Marketing Plan and Strategy
Three Good Reasons You Need a Marketing Plan and Strategy
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- Of the more than 700,000+ physicians and surgeons in America a growing number are considering creating cash paying practices and cosmetic surgery marketing.
- Cosmetic and minimally-invasive procedures represent more than 82% of all procedures performed representing almost 40% of the total expenditures for cosmetic services, according to American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s most recent statistics.
- According to: money.cnn.com statistics a few years ago a growing number of American doctors is harboring an embarrassing secret: Many of them are going broke.
In analyzing hundreds of case studies, the PUMC cosmetic surgery marketing consultants have found that there are 7 PRIMARY FACTORS FOR PRACTICE FAILURE. Any one of these factors can push a practice to the edge of failure. As you might suspect, Interestingly many of the practices in our expert case studies exhibited more than one of these factors—which sent some of them beyond the edge. Whether or not you lose the future of your practice is determined by how many of these 7 factors of failure are present in your cosmetic – plastic surgery marketing business. And if these factors are present, how many of them can you recognize and correct?
Internet and Social Media Plans Missing – Failure Factor One
Failure to have a strategic marketing plan in today’s business environment is tantamount to signing the death warrant for the future of your practice. “Do you really want to play dice with the future of your practice given the current Internet and social media stakes?” For those clients who are not playing a game of chance, creating a strategic plan for their practice is an absolute must. By-the-way, not just any ole plan will do. It has to be a plan with a comprehensive perspective of consumers’ wants and needs and resources at hand. let’s continue exploring the factors associated with losing the future of your practice. Coincidentally, our second factor for failure also has to do with planning.
Missing “Rainy Day” Marketing Strategy Plan - Failure Factor Two
One of the most difficult jobs for the PUMC Marketing consultant is convincing clients to prepare for bad times. The medical entrepreneurial ethos is one of looking forward, success by sheer will, no need for a “Plan B” because “Plan A” is going to work. The optimism required taking risks inherent in starting or maintaining a business often excludes thoughts of low or no cash flow, smaller profit margins, bad news about a new cosmetic Internet technology that was part of a marketing plan, a posted negative review on the internet that goes viral. Nor does this optimism account for all the new social media and Internet competition ready to low-ball services at every turn., an economy, that though recovering, is still anemic, and a more informed but fickle consuming public using the Internet to find their new cosmetic specialists. Your marketing plan requires “rainy day” strategic planning that only an organization with the decades of internal and external marketing experience that PUMC brings to the table can provide you.
Staff Marketing Training Ignored - Failure Factor Three
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Walking into the office of a cosmetic specialist isn’t the same as, say, walking into a mall or almost any other place where discretionary funds are spent. When people walk through the door of your office, it’s easy to think they already know what they want. The only question is whether they’ll select you to provide the aesthetic service they are investigating. The belief is that your services sell themselves particularly with the aid of the manufacture’s are suppliers’ brands! Whether it’s a breast augmentation or new poison for the wrinkle, laser procedure or something in between, there’s a common belief that prospective patients don’t have to be sold. So operative is this belief, little thought and expense are given to investment in continued staff marketing training, motivation and additional staffing.
Mobile and Social Media Does it! - Failure Factor Four
The Internet, the information superhighway, the World Wide Web, by whatever name you choose to call it, its development and our increasing dependence on it is nothing short of remarkable. Currently, we’re seeing too many cosmetic practices using the Internet as an end rather than a means to an end. Practices that use e-blasts, organic and Cost per Click as their sole channels for marketing ignore older yet still effective marketing techniques like satisfaction surveys, seminars that don’t require potential patients to be online. By tossing out established, proven marketing techniques that remain effective, you reduce the number of communication channels available to reach potential patients. Further, and this is important, internet marketing solutions are becoming increasingly complex requiring expensive staff and consultative advice to render the same results generated in the past. PUMC can show you how to achieve the best of all worlds of the marketing technologies at your disposal.
Adwords Marketing Adopted Late- Failure Factor Five
If you are waiting for your Google+ business pages to start spitting out e-mails from patients like a jackpot Las Vegas slot machine… it doesn’t happen a simple as that! Five years ago, having a strategic plan for how to utilize Google Plus as a vital business tool might have been viewed as a high tech vision of the future, or something for a different kind of business, not for a cosmetic specialty practice. The days of a well placed ads in the phone books are over and now being replaced with social channel promotion, Google Adwords and Google PLUS. As far as marketing is concerned, Google, Facebook and branded Adwords advertising are what newspapers and the broadcast networks used to be a generation ago. PUMC has created Internet protocols that leverge Adwords advertising and retain your organic search result to avoid Google Adwords dependency.
Reputation Management Ignored - Failure Factor Six
It is fascinating to discuss with clients the measures you take to protect their data: anti-virus software with constant updates and firewalls on your EMR systems. You take great pains to protect data, as well you should. Yet ,we at Patients Unlimited have discovered that most doctors have failed to construct a fire wall around their future business marketing engine. Left exposed is the practice’s most valuable commodity: the reputation of their practice. From this point forward, physicians have to be very concerned about their reputation and the reputation of their practice on the Internet and social media channels. In the past doctors could hide behind a fictitious name or ignore a patient’s complaint by saying, “it’s impossible to make every patient happy.”
That’s yesterday. Today, social media sites have changed how all business is conducted. In this new, interconnected environment your ultimate currency is the reputation of your practice. The Internet has now democratize and globalize access to information. Almost any given individual can extend their opinions, for good and for ill, far beyond the limits of their geography. Using social media, one or two bad reviews or an organized, patient driven campaign can put practices out of business. In other words, if your practice is held in high regard by a group of people, then a negative campaign will not affect this group’s opinion of your practice. Assuming positive options have been proactively posted however, for those who have no positive opinions about their practice, the negative message will affect all subsequent messages concerning your practice.
Internal Marketing Without a strategy – Failure Factor Seven
On this final factor for failure, let’s take the discussion off the Net and return it to the practice itself. Conventional wisdom says being on the cutting-edge of technology almost always gives a practice a competitive advantage. Staying on the cutting edge of technology and using new developments in procedure techniques allows for an increase in positive patient outcomes and an enhanced armamentarium allowing for an expanded patient base: all good news.
However, if your practice obtains its patients on the basis of the technology you use, then you’ll have to keep surrendering to technology in order to keep your patients. In putting your future in the hands of technology, you’ve removed the most important and valuable assets your practice has to offer: your credentials, your experiences and your reputation with satisfied customers and your expert marketing staff you have invested in. One vital lesson learned as we have marketed plastic/ cosmetic surgery and health care services…no matter what new emerging marketing technologies have arrived more than 60% of new patients came from patient that have used your branded services. Don’t forget to make INTERNAL marketing top priority!