How to Plan a Marketing Strategy for Your Plastic Surgery Practice
- Posted on: Oct 16 2017
We understand how difficult it can be to manage, staff, & operate a plastic surgery practice while trying to market your practice. But your marketing should be on your to-do list this year to ensure you keep up with the competition and the latest trends. Developing an annual marketing plan for your surgical practice can be difficult, but is necessary to the success of your practice.
Whether you use an in-house marketing staff or agency to promote your cosmetic surgery practice, planning is essential. Strategic planning ensures you target the right customers, in the right place, with a louder and better message than your competition.
First you need to assess your current and past marketing efforts. Look at the last 12 months, pull together reports for all your online and offline marketing activities. Look through the reports and objectively answer the following questions, using actual data. Don’t make excuses for failed campaigns and be honest about the real benefit each vehicle brings to your practice. You are trying to identify what channels brought you the best ROI and what campaigns could be better developed.
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Plastic Surgery Marketing Questions
Analyze Current and Past Efforts
- Are potential customers aware of our practice and our services or do we need to build brand awareness and visibility?
- Can we distinguish between marketing activities that build brand awareness and visibility and those that are meant to generate leads?
- How do we develop then cultivate our brand and image?
- How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to brand/image building and cultivation?
- What do we want our image to be? Does our current brand strategy support this image?
- What lead generating activities had the highest ROI? Best Cost per Customer or Cost per Lead?
- What marketing activities directed the most valuable leads? (Define what a valuable lead is to your practice.)
- How many leads resulted in repeat business or referrals?
- Were there any negative consequences of the activities? ie, brand misrepresentation or promotion that cost the practice money
- Where did we fall short in the last 12 months? Where were we successful?
- How broadly visible are our competitors?
- What are our competitors doing that we aren’t? i.e., Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), TV/Radio, Directory Listings
- What are our competitors doing well? Doing poorly? i.e., marketing opportunities for our practice
- Where are our customers? How do they research cosmetic procedures? What propels them to select one plastic surgery practice over another?
The analysis portion will require time for research, especially when it comes to customer analysis. Use the question’s above to guide your research, anything you are unsure of should be on your list to research.
After you and your marketing team complete the analysis, it is time for definitive direction. Start by writing down a list of take away points. Be concise, keep each point to one or two sentences. Try to keep the sentence in this format: Observation, solution to problem.
Plastic Surgery Marketing Insight Examples
- Our practice fell short on Plastic Surgery Internet Marketing. This year we will focus on Plastic Surgery SEO and improve our rankings to increase our overall search engine visibility.
- Traditional advertising had an unfavorable ROI and returned unqualified leads; this year we will focus on purchasing a more targeted TV schedule.
- The practice website is not user friendly and doesn’t convert traffic into customers. This year we will redesign the website with plastic surgery website design best practices. With a focus on usability and identifying key lead generation metrics.
- Bella Forte, our main competition, dedicates a large budget to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) targeting local procedure terms; this year we will aim to compete head to head with Bella Forte on Search Engine Marketing
Use the take away points to identify goals, particularly the second sentence. The goals for your marketing plan should be specific and measurable. Goals define the strategy so it is important to spend time thinking about what will bring the most value to your practice.
Decide on metrics to accurately measure progress. If one of your goals is to increase traffic to your website define the traffic measurement metric. Are you going to use total traffic, unique visits, or return visits. Don’t just say “our goal is to increase unique visits to our website”. Write goal statements that define the goal, metrics, increase, and time-frame.
Marketing Goal Statement Example
- Increase total traffic to the practice website by 30 percent by the end of 3rd quarter 2018.
- Increase our Email subscriber list to 1,000 people by the end of 2018.
Armed with goal statements it’s time to turn to strategy. Use the goals to determine strategy. After each goal statement ask the question – how?
Increase total traffic to the corporate website by 30 percent by the end of 3rd quarter 2012. How? By increasing our monthly SEO budget by 50 percent.
The overall strategy is important, it determines where your marketing hours and budget are allocated. The strategy should reflect the analysis, achieve goals and fit within your budget. Strategies vary by industry, location, competition, budget and media mix.
When developing strategy make sure you distinguish between branding and direct marketing activities. Branding activities are those that build recognition of your practice. The value of branding is intangible and difficult to measure. A customer may see your brand in a Google search, on a billboard and in 3-4 plastic surgery directories. Research shows that the more often a consumer sees your brand, the higher their comfort level with your practice and the more likely they are to schedule an appointment. Branding addresses the entire customer experience and should communicate your main value proposition to customers.
Direct marketing activities like inbound marketing, traditional advertising and lead generation are measured differently. The value of a lead generation campaign is based on the number of leads it generates and the cost per lead. A successful lead generation campaign will generate more revenue for the plastic surgery practice than it costs to generate the leads.
The best marketing strategies incorporate both branding and inbound marketing. There will be some overlap between marketing strategies. For instance, SEO can be used for both branding and inbound marketing. The difference lies in the target keywords, the message, and measurement. It is important to distinguish between the two and measure and define their effectiveness differently.
After you decided on a strategy it is time to prepare a tactical approach plan. The plan needs to be manageable, meaning the number of hours per month spent on marketing should be consistent with your budget (whether in-house or agency). The number of hours allocated to each marketing vehicle also needs to be consistent with the return. Don’t spend 10 hours a month on social media if it doesn’t bring in qualified leads. Your overall ROI will be much better if you allocate hours to the vehicles that convert to customers and those that create lasting, positive brand association.
Now implement and measure on a consistent basis. Use the same discerning eye on your monthly reports that you applied during planning. Be willing to change and adapt strategies that aren’t working, but remember to give strategies ample time to set in.
Experts in Plastic Surgery Marketing
Call us to speak with one of our marketing specialists to learn more about how our expertise can help grow your surgical volume and improve your brand.