Why Aesthetic Medical Marketing Is SO Hard (Why American Skin & Laser Failed)
If you find marketing your practice confusing, stressful or outright annoying you’re certainly not alone. In the same way that aesthetic medicine reinvents itself every 3 to 5 years thanks to the advancement of new technologies, the way you market your practice changes dramatically too. Unfortunately though, not everyone is up with the play and it’s important that your practice doesn’t get left behind. As I’m writing this, one of our private clients phoned the office to let us know that American Skin and Laser just closed its 130 locations. I can’t say I’m surprised. Their marketing strategy is an excellent example of what I referred to in the introductory article of this report as “Walmart” marketing. They focused on promoting technology and their treatments, which meant that the only way they could survive would be by waging a price war. While that strategy has worked for Walmart, the road is strewn with colossal failures of other businesses that relied on price as the way to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.
Here are some of the core learnings from American Skin & Laser’s shortcomings from a marketing perspective:
Never, never rely on price to be your unique message in the marketplace. There will always be a competitor who will be bigger and hungrier than you, to undercut your prices.
Refuse to let your practice be marketed like your competitors. The vast majority of websites I see for physicians are made from boilerplates. A few pictures are different, but the messaging is practically identical. I can’t emphasize strongly enough the need for your marketing to be highly customized to you. It MUST make you stand out. It MUST tell your story. Your marketing MUST be as good as YOU are.
Stop promoting technology in your ads, and start promoting you. If you promote technology (e.g. the latest lasers, etc.) you are turning yourself into a medical commodity. Don’t implement the marketing campaigns the technology companies give you (all your competitors will be doing that). Create your own. Remember, different wins.