Historically, marketing has been somewhat of a dirty word to the medical field. Traditional marketing didn’t address medicine’s specific needs and seemed ingenuous and self-seeking. Practitioners relied on word of mouth referrals to generate business for themselves and eschewed advertising.
Times have changed and today’s marketplace requires frequent and genuine communication with patients. There is much more competition, and it’s tough. Additionally, aesthetic services are intangible. Patients cannot experience or sample what you have to offer until they have already made the decision to have a procedure.
How do you determine the quality of something you cannot see, touch or feel before you buy it? Take for instance, choosing one airline over another. How do you know if the engines are in good working order and well maintained? How do you know that the pilot is trustworthy and will get you to your destination safely?
Similar to airlines, patients use proxy items to determine the quality of your aesthetic services. Patients judge your practice based on what they can see and how their interactions with your practice make them feel. What serves as a substitute sample for you? What are patient perceptions of your practice? You must build a tangible means to show evidence of quality.
The way my industry refers to communicating this perception is called marketing. Marketing at its most basic is just that — all the methods you use to communicate your message to your desired audience. Marketing presents a public image and lets people know what services you offer, your credentials, and your level of experience. As much as people like to think otherwise, it doesn’t matter how highly educated, how experienced, how state-of-the-art your facility is if it isn’t communicated and perceived as such by your patients. How you do that communicating can make all the difference in the world. Great patient education is the key to effectively communicating your practice’s message.
Wishing you great weekend,
President, Creative Director
Candace Crowe Design
Educating Patients. Marketing You.