Is Your Marketing as Good as You Are?

One day I was out riding my horse on a trail not far from our house, and all of a sudden there was a rustle in the bushes to our left. My mare exploded in fright — convinced she was about to be eaten, and it would usually be at about this point that I would have found myself eating dirt (best case scenario) or with broken bones and serious injury (worst case scenario). It turned out the rustle was nothing more than a chipmunk on the hunt for a rogue nut, but it took my horse a full ten seconds to calm down and for me to release my death grip on the horn of my new saddle. It was just then that I realized that the only thing that kept me in my seat was my new (uber expensive) saddle — purchased just a couple weeks earlier.

Although I’ve owned a horse for six years, like most new riders I didn’t know too much about the right equipment to buy. So I relied on the recommendations of others, which had resulted in my having very “piecemeal” equipment that I was always swapping bits in and out of.

What it really meant was that I wasted significant amounts of money and valuable horse-riding time grappling with equipment, instead of just being able to enjoy riding my horse. A month earlier I had decided I’d had enough of doing things the hard way. I sought out the very best horse trainer I could find — an Australian guy based in Texas. He took one look at my equipment and, unlike every other trainer I had worked with who just “added stuff”, he took everything off and we started from scratch. The end result — an entirely new set of equipment where each piece is designed to work with the other pieces, including a brand new expensive saddle, renowned for helping you keep your butt in your seat and building your confidence to ride.

That day with the chipmunk scare, then, my new saddle paid for itself many times over. It saved me a great deal of stress, not to mention potential injury and a trip to the emergency room, time off work… In fact, I would willingly have paid many times more than what I did for that saddle. My only regret is that I wasted all that time and didn’t seek out the very best sooner than I did.

It occurred to me, also, that marketing your aesthetic practice is very similar to riding a horse. When you work with a new marketing company or consultant, the vast majority just give you new things to add on to your existing marketing — a Google Pay-Per-Click campaign, a new website, new radio campaign, social media… But the result is that you wind up with a piecemeal marketing strategy (the same way that I ended up with piecemeal riding equipment).

In marketing, just like with horse riding, adding more marketing “stuff” is rarely going to give you a breakthrough result.

If you’ve been struggling with your marketing, finding it increasingly difficult to make your practice stand out, or watching your marketing budget increase without a subsequent increase in revenue — simply adding more campaigns or more media isn’t going to fix your problem.

Bluntly, you have a marketing message problem — namely, the message that is being marketed about your practice is missing its mark. It’s not being heard. Ignored.

Why? Because, I suspect, the way your practice has been marketed up until this point is very very similar to the way your competition has. Similar kind of branding, similar kinds of ads, website, etc.

None of this is your fault. Unfortunately, most medical marketing companies take the boilerplate approach to marketing physicians. And they default to a marketing message that’s technology-focused instead of physician-focused.

I’m going to say that last point here again, because it’s so important. Chances are that your marketing message is technology-focused instead of physician-focused: “We offer Coolsculpting, Verona, Ultherapy…” which, unfortunately, immediately moves you from being a discerning aesthetic medical practice of note — into being just another medical commodity. I call this kind of technology-focused advertising “Walmart advertising”, because it moves you front-and-center into the price-war game, which is NOT where you want to be.

The truth is that most people are not looking for a cheap, quick beauty fix to reverse aging and make us look years younger. While the technology available is certainly of interest, what we’re really after is a physician we can TRUST.

And there’s the most important word in your practice: TRUST. Trust-based marketing is the most powerful, most persuasive kind of marketing there is. It is your ultimate competitive advantage. Technology-focused marketing does nothing to build trust. On the other hand, physician-focused marketing goes a very long way toward building it.

So how do you transition your practice from this technology- and commodity-based marketing to trust-based marketing? By repositioning your practice entirely, and giving it a trust-based marketing extreme makeover.

Attracting more (and more lucrative) patients isn’t about adding more “marketing stuff”, handed to you piecemeal by those who don’t bother to understand that you and your practice are your own unique, most effective marketing assets. Ask yourself, “Is my marketing as good as I am?”

Just as I learned riding a horse, sometimes you have to throw all the tack off and rebuild from the ground up — to get the results and recognition you deserve.