5 Clinical Marketing Mistakes That Are Hurting Your ROI

I realize that modern marketing must seem at times completely overwhelming. There’s an alarming number of new media to advertise your practice in, people are getting better at avoiding advertisements and, as the popularity of cosmetic medicine continues to rise, so do the number of ads in your market, and the number of competitors. Below I have summarized 5 of the most common mistakes I see when consulting with cosmetic practices. Fixing even just one of these can mean a significant bump in your marketing response rate and revenue.

1. Stop trying to market to everyone. Despite what may appear as logical thinking, “everyone” is NOT your target market. You will make your marketing dollars go a lot further if you take a much more strategic approach and identify those core markets your ideal patients come from. Then, invest your marketing budget on becoming a big fish in a small pond. This is far more preferable to spreading yourself out thinly to everyone in your market. If I had just $10,000 dollars to invest in your marketing, I would invest it on a target market of 2000 people and “touch” them five times with your marketing, rather than targeting 10,000 people and only touching them once. Repetition creates rapport, builds trust and gets your phone to ring instead of your competitors’.

2. Measure all the results of your marketing — religiously. If you can’t measure the results of an ad, you shouldn’t be running it. This kind of advertising is known as “direct response marketing” and it’s the only kind of marketing you should be investing in for your practice. That way, you’re not relying on your patients to tell you whether your marketing is working (which, by the way, is the least scientific way of determining the effectiveness of your ads — your patients say whatever first comes to their head which may well be one of your competitors’ ads!) Only invest your marketing dollars in ads that are working to bring you new patients, and in continually finding new ads and new forms of media to work.

3. Implement “drip campaign” follow-up systems to ensure that no lead is wasted. You’ve invested a great deal of money to get the phone to ring, but just because a patient decides not to move ahead with treatment doesn’t mean that’s a “No” — it just means “Not now.” Stay in front of them and build that relationship through a series of interesting, well-written follow-up campaigns to help build trust with you. This should be part of yourmarketing system to nurture, convert and retain patients — thereby maximizing the value of every patient in your practice and increasing their average lifetime value.

4. Don’t copy your competitors ads! Your goal is to look as different as possible from your competitors — not the same! If you continually market your practice in the same way as others in your market, without realizing it you’re positioning your practice to look like a medical commodity — offering treatments and procedures that sound and look the same as many others. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for prospective patients to be able to tell cosmetic practices apart, which is why they then default to making their decisions based on price.

5. Don’t become overly dependent on one or two lead generation methods. The most common are a heavy reliance on Google Pay-Per-Click advertising or a first page “organic ranking” on Google (meaning your practice appears on Google’s first page of results when someone types in “face lift” or “breast augmentation” or “Botox”. Just last week Facebook shut down an entire Facebook campaign for one of our clients — right before a major event. With no explanation other than to say the ads breached a Facebook policy (unspecified). There’s no number to call, no ad rep to complain to. All you can do is lodge a compliant and request a review, which may take up to a week for Facebook to get to. If this had been the only way this special event had been marketed, that shutdown would have ground everything to a halt. Fortunately it wasn’t, but it served as yet another reminder of how vulnerable your practice is to the whims of digital media companies like Google and Facebook. The more lead generation methods you can have working for your practice — online and offline — the more robust your marketing system and the stronger and more successful your practice will be.