004 - Marketing Through the Coronavirus Crisis

March 20, 2020

In this podcast, we’ll provide you with practical tips and talk on positively moving your practice forward in uncertain waters along with an understanding of the best marketing practices for how companies should be communicating via digital platforms during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Matt Coffy: Hey it's Matt Coffy here from PracticeBloom. This is med spa marketing secrets. It's episode four. We are now dealing with the coronavirus. We're going to go through a complete breakdown of the opportunities. in this particular case you're going to be joined with myself and Micah who is our, operations manager talking through our experience with talking about things in the industry industry

Matt Coffy: that are happening, things that you can do to help with your practice. So here we go. I know, we've all, experienced some significant, people. There isn't anybody who, is not impacted and we all know that there are some tough times ahead. There's no question about it. There is going to be some challenges that are unprecedented in our, experience of, running businesses, but we're all in it together and we all have decisions to be made about how do we have a better outcome, as this, will inevitably get resolved. It's, there have been several viruses before. There are the several in our lifetime beyond this. this will be conquered. Although the, the damage is going to be significant. people's lives will go on eventually. This will resolve itself. And so we need to think about our businesses and how do we survive through these challenges.

Matt Coffy: And when we start talking about things that we want to do, we really want to think about the two choices that we have. And you know, your customers still need your services. They haven't disappeared anywhere. They haven't gone in and where they're, they, they still need help. So we want to do is look at the two potential outcomes. And, there are two ways to look at this and maybe a third one, but, but let's talk about the two potential, outcomes. And, I've got Micah here who is running our entire operational, side of the business, which I should have been introduced from the beginning. Say hi, Micah. Hey, there you go. So, so the two potential outcomes here, there's, and I said there's kind of one in the middle, but I'm going to call it sort of the, the middle outcome.

Matt Coffy: So there's the reason that we know, we've done a lot of, we've, I've talked to a lot of companies, I've tired a lot of, business owners. I've talked to a lot, a lot of people who are involved in the industry. I mean, literally the last 200, two or three days have been all thinking time for me to come back to the market and say, okay, what makes the most sense How do we, how do we look at this So, I kind of analyzed everybody's dialogue and you know, the bottom line is, you know, your words create your reality. You know, after looking at the data and reflecting upon the conversations, basically I've got, I said, I've divided this into sort of three groups, but really two potential incomes. There are the fear focused business owners. And those are the ones that are the most emotional, the most concerned, the most overwhelmed.

Matt Coffy: They are completely challenged. They've basically put a box over themselves and, and head. there is the unfocused owners and people who are running the business. This group is still sort of uncertain about what to do. They're kind of a play at wait and see. And they're, they're not necessarily dismissive, but they're dismissive of making decisions and, and those are sort of part of that first fear focused group. I kind of consider them both. At least they're, they're not hiding and just saying, Hey, I'm going to throw in the towel and like, I'll see you in a couple of months maybe. Then on the other end, there are the strategy focused CEOs, owners, businesses, people who are really thinking. Now this group is the most focused on taking what is been given and using it and still focusing on growth and opportunity. Basically, we're all handed lemons right now and these are some pretty sour lemons, but you've got to make lemonade and you know, you go back into, what's happening and this is what I'd recommend.

Matt Coffy: You know, the, the fear focused CEO slash owner slash person who's trying to, all they're doing is, is like, it's consuming five times more social media and news. They're just staring at the news. They're getting more and more scared. you know, they use the word government in all their dialogue and they're going to get a handout and they're trying, all these things are, are, are really rapidly intensifying their mind control. they used the word coronavirus in every single sentence. and they use the word feel a lot, which is interesting. and they have a lot of negative pacing words. they have a lot of words like struggle, fear, hard, difficult, you know, all these nuances. Yes, we get it. But, the concept is, yeah, taking action and shifting focus. So really using the words that produce better results.

Matt Coffy: So we'll, the next group is the unfocused ones that I've talked to. Again, same thing. They're maybe not as engaged with the social media and maybe they're less adaptive to noise. they'll use the word plan or derivatives of it for sort of, a negative needs-based as a positive, as opposed to a positive needs. And they're finding things and they talk a lot about the, the things that used to be. And so those are the two groups. I think you have the, the, the similar idea here that those are the, one of the two potential outcomes. The other outcome is the strategy focus group. They're three times more likely to talk about a positive responses like the things that are happening in Taiwan where they've really mopped this thing up in South Korea. They've talking about vaccinations that are coming. They're talking about dramatic number of cases that are come down there.

Matt Coffy: They're actually talking about the positive aspects about things are coming. they're 10 times more likely to be shifting their products and service offerings. They're really driving home the activity. They're using the word action or opportunity 10 times more. In my conversations they are using the word buy also a lot there. They're looking at other opportunities, potentially even taking on more buying other businesses and taking on someone else's database. It's as if they think the opportunity is this is the time when they can make a positive future outcome. They use very positive future pacing words and every discussion again, they are more likely have talking to talked to other similar owners that have got similar sustainability opportunities. Now obviously no group is, is you know, immune to what's going on. and they're, no, no one is going to say that they're not going to get a revenue drip, a dip.

Matt Coffy: There's no question we're all gonna have an impact. They're all going to have slow down. Everyone who's listening to this is going to have a slow down. But the fear focus group, that group of the two potential incomes here were the most negative and basically talking all about the blame game and, and what can be done. And the unfocused group was pretty much the same. So I'm putting them in the same group. So the, so the strategy focus group learned way more and talk to helping networks within their, their group, they were talking about the overall positioning of where they're going to stand. They're much more secure. They've stood up like Superman and spent two days thinking about what they're going to do and be positive. They said they wanted their business to be healthy, however they knew they needed to be. You know, obviously conservative and expressing their words in psychology was really, really key.

Matt Coffy: And they are also cool, calm and collective thinking. And that's exactly what I did. I basically chilled out. I took some time, I thought about things. I really meditated on the things that are going to help practices move forward that are going to help us as a company, our company itself move forward, help us help other companies. So we started to pivot our product sets. We started to pivot our discussions and so that's why Mike is on and we're going to talk through what we've been talking to our customers about and how to help them. So the opportunity is really the thing that you have to be considering as you're having dialogue in your head is to think where are things as much like what you know, if you're lost in the desert, are you just going to give up and die No, you're going to dig holes, look under rocks, find places to drink water.

Matt Coffy: You're going to have to do this right now, everybody's going to have to be in the mode where they have to dig out. They have to find the opportunity. So this represents an opportunity to take market share, to serve customers in the time of need to get a longterm competitive advantage. If you come through this as the one who is the shining star and you are the last man standing or last woman standing or last person standing, you have to be sure that your operation is fully open for business when you can do it in different modes and prepared obviously for the safety care of your customers. Now one of the things you can do is also focused on your organic and obviously you know a lot of people aren't running ads but they can focus on their organic footprint at this time. Now if you can, you keep paid search running, lower cost per leads are going to come in because there's not that many people marketing, but you can, you know, run a budget anyways just to keep the consistency of patient leads.

Matt Coffy: And we're seeing this across the boards of some of our clients who have made that decision to take this as an opportunity. Again, it's a short term window. It's not forever. So you have to think that way. When we talk about this with patients, you should be updating and putting your health and wellbeing strategy in form of them, in front of them and keep the practice, you know, everything you can possibly do if you're still opening and operating in a physical format, keeping it clean, keeping the measurements of healthy visitors considered a flexibility of cancellation and rescheduling policies, you know, due to illness, let them know these policies, keep communicating with them. Email and SMS campaigns are great for this type of communication. Let them know you would like to be set up for anything, for assistance, developing your communications. It's incredibly important to help them help themselves. So we're going to get into some opportunity strategies right now. So let's talk about this. So Mike, you've been on the phone with a bunch of our clients. Let's talk about the advertising. So let's talk about the first one we have here on this list, which is promoting service that require downtime, right Here's one that immediately we find that could be an advantage.

Micah: Yeah, absolutely. So we've seen, a lot of big shifts just naturally and then, some strategically. So naturally we're seeing a lot of advertising shift, off of Google and over to Facebook because everybody's at home bored, scrolling on their phones, devices through social media. so it's not about turning off your ads, it's about pivoting your ads. So, what you're offering, the, the, from the service to the offer, everything. So it's, it could even be depends on your region. If you're in total lockdown, you can shift your to buy now, use later and offer like a fantastic deal. The other thing too is if you're not on lockdown, take advantage of self isolation and social distancing. This is a great time for people who want to have, treatments that maybe require some downtime and they can take advantage of their self isolation and nobody's gonna think any different of it. And of course, once they're out of self self isolation, they're going to look fantastic. So, this is where these, more strategic approaches, can be really helpful.

Matt Coffy: Right And obviously the target less effected demographics, the people who are more relevant, more resistant to the conditions that are out there. You know, obviously there are certain geographics and territories in places where, there isn't as great as an impact right now because they haven't had a, the amount of cases. And you know, we just don't know as a country how this will all play out. But you think about the fact that even if you're in these afflicted areas, there are capabilities to do virtual consultations and a lot of our dialogue has been switching to virtual consultations. So let's talk about that for a little bit. Micah, what's been your experience so far We've had a couple of clients who immediately adapted towards this.

Micah: Yeah. So this has been huge. we've also been working closely with doxy. there's a link there on the, on the screen, but, doxy.me is a excellent, it's free. It's an online consultation, software platform. You can use it from anywhere. So even if your staff are in office or even working remotely, you can still continue, doing online consultations and meeting with patients via video, and going through all of that excellent service. We've launched it already for several of our clients and we're also pitching in other services to some of our other clients. And everybody so far has been very, happy with it.

Matt Coffy: Yeah. And if you don't, who will That's the thing I think about, which is that, you know, we are in a situation where, the patients didn't go anywhere. They didn't go hide under a rug. So they're still there. They're still looking at offers services. They're still wanting to be engaged. the delay of purchasing might happen, but boy, the people who do this and do it well, get out in front of people, become partners with their clients, become their ally. You become someone who's inviting in a friendship that could last forever. And those are the things you have to think about. There's a lot of mental challenges. People who have to have somebody, I mean, the entertainment scope of this is part of it, which is that people are going to get bored to death. if they're at home all day. And these, whether it's, you know, the, video conferencing or putting out really good content on of, of providing services, I mean, there's so much you can do right now that is so valuable.

Matt Coffy: and, and this is so, essential. So let's talk just about some in office stuff and obviously we know we, we want to have essential staff only. And I don't think this is, you know, very difficult to figure out. But I think the key is that there's opportunity to sell some beauty kits. there is opportunity, potentially to offer some childcare during appointments. And I think those, those are things that, you know, are sort of more the, the rig, regular row of just trying to deal with in house strategy or in office strategy where people can go to practices. Could you talk a little bit about that

Micah: Sure. Yeah. So, some of these are just some ideas around if, if you're in an area, so for example, I'm in the Denver area and while we don't have lockdown, they just shut down restaurants and bars, but they're actually encouraging people to be out and just do social distancing. So in these situations you can take advantage depending on your region. if people are out and about and supporting local businesses, just meeting the needs of your patients and offering them some options. So a lot of schools are out and so moms who would have had their appointments, maybe, you know, instead of canceling them offer that, you know, you can have your team if you do have a front desk, maybe they can watch a kid or two while mom gets her treatment. A really nice complimentary eman, you are going to win her over if you do that.

Micah: because then she can still feel beautiful and get her treatment done and not have to worry about chasing her kids around. The other option two is e-commerce, for selling beauty kits. So you could put together some at home kits that people can use at home, a lot of med spas and other practices. So, products. So you can sell those online and ship them or you can even assemble them and have them ready to go there in the office that people could just drop in and, and purchase them and, you know, grab and go. So just some, opportunities there.

Matt Coffy: Yeah, for sure. And everybody's going to be ordering online, so why not come from you Right. So now there's some other things to think about here. some promotions like combo services where you can get everything done because you figure, Hey, if the, if you're not in lock down or you're going to be in lockdown at some point you should start to say, let's do a combo so you can get everything done at once. I mean, that totally makes sense. and I think that that's one of the things that we see where there is a opportunity to take an a larger package while the opportunity, is at hand. And that's one impressive way. But I think when we move into the next statement, which is, you know, don't be afraid to continue being extremely verbal in social media and start because this is where it's all happening.

Matt Coffy: All the Facebook and Instagram, hours of time spent and, and delivering content. And we always think about this, we've got to do these things. So have you seen a change in the way that, Mike, most people, I mean, we've started to pivot our dialogue around, doing more engaging, entertaining. Like, we're, we're sort of thinking like, how do we pitch treatments and offer like a strategy around the whole, you know, more of an educational as, as F as opposed to trying to be, you know, sort of right hook, right hook, red hook with offers. It's more about like, let's make friends and start the process and then let's just get into the other opportunities here.

Micah: Yeah, absolutely. So, I was talking to James, our social media manager and we were talking strategy around that. and he had a lot of fantastic ideas and what he's seen work and not, and it really comes down to being, making yourself relevant. So if in your region you guys are in lockdown, people don't want to be pitched to but entertain them, they're stuck at home, they're bored. they're flipping through social huge increases in social traffic. entertain them, keep them informed, give them tips and tricks, DIY, you know, do at home. all of that kind of stuff, just to keep them entertained following you. That also keeps you in your practice in front of them so that when this all blows over, of course you're going to be one of the prime people on there. you know, top of mind. And so when they're ready to book their appointments, they're going to remember all this and remember you.

Matt Coffy: Yeah, for sure. And then mobile, we, we've been encouraging people who are still in on lockdown to have home treatment parties to do mobile Botox, to do mobile, you know, the treatments with any of the lasers that are mobile. There's, there's a lot of that opportunity. If people are not willing to come into offices, you know, you can basically convince the process to be a lot easier. And have you also, Mike and speaking with all of our customers, which I think you've pretty much got the whole rounds. Have you found, the, any of the challenges related to, having like a, a person or a, a practitioner visit somebody has that become a challenge Cause I'm, I'm willing to think that there are people who, and I've talked to a couple of people who are doing a lot of them, he's, you know, they're there, there's a lot, believe it or not, there are people having babies now and there are prenatal consultants that are going out that we're speaking with now that need a lot of help with trying to convince, obviously pregnant women that they need to be aware of.

Matt Coffy: You know, they don't want to go to the hospital obviously. So they w they're trying to figure out ways to, you know, encourage, visitation and as long as obviously the cleanliness and all the things that are, you know, thinking about from a treatment standpoint of there, I think it would make total sense. Right

Micah: Yeah. And you're also, that way you're protecting your patients because you're eliminating exposure if it's only one person coming in versus those people going out. and so it reduces any chance there of exposure. It's in your own home setting. It's comfortable. you know, you can still social distance but still have your friends over. But, so I haven't heard of any issues there. but a lot of opportunity there. And I also just see overall in the med spa industry that mobile med spas are becoming a hot thing and I bet with this outbreak that they are going to be the hot ticket going forward.

Matt Coffy: Yeah, for sure. There's an already started in California because of the fact that there's so much traffic that people didn't want to even go out. So they just basically started driving right to people's offices. So there's two other things. There's the online gift card system. You should immediately get one installed. If you don't have one, you should have a gift up a card app and we can help anyone with that, get that installed so that you can start to at least get gift cards out for future purposes, purposes of usage. And a lot of encouragement has been handed out to the public to visit local businesses and buy gift cards now, whether it's food or spa services or whatever. But that's an incredibly important thing to get short term revenue. The last thing I'd suggest and you could make

Micah: just to comment on that gift up. it's a fantastic system. We use across a lot of our accounts. It's free, there's no monthly fee, there's no setup charges. It's very simple to set up. and it gives you a immediate, ability to sell gift cards online. You can post the link in your social media, you can do email marketing with it, and promote it via email marketing posted on your website. The only charges, 2%, I believe. And that's a basic credit card fee. So excellent system to get you up and running immediately.

Matt Coffy: Yeah, and we are now instituting a another service, which is online consultations. We're setting up the software, training people how to use it, getting them involved. And as I said before, I think that's a part of the business to get engaged with your clients. Don't be afraid to do online consultations. I think most of our practitioners are going to migrate to this anyways because they're going to have to with some degree of a skill. You can also potentially, you know, have a, you know, an online party with multiple people or you could do a, you could do a, a, a sales presentation on certain products and services that people are not going to be able to get because they, you know, they can't find it online but you have it. Or if you want, you know, there's certainly going to be another instance where you could maybe combine it with a gift card.

Matt Coffy: Like if they join the online presentation, maybe there's a discount on the gift card. So there's all sorts of ways to, to think through this and we're here to help you strategize and come up with a game plan, key point. And I want everybody who, who's on this, of all the things in the final interesting point of this is that, you know, of all of the things that we've talked about, it's the strategy focused choice, right It is the choice of moving to the opportunity that you will be able to have, as a, thing that in the back of your mind is a positive outcome. And that's probably the most important thing. All of the businesses that we talked, we talked to that had positive output that were saying to us, you know what, we're not going away. We are focusing. We are going after it.

Matt Coffy: They said they wanted their business to be healthy. They wanted the thing, they wanted the, the, that, the things that we talked about they wanted to implement and again they stayed calm, cool, collective. The strategy focus group leaned way more into healthy and focused solutions. Spent way less time on the news and the fear and the negativity because it just didn't consume it. So these are the things to consider. We are going to have any of this information, at our site. So you guys who are listening to this, to the list, the listener or the viewer, you can go to practice bloom.com/coven-kit and we will have some of this messaging and content in there for you so that you can use that as a resource for yourself. If you'd like to download that, please feel free. We will have that on that page and appreciate your time. We expect this to come to a conclusion at some point. Take the right path, take the opportunity path, and we'll see you on the other side of this and we'll, we'll certainly, we'll be updating this as we get through over the next couple of weeks, when we have more information and more things that we can provide that will add value to your practice. Thanks again, Micah. Yeah, wash your hands. Don't touch your face.

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