The Cartessa Practice Development team is in the trenches everyday talking with customers on strategies to take their aesthetic practices to the next level. Whether a practice is on the west coast or across the country, many of the questions and business challenges are the same. So with the first quarter of 2019 over, and the busiest time of year upon us, we’ve decided to focus on two of the most pressing questions our team gets daily:
When is the best time to promote a specific treatment?
How far in advance should you be planning?
These are great and, pun intended, timely questions. Allow us to infuse the conversation with what we’ve learned from our customer base and our aesthetic marketing expertise.
#1 WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PROMOTE SPECIFIC TREATMENTS?
Setting the treatment up for success
When thinking about when to promote a specific treatment, here are some critical questions you should be asking yourself:
When is the ideal time – or perhaps more important – should the treatment be avoided during particular times of the year?
EXAMPLE: Intensive CO2 treatments shouldn’t be your focus during the summer months BUT RF Microneedling is a great option for patients throughout the summer months.
The number of treatments that are ideal to obtain optimal results.
EXAMPLE: To obtain patient’s optimal results with RF Microneedling, we recommend a minimum of 3 treatments spaced 4 – 6 weeks apart.
Seasonal / holiday campaigns that are beneficial to take advantage of.
EXAMPLE: New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Graduation, Thanksgiving, etc.
Consider and plan profitable cross-promotional campaigns.
EXAMPLE: Purchase an RF Microneedling package and receive 30% off a skincare product regimen of your choice!
Using these examples as a roadmap, your next treatment push might look something like this: “Looking for a great Mother’s day gift? Our Mother’s Day package includes 3 RF Microneedling treatments so the special woman in your life can pamper herself all summer long!”
Always think about the treatments from the patients’ perspective
After all, who wants to remove hair in the midst of summer when they have to avoid the sun for a period of time? Not many. Likewise, how many RF Microneedling treatments should the Bride-to-Be complete to ensure that optimal glow while walking down the aisle? Or how many acne treatments might someone be able to squeeze in during their summer break from academics?
In many cases, the right time to market a specific treatment follows general, common sense. However, sometimes we are so entrenched in our day to day tasks that we neglect to slow down and dedicate a planning session to a more ‘thoughtful and impactful marketing plan’. Marketing with a plan, and a timely one at that, will reap far more return than ad hoc marketing ever will.
#2 How Far in Advance Should You be Planning?
There are many different thoughts on the best approach to planning marketing campaigns. In general, you should look to plan 90 days at a time. This allows you to adequately plan for upcoming holidays/trends and seasonal events.
We’ve found that the biggest variable, and often the biggest challenge, comes down to a practice’s resources (time, people and budget) to effectively strategize and execute. Does your practice have a dedicated marketing associate or are you squeezing in the marketing tasks after seeing patients all day? Regardless of your accessible resources, these are some general guidelines you will want to follow to ensure successful marketing planning.
Have a rough, high level quarterly plan in place so you and your team have a good feel for what’s on the horizon and what you can tap into for seasonal campaigns that we just discussed above.
Upon organizing a quarterly plan, outline a more tactical 30-day plan. Remember, the tactics are the nitty gritty details to executing the overall plan.
Have weekly or bi-weekly, marketing meetings (or set aside time to review marketing tasks if a sole practitioner) to ensure items stay on track and/or adjust as needed.
Cartessa has devised a Marketing Planning Calendar that we would invite you to use as a tool in your planning endeavors. Simply CLICK HERE to download a copy of our 2019 Marketing Planning Calendar Template and start planning what you should be targeting your patients and prospective patients with, as soon as possible.
Again, although there’s a year’s worth of planning ideas, we encourage you to focus the initial 30 days on tactical and task-based items while focusing on high level planning ideas for the following three months.
All good plans are well intended, but remember, a plan is just a plan until you execute. A practice can not effectively execute unless there are proper champions in place ensuring items get checked off the list. There’s nothing more frustrating than setting aside hours with the staff to layout a thoughtful and impactful marketing plan only to watch it sit on the sidelines without execution, so make sure to:
Assign Champions to specific tasks that are directly related to your marketing calendar.
Set clear deadlines for tasks.
Schedule regular follow-up meetings to monitor progress.
Be flexible – a good plan is one that can respond, in a timely manner, to opportunities and new insights.
There’s a reason why successful practices have dedicated marketing efforts in place, whether it’s via a marketing consultant or a part -time or full-time marketing executive. Successful practices understand that marketing is critical and a necessity to not only attract new patients, but to create and maintain loyal patients. The Cartessa Aesthetics Practice Development Team is here to help – to not only integrate new technologies into your practice, but to be a resource for building your business. Want to learn more about Cartessa, contact us today!