New technology under a time crunch

Non-invasive facial rejuvenation and body contouring treatments are clearly all the rage. Everyone wants to be thinner, look younger, and feel prettier without surgery, with no downtime and with limited expense and effort. In some cases, consumers are willing to pay more to avoid going under the knife or going into hospital. Consumers also want to feel that they are getting value for money, and above all, they want good service.

Another question to ask yourself is, when is it time for your clinic to buy in? If every other clinic in your region has an expanded offering of treatments that shrink skin, melt fat, resurface wrinkles, tighten collagen and plump lips, and you are only offering wrinkle relaxing injections and hair removal, you may essentially be shooting yourself in the proverbial foot by not offering enough services to keep patients from seeking out another clinic to meet their needs.

You can see how short a shelf life ‘state-of-the-art’ technology has when yesterday’s breakthrough product is rapidly replaced by today’s new launch. Unlike commodities that offer stable value over time, the value of cutting-edge technology often depreciates more quickly than you might realise. The flip-side is that there are some tried and true technologies that have stood the test of time and are staples in aesthetic clinics, such as IPLs, pulse dye lasers, radiofrequency devices, hyaluronic acid gel fillers, and neurotoxins.

When considering what treatments to add, make sure you already have the basics on board to treat the most common areas and conditions that consumers desire. For example, your clinic should be able to effectively treat lines and wrinkles, brown spots, redness and veins, hair removal, sun damage, acne, and slack skin to start. Once you have these conditions adequately covered, think about expanding to the next level, which may include off-face applications, deep resurfacing, body shaping, acne scars, cellulite and hair loss.

From the moment you have validated your clinic’s need for a new device or system, you should be aggressive about developing an inbound as well as outbound marketing programme that reaches your target audience to spread the word. You only have a short time period to leverage the first mover advantage. If you are ‘the first’ practitioner to offer a new technology, or the ‘only’ practitioner, the time-frame for that information to be even somewhat relevant goes by exceedingly fast. The next clinic will be nipping at your heels to add it to their menu of services too.

Marketing, advertising and promotions are often used interchangeably by clinics that don’t always understand the process of effectively launching products or services. Learning what each of these terms means and how they relate to each other will help to more effectively leverage the latest technology to grow market share and increase revenue. Consider how clinics used to market their services — by purchasing print ads in local newspapers and magazines, sending direct mail to a list of potential customers, networking with other businesses in their community, and inviting patients to an open house seminar. While these activities still occur and can be helpful, you are much more likely to receive an email, read a tweet or check out a Facebook page or website found through a search engine. Technology has completely changed the way in which clinics introduce products and services.