Your practice brand will determine how you and your staff intend to operate. The basic tenets of your brand should be able to guide you through the decision-making process. Everything you do, investments to be made, changes to the practice, new services, additional locations, strategic partners, should align with your brand. Before you make your next move, ask yourself, ‘Is this on brand?’ If it isn’t, change course.

These 5 steps are a roadmap to making your brand work.

  1. – Identify any voids in your market

Examine the market you are in to ensure you have identified a unique value proposition that will resonate with patients and the community. Consider focusing on areas where there is high demand for specific services, but few options currently available to patients so you can fill an unmet need. For example, if you are in a market where there is a void in non-surgical body sculpting available, you may be able to capitalize on it by being ‘the first practice’ to offer that service and run with it.

  1. – Promote what makes you special

Build a marketing campaign to communicate your points of difference to your patients and the community on a constant basis. This can include digital marketing, text messaging, Facebook messaging and ads, email blasts, newsletters, seminars and open house events, e-books, Instagram promotions, and more. Make sure that your messages are consistent and line up with who you are. You may also consider promoting what makes your practice unique in a unique way; i.e. test a method that has not been used before to stand out. For instance, if there are no aesthetic practices advertising on local TV or drive time radio, or no one has capitalized on outdoor advertising in the form of billboards or bus stop ads, that could be a novel way to generate some buzz for your brand in your local market.

  1. – Measure your results

Tracking your progress is critically important for marketers. In this age of analytics, it is no longer feasible to just think something is working or not working. You need hard data so you can know for sure. Start by setting reasonable expectations for all your marketing tactics and measure your results before and after each campaign. What you measure depends on the impact you want to achieve from each tactic. For example, repeat patient visits, new consultations, increased product sales, more likes, fans, or followers, patient referrals, higher average ticket price per visit, etc. It’s not enough just to learn that the campaign didn’t work as well as you imagined; you also need to figure out why.

  1. – Convert your print spend to digital

You’ve heard it before – digital is the new print. So, now is the right time to reconsider what how you are spending your marketing budget and hit the refresh button. If you’re still printing trifold brochures on thin glossy paper, stop it now! These are so yesterday. Consider creating an e-book for specific themes of interest to your patients. These are cost-effective and can be updated easily anytime because they are created in a digital format. Another idea is to review any print advertising you may be invested in and rethink that spend. Perhaps it would be better invested in enhance SEO or Google ads for a new treatment or service you are featuring, or Facebook advertising to drive more eyes to your business page.

  1. -Enter to win some awards

Today there are myriad ‘award’ programs that your practice can tap into. Frankly, many of these are pay for play opportunities and not exactly real rewards voted on by actual patients. However, they may add value. You can promote your ‘award’ or even a ‘runner up’ mention through social media channels, post it all over your website and marketing materials, and it gives you some bragging rights in your local community. Every patient wants to think they are going to a practice that has received the accolades of media, peers, and patients.

Looking for more branding and marketing tips? Check out Wendy Lewis’ best-selling book, Aesthetic Clinic Marketing in the Digital Age (CRC Press 2018).