My Top 5 Aesthetic Marketing Predictions for 2016

Wow. Who knew another year would fly by so fast. But here we are — on the eve of another bright, shiny new year — bursting with possibility and massive opportunity for those with the courage to act on it.
I’ve said it so, so many times, but I’ll say it again because you still may not hear it enough. “There has never been a more perfect time for you to be in private practice… and there has never been a more perfect time for you to be in aesthetics.” I was listening to one of Dr. Renato Saltz’s presentations at the Global Aesthetics Conference in Miami, when he said that the Beauty Industry is the next trillion-dollar industry — the first was automobiles, the second was technology, and the third is going to be the beauty industry.
It’s so exciting to think that you’re not even scratching the surface with what you can accomplish — professionally, financially and personally. But as you know, such massive opportunity is always a double-edged sword.  There will always be stampedes of people who will flock to the next biggest shiny object. We saw it with the housing bubble and the massive proliferation of real estate agents and mortgage brokers, and we’ll be seeing far, far more people flocking to the beauty industry — who most likely won’t have any medical training at all (and those that do will be coming from non-core specialties with scarily little aesthetic training).
If your marketing message isn’t carefully crafted and your personal brand elevated, and if your marketing engine isn’t cranked up on High — in the coming year(s), it will become even easier for you to get swept away in the tidal wave of “me-too” aesthetic medical practices.
To help prevent that from happening, here are my Top 10 Aesthetic Marketing Predictions to help you stay ahead of the curve:

1. The Meteoric Rise of “The Personal Brand”

The Kardashians do it, Steve Jobs did it, and Sir Richard Branson does it today, in style, with his multi-billion dollar group of companies and a flair for the risqué. All of these business moguls have built their empires around a personal brand that encompasses their own personality — what I call Personality Infused Marketing. It’s the exact opposite of sounding like a boring, cold, “corporate” brand, and it brings the human (and entertainment) element back into marketing. Marketing always has been, and always will be, a form of entertainment — that sells. If it doesn’t demand someone’s attention, then it isn’t going to get read. If your clinical practice is struggling to differentiate itself from your competitors, it might be time for a branding facelift — one that repositions your practice, breathes new life into your service offerings and attracts new patients to you.
2. Even Fiercer Competition in the Digital Marketing Space Means Don’t Abandon Traditional Advertising
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past five years, you’ll know all about the importance of using results-based digital marketing as a foundation for your marketing. While I am a massive fan of digital marketing (there’s nothing like knowing if you have a winning campaign on your hands, in thirty minutes or less) — digital marketing should NOT be the only kind of marketing you’re doing in your practice. Why? Because everyone else is doing it and the online “noise” (i.e., the number of ads) continues to explode, and my prediction in 2016 is that this trend will continue at an even greater rate (see below). It might be “cheaper” on the front end to get a call to your office, but at all times, your competition is only a mouse-click away and, from the hundreds of thousands of scientific ad testing we’ve conducted over the past twelve months, the results continue to support the idea that a patient who finds your practice through online channels versus traditional marketing is more likely not to show up, and if they do — will be harder to convert because they discovered your practice through the internet (which is a low-trust media). The lesson? You need to implement a marketing engine — a marketing system for your business that uses multi-media — traditional media as well as digital, and above all, scientifically tracks the results so you can make informed marketing decisions about where is best to invest your budget.
3. Some of the Biggest So-Called “Impartial” Review Websites Are Going to Come Under Attack, as Patients Realize That Reviews Can Be Bought, Sold and Buried (Which Means That Trust of Your Profession Is Going to Drop to An All-Time Low)
This is why you have to continue to invest in traditional media, which is far more effective at building trust with prospective patients — it takes no effort to hit Send on an email, but it takes a lot of effort to send a direct mail piece, write a book or a well-thought-out article. To build trust with your patients, 2016 needs to be all about consistency — getting your marketing on autopilot so that patients (new and existing) hear from you on a very regular basis, and not just electronically. The physician who can show that he or she cares the most — WINS (and the best way to accomplish this is through your marketing).
4. The War for Attention on the Internet Between Media Channels Will Heat Up — Some Social Media Platforms Folding, Others Thriving
Facebook will continue to be the 800-pound gorilla, (it already surpassed Google Adwords earlier this year). Twitter will go away. LinkedIn will continue being an important force for connecting with professional men and women on a different level.New contenders in the paid advertising space are going to be Amazon (yes, watch them take on both Facebook and Google), and a couple of upstart tech companies that we’re watching closely with disruptive technology who are starting to make big waves with how we connect and communicate with people online — and offline. Viewing on mobile devices will continue to be the dominant way people choose to search for your practice and contact you.
5. 2016 Will Be the Year of the “Video Star”
If you’re not yet actively using video to attract and retain new patients in your practice, 2016 is the year you should.

  1. 59% of viewers will watch a video to completion that is less than one minute. – Wistia
  2. 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. – Invodo
  3. 65% of high-paid executives have visited a vendor’s site after watching a video. 39% have called a vendor after watching their site. – Forbes
  4. 70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium. – MarketingProfs
  5. When marketers included a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200–300% – Forrester
  6. The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video. – Mist Media
  7. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. – YouTube
  8. 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. – comScore
  9. Visitors who view videos stay on web sites an average of 2 minutes longer than those who don’t view videos – comScore
  10.  6 billion hours of video are watched monthly on YouTube – YouTube
  11. 1.8 million words is the value of one minute of video. – Dr. James McQuivey, Forrester
  12. Only 24% of brands are using online video to market to consumers. – Kantar Media