11 Minute Read:
Since 2020, the zest to buy plastic surgery has not waned, with the cosmetic surgery segment observing a significant increase in demand. But hold onto your seat!
The online trend for plastic surgery marketing is gaining momentum, and surgeons are taking action to promote their brand through their expertise and high-quality results.
The change in recognition of the importance of a comprehensive marketing plan, which includes the use of technology and innovative techniques, has led to a surge in demand for cosmetic procedures.
Before we jump into the tools you need to remain competitive as we look forward, we thought we’d return to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment surveys for a couple of additional insights on the economy.
As of August 8, over half of consumers reported that they expect their incomes to grow over the next year, with anticipated wage gains remaining at the 1.1% rate reported in June. This increase in income and the growing number of adults seeking cosmetic surgery procedures might be factors contributing to the rising demand.
“Consumers under age 45 continue to be more upbeat than older consumers, expecting a one-year gain in income of 4.5%. However, only 17% of consumers expect their income growth to exceed inflation. While consumers thus far do not appear worried about their own employment prospects, further weakening of labor markets would generate more downside pressure on consumer spending,” reported by Joanne Hsu, Director of the Surveys of Consumers and a Research Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
So, What Does This Tell Us, and How Should We Proceed?
At Plastic Surgery Studios, we’ve chosen to stop worrying about the future and instead prepare for it. For example, we have seen cost-effective promotion strategies such as online content creation, including engaging videos and social media presence, to engage potential clients and showcase the surgeon’s experience. Additionally, we have focused on improving facilities, increasing the availability of services, and targeting the right audience through strategic marketing efforts. These efforts involve creating effective landing pages, leveraging the influence of celebrities, offering free consultations, and building trustworthiness through testimonials and patient stories.
Since we love sharing real practice stories, here’s one we think you’ll enjoy.
Client “A” and Their Path Towards Becoming “Legally Beautiful”
We have been creating patient appreciation events for one of our clients, let’s call them Client “A,” for over 15 years, and each event has been more successful than the last. If you sell over one million dollars in services and products in just a few days, you’re doing something very right.
We started planning for and promoting their October event back in August when the first round of printed invitations was sent out via snail mail. Each year, we collaborate with our client on a unique theme, and this year’s winning idea came as a spin-off from Legally Blonde, namely, Legally Beautiful.
These gorgeous and entirely fun invitations, which were, of course, centered around an adorable Chihuahua wearing sunglasses, were followed by a compelling eblast campaign. Our event campaigns are composed of three to five separate eblasts, each one supporting and expanding on the one before with additional specials, products, and packages. By building up anticipation for our events via eblasts, patients didn’t lose interest. Instead, their excitement for the event grew stronger so that by the time the event arrived, patients were clamoring to be the first to log in.
Due to COVID, our events for Client “A” have been virtual for the past three years. And while there was some initial hesitation about a 100% virtual event, as we have always done very elaborate in-person gatherings, we have found significant success in the digital realm using devices like smartphones and tablets to access the events.
What’s the reason for this? Despite being virtual, all participants, including the doctors and their staff, approached it with the same enthusiasm as they would with an in-person event.
And if we’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that enthusiasm is contagious.
With this, everyone involved with the practice, including the doctors, came in their tuxes and festive attire and participated in the day’s events, including doing demos with the estheticians and nurse injectors. The appearance of the staff and the overall atmosphere of the event contributed to its success.
Most importantly, the staff made sure they had fun. Their joy, enthusiasm, and love for what they do resonated with their patients, just as these events can do for your practice, and this led to a substantially lucrative event.
If you are an introvert and this idea makes you feel sick to your stomach, then you better call us so we can help you with some other ideas.
8 Tools to Help You Stay Competitive in Today’s Market Scene
We promised some marketing tools, so here you go…
1. Start With Good Intelligence
Take an assessment of what your patients are talking about by really listening to what they are saying.
Where are they going? What are they planning? It may be a new job, a new man, or a big birthday. Or maybe they just got fired and are looking for a new path. This list can be endless, but anything that provides you with information is helpful. Use your social media pages to raise awareness about your services, share details about surgery procedures, and let others know about the positive results of your patients’ experiences.
I have always called this, “Notice what you notice.” It works on many levels because we are often unaware of what we hear or observe. We are so focused on our own part of the conversation that we often miss the cues from the person in front of us.
These small, seemingly unimportant pieces of the conversation give you “real” insight into what your patients need. And if you think about what you are doing this way — instead of simply selling your patient something — the difference is immeasurable. It feels like you care, and this is something your patient will notice.
Once you get good feedback, act upon what you heard. We suggest giving every provider a handful of $200, $300, and $500 gift cards to be distributed to customers or clients at their discretion.
The best way to do this is to have them designed as a business card size for different semi-customized occasions, such as: Thank You, You Are Special to Us, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Because You’re You, etc.
These are numbered cards, of course, and must be accounted for, as we don’t want these flying out the door willy-nilly.
The fine print needs to link up with in-office purchases and treatment packages and can only be used in conjunction with a service or purchase equivalent to the card value.
While these are a “thank you,” they are also a way to introduce new services by making them easy to buy.
2. Consider Limited-Time Offerings to Drive Interest and Fast Sales
Work with your website and SEO team on a Google Adword Campaign that is seasonally oriented and only available for limited and focused procedures.
Obviously, these are meant for quick purchases at a time-sensitive discount. These ads really need to get someone’s attention, so creativity is key, and a sense of urgency is required.
3. Consider Customer Service and Sales Conversion Training for Your Staff
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, you can no longer rely on a flood of customers coming through your doors without any work on your end. Your entire team needs to contribute to help convert those customers.
The best way to accomplish this is with customer service and sales conversion training.
Either schedule a session with Dana Fox here at Plastic Surgery Studios for training on phone skills and consultation conversions or call your Allergan™ Rep or a seasoned sales trainer.
However, whoever you decide to call, they need to be a pro!
4. Develop an Incentive Plan for Your Sales Team and Clinical Crew
Set a benchmark for revenue increases that you believe your staff can really meet, and then reward them when they meet those goals. You can also structure your goals as a team reward.
Now is the time to get out your checkbook and make it exciting for everyone. When creating incentives, make sure they truly motivate your team; otherwise, the outcome can be the reverse… demotivating.
5. Be Wary of “Aggressive” Selling
Some of you may not be comfortable with the term “sales,” and this is because all of us, at some point in our adult lives, have been attacked by an aggressive salesperson trying to strong-arm us into buying something.
When we think of sales, our mind conjures up that image, and it’s unpleasant.
When we talk about sales in the aesthetic medical field, we are talking about the psychology of persuasion to help patients make good decisions.
It normally involves asking questions and educating people about a product or service. No one wants to feel as though they are being pressured into something — especially when that something is connected to a more sensitive and emotional topic, like how patients perceive themselves.
6. Make Your Patient Communication Fun and Enticing
Getting a potential customer to open an eblast is a feat in itself. So, for heaven’s sake, don’t send information-only eblasts.
You need to make your communication worth your reader’s while; otherwise, they will unsubscribe quicker than you can say anything.
It’s always amusing when a doctor tells me that they don’t believe in having procedure sales. I always think, oh good, when we have one at Plastic Surgery Studios, we will omit you from our mailing list.
The truth is that we all enjoy a little enticement now and then. This is especially true for loyal customers who have returned for years and referred friends and family.
A few years ago, I had a client in New York who said, “I don’t want to do monthly specials. It cheapens the practice. I just want to move to quarterly newsletters and provide procedure information.”
We complied, and with each newsletter, more patients unsubscribed. Several newsletters later, the doctor saw a returning surgery patient and discovered to their dismay, that their patient was a loyal filler customer to a practice three miles down the road.
This falls under my philosophy of, “Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be successful?”
There are many conflicting opinions on the “special” debate, and no practice wants to become a discount shop — nor should you. However, as a consumer of routine beauty services, even people of means appreciate the acknowledgment of their loyal business.
Even my hairdresser, who makes several thousand dollars a year off my color and cuts, throws in an expensive conditioner or reduces the price of hair care products now and again, and when she does, it speaks to me in a personal way. It says, “I know you have many choices, and thank you for choosing me.”
7. Think About the Bigger Picture When It Comes to Advertising
Whatever marketing or advertising plans you have this fall, make sure they meet this simple litmus test.
Do they answer these two simple questions: “So What?” and “Who Cares?”
I see so much bad advertising from aesthetic practices. They try to cut corners by using untrained people who might have taken a photoshop course or have some artistic leaning, but they are not marketers.
Marketing copy is specialized to drive a potential patient to your phone, your email, or to hop on your OR table.
Not everybody can write compelling marketing copy. Personally, I think it’s a gift.
8. Choose a Marketing Team That Fits You
Graphic designers in advertising that present themselves as marketers are some of the most expensive people you will ever hire. And although they may create something pretty, their message may miss the mark, which has the same outcome as something poorly designed.
So, let’s talk about how to avoid making this mistake in your fall marketing campaigns.
- First, establish your budget for marketing between now and the end of the year.
- Decide what you want to focus on over the next 90-days. Review pricing and look at your most significant competitors. What about their efforts are working, and how can you leverage this information while still creating your own unique campaign? Copycat marketing is not what is needed, but creative, strategic thinking is.
- Interview several agencies to handle your marketing: Make sure you hire someone with a proven track record. Scrutinize their most recent work. Do their customers consist of pizza parlors and pet stores, or do they know something about marketing in the aesthetic industry? This can include surgical practices, hair salons, medspas, fashion, etc.
- Does their work speak to you? Can you see your practice materials being handled with the taste needed to meet your image?
- Once you hire your team, spend enough time with them to educate them about everything you want to promote. This needs to include information about the procedures, the event, the savings, the timelines, information about you or the providers you are featuring, and all the pertinent information.
- The structure will always start with what it is: What is the special offer or price? When is the event? Where is it being held? What is the timeline? Most importantly, don’t bury the lead.
As I consider the work we are doing right now with some of our most successful clients, I realize we could not possibly cover all the tools you need in this single blog. A 4th and 5th blog is needed for our series.
Blog 4: What Media Channels Are Working for Practices Today?
How should I structure my budget, and how should marketing be tracked? We’ll review how internet marketing, such as ongoing SEO, Google My Business, AdWords, etc., should work in tandem with all of your other marketing resources.
Blog 5: To What Degree Should Your Website Agency Be Responsible for Your Total Success
In some ways, this can be compared to one of your patients asking you if you are responsible for their total healthcare. In this blog, we’ll go over what we are responsible for and what you are responsible for. The answer may surprise you, but I promise you it will be a fun and worthwhile read.
As we say goodbye to August, we want to thank you for reading our blogs. Our analytics tell us our readership has grown substantially over the last two months. Please let us know what subjects you would like us to cover, and we’ll jump in with both feet.