Charlotte Moreso shares advice on how to entice male patients into your clinic
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, surgical procedures for men dropped by 15% in 2014.1 Practitioners interviewed for this article, however, suggest there has been a rise in popularity of non-surgical treatments such as fillers, botulinum toxin and body treatments. Some proof of this lies in the results of a nationwide survey commissioned by Syneron Candela that indicated a third of men would now consider laser hair removal in a clinic.2
So where is the business coming from if it’s no longer just women funding this segment of the market? Various factors could have an influence, including:
It has been reported in the US that the most popular non-surgical treatment for men is botulinum toxin.3 Harley Street-based dermatologist Dr Ariel Haus comments, “I have seen a real increase in the number of men coming for treatments over the last three years. More and more men are increasingly interested in botulinum toxin to give them a ‘fresh’ or ‘less tired’ look. Men now realise that it does not have to result in a frozen look, and that appeals to them.”
- Workplace: Marc Moreso, CEO of Leisurejobs.com says, “Men are increasingly under pressure to look younger for longer in the boardroom due to competition from younger recruits in the work environment. Youthful looks equal energy, ideas and a go-getting attitude in the minds of employers.”
- Rules of Attraction: Men now know that there are ways, other than a new haircut, in which they can make themselves look more attractive to a potential partner. These can include both surgical and non-surgical treatments.
- “If it’s good enough for her...” In the same way as men started using, or rather ‘borrowing’ their partner’s skincare at home before realising they can buy their own, men have witnessed women having non-surgical treatments for so long that it has paved the way for men wanting and having them too.
- Media: According to Ben Isaacs of ShortList magazine, “Advertising and men’s grooming pages within mainstream press has increased dramatically within the last five to 10 years, meaning men are more likely to find it acceptable to look after their looks in the same way women do.”
- Celebrity and the ‘David Beckham Effect’: This ‘real’ sportsman and his grooming- based advertising, alongside his overall appearance, has made being a beautiful male acceptably manly. More recently, celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay have admitted to having botulinum toxin treatments.4
Whilst marketing to female patients is commonplace, successfully reaching men to promote treatments can prove to be more difficult. We also have the added job of needing to widen men’s knowledge of what treatments they can have outside of botulinum toxin and fillers.
The male market is a huge opportunity to expand your patient base, but we know we cannot market to men the same way you would to women. Males and females are, of course, very different socially, biologically and psychologically. However, both genders tend to want to gain attention and look attractive – we just need to talk to them in different ways and through different mechanics.
From my experience, I believe there are four main ways to reach male patients:
- Partners: Reach men through the wives and girlfriends with in-clinic materials and newsletters. Most women will confess to having been the prime purchaser of their partner’s toiletries in the past, especially during the weekly shop, and women are key influencers with their partners. So let the ladies do the talking. Even if you don’t have a large male patient base, you can still create a male menu for women to read and take home.
Online: Ensure you have a mix of search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per- click (PPC) tactics to market your clinic and treatments for men within the search results. SEO provides search engines with relevant information and keywords to rank your site higher organically in search results. PPC utilises search engines’ paid advertising platforms (such as Google Adwords) to list a website in search results.5 According to Paul Handley of SEO Copywriter UK, “If you are looking to run PPC advertising, males will click on brand search terms over generic keywords. However, although PPC can be a good ‘quick fix’ for page one results, organic SEO will yield far more traffic to your site.” He explains, “In recent studies, it has been suggested that natural rankings in search results leads to 94% of clicks (the remaining 6% allocated to PPC).6 Organic search positions (as opposed to PPC listings) also receive far more clicks from males than females. To demonstrate the importance of natural SEO further, the top three organic search positions in Google account for 79% of all clicks, leaving just 21% for all other listings.”6
Also be sure to use your social media accounts to deliver male-targeted messaging and treatment options. Even consider placing digital adverts and banners on local sites they may use, for example local sports clubs. Contact the sites directly through the contact tab on their websites to enquire about prices directly, and ensure you negotiate as there is often room for movement in price.
- Promotions: Create ‘his and her’ treatments around Valentine’s Day. Develop a couple’s promotion to entice patients to come and experience treatments together. Why not focus on treatments like body shaping for the abdomen or ‘love’ handles, or develop a ‘dinner date facial’. It’s important to note, however, that botulinum toxin cannot be promoted or discounted in any deal as it is a drug. Once you have the male half of the partnership in your clinic, it’s the perfect opportunity to let him know about the range of treatments available.
- Local Businesses: Look in your local area surrounding the clinic. There are likely to be some small and larger businesses such as wine bars and social clubs that you could target with treatment materials. Offer free consultations to men looking to enhance their appearance. Create a flyer with a menu of treatment options. Don’t blind them with too much information though, just include enough to peak their interest.
Creating the ‘Man Menu’
It’s often the case that men won’t realise the variety of aesthetic options open to them, so ensure you create a very specific menu of treatments for men. Divide them clearly into face and body treatments for clarification.
I have successfully run male-specific marketing campaigns for a large aesthetic company in recent years using imagery of toned men and catchy strap lines such as ‘Fit & Firm’ and language that they can relate to such as ‘turbo charge your torso’ and ‘high-tech solution’. This successfully captured their attention and encouraged them to try the latest body treatment to rid them of concerns such as love handles and abdominal ‘over-load’. Ideas include:
Men’s body treatments could include those targeting:
- Love handles: Ultrasound, radiofrequency, fat freezing.
- Laser hair removal: Back, abdomen, chest and buttocks.
- Gynaecomastia: Radiofrequency, ultrasound and fat freezing treatments are all options for this area of concern.
Dr Anita Sturnham, founder of the NURISS clinics, says, “With the increasing popularity of advertising campaigns that employ perfectly honed male celebrities such as David Beckham, it is no wonder that many men feel under pressure to improve their appearance. I am sure that the media drives both men and women’s insecurities with their perfected appearance. I am personally noticing more and more male patients coming to see me at my clinic with concerns about their stomach region. It is typically a difficult area to lose weight from, even with a strict diet and exercise regime, so stomach toning treatments and non-surgical body contouring treatments are becoming popular.”
Men tend to like things to be quick, clear and direct, but also appealing. Here are a few ideas to implement that might work:
- Line erasers: Filler, botulinum toxin, laser and radiofrequency all work well to decrease facial lines and wrinkles.
- Eradicate redness: Older men can suffer from broken capillaries, so promote your skincare and treatment options for this.
- Double chin: Entice men to reclaim the face of their youth with under- chin treatments using radiofrequency or similar technology.
Also look into male specific treatments you may not offer already. This is something that Dr Sherif Wakil, founder of SW Clinics, has had great success with. Dr Wakil says, “I have introduced the P-Shot (male sexual rejuvenation with PRP) to Europe and the UK last year and since then I have seen quite an increase in the number of my male patients interested in the treatment, not only from the UK but also from Europe and the Middle East.”
- Lunchtime Light Treatments: Blue and red light treatments that fit into the lunch-break.
- The 30-minute Man-Peel: A range of peels to rejuvenate in just half an hour.
- Workaholics Reviver Treatment: Combination treatments to refresh the skin and restore youthful looks. Typically, a course of three to six treatments would ensure they return to the clinic for optimal results.
He continued, “Looking back, there was definitely an increase in male patients coming to my clinic over the past few years, especially after the recession period. I believe this could be explained by the fact that a lot of middle-aged men have been made redundant and were forced to apply for jobs along with other candidates in their twenties, obviously they had to take care of their looks to give a good impression on an interview. I believe, since then, they have seen what positive effect procedures could have on their lives.”
Devise your man menu and create a clinic flyer for distribution at local businesses, always being mindful of using ‘man-friendly’ language and imagery they can relate to. Lastly, note that it is always worthwhile writing a press release detailing all the treatment options for men and sending this to your local newspapers and magazines, with an invitation for them to try a treatment in their lunch-break in return for editorial coverage.