Fourth Quarter: Why Plastic Surgeons Should Analyze & Build Now and Launch Later
The end of the year otherwise known as “Q4”, is a busy time anywhere you turn. With the holidays taking over, many companies shift into high gear when it comes to advertising. But, if you’re a plastic surgeon you may want to hit the brakes a bit and shift into neutral.
Now is a better time for plastic surgeons to look back at what they’ve done over the year, figure out what’s working and what’s not, refine those areas and plan for how to succeed in the new year. Implementing an analyzation strategy will allow you to build new campaigns, optimize current plans, and start off the new year with a bang.
Why a Q4 Launch May Not the Best Idea
If you’re still convinced you need to launch all of those new ideas floating around in your head now, consider a few things. Q4 is the time of year that big-name product brands spend obscene amounts of money on advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and everywhere else you turn. While they’re willing to pay the big bucks, it means that ad costs for everyone are rising, making it hard for smaller brands and businesses to get a piece of the pie. Essentially during this time of year, you will need a higher budget to compete but may reach fewer potential patients resulting in a higher cost per lead.
For your potential patients, Q4 is THE time for shopping and finding perfect gifts. As much as you think they’ll be super excited about your informative ad praising the benefits of a facelift, it’s likely they’re not focused on spending their money on expensive plastic surgery procedures for themselves. So, all of that money you want to spend on high-priced ads may be wasted.
Another thing to consider is how busy people truly are this time of year. Between trying to find the perfect ugly Christmas sweater for the company party to tracking down the hottest gifts, most people just can’t fit in an appointment with a plastic surgeon. So, you run the risk of losing leads to the holiday madness.
Let’s be clear here for a moment. If your branding is on point and you’ve had successful campaigns running months before Q4 hits, we’re not recommending turning things off. We monitor client accounts closely all year round and optimize and adjust accordingly. BUT if you’re just getting started, Q4 is the most expensive time to do it.
So, What Should You Be Doing During Q4?
Take some time to sit down and analyze what you’ve been doing (or not doing) all year so that you can come out stronger than ever in Q1. This is a time to rebuild and refine current branding and campaigns.
Here are some of our suggestions to help you get things going…
Spring into action with an audit.
Don’t panic, we’re not talking about involving the IRS here. We’re talking about a full-fledged marketing audit to assess the effectiveness of your branding, website, SEO, and social media presence. Lay it all on the line and really look at how well existing campaigns are performing and what needs to be improved. Do you need to refresh creative? Is your copy really speaking to your potential patients’ needs and desires? Do you need to look at advertising different services and procedures? Answering these questions honestly will help you get some clarity on where to scale back and where there is more potential.
Be all about your brand.
Your branding can make or break you. It’s your promise of a distinct and memorable experience to everyone who comes in contact with your practice. Being clear and consistent in what you promise to deliver and making sure that your branding properly represents those promises is absolutely vital. Branding isn’t just a logo or tagline, it’s about building a silent ambassador of your practice.
People are more likely to buy from a business that has a clear, consistent, and relevant brand message. Take the time to decide how you want to represent yourself to your potential patients. What colors speak to you? What language best speaks to your ideal client? Have you done your market research and target market analysis? Have you developed an ideal customer avatar? What about compiling formal brand style guidelines, so everyone on your staff is on the same page on how to represent the practice? These are the things that will help you to stand out from the competition. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these, take the time now to do your research.
Design and develop.
To make a lasting impact on your patients, and prospective patients your website needs to be up-to-date and relevant. Most people will look at your website before they contact you and if the website is not visually appealing, they can’t find the information they need, or if the information is disorganized, they’ll move on. What better time than Q4 to make sure your site is a true representation of what your practice has to offer.
Take the time to refine and optimize.
If you’ve cracked the code with your campaigns, launch into optimization mode to continue bringing down costs. Falling into the set it and forget it trap can mean missed opportunities and costs that are higher than necessary.
Prepare for launch!
When you take the time to reflect and build your brand, you put yourself in a great position to start off the new year stronger than ever. The development and execution of a sound branding and marketing strategy will create an omnipresence for your brand message that resonates with your ideal target audience across multiple platforms. If you really go through each step, you’ll realize that it takes a lot of time if you want to get it right. That’s why it makes so much sense to dedicate time during Q4 to this process so that you can make the beginning of the year more successful, less stressful and meet or exceed your revenue targets for the following year.