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| MARKETING 101 | PRACTICE MANAGEMENT S When executed properly, and with a


sufficient budget in mind, marketing can reliably


produce favourable returns on investment and pay long-term dividends.


ometimes your success in terms of steering clear of common pitfalls is measured by knowing what not to do. Here are six frequent mistakes that clinic owners and managers often make, and tips for avoiding these traps.


Not looking at marketing as an investment Marketing should be viewed as an investment in your practice, rather than merely a line item under your clinic’s operating expenses. When executed properly, and with a sufficient budget in mind, marketing can reliably produce favourable returns on investment and pay long-term dividends. Marketing professionals influence and enhance the outcomes by creating a unique, unified brand through consistent messaging, the right vehicles, and flawless execution. As with any other investment, results from your


marketing efforts will be built by using multiple strategies, and can be adjusted as needed to maximise effectiveness. The success of strategic marketing gets compounded over time; therefore, it is counter-productive to cut back your marketing expenses when patient flow slows down or your clinic is not busy enough. In fact, one could argue that it is the perfect time to respond more aggressively with your marketing efforts. Pulling back on getting your name out there and failing to communicate with existing patients to encourage referrals will only hurt your


clinic’s chances of success in the future.


Promoting services instead of solutions to problems Aesthetic medicine is a service, not a product.A product can easily be duplicated or copied, but a service culture that delivers results and makes an effort to take good care of patients is much harder to replicate. Think of the services featured in your clinic as


solutions to the problems that patients present with. For example, patients may seek you out to address the problem of acne and oily skin eruptions. The best solution may be prescription drugs, topical agents, chemical peels, light-based technologies, or a combination of some or all of these. Some patients go to your clinic to look younger: you can offer neurotoxins and dermal fillers, resurfacing lasers and skin tightening systems, as well as advanced skincare. Another solution you may offer is cosmetic surgery of


WENDY LEWIS is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 11 books, and Founder/ Editor-in-Chief of www. beautyinthebag.com since 2008. She is a contributor to a number of trade and consumer publications in the USA and Europe.


contact wl@wlbeauty.com


the face and eyelids. The key message that should be conveyed to patients is that your clinic offers comprehensive solutions to their problems or concerns. It is well documented that most people first seek


information and solutions online, rather than from practitioners or clinics.Most searches conducted are for information on a specific condition, such as wrinkles, brown spots, hair loss, or loose skin. Consumers may search for a practitioner who specialises in solutions


prime-journal.com | November/December 2012 ❚ 65


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