Launching Your Practice’s New Services

Written by on January 31, 2014 in Features - No comments

How to define your new target markets and increase awareness of new services offered 

You’re a physician with a healthy practice, but you’re interested in adding Med Spa services and products. You are suddenly looking at line extension marketing and increasing awareness. Two strategies for growing your practice you, perhaps, have never had to do.

As a medical professional, your practice is defined as a service business. Pretty clearly, service businesses are defined by the American Marketing Association as enterprises that are established and maintained for the purpose of providing services (rather than or in addition to products) to private and/or commercial customers. The AMA defines those services as “activities, benefits, or satisfactions which are offered for sale or are provided in connection with the sale of goods.”

Entrepreneurs engaged in medical-based service businesses must recognize how service marketing differs from product marketing, especially if their growth includes products. Service marketing can be far more challenging than the marketing of products because of these three distinctive characteristics of service offerings: 1) Services are intangible; 2) Services are perishable; 3) Services cannot be separated from the provider.

This all changes when you add a line extension that puts you into a product-driven market and has many aggressive competitors. That’s not to say that you don’t compete with other service providers, but at the risk of sounding silly, the points of difference are, well…they are entirely different.

So, up until considering the addition of non-medical procedures to your menu of offerings, such as those that are cosmetic or product related, you’ve probably never thought of how you compete for market-share in your local/regional markets. All of that changes when you offer a competitive service that’s outside the range of insurance-covered medical procedures and care.

Since 1996, there’s been tremendous expansion in the number of medical spas available to consumers. See, right there. Did you catch that? Your patient just turned into a consumer.

What’s important to realize is that everyone is opening Med Spas, from dentists to general physicians and internal physicians to OB/GYNs. And even though you may want to enter the market, how will your medical spa differentiate itself from the one down the hall or next door, or near the supermarket?

First things first: If you are considering adding Med Spa services, create a survey to give your new patients when they are filling out their health background forms asking whether they would be interested in receiving medical esthetic services, such as injectables, skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal from you. When asking them, be sure to list all the services that you are thinking of offering and don’t forget to ask them if they want to be included in the grand opening celebration and offers.

It’s imperative that you check out your state’s medical and cosmetology boards to make sure you are in complete compliance before you invest anything in overhead expenses or marketing dollars. Many details and legalities must be considered, like making sure you have the right experience to determining the scope of practice for nurses and estheticians. Be cautious and invest time and money in knowing the legalities in your state. Smart money spent now saves headaches later.

Your second step is to develop a concept for your new line extension that is unique. If it isn’t something someone else has, even if only by the way you bundle, offer memberships instead of a la carte or exclusive products. It’s important to create a facility that will be easily separated from the competition. From the color you paint your walls and the décor you place in the waiting room to the retail product you offer for sale, you are establishing yourself as a unique facility. There needs to be consistency and professionalism.

  • Make sure that you choose to offer a product line that supports its claims and is results oriented
  • Offer the most utilized treatments (botox, injectables, microdermabrasion, and skin rejuvenation treatments top the list)
  • Watch the trade magazines for new and updated technologies in skin care
  • If space allows, consider adding body contour devices

Your third step is to create a unique personalized consultation process during which your potential customer is fully educated about the options that are really right for them, and why one service is recommended over another. After the consultation, clients should leave with a totally unique, personalized treatment plan listing all potential services—invasive and noninvasive—from which they can benefit from. Also, the treatment plan should outline the financial aspect of the services recommended should be covered so your customer can make an informed decision on next steps to take.

Once patient interest has been researched, legal and medical details have been ironed out, a concept has been determined and the Med Spa’s grand opening has been arranged, it’s time for your marketing to kick in. Here are fifteen marketing tips and strategies that will help increase your Med Spa’s visibility without eating up your entire budget.

  • Include a complete educational consultation to help patients understand the different available treatment options.
  • Organize seasonal promotions to encourage clients to try different services.
  • Organize weekly promotions to create excitement.
  • Host educational evenings twice a year to introduce your patients to all the services you offer.
  • Hold anniversary events every year and invite the local paper in order to make it a VIP event.
  • Send birthday cards to your clients that include a gift certificate or discount on Med Spa services.
  • Perform community service in your area to create branding while helping a good cause.
  • Produce a loyalty program that offers Med Spa dollars and discounts.
  • Create a Med Spa service menu and keep it visible for anyone and everyone to take.
  • Direct mail to your clients twice a year to promote events and special promotions.
  • Create an e-newsletter to educate your clients about your services and products.
  • Make sure you dedicate virtual space to your new line extensions on your website and in social media. Offer incentives to “like” and “follow” your business online.
  • Donate to different charity events.
  • Participate in women’s trade events.
  • Organize evenings of education in golf clubs and gyms.
  • So many marketing tactics can be created without spending too much money; however, if you have the budget, you should seriously consider investing in a public relations firm that will prepare a yearly marketing plan for your Med Spa facility.

There are endless details involved in transitioning into or opening a Med Spa as a line extension to your medical practice. However, if you do your due diligence, research the market, consider your competition, stay visible in your community and exceed patients/customers’ expectations, you’ll be the proud owner of the most popular new Med Spa in town!

By Lori Gertz 
Freakin’ Genius Marketing

 

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