David Drummond, Google's General Counsel, spoke at Stanford Law School about what has made Google successful. While Google is not providing Botox to the populace, it's undeniably doing something right as a business. Where many physicians are business-challenged, Google is not. Good business works and is applicable whether it's paid search or dermatology.
Drummond pointed to 4 factors as the key to Google's success that can be directly translated into medical spa business practices.
- Technology. Along with its innovative approach to page ranking, Google is a purpose-built hardware company, building all its own servers from components it buys directly for their manufacturers. As a medical spa you are using the development of new medical technologies. Thermage, IPL, lasers, or whatever you use are relatively recent medical developments. The technology is moving rapidly and no matter what you're using, you can bet in 18 months there will be something better on the market. You're in the position of guessing what technology is best suited to your needs. You had better guess right. It's hard to sell something you don't believe in, and if you or your staff know that a patient is not receiving the most up-to-date treatments, you're going to have a hard time convincing yourself to make it work.
- Business Model Innovation. By perfecting the nature of targeted ads, Google not only has created a highly effective revenue generator, it has produced what it hopes to be a better experience for its users. The old school doctor mentality is history. Patients don't want to be one of eight that you see in an hour, wait in a room with old magazines, or be subjected to a snide or ambivalent staff. There are deep pockets moving into this market that will focus on the consumer experience in ways that individual physicians haven't had to before. Best to stay ahead of that curve.
- Brand. According to Drummond, a European study recently determined Google to be the number one most recognized worldwide brand. Think of it this way, you are RC cola (I remember it as a cola from my childhood and don't know if it's still around.) and Coke and Pepsi are coming to town. I can't really give you great guidance here because most docs don't have the resources or skill set to know what to do. The best I can do is suggest that you take a look at what the real leaders in the space are doing. Our "Fantastic Medical Spas" page or resources are both good places to start. I would most highly suggest you take a look at spending a day here.
- Focus On The User Experience. Product decisions at Google are driven by optimizing for the user experience first and for revenue second. The folks at Google firmly believe that the better the user experience, the more easily money will follow.
Touche! Doctors that are looking for a patients wallet are missing the point. Patients want high quality care from a provider they trust. Trust being the key element here. If a patient trusts you they are much more likely to overlook a complication, think favorably of their results, and refer you.