Cosmetic practices that wish to retain and grow their business in an increasingly burgeoning and competitive landscape need to excel in marketing that constantly engages existing patients. That’s according to Adam Weinroth, chief marketing officer of eRelevance Corporation, an Austin, Texas-based customer marketing service with a focus in the aesthetic space.
“There is a lot of dissatisfaction and confusion about marketing, as well as some misconceptions,” Weinroth tells The Aesthetic Channel.
The recently released commissioned study by e-Relevance, “The State of Aesthetic Healthcare Marketing 2017,” underscores “… the big myth that you have to spend a lot on advertising to acquire new patients and that to grow your practice requires you to be as visible as you can in the community,” Weinroth says. “However, this is not the case.”
In reality, practices on average derive 40% of their revenue from repeat patients, followed by 32% from new patient referrals. “Combined, this represents 72% of revenue originally sourced from existing patients,” Weinroth says.
That’s why keeping in touch and staying connected with existing patients outside the point of care is critical, according to Weinroth. “It is one thing to provide great service while the patient is in the office for a procedure or to select a product, but the key to success is the efforts you exert outside the office,” he says.
To accomplish this goal, though, “you have to face the realities of today’s highly fragmented and constantly changing digital world,” Weinroth observes. “Consumer attention is fragmented across many channels. By relying on only one channel to connect with patients, you probably will achieve only mediocre results at best.”
The most successful practices digitally surround their patients, “so that these patients can be reached in our highly fragmented digital experience,” Weinroth says.
Another key finding of the report is that satisfaction levels with marketing are not very high. “There appears to be a lot of confusion between the role marketing plays in acquiring new patients and marketing to existing patients,” Weinroth says.
Confusion can be minimized in part by measurement, “… which is something very challenging for aesthetic practices,” Weinroth notes. Many smaller practices, in particular, do not have a dedicated marketing staff or marketing analytics experts, either in-house or on a consulting basis. “Therefore, these practices do not have very good visibility into what marketing has the greatest impact, and whether that is improving or declining,” he says.
Many practices mimic their competitors marketing-wise. “But these practices are not necessarily able to judge whether competitor initiatives actually move the needle,” Weinroth says.