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Practice Marketing, Advertising and PR

By: Krista Bourne and Trish Stack
Posted: January 28, 2010, from the November 2009 issue of
Billboard

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Abstract: Knowing your current and potential audience, as well as backing a strong branding concept and making sure your business meets the highest in quality standards, are key to marketing and advertising success.

Branding. Marketing. Advertising. Public perception. These can be daunting undertakings when entering the medical aesthetic field. Marketing, advertising and public relations are three distinctly separate—and yet often interchangeable—fields that can confuse any individual working in or running a medical practice. If these challenges are met individually, success can be limited. However, if they are addressed correctly, the collaboration can be very successful. In this issue, “Insights” will cover three common questions that pertain to these distinct fields.

Q: Are print, radio and television ads worth the price and effort?

A: Any solid business plan will include marketing and advertising strategies. When making the jump into advertising, it is easy to wonder if the investment is going to pay off. It is important to calculate how much a new client would need to spend in order to justify the price of your advertising medium, which will help you decide upon the choices that make the most dollar sense for your business. Although there are numerous examples of advertising not being worthwhile, when done correctly, advertising can be a worthy investment of time and resources.

Meet your current patients’ needs. It is empirically more difficult and more expensive to try to persuade a new person to become a patient than to ensure a current patient purchases more goods and services. Do not advertise simply to bring in new clients if you have not fully saturated marketing to your current client base. You can do this through sending direct mail and e-mail correspondence, offering incentives that are only for your current clients, and building a comprehensive Internet presence where your clients can connect with you. These marketing solutions can be relatively inexpensive, and provide a strong return on investment for your business.

Determine who you are trying to reach. Are you growing your current patient base, ready to expand your business with new patients or starting from scratch with no patients at all? This is a question of target audience, and whether you are just entering the field or have been in practice for decades, it is an imperative one to ask before deciding whether to advertise.