By Cheryl Whitman Beautiful Forever Consulting
One of the things that makes the medical aesthetics industry so exciting is the near constant influx of new technologies, new techniques and new research related to cosmetic enhancement and antiaging. Virtually every aspect of what was considered “state of the art” 10 years ago has changed—not once, but many times.
Not surprisingly, practitioners and facilities that want to maintain their market share must stay up to date on the latest advances in aesthetic enhancement and be willing to adopt new technologies that deliver better outcomes or provide new solutions for difficult-to-treat concerns. Not only can introducing new technologies improve care, it helps to attract and retain patients who want to experience the latest and greatest procedures.
But with equipment costs ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000, it is key to investigate new technologies thoroughly prior to purchase and create a plan that will ensure adequate demand once the new device or treatment is in place.
Investigating New Technologies
Once you have determined that your practice and patients will benefit from a new technology, it’s time to decide which device you should purchase. In many cases, there are multiple suppliers available, so you want to look at not only the reputation of the manufacturer and the specific device, but also what kind of training, marketing support and financial incentives the companies offer.
Some factors to consider are:
- Is the efficacy of the device supported by references from qualified physicians?
- Does the manufacturer offer marketing support—such as in-office signage and promotional materials, co-op advertising dollars and consumer marketing programs, e.g., physician finders or custom websites—that will help drive patients to your facility?
- Does the manufacturer offer full training support, including training for front desk and support staff?
- Does the manufacturer offer attractive financing options, including rent-to-own options?
- Does the device require consumables, and can your market support the treatment cost?
Attracting Patients to New Technology
Once you’ve decided on a device, the real work begins. In order to maximize the potential of new technologies and treatments, practices must take a three-prong marketing approach that includes:
- Creating awareness among both prospective and existing patients;
- Generating interest by showing patients what your new technology has to offer;
- Motivating action by giving patients a reason to send an email or make an appointment.
The best way to create awareness of your new offering is to introduce it to your existing patient base through internal marketing efforts. These include: video loops in reception areas, in-office signage, patient newsletters, blog posts and social media announcements. In addition to—and in conjunction with—your own efforts, take advantage of all marketing support provided by the manufacturer.
Blog posts should be short—250 words or so. These educational posts, which appear on your website, can also be shared on social media and in your patient newsletters. The content of the post should include an announcement of the new treatment and a brief description of how it works as well as before and after images. In order to generate interest and motivate action, offer a discount promotion or announce an event at which patients can see the treatment performed and learn more.
Image copyright Getty Images.