven’t really seen this concept executed that well in dental. Look at Nevi in the photo on this page…how can you resist? I couldn’t and had to have my picture taken with him. Of course, the campaign didn’t stop there or at the booth. Naturally there was a post card to tell me to “friend” Nevi on his Facebook page. Yet, they took the integration a step further. You can host Nevi on his tour around the country. By doing so, the host gets some free stuff. The company gets a written request of why the host deserves to be chosen as well as some photos of the host & their team with Nevi in different locales all around the nation. Now, we’re getting somewhere (yes, pun intended). The personalization of a product in a…well…crowded category is one thing. The integration of the show activity and the personalization with social media is another. Extending it to a higher level of engagement with the prospect and/or customer starts to make it exciting. Add to that the charity element (the company is donating money to a scholarship fund for clinical education for each new state Nevi visits), and now you have yourself a winner. Good media integration, great prospect/customer engagement, a dash of solid corporate citizenry, and a cute promotional icon turn a campaign that could have easily been “here are X features and benefits that make our scaler better than theirs” into a real marketing delight. Kudos to Hu-Friedy and Nevi!
We don’t see that much truly clever and effective marketing in dental. We should. There are enough good minds and products in our industry to support some excellent campaigns. Let’s challenge ourselves to do better. I can’t wait to meet the next great campaign.