Toothpick - Behaviour Change in Dental Health
Toothpick is a marketplace for dentist appointments. Real-time inventory from hundreds of NHS and private dentists up and down the country, ready for would be patients to book in 3 clicks.
Before we started, consumers were scrambling to understand the dentistry system in the UK, especially those coming from abroad. What should you pay? Who can go NHS? What does private cost? UK dentists are notoriously opaque about their pricing, and all use different bundling of treatments that causes additional confusion. Getting a quick overview of price and availability to get seen was onerous. No wonder, then, more than half of the UK population simply don't see a dentist.
It's no secret that we've been seeing a dental health crisis in kids, or that we're increasingly able to link overall health problems to oral disease. What did seem to be a secret though is that NHS dentistry is actually quite affordable and generous, and that contrary to popular belief there is actually excess supply in some areas.
While the team had good traction in signing up dentists and growing organic traffic, there was a real need (and opportunity) to not just drive traffic and sell dental appointments, but to help educate the consumer and create behaviour change.
What We Learned
- Correctly assess the value of brand. We could have easily created a web product that just did its job. Instead, we invested in design, content and PR to the point where Toothpick was respected in the industry and well networked. From there grew partnerships, free development resource, industry, tech and consumer press, and eventually, an acquisition.
- Simplify complexity. We created infographics, and collaborated on a lot of highly visual content. We learnt that he who can simplify complexity through visual storytelling can win the hearts and minds of even the most cynical decision makers and hesitant consumers.
- Build assets. Don't underestimate what you've got. We spent time building the most comprehensive database of UK dental providers, with clean data and attractive, user friendly UI. Soon, we had a lot of backlinks from a domain with pretty good authority. We also cultivated good relationships with a circle of very good dentists. All of a sudden, we had a bank of great content that Patient.co.uk snapped up in exchange for sending us traffic.
- Invest in skill. We had a very small core team, and an extended team of very skilled experts. Once you know where to spend, spend it. SEO, data, dev. We figured out what was crucial and put our money where out mouth was.
Toothpick was acquired by WhatClinic in 2015.