While demand for cosmetic surgery procedures has more than doubled since 1997, demand for nonsurgical cosmetic procedures has soared to 14 times what it was 20 years ago — from 740,751 in 1997 to 10,879,909 in 2015, according to statistics reported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
“Patients say they want faster results, less discomfort, less risk, less downtime and lower costs,” says Dana Fox, president of Seattle, Wash.-based medical marketing firm Strategic Edge. “If you are a surgeon, [it’s] really bad news if you haven’t incorporated any non-surgical options into your practice.”
And while many cosmetic surgeons have added fillers and injectables, that’s often where they stop, says Fox, who presented “How to (Successfully) Incorporate Hot New Treatment Trends into Your Practice” on Thursday at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery’s (AACS’s) 2017 annual scientific meeting in San Diego, Calif.
Some of today’s "hot" U.S. cosmetic procedure trends, according to Fox, include vaginal rejuvenation and non-surgical procedures for fat reduction. The two most popular devices for vaginal rejuvenation are ThermiVa [Thermi] and diVa [Sciton], while CoolSculpting [Zeltiq] leads for fat reduction, she says.
“Although CoolSculpting is hardly new, it is still growing at record speed and practices are buying more than one unit. The hottest trend here is DualScultping, or being able to freeze two areas at once, [which] is a huge advantage,” Fox tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.
The technology required for these treatments is expensive, so physicians making the purchases should strategize about how to reap the financial benefits of their investments.
“Marketing today cannot fall into the ‘build and they will come’ expectation, because there are simply too many competitors after the same patient,” Fox says. “You have to be smart, and you have think beyond what you have done in the past, because what worked 10 years ago is not working today.”
Generally, in order to successfully incorporate hot trends into a cosmetic practice, surgeons will need to create and implement a marketing and branding campaign that builds over time. Fox says that’s achieved using several elements, including web content, Pay-Per-Click or Google Ad Words, eblast campaigns, billboards, radio and television.
How much you’ll spend on each depends on such factors as practice location and competition.
“If you are located in Houston, you could spend as much as $5,000 to $8,000 on AdWords and not be the highest spender in that market. In Minneapolis, a $1,000 per month would be a good budget,” Fox says.
Cosmetic surgeons should also leverage their current patient base and staff when adding new services.
“They both need to be notified, informed and given some incentive for trying the service. Both are often not considered in this process,” Fox says. “Everyone in the practice who wants to should have the new service free, regardless of how long they’ve been with the practice. Let your staff sample and get excited about what you are doing. Their job is to talk about it and to sell it, so get them excited.”
A practice’s VIP patients deserve a sneak preview and a special perk because of their loyalty. Make it even sweeter for the patient and practice by mentioning that VIPs can bring a friend.
The bottom line, according to Fox, is that cosmetic surgeons need to add new procedures, market those procedures well and involve the staff in the process.
Disclosure: Ms. Fox reports no relevent disclosures.