Its a Womans World

Who wears the pants in the family?
When it comes to health care decisions, women do.

According to the Society for Women’s Health Research, a nonprofit foundation based in Washington, D.C., women make seventy-five percent of all the health care provider decisions in American families. Which means that if you’re marketing your dental practice primarily to males, you may be missing three-fourths of your audience.

To make sure you don’t overlook critical gender differences when designing your Web site or other marketing materials, keep these points in mind:

  •  Women make decisions differently than men. In general, men make decisions based on logical, linear thinking. They want the facts and nothing but the facts. In contrast, women put a lot more emphasis on feelings and emotions. They want to know that the experience of coming to you for their dental needs will be a pleasant and rewarding one.
  •  Women are in a hurry. Today’s women lead multiple roles, including wife, mother and businessperson. To reach busy women, your marketing materials should be straightforward and to the point, yet provide a sense of relaxation, simplicity and personal care.
  •  Women are more relationship-oriented than men. Women don’t care that your new titanium head tooth polisher (with rotating speed of 5,000 rpm) will clean their teeth faster than ever. Instead, they want to know that your receptionist will greet them warmly and by name, that you will treat their children with kid glove care and that you will take the time to make them feel relaxed and at ease in the dentist’s chair.
  •  Women value harmony and visual design. In general, women pay more attention to the look and feel of your marketing materials than men. That doesn’t mean you can ignore the content. Instead, your front page should be visually attractive, provide a sense of harmony and offer a careful balance between information and design.
  •  Women want to feel like part of a community. Men tend to view going to the dentist as a series of one-time events. Women see it as ongoing relationship with you and your practice. Therefore, your Web site needs to create a sense of community by reinforcing the key benefits for the consumer. For women, that means trust, comfort and respect for the patient.

Research also shows that women tend to refer more people by word of mouth. If they feel like a part of your dental practice community, they will be more likely to recommend you when friends are looking for a dentist. If nothing else, do not overlook the critical aspect of community when building your Web site.

A good way to learn more about these kinds of issues is by visiting successful Web sites that market specifically to women. You can learn a lot about key design and content elements from sites like,, and You can also pick up plenty of good ideas for how to interact with women on your site to create a sense of community.

If you’re a male dentist and your Web site makes perfect sense to you, have a female friend, family member or business associate check it out to make sure you’re speaking their language. After all, it would be a shame to lose potential clients simply because they’re from Venus and you’re from Mars.


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