The most successful plastic surgeons have discovered how to spend less and get better results when they attract the best patients with target marketing.
Challenges Marketing to Plastic Surgery Patients
There are too many marketing channels for plastic surgery patients to find you. SEO, PPC, Blog, directories, articles, billboards, print ads, social media and youtube to name a few.
That creates too much noise for a prospective patient to sift through all the marketing messages coming at them daily. We humans only have so much brain power to process information, so, to simplify things in our head, we unconsciously acknowledge or ignore what we are seeing and hearing.
There are also too many technology choices. For decades, invasive plastic surgery that included anesthesia, scarring and downtime was the go-to path to looking your best. Now, a never-ending stream of non-surgical procedures and treatments are being introduced to the industry. This creates a huge demand for less invasive treatments.
But this introduction of non-surgical procedures also creates confusion for the patient who now has to sift through these limitless options. That creates a confused patient and a confused patient is typically a patient who procrastinates and is paralyzed with indecision.
And, if that weren’t enough, plastic surgeons also need to take into account the multi-generations they are marketing to, who can range from young patients in their 20’s to mature patients in their 70s and 80s.
These generational differences must be taken into account when marketing to plastic surgery patients. Each generation has their preferences, biases and marketing channels they use to get their information.
So, what do you do to attract new plastic surgery patients?
Follow Your Successes First
Before you go off on a tangent and start new marketing campaigns, go back to your data to see what has worked in the past and who has given you money for cosmetic rejuvenation. Once you know that, you simply increase your efforts there. That’s how you attract the best patients with target marketing
For example, pull a report called, “Revenues by Procedure” to determine which of your procedures are most popular with your patients. (You will also want to note which are NOT popular to help you determine if you should discontinue offering them if they are not making you money).
This is an actual report of a plastic surgeon who has been practicing 18 years.
Facelift, Breast Aug, Tummy Tuck were his top three surgical procedures, while injectables and Coolsculpting were bringing in a huge percentage of his non-surgical treatments.
So, it would make sense for him to market those procedures first since they are proven to attract cash-paying patients to his office.
Another report to pull is “Revenues by Referral Source”. This tells you how these cash-paying patients are finding you to begin with.
This actual report indicated that while the majority of new plastic surgery patients came from the Internet, more than ½ came from word of mouth referrals and current patients returning for more.
That is good to know when you are budgeting various marketing channels since you can’t be everywhere, so budget proportionately to your results.
Target Your Message to Your Preferred Plastic Surgery Patients
So, know that you know your preferred procedures and where they are coming from, look closer at those patients’ demographics.
How old are they? Are they stay-at-home moms or professional working women? Are they single or married? Are they homeowners or renting? Kids or no kids?
Draft a message that most resonates with your preferred plastic surgery patients. For example, if your data shows that a good portion of your revenues is coming from Tummy Tucks on women in their mid 40s who are married homeowners with kids, the following marketing messages will work well:
Or, let’s say you enjoy face lift procedures and a good amount of your revenues comes from facial rejuvenation. You also know your average face lift patients’ age ranges from 45-65 and they are married and live within 25 miles of your office. In this case, these marketing messages would work best:
Think of target marketing being a sniper versus a cannon. Rather than “spray and pray” to everybody, you pick one procedure – one target market – one message – one media channel.
I guarantee with this approach, you will attract the best patients with target marketing. You’ll also spend less and get better results when you target market the smart way.
Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery.