What a Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment Can Teach You About Dental Marketing

August 23, 2018

While it may sound strange, the best dental marketing strategies have a lot in common with how bakers search for the ultimate dessert recipe.

For example, The Food Network recently undertook the ultimate cookie quest in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. As you might imagine, people tend to be pretty opinionated about what makes the best cookie.

The same is true in the dental marketing world. One dentist might swear by Facebook marketing. Another dentist might be beholden to Google advertising. Others stick to direct mail, radio, and other dental marketing strategies. With so many options, it’s easy for dentists to waste time and money jumping from tactic to tactic without finding their best dental marketing option.

What we can learn about dental marketing from baking cookies.

The answer to the perfect-cookie question isn’t simple. For example, some people want chewy cookies. Others want cookies that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Still, others prefer cookies that are crunchy all the way through.

In the end, the perfect cookie recipe is the one that gives the people who will be eating them the taste and texture they want. Dental marketing is no different.

Dentists need to find their perfect dental marketing recipe — the one that helps them build the practice they want.

In other words, first, dentists need to define their vision for their practice. Then, they need to plan and test their advertising recipe to help them attract the right patients to achieve their vision.

The first step to improving dental marketing.

Although the chocolate chip cookie experiment was branded as a search for the perfect recipe, The Food Network didn’t declare just one winner. In fact, they identified six perfect recipes. One was “perfect” for people who like cookies that are “incredibly tender.” Another was “perfect” for people who like cookies that are “good and crunchy on the outside but quite chewy inside,” and so on.

And the reality is you can have both great dental marketing and tasty cookies. In the end, the ultimate cookie quest left readers with several winning cookie recipes. At the end of the day, the perfect cookie depends on your taste.

That’s why the first step in improving your dental marketing is to identify your desired outcome with a particular campaign.

Do you want to attract more families for ongoing care?

Do you want to attract more high-value dental implant patients?

Do you want to get people looking for crowns?

You need to decide what you’re looking to do before you begin.

Tweaking your dental marketing campaigns to get better results.

In the baking world, matching recipes to your desired outcome is usually just called experimenting, tweaking, or adjusting a recipe to taste. Whatever you call it, the baker starts with a recipe or group of ingredients they know to work well together. The known recipe is your control group, like the control group in a scientific experiment looking to test a new medication against an established medication.

With dental marketing, the tweaking process is called split-testing. It works the same but with a marketing campaign that has been known to work before as your control group. From there, the practice adjusts variables and compares them to the results they get from the control group. If the results are better, the practice can redirect their budget to the ads that are performing best.

How to use split-testing to consistently improve dental marketing results.

With online dental marketing strategies, split testing is even easier than baking cookies. For example, to find the best cookie recipe you need to cook many full batches, wait until they’re fully cooked, and taste test them.

With dental marketing, you often only need a few clicks of the mouse to have multiple variations competing against each other.

For example, you could use split testing to test multiple target audiences for ads if you noticed a specific group of people responding well to an ad before. All you’d need to do is adjust the audience and compare the results of the ads with the adjusted audiences to the original ad. You could swap out ad copy, images, videos, landing pages, specific elements on landing pages, and more.

The key is to understand your goal, test relevant variables, and direct your ad spend to the best-performing ads. This is the exact process we use with our clients. While we may not end up with fresh-baked cookies using this approach, we can consistently send patients interested in teeth replacement solutions to each of our clients.

Have you used split-testing to improve your marketing results? Tell us about your best-performing ads in the comments or by sharing this post on social media! Be sure to tag us so we can thank you in public on Twitter, @DrivenDental, or on our Facebook page.

Need some help perfecting your dental marketing recipe? Book a free strategy session with us to talk about how to achieve your dental implant marketing goals.


Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.

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Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.