Specialization and Scale: How Crawford and O’Brien Dominated Dental Marketing


Markets and superheroes have one common thread – they are born from necessity. When Pat Crawford, a dentist in Kenosha Wisconsin, began researching dental marketing, he went with a big box, one size fits all marketing giant – Yellow Pages. At first, it appeared to be working, but Pat soon noticed a drop off in new client requests via contact form submissions and phone calls. The high monthly price commitment meant Pat’s marketing budget was exhausted with flat-lined growth. Instead of scaling and focusing on his business, his patient numbers were stagnant, until a conversation with his son would change both of their lives forever.

Pat’s son, Charles Crawford was entrepreneurial minded and attended a seminar about internet marketing while he was still in high school. Instead of asking for his father’s budget as a nepotistic entitlement, he meticulously planned and mapped out an internet marketing strategy based on principles and proven methods. Charles plan excited his father, who was ready for a change from the bureaucratic approach of a giant marketing corporation. Multiple catalysts created the perfect opportunity for Charles to debut his talents: parental trust, tired of sales reps empty promises, high monthly spends, low returns, and enthusiasm to actually grow. Within a few months Pat’s dental practice went from 5 new clients per month to 60, multiplying the value of his budget by 10x! The young student had now become the master, and Charles knew if he could help his father, there were others just like Pat who not only needed help, but demanded excellence. Word quickly spread, and Charles was inundated with requests and partnered with long-time friend Michael O’Brien to ensure a 100% success rate, as they guarantee success which is unheard of in a market known for churn and burn, empty promises, and lack luster ROI. This was the birth of Crawford and O’Brien, a full service digital marketing agency specializing specifically in the dentist vertical.

Principles Endure: Repeating the Marketing Process for Other Dentists


Michael and Charles experienced a flood of emotions. They had proven theories learned could be applied in the real word to help dentists receive more targeted website traffic and convert them into actual, paying clients. Hesitant to expand too quickly they promised themselves to only take on clients they feel they could truly help. This was the birth of their 100% success guarantee. As two young men with a track record of excellence in high school, college, music playing, and business awards, they took the pledge very seriously. It started off with one more dentist, then another. Slowly they built their castle, one brick at a time, as the great Og Mandino teaches in The Greatest Salesman in the World. Consultation requests, referrals and new inbound leads overwhelmed the small team of two, leading to an internal problem – scaling without compromising quality. Charles and Michael created their digital marketing agency to help dentists break free from the large, cold, “you’re just a number to us” mentality, and they were going to ensure if they hired it was based on ability and sincerity. The hirings they have made have allowed them to focus on the big picture, while ensuring day to day activities are not only met, but exceed dentist client’s expectations. Videos of employees vouching for the company’s culture, ethos, and work ethic can be seen by Darlene Oakley.

Speaking Engagements, Authority and Body of Work


Mere mortals become experts through mutual agreement. The expert agrees he knows what he is saying, and the listener acquiesces to their authority. In order to become a trusted marketing consultant within the dental industry, a certain level of professional, trust and rapport must be established. Charles Crawford has performed multiple interviews, and speaking engagements at the Dental Summit speaking on web design. He was also featured on CEO, LifeHack, Business, and dozens of other trusted publications. The youth of Charles Crawford and Michael O’Brien is an asset; when combining tactful strategies and focused exuberance, clients reap amazing results, as the attitude one takes determines the final outcome. Of course, any amount of press, media, or write-ups would fall on deaf ears if there was no track record of success, no public case studies. Crawford and O’Brien understood this principle, and applied it to their web design and digital marketing strategy. The backstory is critical to establish rapport and credibility. While Charles was solving his father’s problems, Michael was networking with other entrepreneurs, expanding his coding knowledge since high school. It is a natural partnership of two, young, like-minded winners. Impressive imagery of traffic increases, new leads, head shots, info-graphics, and color layout reveals web design which evokes confidence in the dental client prospect. Client testimonials and case studies are proof they are competent, and have done this before. Promotional efforts have helped dominate nearly all conversations online about dentist marketing, web design and SEO. The entire marketing strategy of Crawford and O’Brien is designed to answer these basic questions : who are you (can I trust you), have you done this before (for yourself and others), can you do it for me (doubts). By answering these conscious or unconscious objections, it forces the business owner to explicitly, and unashamedly become “naked”, in the sense of stating this is who we are, why we want your business, and why we can help you. Marketing is transparency in all levels. Charles and Michael lead by example, implementing these principles into their own web design and internet marketing promotions. Each dentist they take on must be willing to become great in all phases. Follow up reviews, web design, imagery, videos, and open-communication. The end result has been 100% success in every client since the agencies inception. Laser focus in the dental space has given nuanced knowledge, only available to those who seriously investigate this lucrative, hyper-competitive, and technical service industry. Other agencies attempt to be a jack of all trades, or focus on one aspect of internet marketing. Crawford and O’Brien know marketing isn’t doing just one activity, or as simple as building a basic boring, website, or ranking for one keyword. It’s a symphony of daily activities with the end goal of putting more patients in the chair of a dentist who loves what he does and just wants to do more of it. No amount of marketing can fix an insincere dentist, which is why the agency requires a thorough consultation process; if selected, dentists can expect to be part of the successful client portfolio.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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