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  1. 1. 2004 Academy of General Dentistry OMRI Report Organizational Marketing Research Initiative Kerr & Downs Research
  2. 2. 2004 Academy of General Dentistry OMRI Report Organizational Marketing Research Initiative Kerr & Downs Research Project Director: Phillip E. Downs, Ph.D. 2992 Habersham Drive - Tallahassee, FL 32309 Phone: (850) 906-3111 Fax: (850) 906-3112 pd@kerr-downs.com
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Section A Executive Summary & Strategic Recommendations Section B Member & Nonmember Results 1 Value of Membership 11 AGD vs. ADA 18 Benefits of Membership 28 Professional Concerns 32 Interest in New Products & Services 44 Publications 48 Image 55 What Makes AGD Unique 60 Continuing Education 68 Sources of Continuing Education 73 Tracking Continuing Education 75 CE Rules & Regulations 81 Value of FAGD & MAGD 88 Advocacy 97 Growth of AGD 105 Marketing AGD, General Dentistry, and Dentists to Patients 110 AGD Leadership Issues 113 Professional Attitudes 119 Profile Section C Annual Meeting Results 1 AGD Annual Meeting Experience 6 Changes to Annual Meeting 7 Governance 9 Topics 14 Positioning of Annual Meeting 26 Most Critical Attributes of Annual Meeting 34 Profile of Attendees & Non-Attendees
  4. 4. Section A
  5. 5. OMRI STUDY Executive Summary The Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) Organizational Marketing Research Initiative (OMRI) included two major studies: • A broad-based image and needs assessment study of AGD members and non-members • A study focusing on AGD’s Annual Meeting Summary results for each study are presented in the Executive Summary. Strategic recommendations based on research results are also presented in this document. Member & Non-Member Study Value of Membership The value of AGD membership can be summarized as moderate to high. Some findings indicate members derive high value, while other findings do not. Significant findings are summarized below. • 93% of members stated that AGD offers day-to-day value • 87% of members claimed there is prestige in belonging to AGD • 65% of members indicated there is value in having an AGD plaque on their office wall • 19% of members said AGD benefits exceed costs; 17% claimed the opposite • 36% of non-members reported that benefits of their association exceeded costs1 • 34% of members gave AGD an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale for return on investment • 42% of non-members gave their most valued association an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale for return on investment • 61% of members would definitely recommend AGD membership to young general dentists • 52% of non-members would definitely recommend ADA membership and 15% would definitely recommend AGD membership to young general dentists Benefits of Membership Benefits most valued by members during their first five years of practice: • 77% Tips on running a business • 66% Convenient access to CE • 57% Finding a mentor or coach • 56% Opportunities to meet other dentists to discuss issues • 55% Learning to build a dental team • 51% Techniques for motivating and rewarding staff 1 More often than not, this association was the ADA. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 1
  6. 6. OMRI STUDY Benefits most valued by experienced members and non-members: Non- Members Members 74% 73% Convenient access to CE 60% 32% Computerized tracking of CE 58% 69% Tips on running a business 52% 58% Techniques for motivating and rewarding staff 47% 52% Tips for decreasing risk of litigation 46% 60% Learning to comply with government regulations 45% 46% Opportunities to meet other dentists to discuss issues Most pressing professional problems: Non- Members Members 38% 28% Finding competent staff 37% 27% Running an efficient and profitable business 33% 22% Third party payment 30% 12% Keeping up with technological changes in clinical techniques 28% 17% Marketing to fee-for-service patients 19% 16% Motivating and rewarding staff 19% 27% Dealing with patients AGD Image • 46% of members thought of AGD as innovative – 38% of non-members felt this way • 83% of members perceived AGD as caring and compassionate in reviewing CE and membership requirements • 73% of members and 31% of non-members reported that AGD is relevant to general dentists interested in life-long learning • 65% of members did not think of AGD as an elite study club • 37% of members believed AGD’s product portfolio was too narrow • 58% of members and 48% of non-members perceived AGD as a leader in dental technology • 77% of members viewed AGD as a leader in treatment protocol Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 2
  7. 7. OMRI STUDY Continuing Education • Most important in selecting continuing education providers: Non- Members Members 67% 67% Held near by – no air travel 57% 39% Participation courses offered 55% 43% No commercial bias 48% 42% Low cost 54% 47% Big “brand” name speakers 46% 31% Intense, high-level courses Earning a lot of CEs in one day was more important to non-members • Most preferred delivery methods for continuing education: Non- Members Members 85% 80% Local one-day seminars/conferences 70% 50% Hands-on courses 65% 43% Regional two to three day conferences 63% 44% Local one to two hour seminars 57% 40% Local half-day seminars 56% 30% National two to three day conferences • Most common sources of continuing education: Non- Members Members 63% 7% AGD 44% 28% ADA 39% 26% Universities • Attitudes toward Fellowship: • 64% of members and 27% of non-members perceived FAGD/MAGD as extremely valuable to dentists Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 3
  8. 8. OMRI STUDY Attitudes toward Fellowship (continued) • 26% of members and 10% of non-members viewed FAGD/MAFGD as extremely valuable to patients • 46% of members agreed that one should be able to obtain Fellowship through home study and Internet courses • 72% of members disagreed that one should be able to obtain Fellowship without taking an examina- tion • 63% of members claimed attending the Fellowship ceremony should be optional • A plurality (47%) of members believed that FAGD/MAGD should be certifications rather than awards or designations § Attitudes toward CE tracking and regulations: • 26% of members rated AGD’s CE tracking as excellent • 29% agreed they had trouble getting CE credits recorded with AGD • 94% of members agreed that AGD should establish systems so CE hours can be forwarded seamlessly to AGD from all providers • 54% of members agreed that AGD should accept CE courses taken prior to one’s membership • 59% of members agreed that AGD should give credit for residencies completed prior to AGD membership • 72% of members and 48% of non-members believed AGD value would decrease if 75-hour membership requirement were removed • 64% of members agreed that AGD should have 1 set of rules for accepting CE for Fellowship, from DART, for membership maintenance, from institutes, etc. • 31% of members perceived AGD’s rules for accepting CE for Fellowship as arbitrary and rigid • 41% of members reported that AGD should focus more on meeting general dentists’ professional needs and less on rules and regulations affecting membership and CE Advocacy • 52% of members and 50% of non-members thought AGD should increase advocacy and represen- tation efforts • 24% of members and 15% of non-members thought AGD should work more independently of ADA on advocacy issues important to general dentists • 78% of members wanted AGD to focus on state-of-the-art CE, while only 22% wanted it to focus more on advocacy • 47% of members thought AGD should enhance its advocacy efforts while continuing to partner with ADA • 75% of members wanted AGD to lobby states to accept licensure by credentials Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 4
  9. 9. OMRI STUDY New Products & Services Percentages of members and non-members who were extremely interested in new products and services from AGD were as follows: Non- Members Members 70% 17% Online, interactive CE transcript service 46% NA Boot camp for young dentists 36% NA Online support to assist members in finding ways to fulfill 75-hour membership requirement 34% 22% Online education 32% 24% Training resources for dental staffs 32% 15% Relicensure tracks 31% 22% Online archives of Journal of General Dentistry (favorite journal for non-members) 28% 19% Business management courses • 56% of members agreed that AGD should devote resources to creating virtual communities among general dentists • 61% of women members reported they would attend AGD’s Annual Meeting more frequently if there were a track on prospering in dentistry as a woman • 42% of members maintained that AGD should develop a patients’ bill of rights Growth Strategies • 68% of members indicated that AGD should focus only on attracting general dentists who were committed to a requirement of life-long learning • 61% of members preferred that AGD be positioned as the “go to” resource for general dentists, legisla- tors, and regulators • 88% of members believed that AGD should have a greater presence in dental schools in an effort to enhance recruiting of young members • 88% of members agreed that AGD should offer dental students real-life experiences and insight into dental practices • 71% of members agreed that the most effective way of getting dental school students interested in joining was to offer them practice management courses and tips • 62% of members reported they would serve as coaches to younger AGD members • 44% of members would pay a promotional assessment for an Oral Health/AGD Marketing Campaign – typical contributions ranged from $50 to $100 annually Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 5
  10. 10. OMRI STUDY Growth Strategies (continued) • 52% of members were willing to serve on an AGD Speakers Bureau • 82% of members were willing to place oral health promotional materials developed by AGD in their waiting rooms – 49% claimed they would personally distribute materials to patients • 86% of members maintained they actively and consistently discuss the link between oral health and overall health with their patients Publications • 79% of members named the Journal of General Dentistry a “must read” • A plurality of members (42%) wanted the Journal of General Dentistry delivered in print only • 74% of members indicated that AGD Impact was a “must read” • 49% of members preferred that AGD Impact be delivered in online version only The most valuable journals/publications to members and non-members were: Non- Members Members 72% 28% Journal of General Dentistry 59% 57% Journal of the American Dental Association 44% 42% Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry 26% 24% Practical Procedures & Aesthetic Dentistry • 75% of non-members named Dental Town as one of the most valuable publications compared to only 38% of members • 74% of members named AGD Impact as one of the most valuable publications compared to only 10% of non-members Leadership 76% of members agreed that AGD staff is responsive to members’ needs 56% of members agreed that AGD’s board is responsive to members’ needs – 38% were uncertain Involvement • 75% of members rarely if ever get involved with AGD • 75% cited time and distance barriers to involvement • 37% claimed they have never been asked to get involved • 30% reported that AGD leadership is cliquish Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 6
  11. 11. OMRI STUDY Profile 55% of members and 80% of non-members had solo practices Typical members and non-members had been practicing for 17 and 16 years, respectively The typical member was 44, while the typical non-member was 47 4 out of 5 members and non-members were male 4 out of 5 members and non-members were white AGD Annual Meeting Study AGD Annual Meeting Experience Reasons for attending the Annual Meeting: • 50% Pursue high quality CE opportunity • 45% Participate in AGD governance • 38% Receive FAGD/MAGD Preferring to attend meetings closer to home was the number one reason for not attending. 62% of attendees claimed the AGD meeting was better than other meetings. Key benefits received from the AGD Annual Meeting were: • 81% High quality CE • 57% Camaraderie and networking • 55% Free lectures • 53% Wide range of CE • 49% Earn credits toward Fellowship Tactics that will increase attendance included: • 39% More ½ day lectures • 37% More participation courses • 27% Greater price differentials for members vs. non-members • 26% Discussions on equipment purchases, hiring practice management consultants, buying & selling practices Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 7
  12. 12. OMRI STUDY Changes that will enhance the Annual Meeting included: • 34% Repeat popular courses • 25% Offer more free CE • 21% Increase the number and variety of multi-day hands-on courses Governance • 49% of attendees felt that governance activities should not be conducted at the Annual Meeting • 48% of attendees claimed the Annual Meeting was too focused on governance – 15% said it was too focused on family vacations • 27% of attendees would definitely still attend if governance activities were eliminated from the meeting Annual Meeting Topics Demand for courses/topics was significantly segmented. Most popular topics for attendees and non- attendees were: Beginning Level Attendees Non-Attendees Orthodontics Orthodontics Implants/restorative aspects Dental forensics Dental forensics Implants/restorative aspects Intermediate Level Attendees Non-Attendees Medical emergencies Implants/restorative aspects Esthetics Health promotion/wellness nutrition Oral pathology/oral medicine Oral pathology/oral medicine Advanced Level Attendees Non-Attendees Operative dentistry Health promotion/wellness nutrition Esthetics Restorative dentistry Restorative dentistry Operative dentistry Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 8
  13. 13. OMRI STUDY Incubator tracks in the following areas were most desired: • Cosmetic Dentistry • Surgical phase of implants • Orthodontia • Anesthesia Positioning of Annual Meeting • 42% of attendees and 16% of non-attendees would attend every year if the meeting were targeted to the entire dental team • 46% of attendees and 42% of non-attendees thought the Annual Meeting should be positioned as CE and a family vacation • 80% of attendees maintained that AGD should continue to partner with other dental associations for its Annual Meeting • 70% of attendees believed the Annual Meeting should continue to be held in family-oriented destina- tions • 76% of attendees indicated that some courses should be free with registration while others should require a separate fee • 64% of members, but only 34% of non-attendees preferred national annual meetings over local and regional meetings • 22% of members agreed that AGD’s Annual Meeting should be held in conjunction with a major regional meeting • 54% of attendees agreed that AGD should offer significantly more CE outside the Annual Meeting • 57% of attendees believed there should be less emphasis on governance at the Annual Meeting • 54% of attendees indicated that there should be more emphasis on participation courses • 52% of attendees wanted more CE courses taught by specialists • Attendees preferred the Annual Meeting be held in the summer, while non-attendees preferred spring and fall dates • 47% of attendees and 45% of non-attendees preferred vacation-oriented cities such as Orlando, Las Vegas, and New Orleans Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 9
  14. 14. OMRI STUDY Research Methods Member & Non-Member Study 12 on-site and telephone focus groups with members and non-members 1,166 telephone and internet surveys with members 311 telephone, internet, and mail surveys with non-members Annual Meeting Study 2 on-site focus groups with attendees 28 on-site in-depth interviews with exhibitors 182 internet and telephone surveys with attendees 387 internet and telephone interviews with non-attendees Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 10
  15. 15. OMRI STUDY Strategic Implications from the Academy of General Dentistry’s Organizational Marketing Research Initiative January, 2005 Introduction The following strategic recommendations emanate from one-on-one interviews with AGD leadership and staff, focus groups with members and non-members, and internet and telephone interviews with members and non-members. Enhance the Image of General Dentists The most pressing issue facing AGD is to enhance the image of its general dentist members. An ancillary element of this strategy is to enhance the prestige associated with achieving FAGD and MAGD designa- tions. To finance a promotional campaign designed to enhance the image of general dentist members, a promo- tional assessment of $100 per member should be applied annually. With the $2 to $3 million generated by this assessment, AGD should hire a marketing/advertising/pubic relations firm to leverage AGD’s promo- tional investment. Details for the promotional campaign should be developed by the firm AGD hires, but should focus on some of the following: • Developing collateral materials for dental offices • Generating paid and unpaid media coverage • Creating talking points for AGD’s media representatives • Creating events and partnerships to promote AGD’s name, logo, and tag line Reposition the Annual Meeting AGD must energize the Annual Meeting and attract more attendees and exhibitors. The former, of course, will attract the latter. AGD faces two diametrically opposed options: • Change the meeting to more closely resemble other annual meetings • Tweak the existing model The following tactical recommendations are more in line with modifying the existing model. Kerr & Downs Research recommends a course of action that includes some immediate changes that should have impact based on survey results, and some more drastic changes that can be implemented over time as the organiza- tion prepares itself governmentally and attitudinally for transition. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 11
  16. 16. OMRI STUDY Reposition the Annual Meeting (continued) Immediate issues include the following: • Stress high quality continuing education – attempt to distinguish AGD’s meeting from other options through speaker selection, course offerings, and promotional materials. • Offer a significant amount of free continuing education. A significant competitive challenge is for the Annual Meeting to be perceived by members and non-members as a cost competitive alternative to the many other meetings and continuing education options in the market place. • Continue to offer a wide range of continuing education. The combination of low cost, high quality, and broad offerings will position AGD favorably in the continuing education market. “Brand name” speakers (clinical and non-clinical; dentistry-related and non dentistry-related) will help convince members and non-members that AGD is worth the time and money. Partnerships with businesses must be developed to defray costs of top speakers. • Increase offerings in short courses (1 to 2 hours and ½ day courses) and participation courses. Also increase offerings in multi-day, hands-on courses. • Develop 4 basic types of educational tracks: o Business management track o Clinical education track o Dental team track o FAGD/MAGD track Allow attendees to sign up for tracks during registration. Of course, some courses/seminars will apply to more than 1 track. • Offer at least the following incubator tracks within the clinical education track: o Cosmetic Dentistry o Surgical phase of implants o Orthodontia o Anesthesia • Repeat popular courses throughout the meeting. • Keep positioning the Annual Meeting as a family vacation option, but add social activities for singles/ attendees who do not bring their families. • Select first tier cities for the Annual Meeting and select cities that have not held one of the major dental meetings within a year of AGD’s meeting date. Certain large venues, for example New York City, Los Angeles (not Anaheim or Long Beach), and Chicago can be exceptions to this recommen- dation. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 12
  17. 17. OMRI STUDY Reposition the Annual Meeting (continued) • Keep the Annual Meeting in July/August for at least the next 3 to 5 years. • Market the Annual Meeting aggressively within a 100 mile radius of the venue. • Enhance networking opportunities: o Work with AGD constituencies to market “local” social gatherings at the Annual Meeting. o Work with regions to market “regional” gatherings at the Annual Meeting. o Develop formal organization and activities at the Annual Meting to make all attendees (especially first time attendees) feel comfortable and wanted. • Enhance business opportunities for vendors: o Hold a shorter, more intense trade show – 2 days is sufficient. o Provide and encourage opportunities for vendors to meet with general dentists outside the regularly scheduled continuing education and trade show hours. o Hold continuing education courses adjacent to the trade show (unlike Anaheim). o Have no overlap between trade show and continuing education program. o Facilitate vendor-sponsored technology demonstrations during the continuing education program. • Utilize aggressive and personalized marketing: o Send electronic promotional materials repeatedly to prospects. o Do not send printed brochures unless requested. o Follow-up with telephone calls - have “talking points” available for callers. Long-term strategic recommendations emanating from OMRI findings include the following: • Remove all governance activities from the Annual Meeting. • De-emphasize FAGD/MAGD activities at the Annual Meeting. • Give the short-term changes three years to have an impact, then if not successful, move the Annual Meeting to the spring or fall. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 13
  18. 18. OMRI STUDY Assist Members in Running their Businesses While members have come to expect AGD to provide excellent clinical education, members have more difficulty with day-to-day issues related to running their practices such as customer service, attracting fee- for-service patients, dealing with third party payers, marketing, human relations, finance, strategic planning, etc. Specific tactics that can help members with these issues and enhance the image of AGD with non- members include the following: • Provide discounted HR, marketing, finance, etc. expertise. • Develop customer service training modules. • Create a job board for the entire dental team. • Create a purchasing cooperative. • Develop “boot camps” that are positioned as mini MBAs. • Place greater emphasis on practice management issues at the Annual Meeting. • Create a listserver for practice management issues. Broaden AGD’s Product Portfolio Create new products, services, and events. Possibilities based on OMRI findings include the following: • Develop an online interactive CE transcript service. • Start a practice management listserver (also covered elsewhere). • Develop a business management boot camp (also covered elsewhere). • Expand online CE opportunities. • Offer regional CE events in partnership with AGD constituencies. • Offer online support for fulfilling 75-hour membership requirement. • Offer relicensure tracks. • Offer CE tracks for FAGD/MAGD at the Annual Meeting. • Offer incubator tracks at the Annual Meeting (also covered elsewhere). • Offer a Women’s General Dentist Forum. • Develop a new meeting focused entirely on governance. • Develop two new annual 2-day meetings (in the spring and fall) with each focusing on one of the following: o FAGD/MAGD track o Incubator track o Dental team track o Business management track In broadening continuing education opportunities, it should be noted that segmentation must be the norm not the exception. Content, delivery methods, pricing, and promotional tactics should vary based on specific membership segments’ needs. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 14
  19. 19. OMRI STUDY Increase AGD’s Presence in Dental Schools AGD’s long-run viability is dependent upon being more successful in attracting young general dentists. AGD has several programs such as Fellow Track and mentoring that already reach out to young general dentists and dental students. Yet focus group discussions consistently revealed a need for AGD to have a greater presence in dental schools. Additional efforts to reach out to dental students include the following: • Establish coaches (experienced AGD members) in dental school towns. • Sponsor events, tables, meetings, socials, etc. on campuses. • Market more aggressively to individual students including emails and printed materials from head- quarters and telephone calls by local AGD members – there should be at least 1 personal contact with each graduating dental student every year. • Offer a boot camp to dental students focusing on issues critical to new general dentists. Position AGD as the “Go To Resource” for Life-Long Learning for General Dentists Functioning as THE “Go To Resource” involves producing some original educational content, a greater emphasis on being a gatekeeper and facilitator of content, and constant and consistent messaging and customer service. Part of this strategy involves image control. This includes reviewing AGD’s logo and tag line to ensure that they are appropriate for the direction and image AGD wishes to pursue. Second, AGD must establish tight controls over use of the logo and tagline. Each should be used consis- tently and pervasively. All materials including the website, all CE programs, all events including the Annual Meeting, CE tracking efforts, all listservers, all aspects of the Annual Meeting, all communication with the public, member library, all constituents’ websites, all constituents’ materials, etc. should consistently and pervasively utilize AGD’s logo and tag line. A single AGD staff member should be charged with ensuring consistent and pervasive use of AGD’s logo and tag line. AGD should play a stronger role in generating “AGD brand” content. This content can be produced by AGD and produced by speakers and companies that partner with AGD. AGD must not only play a stronger role in developing its own brand of content, but it must also play a stronger role as a gatekeeper for dental education content. The ultimate objective is for general dentists to skip Google and go directly to AGD’s website when seeking information. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 15
  20. 20. OMRI STUDY Change the orientation of rules and regulations for membership and continuing education from policing and restrictions to advancing members’ interests This strategy focuses less on changing actual rules and regulations than changing AGD’s attitude about regulations and rules and how they are enforced. For example, the 75-hour membership requirement need not be removed, but it can be positioned in a manner so that it in essence becomes superfluous. Nearly all general dentists are required by their states to obtain enough continuing education hours annually that will qualify them for AGD membership. Altering AGD’s policeman role can gain goodwill for the association while fostering a continuing education environment. Specific adjustments to AGD’s rules and regulations include: • Accepting virtually all continuing education prior to AGD membership for FAGD/MAGD designa- tions. • Accepting virtually all continuing education from residencies taken prior to AGD membership. • Accepting virtually all continuing education from nearly all providers. • Establishing 1 set of rules for accepting continuing education. • Permitting FAGD/MAGD to be achieved entirely through internet and home study. • Removing the requirement of attending the FAGD/MAGD ceremony. Support ADA’s advocacy efforts – seek opportunities to protect general dentists with & without ADA Part of the effort to strengthen AGD’s image should come through advocacy efforts in behalf of general dentists. AGD should continue to work with ADA and seek opportunities to protect general dentists when ADA’s efforts are not sufficiently targeted to general dentists. Advocacy work, like nearly any product or service, is part tangible, part perceptual. AGD should tirelessly position itself in communications to members, non-members, and the media as taking a leading role in joint advocacy efforts with the ADA. Consistent and pervasive communication of AGD’s efforts, positions on issues, and legislative/regulatory successes must be synthesized and distributed to members, non-members, and the media. Bullet point summaries (talking points) should be the currency of AGD’s advocacy commu- nication. The impact of AGD’s advocacy efforts on members can be strengthened by mimicking methods of labor unions. Staffing, organizing, funding, and “acting” (us vs. them) as unions can strengthen a sense of solidarity among general dentists. It is “us against them”: general dentists vs. specialists, general dentists vs. third party payers, general dentists vs. regulators, general dentists vs. legislators, etc. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 16
  21. 21. OMRI STUDY Enhance the Value Proposition of Membership/Establish Emotional Ties with Members All of the preceding recommendations are designed to increase the value proposition of membership. Broadening the product portfolio, helping members run their businesses, removing arbitrary membership and continuing education barriers, repositioning the Annual Meeting, etc. are all designed to add value to mem- bership. As stated in the previous recommendation, all products and services have a tangible component and a perceptual component. Americans were convinced to pay more for a middle of the road Swedish vodka (Absolut) because of creative advertising and packaging. Americans became so convinced through years of marketing that Volvo was the safest car that young drivers who were not concerned about safety shunned the brand necessitating a new line of vehicles and marketing targeting younger drivers. What AGD says to members (and non-members and the media) is just as important as what it offers to members through its broadened product portfolio. In today’s fast-paced, media-laden environment, saying less and saying it more frequently is important. So is establishing relationships with members. AGD must transition from a one-way communication model to a two-way communication model with members. A two-way communication model requires that AGD offer value to members for their feedback. The objec- tive is to establish a relationship of mutual benefit and trust, and to establish meaningful interfaces with members. A two-way communication model must be centrally organized so AGD is consistent in how it interacts with members. In every interface, AGD’s focus should be on providing benefit to members, not on selling members the newest CE program, book, or DVD. The importance of establishing emotional ties with members is demonstrated by the following figures from the OMRI study: • 75% of members rarely or ever get involved with AGD. • Three-fourths of members cite time and distance as barriers to involvement. • 37% claim they have never been asked to get involved. • 30% maintain that AGD leadership is cliquish. • 54% state that AGD is present or past oriented rather than future oriented. • 41% want AGD to be less concerned about rules and regulations and more concerned about providing value. These members are not strong advocates of AGD – they experience membership from a distance. They are detached, unemotional. AGD’s challenge is to engage these members. New and enhanced products, services, and events can help. More meaningful interfaces between AGD and these members can help. Changes in AGD’s attitude regarding membership and continuing education rules and regulations can help. Being a stronger and more visible advocate for general dentists can help. Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 17
  22. 22. Section B