We’ve worked with more than a thousand physicians in the aesthetic industry over the past decade, and it has become very clear that there are three key areas of strategy required for growth and profit: finance, operations and marketing.
While there are several specific systems and processes that practices can implement in order to take revenue and profit to the next level, let’s focus on marketing and practice growth through an annual marketing plan (AMP).
A solid AMP will increase revenue, decrease impulsive spending on marketing, cross patients over into new services, maintain your bottom line, even out cash flow and create high surges of revenue.
Conversely, the cost of not creating an AMP: stagnation, confusion and discounting.
The four key essentials of an AMP are monthly cross-promotions, social media planning, email marketing and quarterly sales events.
Start by asking yourself which services you really want to grow and what areas are most profitable for you. Use the answers and seasonality to determine your cross-promotions.
Typically, a client needs to hear a message eight to ten times before they’ll respond. This number continues to grow as online noise increases; thus, it is important that you layer your monthly message so that your patients can respond to your offers. Some patients are going to watch a video blog in your email; others will look at your social platforms; some will see in-office advertising; others might listen to your ‘on-hold’ voicemail greeting.
Value-added offers that create a 20% savings are the most successful. Cross-promotions reward clients for trying something new. They are also an effective method to bring exposure to something that is difficult for you to sell on its own. For example, if your cross-promotion is free toxin with a laser series, then you have two talking points for the month. Toxins and a series of energy-based treatments are wonderful because typically they are done quarterly. Let’s say you use these for your monthly promotion; now you simply select toxins or the laser series as the prize for your contest of the month.
Social media editorial planning
Unquestionably, a Facebook/Instagram giveaway contest of the month will deliver the best results on social media. We’ve managed social media for years, and this type of contest provides the ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WIFM) aspect that keeps fans engaged on your page.
Engaged fans comment on, like and share your offers. This alone has created one to three times growth for our clients. Commenting and sharing creates warm referrals from the fans to their online friends. Herein lies the main goal of social media: Online referrals that become a lead source.
Email marketing works. Sending a weekly e-blast to your patient database will get the highest response. Based on your services and patient demographics, there are a variety of topics that can be used to draw people in for more services.
Quarterly sales events
The final step is a quarterly sales event. These are extremely effective for conversion. Keep a narrow focus for each event, like body, breast, face, feminine health, body contouring or injectables.
Quality attendance is the goal for high conversion at events. The key is pre-qualifying your event attendees by consulting with them and making helpful suggestions. The event is a consultation in the round, with a grand prize and door prizes, not an open house.
Limit events to 30 attendees so that you have time for one-on-one 15-minute physician consults with each interested patient.
In summary, an annual marketing plan will increase profitability, organization and, ultimately, yield repeat business and happy patients. By strategically narrowing your marketing focus, improving consistency and layering your overall message, you will reach new clients and increase conversion and closing ratios of both existing and new patients.
Proof through a case study
We recently implemented an AMP with a Louisiana-based medspa. The challenge they faced was creating growth without spending the profit on lead generation and marketing. After being in business for seven years, marketing costs were impacting profitability.
We refocused their marketing efforts on cross-promotions versus a discounting strategy, implemented monthly social media contests and emailed their existing client database weekly. The result was that their net profit doubled in 13 months and their marketing spending decreased by 15%. By maintaining these three key marketing efforts, they continue to experience patient loyalty and referrals.