The AAO's Consumer Awareness Program is the ONLY mass awareness campaign working to raise awareness among consumers about the benefits of orthodontic treatment provided by orthodontists, and promote orthodontists as specialists.
In an effort to better reach potential patients and/or parents of potential patients in the modern age, and to better serve AAO members who support the CAP, in 2017 the COC re-tooled the CAP to focus on digital marketing, which can reach as broad or as niche an audience as desired. Digital marketing platforms currently being utilized include paid search (Google, Yahoo! and Bing), website ads, social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat), email marketing, online video, and much more.
The goal of the current campaign is to drive people to the consumer website (aaoinfo.org) to learn more about orthodontists and the importance of getting orthodontics by orthodontists; and also where they have the opportunity to locate nearby AAO members through the ‘Find an Orthodontist’ service.
What about results?
2018 was a momumental year for the CAP. Total annual visits to the AAO consumer website have increased significantly - a 311% increase when comparing total annual visits 2017 (1,819,477) versus 2018 (7,491,818), and a 1,730% increase when comparing 2016 (409,290) to 2018.
Why are visits to the website important? 90-95% of today’s consumers conduct research online before making any purchase decision – including an investment in something like orthodontic treatment. The increase of traffic to our website tells us the CAP is successful at making the AAO more visible and easily found online; and more patients are being educated about the importance of seeing an orthodontist. With the robust amount of patient education materials on the consumer website, we want consumers to find it and learn the importance of seeing an orthodontist.
Where is it even running? I never see the ads?
Believe it or not, the CAP has campaign strategies running all over the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico - reaching consumers wherever they might be. While there's a slight chance you personally may not have seen an ad, it's likely because you might not fall directly into one of our target audiences.
While our limited budget may not allow us to appear as often or as many places (such as TV) as larger companies with $100+ million marketing budgets, rest assured - the AAO is actively engaging with the general public, right in your backyard. As an example, below is a breakdown of 2018 numbers broken down to state levels. While AAO CAP ads appeared online to users over 1.4 BILLION times over the course of the year, you can see they were delivering in every state.
How can I get involved or help spread the CAP message?
The easiest (and free!) way is to follow some of the AAO's consumer social media channels, and share content as often as you like. Links here: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.