Marketing medispas & clinics

For many clinicians, marketing is still a dirty word. Words by Ricky Allen.

Once you start paying rent, paying staff and taxes you have a business, and no business will survive unless it has an effective marketing plan.

The main aspect of marketing you should be aware of is the fact that there are confines on any marketing activities you may want to undertake. These confines are imposed by the TGA in relation to certain treatments that your clinic or medispa may undertake. The other confines are the rules relating to marketing set down by APHRA.

Follow all the rules and you will never have any problems.

Most importantly, though, you should make sure that no marketing activity affects your credibility levels. The most important selling feature of any medispa or clinic is their level of credibility. Lose that and you will have killed much of your business and it is very hard to restore your credibility once it is lost.

If you decide that marketing is too unknown a quantity for you and you decide to hire someone to perform this role then please make sure he or she has a proven track record in marketing medispas and clinics.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to speak to clinicians about a marketing activity their adviser has just undertaken or even a press release or an invitation that I have received from a marketing person that totally contravened the guidelines of APHRA and , to top it off, was also a negative activity.

A marketing plan should be planned to run over a year and each aspect of that plan should be monitored so that the following year you can decide if the activity is worth carrying out again the next year. That monitoring should last for the year of the plan as some activities such as advertising may be bringing patients in in small numbers over a whole year rather than just the next week after publication.

The same can apply to any speaking engagements you may undertake. All the attendees may not be ready to book in right then and there but later in the year or even the next year may fit better with their timeframe.

Before you undertake any external marketing plan make sure that the most important aspect of your business, your internal marketing, is correct. If not, you may be bringing patients into an environment where they will leave not being very happy.

Never forget the golden rule: if your patient is happy they will tell five people; if they are unhappy they will tell 10. When you look at those figures, having all internal aspects perfect is crucial.

Social marketing is an aspect of marketing that is still in a learning cycle when it comes to medispas and clinics. Do too much or do it in the wrong way and you will end up with more haters and negatives than you ever wanted. Remember that it is very easy for your competition to use social media against you as they can do it anonymously. Be social media smart and it can really reap rewards.

Many of you will want to sell your clinic or medispa and use the money as your retirement fund. If that is the case then you should be able to show at least five years of marketing plans attached to your business for it to be taken seriously. They show that you have a long term grounding and growth in your business with good public awareness.

Very sadly I often get calls from clinicians who want to retire and cannot sell their business. How do I tell them they really do not have a functioning business and thereby nothing to sell.

They never have had any marketing plans and they often have had their wife running their business as well. Selling their wife as well as their business is not really a good idea either.

Being able to keep a business manager on in the changeover period in any business is very important for the continued stability of that business so if your wife or husband runs your business now makes sure he or she does not when you go to sell.

In fact, many of the areas which a business analyst will look at when assessing your business are part of internal marketing or the real grounding aspect of that business.

Putting together and implementing a marketing plan can really be fun if you do it in the right way. Try to involve all the staff when putting down ideas of your 12-month plan as you would be surprised at some of the great ideas they will come up with.

I hear a lot from clinicians that “I’m busy now so I am not going to do any marketing”. That is a real trap because no business is ever full 365 days of the year and a business’s numbers can reverse overnight. I know of one clinician who went from being booked almost 12 months in advance to being booked only one week in advance because of a very negative marketing activity in which they took part.

Remember: marketing grows your business if executed properly. It is not a mystic science but rather a science which uses facts and figures, just like any other science.

Ricky Allen will be running one-day workshops around Australia on Marketing your Medispa or Clinic. For more information contact Ricky on rickyall@tpg.com.au or call 0412 700 720.

About the authorAllen-Ricky

Ricky Allen BSC. BHSC. Dip. HM. Dip.PA has a nursing degree, psychology degree and diplomas in beauty therapy, paramedical aesthetics and medical marketing. She has taught in Australia, New Zealand and the USA and has extensive experience and knowledge of the aesthetic medicine industry.