Every year my phone company delivers their book of yellow pages to my door. It goes straight from my door to the recycling bin. It has been approximately 10 years since I’ve referred to yellow pages for information of any kind. When I want a service provider, I head straight to the internet and search them out. On the internet, I can learn about the good, bad and ugly about any business. I can learn about their ratings, their customer service, even costs in some cases. This consumer behavior is even common for the cosmetic surgery industry. The virtual world is where your customers are.
Today’s consumers are more informed, more savvy and educated than ever. They have a thirst for information that the internet caters to in spades. People share their experiences, good and bad on the internet. There is an element of anonymity which induces people to open up and share things they wouldn’t in person. Cosmetic surgery is a sensitive area. People are discreet about it and don’t go around announcing the work they’ve had done. But online, they can talk about their surgery and experience without revealing their identity. They can vent or express pleasure with freedom.
83% of Australian households had Internet access in 2014. No newspaper, tv show or magazine has an audience of this kind. Online ads can carry way more information than a newspaper ad or a 30 sec slot on TV. They can link to recommendations, reviews and ratings. Every professional business has an online presence. Whether this is a positive presence or not depends on how the company handles it. If you are a cosmetic surgery provider and don’t market yourself online, know that your customers are already talking about you – good or wrong. When you’re an active participant and are cognizant of your online reputation, you can maintain it and make it work for you. If you ignore it, you can turn away customers before they even look your way.
Online marketing and medical tourism
If you’re a hospital or a provider with medical tourists as a customer base, then a reliable, reputable online presence is crucial. Your customers are people from a foreign location who seek treatments outside of their home mainly due to the high cost of medical treatments in their country. They are well-informed, educated, information savvy people and are thinking out of the box for their situation. To reach and influence these people, you need to provide them with easy to access information, details on your practice and assurance of your quality of work. The easiest way for customers to get information is online. They don’t know about foreign locations, they are going to rely on a provider’s online reputation, ratings from other past patients and information. These are given out by various medical tourism agents to help them make a decision.
If you don’t have a presence online, then you will not even show up on the radar for many customers. People do rely on recommendations from friends and acquaintances, but the reputation that you can get online is much more efficient in influencing people. Your online presence is your address in the virtual world. If none exists, people won’t come to you because they can’t find you. If you want to reach the right customer base and a significant number of clients, online marketing is the way to go. There are distinct avenues where you can market yourself. You can request real feedback from your existing customers and post it online; you can make yourself known to your potential customer before they even know they need you.
Online marketing is the sharpest and most efficient tool for any business to stay competitive in today’s technologically advanced world. Companies such as google, yelp, yahoo exist on this premise and bring customers to your door.