The patient buying spectrum involves many factors, not only the obvious ones, like price and convenience. It can be helpful to get into your patients’ and clients’ heads to find out more about what makes them tick.

Aesthetic treatments are not typically considered an ‘impulse purchase,’ as in something patients choose on a whim. Rather, they tend to fall at the opposite end of the buying spectrum. They are more commonly ‘considered purchases,’ that patients think about, research, ask for recommendations. They will be willing to invest some time seeking the information they need to make a purchasing decision to get it right. In fact, they will tend to spend more time based on the level of intervention that may be indicated. For example, a consumer may read some reviews or ask a few friends or doctors before spending $150 on a facial moisturizer. Whereas, they may see several doctors in consultation and do a deeper dive into reviews and research to choose a skin tightening treatment that may cost $2,000 or more.

Step 1
Identify their needs. They need to determine what is most on their mind. Do they want fuller lips vs. smoother skin? Fillers or cosmetic surgery? Lasers or creams?

Step 2
Collect information, ask friends and other sources for recommendations, go online to do research, and read reviews and ratings.

Step 3
Next is to evaluate the alternatives to find out what other options are available, compare prices, downtime, risks, results, availability, etc.

Step 4
Only after Steps 1 through 3 above have been completed, are most patients ready to actually make a purchasing decision.

Patients today may need a number of different messages to convince them to take the plunge. The major factors that affect consumer behavior can be broken down into three categories; psychological, personal, and social. The magnitude of the decision in the eyes of the patient should guide how you market your practice and services. When a patient has all the information she needs, she will then consider alternatives and weigh the factors against each other.

Understanding how your patients think can go far to help your practice thrive.

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