During the so-called Great Recession, research from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that over sixty percent of member surgeons reported that the volume of cosmetic surgery procedures they completed in 2008 had declined from the prior year. In the intervening years, a large number of doctors in this specialty have aggressively sought effective techniques for marketing their practices.
Though the past year has witnessed a definite uptick in cosmetic surgery procedures, it still makes sense for professionals in the field to heed suggestions promulgated by the Plastic Surgery Society in those previously-referenced lean years. A pair of solid recommendations can be taken from a forum on the topic that was held during one of the Society’s annual conferences. These strategies include:
1- Recognizing the Importance of Community Consciousness
Perhaps the most effective way to become familiar with what potential cosmetic surgery patients in a given community truly want is to get to know them on a personal basis. Lots of physicians have taken the initiative and gotten involved in local business groups, cultural organizations, school boards and other similar institutions.
Each October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month offers a terrific opportunity to get into the community and work to make a difference. If you are a runner or even an avid walker, register for one of the popular charity events held during this time. Run an advertisement discussing the importance of annual exams for women. Certain doctors may even wish to provide low or no-cost screenings for those with limited financial resources.
Always remain mindful of the 90/10 principle of marketing online. It is perfectly okay to integrate a small amount of marketing when involved in such endeavors, but it needs to remain low-key in nature. The best thing you can get out there is your name and professional presence. Just being involved is often sufficient to create the sense of recognition necessary to attract new patients.
2- Tout Advantageous Pricing Offers
Combining Procedures: fees can perhaps be lowered for procedures involving neighboring areas of the body and which can be done in one session. For instance, a patient undergoing Botox treatment in several parts of the face can benefit from a deal offering lower pricing for additional areas.
Once-A-Week Specials: Dermatologists are just one type of specialist capable of designing a weekly deal meant to bring in new business. A standing price break of, say, 10 percent could be applied on procedures on a given day of the week. Choosing Friday as the discount day can have the added benefit of incentivizing patients to fill the office on a day when many would have already gotten their weekends underway. Companies such as Dore Aesthetics, who run something similar have seen notable benefits from doing this.
3- Open House in a Neutral Location
A growing number of plastic surgeons have begun hosting informational events off-site from their practice as a way to encourage exploration by potential patients in a comfortable atmosphere. Luncheon events targeting professional males and females have become especially popular as a way to discuss a physician’s slate of offerings.
These types of events tend to cost less than a formal ad campaign, and they have the added advantage of allowing for personal interactions. Lunch events of this type help eliminate the stigma from cosmetic procedures in an enjoyable, educational environment.
Tactics such as these are far from being crass volume selling approaches, but are rather like the concepts used by luxury car dealers who hold exclusive events at which prospective customers can learn about the product free from undue pressure.