The Complete Guide to Launching a New Treatment
Learn how one cosmetic dermatology office successfully launched more than 40 new treatments in 2020 with plans to double that number by the end of 2021. BY KIM NICHOLS, MD; EMILY ANNE SCALISE, MBA; AND MARISA CHEVALIER
A new treatment can be a game-changer for your patients and your practice. For your patients, a new treatment could offer the skincare solution they have been seeking but could not find somewhere else. And for your practice, a new procedure could lead to an increase in patient demand, profitability, patient satisfaction, or all the above.
In this article, we share our tried-and-tested ways to successfully launch a new treatment for maximum impact.
TAKE THE PROPER STEPS
First, train your staff. Your staff should be trained and passionate about the new treatment. When they are well- educated about the treatment, they become instrumental in helping you promote it to your patients. Here are a few ways we train and inspire our team about our latest offerings:
• Grand Rounds. Host a one-hour Grand Rounds with your team to demonstrate the treatment with a patient model. This is your opportunity to show the treatment to your entire staff and educate them on all aspects of the new treatment, including clinical data, indications for treatment, side effects, pricing, etc. Grand Rounds is a great time for the staff to ask questions about the new procedure (the same questions your patients will likely bring up later), and to pro- vide their input about ways to best market the procedure. And as a bonus, Grand Rounds is also a great way to build staff comradery!
• Incentivize the Staff. Having a temporary incentive can help kickstart and motive your staff to talk up this new treatment to patients.
Tip: This does not have to be a big expense. A staff lunch or even just having your staff experience the treatment can help to get your team motivated and excited about it.
• Educate Your Team on the Results. Presenting before- and-after photos to your staff will further educate them on the new treatment. They can visibly see what the treatment targets and how long it takes to reach these results. A visual is always helpful.
Second, market your new treatment to your patients!
• Generate Immediate Appeal. Offer an introductory special so patients have the opportunity to save and experience the new treatment as soon as you launch it.
• Do a Giveaway Promotion on Social Media. Promote a giveaway of the new procedure to help build influence! Rather than spending money on a promoted ad, you can let your patients or followers help you spread the word with specific incentives such as: “Like this post? Tag two friends for your chance to have this treatment!” And the best part? The winner of the treatment may consent to you filming their experience, which means you now have more content to share about your new offering!
The Bottom Line: To ensure successful integration of a new treatment requires planning and buy-in from the entire team. A new procedure could lead to an increase in patient demand, profitability, patient satisfaction, or all the above. Here’s how to prepare your practice and staff and how to market to your patients.
• Add it to your Website. Most physicians and their marketing managers know to immediately add the new treatment to their website. But go one step further by making a pop-up about the new treatment. This way, website visitors learn about the new procedure at first glance any time they visit your site.
• Before-and-After Photos. Visible real results from your own patients (i.e. not the company stock photos) are the most important marketing tool to show your patients. They need to be reassured that this treatment is both the right treatment for them, and is effective in real patients. Treat your friends, family, and staff members to get excellent before-and-after photos. Utilize these photos to show your patients the diversity of treatment results in patients of vary- ing ages and skin types.
• Create a “What’s Hot” Placard and Update it Quarterly. Patients expect you to have the latest and greatest treatments. At our practice, we create and update a quarterly “What’s Trending” or “What’s Hot” placard and display it in each exam room. (See image.) The placard lists our latest treatments and trending products in a fun, visual way that patients are drawn to.
• Inform your VIPs of the New Treatment. Your VIPs are your most loyal patients. So offer your VIP patients the opportunity to try the treatment for free. This personalized and concierge approach will ignite sales, and, most importantly, make your most important patients feel special and connected to your office and its updates.
PLAN A RUNAWAY SUCCESS
While every practice is different, finding a way to incorporate all or some of these strategies will help guarantee that your next new treatment launch is a runaway success.
Kim Nichols, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and proud entrepreneur. Dr. Nichols owns two practices, NicholsMD of Greenwich and SkinLab by NicholsMD. She is a graduate of Harvard University and NYU Medical School.
Emily Anne Scalise, MA MA is Director at NicholsMD of Greenwich and SkinLab by NicholsMD. She received her master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and is an active practice management speaker.
Marisa Chevalier is a Medical Assistant at NicholsMD of Greenwich. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from Hofstra University and is currently preparing for medical school.