NEW RESEARCH REVEALS AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS COSMETIC ENHANCEMENT

BELLA MEDIA HAS RELEASED A UNIQUE DATA SET ON THE FACTORS INFLUENCING PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS’ DECISIONS TO UNDERGO MINIMALLY INVASIVE AESTHETIC TREATMENTS.

A new consumer survey has highlighted the importance of word of mouth recommendations in the success of aesthetic medical practitioners and their clinics.

The data revealed Australian consumers are more interested in anti-wrinkle injections than any other non- or minimally invasive aesthetic procedure and that ‘looking tired or worried’ is a key reason for seeking out cosmetic treatment.

Commissioned in early 2018 by Bella Media and independently conducted by Insight Patient Satisfaction Solutions, a company specialising in medical market research and consumer experience, the study focused on consumer attitudes and opinions regarding non- and minimally invasive cosmetic medical procedures.

The survey’s target audience was comprised of respondents who had actually undergone cosmedical procedures or who were actively considering doing so in the near future. Responses were obtained from both males and females, across a broad age range.

Questions relating to the following topics were included:

  • Type of procedures participants had undergone or were considering in the future
  • Factors that contributed to their decision to undergo procedures
  • Their process for seeking information about procedures and practitioners
  • Awareness of and familiarity with various medical associations and practitioner terminologies.

RESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICS

Gender and age questions were included in order to determine whether those factors impacted upon attitudes and experiences.

cosmetic surgery survey respondent's age chart cosmetic surgery survey respondent's gender chart

TYPE OF PROCEDURES UNDERGONE OR BEING CONSIDERED

Respondents were asked what type of procedure that had undergone and/or were considering:

Procedure Type Previously undergone Currently considering
Anti-wrinkle injection 77% 69%
Dermal fillers 58% 53%
Microdermabrasion 58% 39%
Laser treatment for skin rejuvenation 47% 59%
Lip enhancement 40% 33%
IPL for freckles/dark spots 40% 34%
Body sculpting for fat reduction 23% 32%
Laser treatment for dermal problems 20% 20%
Facial thread lift 9% 18%

When the data was filtered by age group, several interesting divergences were found. The older group (46+ years) indicated significantly lower interest in:

  • Lip enhancement
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser treatment for dermal problems.

REASONS FOR CONSIDERING TREATMENTS

Respondents were asked to indicate the primary reason for them having undergone or considering treatments:

Felt I was looking tired or worried 33%
Felt that I appeared older than I actually feel 28%
Impressed by positive results achieved by others 15%
Someone else commented on my appearance 2%
Change in personal relationship status 1%
Change in job/career status 0%
Other reason 21%

METHODS OF RESEARCHING PROCEDURES

Respondents were asked how they generally seek information regarding types of treatments available for conditions they were concerned about. From a list of ve methods, they were required to rank them in order of preference, with ve being ‘Most Preferred’. The indicated scores are therefore weighted by average preference out of a maximum possible score of five.

Research Method Weighted Ranking
Information provided by a clinic or practitioner 3.8
Internet/Google search 3.7
Discussion with friends or colleagues 3.6
Online discussion or patient review forums 2.5
Newspapers and women’s magazines 1.6

When the response data was broken into two age groups (16-45 years and 46+ years), little variance was noted. Unsurprisingly, the older age bracket indicated:

  • Slightly lower reliance on Internet searches
  • Slightly higher reliance on newspapers and women’s magazines.

METHODS OF RESEARCHING TREATMENT PROVIDERS

Respondents were asked how they usually seek information regarding speci c clinics or medical practitioners. From a list of 10 options, they were asked to select no more than ve methods. The results are indicated as weighted average percentages.

Research Method Weighted Average
Word of mouth recommendations 80%
Internet/Google search 62%
Clinic/Practitioner websites 45%
Online forums 25%
Facebook 21%
Instagram 15%
Magazines 15%
TV 3%
Radio 2%
Twitter 1%

The response data was again ltered by two age groups (16-45 years and 46+ years). In this instance, a larger variance was noted. The older age bracket indicated:

  • Significantly lower preference for online forums and Instagram
  • Significantly higher preference for magazines.

PATIENT REVIEW FORUMS

With online consumer review forums increasingly becoming a factor in purchase decision making and choice of provider, respondents were asked whether they had visited a patient review forum and, if so, what level of impact it had on their eventual choice of treatment provider.

Impact Factor Response Percentage
None at all 6%
Minimal amount 6%
Some impact 36%
A significant impact 17%
It was the deciding factor 5%
Not applicable (did not visit forums) 30%

Two key findings emerged from this data:

  • 70 per cent of respondents did visit an online patient review forum as part of their selection process
  • 64 per cent indicated that what they read had some impact on their final choice of treatment provider.

BRAND RECOGNITION OF MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS & PROFESSIONAL BODIES

Respondents were asked to nominate which of a number of prominent organisations they had heard of. The indicated scores below show weighted averages of brand recognition:

Organisation Recognition Factor
ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons 54%
ACCS – Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons 52%
ASAPS – Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons 39%
AAFPS – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons 33%
ACAM – Australasian College of Aesthetic Medicine 31%
CPCA – Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia 26%
None of the above 29%

CONSUMER RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL TITLES

Respondents were asked to rank their level of familiarity with ve standard professional titles of medical practitioners, (one being ‘most familiar’). Those rankings have been converted to a recognition factor in weighted percentage terms.

Professional Title Recognition Factor
Plastic Surgeon 86%
Cosmetic Surgeon 74%
Facial Plastic Surgeon 51%
Cosmetic Physician 47%
Cosmetic Doctor 45%

From that data, it is apparent that consumers who have experience with or an interest in cosmetic procedures have a good understanding of the different types of practitioners working within the eld of cosmetic medicine.

KEY FINDINGS

  • ‘Looking tired or worried’ was the main reason consumers had undergone/considered cosmetic enhancement.
  • Respondents were more interested in anti-wrinkle injections than any other procedure.
  • Word of mouth recommendations and Google were the most popular sources of information about clinics and practitioners.
  • 70 per cent of respondents did visit an online patient review forum as part of their decision making process.