Learning from their mistakes
In my 10+ years of industry experience, I’ve seen my share of medical marketing mishaps. Surgeons who spend big on billboards, but can’t prove it brings in new patients. Med spas with a great website, yet no idea how potential patients find them online.
Want to avoid their fate? Don’t make these three common mistakes when it comes to understanding your practice’s marketing performance.
Mistake #1: Not measuring accurately
Why spend on marketing, but not track the return on that investment? That’s like a repeat patient who gets the same lip filler like clockwork, yet never looks in the mirror. And whenever the practice’s staff tries to discuss an alternative that would perform even better, the patient brushes it off because this is how she’s always done things.
As with any business expenditure, you want good value out of your marketing. Of course, the main success metrics are getting new patients and encouraging repeat business. And the most effective way to do that? Identify what marketing efforts work best for your practice. At the very least, your front desk staff should be asking new patients, “How did you hear about us?” and tracking referral sources using a spreadsheet that you review on a regular basis.
Some people call tracking referrals “closing the loop,” but I think of it more like “climbing the spiral.” Because when you accurately measure your marketing efficacy, you can adjust your marketing plan accordingly to help those results go up and up.
Mistake #2: Not asking the right questions
Start smart by considering the pros and cons of popular aesthetic marketing options. Considering a free marketing channel like Facebook? Curious about a paid channel like search engine advertising? Ask the right questions upfront to make more informed decisions about your marketing budget. Here are five tried and true questions to consider when researching marketing options:
- Which channels have audiences that match your desired potential patient?
If you’re focused on women age 30 and up, it won’t help to run ads on sports talk radio (skews male) or post heavily on Instagram (skews younger).
- Do the benefits help you with your practice’s specific goals?
Social media and advertising help with raising awareness, while review and educational sites help with developing impactful relationships (and referrals) with potential patients.
- When will you start seeing more patients?
Consider the personal nature and cost of aesthetic treatments. Even when a marketing campaign works, the patients you reach could still be at the beginning of their 3- to 6-month consideration and purchase journey.
- How can you measure the results, using tools they give you?
In particular, digital options like Google AdWords, Facebook ads, and email marketing tend to provide analytics like click rates and conversion rates.
- How can you measure results, using your own tools?
Getting more visitors to your website is good. Knowing exactly where they’re coming from? Even better. Google Analytics is especially helpful, and free (see our step-by-step guide for setting up Google Analytics).
Mistake #3: Not tracking down answers
So you’re asking the right questions. Are you following up by getting the answers too? The variety of things to consider for marketing and measurement can be overwhelming, but try these techniques to start your due diligence.
Research your competitors
Check their website, social media accounts, and review site profile. Keep an eye out for local print ads. Google phrases like “[surgical procedure] in [your town]” or “[your town] medical spa” to see what search engine ads come up. You don’t want to copy others, but you can gain insights into what tactics are popular nearby—and identify opportunities competitors are missing.
If you have the budget, there are agencies and consultants that specialize in aesthetic marketing. They can optimize your website, set up Google Analytics for you, measure social media performance, and a lot more. You can also talk to similarly sized businesses that aren’t direct competitors, to pool knowledge and discover new approaches.
You’ll find a wealth of marketing and measurement help on the web. Like video tutorials for understanding website analytics. Or guides on how local businesses can make the most of radio advertising. Even blogs that specialize in medical aesthetics marketing, such as digital marketing, video marketing, or tracking leads.
Investing a little time pays off
Getting caught up in the day-to-day operations of your practice can skew your perspective on marketing. Coming up with new ideas, keeping up with the good tactics, and measuring results can feel like a chore. But like an in-demand new laser or cool chairs for the waiting room, marketing campaigns are an investment into your business. And with a little attention and upkeep, that investment can bring big returns.