Let’s face reality. Your target consumer is changing. The way they are conducting their research, comparing their options and making their decisions is changing too. Consumers no longer want to be sold to with fancy marketing ads or messages. Instead, they want to connect to real people and real doctors who care about their journeys and their outcomes.
The popularity of social media and social networking platforms, like RealSelf, are certainly driving this shift in consumer behavior. No matter where you turn on the Internet, you’ll hear the online conversations grow louder and louder. Consumers are discussing the treatments and procedures they are considering with both their peers and the doctors that perform those services. Whether we like it or not, this online chatter is heavily influencing their decisions.
So how do you set yourself apart from other doctors in this noisy world of online chatter? How can you build trust with the consumer BEFORE they even step into your practice door? Is it possible to gain a competitive edge over the doctor down the street to help ensure that the consumer chooses you over them?
My advice, keep it real. Authenticity is key. Consumers love to interact with real people, not scripted marketing drones. If you’re going to be part of the online conversation – be authentic. As consumers get to know your style through your online communications they will start to ‘connect’ and gain trust with your expertise even before they meet you. And ideally, the authenticity is transparent throughout the whole consumer experience – from consultation to post-op recovery.
Authenticity is a trend that’s not going away – it may seem uncomfortable at first but in the end, if you are authentic, you will be uniquely setting yourself apart from the many doctors out there who are using traditional marketing techniques to attract new consumers and patients. Gain the competitive edge with authenticity.
1. Consumers don’t want to be sold to – they want to gain trust on their own terms and with the people they find a connection with – even if it’s online.
2. Traditional marketing techniques often fail to make connections with consumers today. Authenticity can be the key difference that sets you apart from other doctors.
3. It may take time for some to get comfortable with their authentic online-self. RealSelf’s Q&A forum is a great way to gauge what’s resonating and what’s not – monitor your helpful votes and play the numbers game – the more you share your opinions, the more feedback you will get.