At the convening of our doctor advisory board meeting in Seattle last month, RealSelf CEO Tom Seery reminded members that when we set out to launch a reimagined paradigm for RealSelf, our objectives boiled down to addressing a market need for quality, speed, and putting aesthetic consumers and doctors at the center of our decision making.
Enter the RealSelf Network. The program reduces the cognitive load many consumers are burdened with as they try to find the right aesthetic provider, in particular with members who achieve RealSelf Verified status and get the blue checkmark that will be an instant signal of trustworthiness to consumers. And at a time when, according to Salesforce, 95% of consumers say trust in a business inspires loyalty and another 93% say trust will make them more likely to recommend a business, this program also promotes trust and transparency standards that build consumers’ confidence in their choices—and helps keep them safe.
We’re thrilled with the response from doctors since opening the gate to membership in mid-May, and our board members validated the positive initial response they were hearing from their peers. Now we’ve begun rising to a new challenge: rolling out the RealSelf Network to consumers and letting them know why the standards we set for both membership and RealSelf Verified status are so important for them.
To do this right, we needed to launch a thoughtful and expansive campaign to educate consumers about the program and make it easy for them to find participating doctors. Here are four things consumers will see and hear during the ongoing conversation we started earlier this month with the launch of our largest-ever consumer marketing campaign.
1. We’re Featuring Our Earliest Adopters in Advertising
The RealSelf Network was the first major initiative our doctor advisory board incubated, so it only made sense to center the doctors who are powering the Network in the consumer launch—including our board members and other early adopters. That’s why our consumer marketing team made it a priority to show the real faces of the RealSelf Network in our marketing. Consumers can find the doctors who were among the first to join the Network and become RealSelf Verified:
- On our RealSelf Verified Doctors Pinterest board, which features the first 93 doctors who attained RealSelf Verified status
- In our consumer-facing email, The Weekly Treatment, including the announcement email we launched on August 5th
- In geo-targeted ads on RealSelf featuring the first 50 RealSelf Verified Doctors
- Across the consumer-facing experience on RealSelf.com
We’re proud of our early adopters and happy to have many of them featured as ambassadors to the program for consumers.
2. We’re Educating Consumers About What’s at Stake
Consumers’ number one ask of RealSelf is to help them find the right doctor. In our RealSelf Network consumer communications, we’re leveraging both data and powerful consumer narrative to tell them where the gaps in their knowledge might be, and just how much is at stake in making the right choice when it comes to their doctor. Specifically:
- We’re publishing data-driven posts on Instagram, like this one that leverages 2019 RealSelf consumer survey data.
- We published more data from our 2019 survey to the RealSelf blog that reveals some of the deficits in consumer knowledge about selecting an aesthetic doctor. (That survey data was subsequently picked up by Yahoo! Finance and Plastic Surgery Practice.)
- We shared the harrowing tale of 30-year-old Krystal Reilly, who found out after her Brazilian butt lift surgery not only that her doctor wasn’t a plastic surgeon, but that a woman died after being treated by him.
- We shared the uplifting tale of Jill Thorpe, whose experience having a double mastectomy showed how life-changing it can be when consumers pick the right doctor. While her choice was a lucky one (she was referred to her plastic surgeon by her dermatologist), the RealSelf Verified checkmark gives consumers a much better chance at selecting the right doctor for them.
We’re going to continue publishing these stories and data in the coming weeks and months, so tune into the consumer blog and follow us on Instagram to stay on top of what consumers are hearing from us.
3. We’re Telling Consumers Why they Should Choose RealSelf Verified Doctors
With the stakes established, we’re making it clear to consumers why the standards we set for RealSelf Verified Doctors will help them make a smart and confident decision about which aesthetic doctor to choose, both in narrative format and throughout the consumer experience on RealSelf.com.
- Our launch-day blog post, “One Blue Checkmark, 7 Problems Solved,” made an unambiguous case for why RealSelf Verified status is a great signal that a consumer can feel confident putting that doctor on their shortlist. The article poses seven questions that the blue RealSelf Verified checkmark either 1) instantly answers in the affirmative or 2) indicates there will be a clear answer to on the doctor’s profile.
- Our new site merchandising also make a clear case for what the RealSelf Verified checkmark means to consumers. Clicking the RealSelf “Verified” logo lays out for consumers exactly how providers qualify for RealSelf Verified status—and what commitments those doctors have made to consumers who inquire about treatments.
4. We’re Making it Super Simple to Find RealSelf Verified Doctors
The speed and simplicity of finding trustworthy doctors is a core value proposition of RealSelf Verified, and we’ve made these doctors incredibly easy to find for consumers.
- The “RealSelf Verified” toggle is now prominently placed on our Find-a-Doctor page. Selecting this toggle will return RealSelf Verified doctors exclusively.
- The RealSelf Verified badge is a can’t-miss feature on doctor cards when they appear throughout RealSelf, including in search results and Q&A.
- Our search results summaries highlight RealSeal Verified doctors first, and selecting that item drops consumers directly into a prominent tooltip that instructs them to look for the RealSelf Verified badge for trustworthy doctors.
With RealSelf Verified, we’re solving the uncertainty problem for consumers and helping them make confident decisions about what are often high-consideration and high-stakes procedures. This marketing and education campaign will help us get there, but our RealSelf Verified Doctors are ultimately their reason to believe. If you’re a current RealSelf Network Doctor, reach out to your Advisor or Advocate to learn next steps to getting the RealSelf Verified checkmark. And if you’re not yet a member, fill out the form here to get started!