A esthetic business owners can often be confused about their marketing message.
Some think it’s their mission statement, company slogan or strapline, while others think it’s a regurgitation of all the awards they have won and how long they’ve been in business. But, it’s none of the above. In this feature, we will look at how to build extraordinary key marketing messages.
Your marketing messages are what attract patients, tell them how you can solve their problems, why they should trust you, and why they should choose to use you over someone else. They should “speak” to potential clients by hitting the spot that triggers an emotional reaction within them.
The following is a simple five-step method for creating your marketing message.
IDENTIFYING YOUR TARGET MARKET
The first step starts by asking, “Who is my target market?” Once you have narrowed this down, it’s easier to craft a message to that market. I often workshop this with my clients, which is covered later on.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEMS THAT YOUR TARGET MARKET EXPERIENCES
The second step involves asking, “What problems do my target market have and how does it make them feel?” The secret to creating a marketing message that will make your audience sit up and listen is to identify what their problem is and the pain and suffering they feel because of that problem. People don’t care about you until they know you care. Identifying your audience’s problems tells them that you understand and empathise with them.
PRESENT YOUR SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM
In the third step we ask, “What solutions to this problem do I have to offer to a new patient?” Present your solution as a simple cure for what your audience feels because of their problem. Now, identify all the benefits of your solution and how those benefits will improve your client’s life and take away all their pain and anguish.
PRESENT THE RESULTS YOU’VE PRODUCED FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN THE SAME SITUATION
The next step is to ask yourself, “What results has solution produced?” It’s not enough just to tell people you have a solution; you must prove that your solution works. You can talk all day about how you solved this and that problem, but people believe other people who are like them who have achieved positive results. In this step, you’ll need to prove your results by giving testimonials from current and former patients and provide case studies of actual problems that were solved and the results that were achieved.
EXPLAIN WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM YOUR COMPETITORS
The fifth step starts by asking, “How am I different from my competitors?” Patients are looking for you to communicate your differences and those differences need to have perceived value to them. It needs to be something they care about.
THE BIGGEST MARKETING MESSAGE MISTAKES
The biggest mistake people make with their marketing messages is communicating ‘what we do’ instead of ‘what’s in it for the client’. Any client would want the latter in a valuable marketing message.
Your marketing message should be used in all your external communications. It starts with knowing the wants, fears, problems, and needs of your target market and ends by crafting a message that speaks to those problems in a compelling and believable way. The result is an irresistible message that makes your audience want to know more.
“The biggest mistake people make with their marketing messages is communicating ‘what we do’ instead of ‘what’s in it for the client’. ”
Look at how well some big brands communicate their key marketing messages to us and how good they make us feel.
For clinics you could use taglines like “Be You”, meaning look fabulous and be proud or “You deserve this”, telling them they are worthy, and don’t have to justify themselves.
Having these clear messages for you and your staff is important. You will all be singing from the same hymn sheet in perfect harmony. Finding these key messages will reflect the business ethos throughout all you do and all who represent the company.
THE MASTER MARKETING PLAN
Knowing your core primary market Every business should have a good picture of the core primary target market they are targeting. This could be, for example, you could use ABC1/ABC2, age group category 21-65, which you are probably using across your digital marketing social media platforms. Use this as your primary market benchmark here. Your target audience being predominantly local in most cases, is primary. You may wish to put secondary category and other specialist markets in your marketing plan.
The importance of secondary markets
An example of a secondary market could be vying for a male patient base if your patient list is female-heavy. Look at ways to attract this audience using your first category. There are straightforward ways to market by offering your female clients an incentive to give marketing material to their significant other.
To aim social campaigns tailored for male treatments or open evenings for just men, make sure you drill down into local groups such as golf clubs or football clubs which are more male-dominated.
A secondary market could also be the next town or postcode area or reaching an international visitor.
Your specialist market is where you aim a specific treatment or service at a market that may not be in your first or secondary markets, for instance, a new tattoo removal course, or a campaign around skin issues for teenagers. These are just a couple of examples. You know your business, and it would depend on what services you offer.
We then action the marketing plan using your key marketing messages. Having been a clinic owner myself, one of the things that we prided ourselves on was reaching out and achieving new business from our secondary markets. With the competition being so fierce, this is a fantastic way of reaching a new client base.
Planning is key It’s important to have a weekly or monthly marketing time plan. Putting structure into place really will help with results. If you do this at the beginning of the month, you will find it gives you a clear picture of marketing opportunities, potential new business pickings and the best way of promoting them. Be sure all your key messages are trickling through the promotions. Having a master plan in place also means that, when other team members are free, they can also action these tasks.
Here’s an example for each one you’d mark off when it was actioned and who completed it:
• Email campaign to a client base with new offerings• Leaflet distribution to new postcode• Social media campaign with new products• Open evening arrangements.
So, after all this groundwork, you have strong foundations in place. It is time to build upwards.
Charlotte Body has launched, spearheaded and sold a number of successful businesses over the past 20 years, including a media company, where she managed and ran exhibitions and awards and published digital and print magazines. She has also run her own clinic in Essex and recently founded Sourced Associates, a company that helps people outsource their business management, sales and marketing needs. Get in touch with her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW PATIENTS AND THE UP-SALE
I am always surprised when working with clinics how often they are not upselling. If I am the client, I want to be told about the latest offerings, what skincare they’d recommend and when my next appointment is.
Don’t be scared to “sell”. Upselling should be a part of the patient journey. If they have shown interest in additional treatment, give them the availability you have for a new appointment. Checking the patient out is just as important as checking them in. You have them in front of you so this is the best time for the up-sale.
Never assume that the client will not want to know about the other services and products they come to you because you are the expert!
The patient journey should be about the best customer service for retention. Basic staff training should include customer service/sales training. I know that this doesn’t come easy to everyone, but I have seen first-hand that, by making the up-sell part of all patients’ journies, even the shyest of team members blossom.
In my sales training, I always encourage the following from my team, find something nice to say to every client or potential customer. We pick out something to compliment. Ice breakers are important and make the new patient feel welcome.
I insist on a clinic tour as it’s the perfect time to get to know the client before/after treatment and show off your facilities. Book an extra five mins out for new consultations.
These are simple procedures, but you will see an increase in product and service sales when they become part of the daily routine.
My top tip for product sales is to pick two products you have used or discussed with the patient and take them to the till/ reception. Explain why you recommend these and ask for the business, say, “Shall I bag them up for you”. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but remember you are serving the patient. They need these products; you have recommended them, you know they will get great results using them. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about encouraging them to purchase them.
If you do not have time to put together a marketing schedule, you could look at outsourcing this to a company. Our moto at Sourced Associates is, “Do what you do best and outsource the rest”. Please contact me on email@example.com for a free company assessment to look at your marketing messaging and planning.