A recent study done by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) studying the impact of the current economy on facial aesthetic surgery will make you re-think your marketing and patient education.
Two surveys were conducted for this study—one from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (AAFPRS) and one from the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF). The survey data showed a 16.7% decrease in the total number of aesthetic surgical procedures from 2008 to 2009. However, plastic surgeons have seen an increase of 0.6% in their non-surgical cosmetic procedures. It’s not surprising that patients, who are more money-conscious because of the economy, are opting for lower-cost procedures. 53% of respondents said they had been affected by the economy in their decisions regarding MAT procedures. However, 95% of the same respondents also reported that they would prefer a longer-lasting treatment over an immediate effect with shorter duration and 60% felt that duration of treatment was more important than cost in selecting a facial aesthetic procedure.
In the ASERF portion of the study, in which the survey was given to plastic-surgeons, 63% of surgeons reported that cost was a more important factor for their patients than duration. In a nutshell, we have money-conscious patients who will pay more for longer-lasting treatments and surgeons who think they won’t, treating them with shorter-lived procedures.
As we think about this information and the life-cycle of a patient; from prospect, to lead, to first-time client, to loyal patient, a new mind-set naturally emerges. Go ahead and market the less-costly options like microdermabrasion to catch the attention of today’s budget-conscious consumers. Our recent article about Groupon, offers an easy method for getting new clients in the door. Then, have a strategy in place for following up with your leads and educating your first-time patients. Be sure they understand all of their options, keeping in mind this new data that shows longevity of treatment will trump cost in most cases.
For the full results of the study see the September issue of Aesthetics Surgery Journal.