Medical and aesthetic treatments alike are on the rise in dermatology practices. Aesthetic treatments in particular, such as skin rejuvenation and aesthetic laser procedures, have grown in popularity as the economy continues to slowly recover and patients have regained the ability to spend money on elective procedures that can improve their emotional health and general wellness.
This national trend has big implications for doctors and private practices such as yours. More patients may be seeking out treatment options for cosmetic issues, but remember: the number of practices in the industry has grown along with their demand for treatment – and patients have more resources to help them find each and every one of these practices. This means that your office is likely competing with a number of other businesses, and that locals could opt to go to them instead of you for their skincare and procedures.
That’s why clinicians in today’s choice-filled society must take steps to make clients come to their doors. Clinicians can do this by setting their practice above others in the general area, and making it as accessible as possible for potential patients. The number one way to help accomplish this? Invest in some marketing efforts for your practice.
Marketing In Healthcare Today
The first step in making any business more attractive to potential clients in 2015 is to invest in some marketing techniques and strategies. While marketing has historically been seen as a dirty word in the world of healthcare, in today’s world it has become a necessity for all businesses, including those in the healthcare field.
Unfortunately, we can’t write up guide on marketing for your private practice – because there is no single way to do marketing well. We can, however, offer some general advice, starting with this: To use marketing well, your practice should invest in a mix of marketing techniques. Marketing success ultimately depends on which marketing methods you use to promote your services. And your marketing methods should evolve and develop over time based on which ones work for your business and which ones don’t.
This means that your marketing tactics will need to consist of both long- and short-term strategies and messages that work towards promoting an overall image of your practice and message to your clients. The trick, then, is deciding which methods to use and which ones may not be the right fit for your practice’s goals.
Getting Started: 4 Steps You Can Take Today
The hardest part in using marketing is often deciding where to start. So many things can be filed under the term “marketing”, from online ad campaigns to simply maintaining your office so that it properly reflects your brand image. If you’re just starting out in your marketing efforts, don’t worry: you’re not alone! Many healthcare experts are in the same boat as you. And to ensure that you start out on the right foot, we recommend doing a couple simple things:
1) Before you do anything else, define your ideal patient. Marketing efforts never succeed if you’re targeting everyone and anyone. And since only specific demographics tend to purchase cosmetic enhancement procedures, products or treatments, targeting these groups will better serve your practice in the long run. Instead of trying to bring everyone in to your practice, focus on the demographics that have historically used your services – as well as on groups that you’d like to see more of (assuming, of course, that there is evidence that these groups are willing to spend money on the services that you offer). This will allow you to narrow your efforts down and will help you target your preferred possible aesthetic patients. It will also better enable you to advertise your skin care procedures – including skin rejuvenation and aesthetic laser treatments – to the people most likely to undergo these procedures.
2) Personalize your messages. If a 60-year-old and a 20-year-old came to your practice asking about skin care treatments, you probably wouldn’t recommend the same procedures. Instead, you’d recommend a procedure that could address each person’s individual skin treatment needs. This example highlights exactly why you shouldn’t speak to all of your patients – current and future – in the same way during marketing and branding efforts. Instead, you should tailor marketing messages so that they speak to the demographic you’re targeting. This way, you’re more likely to catch the attention of potential patients. Be sure to take this one step further, though, and to personalize your internal messages and dialogues when you interact with and offer deals to your current patients at your practice. After all, current patients who like your practice are much more likely to support and help your practice than non-patients!
3) Invest in long-term strategies as well as short-term strategies. While short-term strategies such as PPC advertising, seasonal discounts and even reviews or referrals can sometimes give you a boost in revenue by giving people incentive to buy a treatment or product now, you’ll want to invest in long-term strategies to continue to try and draw in clients. Long-term strategies to consider will include branding (working on creating an internal and external image of how people should see your practice), SEO efforts, public relations, community outreach, and speaking opportunities. Don’t feel the need to start using every one of these things right now, though! Instead…
4) Read up on what to do. For individuals who are totally new to the world of marketing, reading on the matter will go a long way in ensuring that you’re set to make your marketing efforts succeed. Numerous articles exist on the topic, including many designed specifically to guide healthcare professionals through the marketing process. To help get started, we recommend these articles at Getreferralmd.com, aestheticmedicinenews.com, and aafp.org. Their information will provide an excellent foundation to start on. From there, a Google search will be all you need to start answering your questions.
It’s 2015 – It’s Time To Start Marketing
While marketing can seem overwhelming for many healthcare experts, no business – including private practices – can afford to put marketing efforts on hold any longer. Marketing is simply too important to be ignored any longer. Fortunately, it’s entirely possible marketing your practice, even on a smaller budget. With so many marketing options available to businesses today, the key is to put a foot in the water and to start trying. Over time, you’ll build on and improve your marketing efforts. And remember, even if your potential patients aren’t ready for your services right this second, they will be. And by investing in a marketing plan, they will know that you’re ready address their needs.