The supply of doctors willing to meet the demand of patients who want cosmetic procedures is growing — fast, putting pressure on established cosmetic practices to stay ahead of the competition, according to Dana Fox, who presented “Last year 15,000 new aesthetic competitors opened their doors,” this week during the 2017 Vegas Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology meeting, in Las Vegas.
The 15,000 practices entering the cosmetic space include providers from emergency medicine, family practice, urology, OB/gyn, podiatry and general surgery, as well as physician assistants, says Ms. Fox, who is president of the medical marketing company Strategic Edge.
“It’s only a number,” Ms. Fox says. “The point is, this market is growing so fast it is hard to keep ahead of the new providers flooding the market. Understanding how to differentiate yourself from other providers all offering pretty much the same procedures requires way more than building a website and paying for AdWords.”
Ms. Fox offers these tips:
#1 To market effectively, make sure your practice is focused on what it needs to be.
If you are already in the market as a core cosmetic specialty, you need to make sure your own house is in order. Make sure you have the right staff in the right seats. Make sure they’re well trained on how to sell. Make sure your office looks like you speak beauty, and one could eat off the floors. Make sure your personal presentation is great, and you know how to communicate with patients so they feel supported and not sold to.
“And, oh by the way, you only provide those medical services you are actually good at,” Ms. Fox says. “Most importantly, pick a primary focus of core procedures and market those instead of everything on the menu.”
#2 Don’t skimp.
“You need a well-thought-out marketing strategy that is done by professionals [who] really know what they are doing,” Ms. Fox says. “This is not time to use your spouse’s brother or your second cousin, once removed. You will need a unique selling proposition that permeates all of your branding and messaging.”
“Me-too” practices that don’t have their own brand can expect mediocre returns from marketing dollars. Branding the practice helps it to stand out to achieve stellar results in marketing, according to Ms. Fox.
#3 Marketing is no short-term gig.
“Plan for the long game not the panicky short game,” Ms. Fox says. “The short game folks are always looking for quick and cheap instead of excellence and sustained growth.”
Disclosure: Dana Fox makes a living marketing healthcare and other businesses.