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5 Med Spa Trends You Need To Be Ahead Of In 2024 (Part 2)

By: Hannah Celian | January 31st, 2024

5 Med Spa Trends You Need To Be Ahead Of In 2024 (Part 2) Blog Feature

Our look into the future with Robin Ntoh and Tyler Terry continues with smart and not-so-smart social media strategies and a warning against buying fake followers and engagement on Instagram. 

Hear surprising stats on shifting consumer behavior straight from the in-person presentation of a Google representative, along with ways to be more patient-centric including:

  • Tips for converting more within the walls of the practice by driving better awareness 
  • The key to attracting more male patients
  • Ways Nextech helps practices implement new services quickly & shortcuts for bringing new staff up to speed 

In part two of this mini-series introducing the Aesthetically Speaking podcast, you’ll gain invaluable insights for your aesthetic practice growth.

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Hosts

Tyler Terry, Director of Sales, MedSpa at Nextech

Robin Ntoh, VP of Aesthetics

Access Robin's toolkit of helpful resources to help optimize practice operations»

Transcript

Announcer (00:05):
And we're back with another episode of Aesthetically Speaking presented by Nextech.

Tyler Terry (00:11):
So I'd like to shift gears and jump into our fourth trend, and that is smart and not so smart marketing and social media strategies. One of the biggest concerns that we're seeing when it comes to social media is practices purchasing fake followers and fake engagement practices that are purchasing 20, 30, 40, a hundred thousand, even more than that followers. And then what happens is they create a post and they have a hundred plus thousand followers and they get seven likes or 29 likes. And maybe one comment when obviously that doesn't stack up. From your perspective, what are some of the downsides of purchasing followers and engagement or both?

Robin Ntoh (01:01):
Tyler, I'm not going to claim to be a social media expert. I think that there's a little standing joke with people at Nextech and Robin and social media, they just don't always go together. But I will say though, that I've had to do my fair share of research and understanding of the market and authenticity is key, and there's a difference between buying and fake versus what's real. And today's consumer is savvy and they're smart. One of the trends in 2024 that's going to be important to note is that there's an increasing importance and prominence of the creators and the influencers, how they work together, but specifically how they focus on authenticity. Buying fake is not going to work anymore because especially the Gen Z consumer that spends a lot of time on TikTok, 40% of Gen Zers find their physicians on TikTok scary, but reality, they're looking for authentic. And so it's going to be key that we think about real experiences, real stories. In fact, I was reading more information just about Instagram and their expectations for content for 2024 will be more focused around what is real, what feels real.

Tyler Terry (02:21):
When you look at social media, yeah, it does look pretty cool to have over 10,000 followers and then a lot of times we forget how many people, how large of an audience, even 30 people or 50 people is if you were to sit in a room with 50 people, that's quite a big audience and we almost forget the power of that audience, that 30 to 50 people. I'd love to hear your thoughts as it relates to outsourcing too much and not taking advantage of the team that you have today as it relates to social media and all those different things.

Robin Ntoh (02:56):
Yeah, Tyler, I think it really goes back to how authentic, how meaningful, how unique is the information that you're translating over to your viewers or your prospects if you're using a third party? Again, the argument is, well, my team just doesn't have time or it really requires them to dedicate X amount of time per week and I'd rather them see patients they're licensed, I'm paying them to provide services. I would rather them not do that. And I hear that argument and I don't disagree with that argument. But it also begs the question, does that mean you bring in a part-time person that understands and has the time to focus and commit to doing not just collection of good content, but also making it and presenting it in a very meaningful way out there on that platform, whatever the platform may be, whether it's Instagram, TikTok, et cetera, we know that patients are going to continuously search.

(03:56):
I recently attended a course where I had the opportunity to have a Google representative actually present on the shift in the change in the market, fascinating information. One in 14 people are searching the internet for healthcare. One in 14. And the number one and two formats where people search is Google and number two was YouTube. People are hungry for information and they'll go find it one way or the other. If it's researching a hotel or if it's looking up their doctor or just trying to understand, I'm going to go have Botox tomorrow for the first time, what does that look like? And so I think that we as consumers are looking for real information to drive how we react and how we select, but the providers and the practices are forgetting to understand that there's so many different ways that people relate to you.

(05:00):
And you can think of it as well, there's only one way to describe Botox. I've already done it. How do I do it again? But in reality, the story behind it is what is important, and you can't capture that easily when you're using a third party. They're going to relate back to what they've heard from all the other practices and they're going to crunch those numbers. They're going to synthesize that information and not really give you something that feels as authentic as your practice could make it feel. So we think that using external resources has its place. Maybe it helps with part of the effort that's required, but when it comes to collecting the information, really getting the authentic good information that's meaningful, that makes sense. It's going to have to come from inside.

Tyler Terry (05:47):
I actually believe somebody within the walls of their practice should be doing it so that it is authentic and real and organic and that patients can relate to it.

Robin Ntoh (05:57):
You know Tyler, I recently was talking to a practice and they were again, "how do I make this work?" And they got really savvy and said, "you know what? I have a college student that's actually getting their degree and marketing" and they're like, "you know what? This is a great summer opportunity for them that eventually turned into a part-time job and this person is now finishing up their college courses, but at the same time doing some part-time work for our practice." So it's an opportunity for this person to start learning the market, but also it's an opportunity as an entry path for this practice to utilize a third party, but someone that's working internally and not a heavy cost to the practice and not necessarily a full-time employee that is costing them more time and resources and energy than they really have to put into it.

Tyler Terry (06:47):
Such a great point. And they're still overseeing what they're doing on a day-to-day and still controlling that content and maybe at the same time they're prospecting to see if that person would be a great candidate to be promoted within the practice or take on that role or maybe even expand that role. So this next thing that I'd like to talk to you about, Robin, is talking about and understanding who our audience is.

Robin Ntoh (07:11):
It's an interesting question because you can look at it from different ways, Tyler, but I think where we can think about this strategically is what are the drivers in the market and that should help us understand which consumers are really in a position to actually partake of aesthetics. Who's the audience? Who should I be focused on when I am trying to gain those new leads or those new consumers or new patients? And there's a lot of ways to think about this. You can think about it from the perspective of there are many patients that have already come into your practice that have only done one service and they've not done any more than one service. So let's take Botox for example. They've come in, they've had Botox and they've never done any type of dermal filler and that's not a number that's difficult to get if your software actually supports that, but you should be able to pull out a number of patients that have had Botox or Dysport but have never had any other service.

(08:13):
And that right there is a good place to understand what your market is that you should be focusing on. They're already your patient, they've already been into your practice, so there's a level of trust, a level of commitment. Now you just need to maybe get them over that hurdle and help them understand other opportunities so that they can actually focus on their concerns, making sure that you are addressing them as a provider and then providing that opportunity in the services that you have. We can't just assume that they have a good understanding or that they know you even offer those treatments. Again, going back to do you have that list of services in your waiting room? Are you making sure that there's an awareness out there for them? So sometimes you have to present the opportunity to the patient and let them know whether you think about they're in the practice, they're here today.

(09:05):
Let me talk about other services. Just creating some sort of awareness based upon your menus in the waiting room or actually doing some targeted campaigns in your emailing or in your social media. But I think that we focus so much on getting new patients. Well, there's a cost to that. Why not focus on your current audience that already has an interest in aesthetics? Allergan had presented some numbers that there's something like 80% of the Botox patients have never had a filler, and that's a huge number. Wow. It's a huge number and there's a lot of opportunity there for those patients to do other services. So that market is fast, the revenue is there, people want to have those services, they just need to be educated on them. I think another area of opportunity that is an active audience that is ripe for growth is thinking about the male market.

(10:00):
I know Tyler, you had talked about your experience of going to a medical spa. Men want treatments just as much as women. So we've heard the word brotox, we've talked about different procedures that are specific to men. I think it goes back to how do we market to them? How do we think about their wants and needs and making sure we address that in any messaging, then ensuring that they feel welcome within your practice. If 70% of your patients are female, which is what the 2022 trend shows and only 20% were males, 29%, it speaks volumes to the fact that maybe we're just not making or paving the way for men to come into a business or come into your practice. So we think that we need to step back and look at it. What are we doing to actually make it a more inclusive type of environment?

(10:54):
The other thing that I think about this opportunistic is we continue to focus on marketing and or messaging to our prospects as well as our patients the same way no matter what their generation is, and that's not going to continue to be the best way to manage our marketing and also our retention. Different generations have different needs, have different approaches to what they want, and they even have different approaches to how they want to be communicated with. And until we as aesthetics providers and practices really start to understand those generational differences, we're going to start to see our market shift in what we actually retain as a practice. There's opportunity there for us to kind of focus on that, but there's growth. I mean, when I think about what we seen in 2022, according to some of the surveys, 29% of the aesthetic patients were Gen X and 27% were the older millennials and just 14% were Gen Z.

(11:57):
But remember, 14% for Gen Z is a very big number. When you think about those are probably not your primary surgery patients, those are your primary nonsurgical patients. So when you think about where that number will eventually be and what that leads into 10 years ago, you wouldn't even have seen the younger generation having any type of services. When it came to aesthetics, it was always thought of as more of an age management type of generational impact. And so now we think about it as all generations have a footprint within aesthetics, but we need to think about how do we appeal to them, how do we acquire them, how do we retain them? So when I think about where the aesthetics opportunity is overall, Tyler, you have to think about those small nuances that are going to be the differentiators, not in just how you manage your practice, but how you manage your patients.

Tyler Terry (12:55):
When we talk about making the male audience feel welcome, a lot of times that comes down to like you said, messaging. And when we talk about that menu, well you should ask yourself even just go look at your website. Everybody should have a website and typically your menu's on your website today, if you have a for him section, if you have a section for your male clientele to go to feel like something's tailored to them. So I'm going to go ahead and shift gears and we're going to talk about the rise and the role of technology in a practice today. This rise of technology and embracing it has been amazing because at the end of the day, technology can either get in your way or it can be your most valuable tool in your most powerful tool. Robin, I'd love to hear, in what ways does Nextech help practices quickly implement and launch new services?

Robin Ntoh (13:53):
Oh, Tyler, there's so many exciting things when it comes to technology. You just get me so excited. So alright, let's wheel it back here and let's just talk about how does Nextech really help you implement? I think the first thing to understand with technology is technology is foundational to efficiencies and support of your practice. We think of it as software, but it really should be considered a business solution and a lot of times it is there to help you grow your practice, especially if you've got the right tools in place. For example, if you have a software system that really does not make it easy for staff to learn and it's not intuitive, then it's going to make it more difficult for you as staff transition in and out because that knowledge that they have gained and retained may not have been passed on to the next person that's sitting in that seat.

(14:53):
And so there's that degradation of knowledge then that also impacts your data. So you need to make sure your software is intuitive and it's easy to understand. And so one of the things that we strive to do at Nextech is focus on learnings. How do people learn? And so it's not just implementing, but it's also making sure that we're investing effort in how do we continue to help practices get the software learnings available to them at their convenience as well. It shouldn't be that it's a webinar once a month, it should be something that they can look at and research and understand at their convenience. One of the things that we really focused on in the past year and a half is putting together learning management systems that actually let a front desk person that's new in the job start their job day one, watch some of these educational videos that help them manage their job very quickly, very easily, and then an administrator can actually go back and see that they tested out and were able to understand, take those learnings and apply them to the software that's going to ensure standardization and consistency and a seamless way to make sure that knowledge is transferred.

(16:10):
And if software systems are actually incorporating effort and time into learning and making sure that the staff are gaining those insights, that's going to be key. I think another thing that's really important in technology is not just ensuring that the software vendor is putting these opportunities in place for you, but it's practices positioning themselves to understand that technology is going to always change. I have an iPhone, do you know how much I know how to use my iPhone? Tyler, how much do you know how to use your iPhone? I think about it, it's technology. We know what we actually take the time to learn and nobody would want the Nextech system if it wasn't evolving or changing. The goal is is that the software has got to continue to keep up with the trends to support the rest of the ecosystem. And so as Nextech launches new products, it's going to be a learning curve, but at the same time you have to take the time to learn it, new tools, new efficiencies, and one big component is automation.

(17:13):
We're always looking for ways to be more patient-centric. Think about that time when EMR was launched and physicians just were so overwhelmed with the amount of excessive work and commitment and at the end of every day they had mountains of work to do just to be finished with their charts and it was just time consuming and overwhelming. Well, we've evolved, we've changed and softwares had to change to keep up. And so we've had to incorporate things that make it more efficient, put more automation in play so that physicians don't spend two hours at the end of the day completing their EMR notes. You also think about it from the standpoint of how do I ensure that I'm less relying on my staff that are sitting there but more relying on things that are automatic, like making sure that if someone no-show for an appointment, we're automatically sending out that reminder to those patients.

(18:04):
And I didn't have to rely on my staff to remember to pick up the phone and call the patient. And even having software that's smart enough to say, not only am I going to put those automations in place, but I'm going to make sure that whatever I do to drive automation and learnings, I'm going to make it generational specific. And that's where Nextech is really taking it a level up when we think about not just making practices more efficient with what we're adding into our product, but thinking about it from the way that the consumer or the practice needs to learn it based upon the different generations in that space.

Tyler Terry (18:40):
I loved when you talked about this focus on learning and making sure that you have a software that's not only up to date but you stay up to date with it and then trusting in the fact that that software is going to continue to run your business because it's not just a software, like you said, it's a business solution.

Robin Ntoh (19:06):
Tyler, we've talked a lot about technology. I'm interested in your take on where you think solutions like TouchMD, which we've talked a lot about today, is actually positioned to help practices market new services, especially from a technology perspective, helping patients become more aware of things.

Tyler Terry (19:26):
Even if you just think of a practice that's opening up today and they go out and they spend close to $300,000, you can open a med spa for about $300,000 on its own, but practices are spending close to $300,000 just for a device. And when they bring that in, obviously there is a lot of value and there is an ROI for the practice, but what happens is two things. One, they don't have a consistent way to have a consultation and to educate patients. And two, they don't have a way for patients to learn about it, whether it's at home or in the office that they can actually track. That's where TouchMD would come into play. My favorite two things about TouchMD would be using it as a sales aid and then using it as an in-practice marketing tool outside of photography. And when you think of those two things, it's the only game in town and it's the only software that focuses on those two things.

(20:25):
So if let's just say it's Emsculpt Neo, a patient comes in today and the practice has TouchMD, we would actually have an iPad in the room, and this could be day one practice just opened. They have their first patient here today, here today for Emsculpt Neo, that patient, let's just say that patient's in the waiting room, I'm the staff member, I'm going to go into the room and grab the iPad. I'm going to log that patient in and pull up Emsculpt Neo, and then I'm going to take that patient from the waiting room and walk him or her into the consult room, and then I'm going to hand that patient the iPad and then I'd say something like this, "Hey Ashley, this is our new technology that we've invested in to enhance your experience today. While you're waiting, you can actually watch a video in Emsculpt Neo.

(21:07):
You can look at some before and afters or you can read reviews, or if you have time, you can actually hit that button at the top left and you can browse through everything. We'll be with you shortly." What we want is for the patient to be in the driver's seat, we want the patient to be in total control as to what he or she wants to look at and what they want to consume. So now based on their love language, based on their buyer's language, they get to say, "you know what? I do want to just look at before and afters and that's all I care about." Some patients just care about reading reviews and we can pull in the RealSelf or Google, whatever it is. And some patients have already done their homework, they already know that they want Emsculpt Neo, which is the perfect opportunity for them to say, "you know what?

(21:46):
I'm going to hit that back button and I'm going to look at everything else. And now I can go and look at weight loss and learn about Ozempic, or I can go in and learn about Restylane Kysse or I can learn about whatever the case may be, Morpheus8, what is that?" And the practice can see what I'm looking at. And that is I referred to the biggest swing in the miss. That's the biggest swing in the miss right there is in terms of technology that I've seen from my vantage point of practices not taking advantage, you spend so much time, effort, energy, resources, getting a patient in the door and then making sure that they have the tool to educate themselves on what they're here for. And also that tees it up for a better consult because if they're more educated, that means they're going to have better questions. If they have better questions, it's going to tee you up for a better consult. And if you have a better consult, more than likely you're going to have a higher conversion rate. And that's what I would say there. Robin.

Robin Ntoh (22:40):
Tyler, there's two things that I really loved what you said, and when you were talking about that they were in the room and they were almost self-educating, but at the same time, what I thought was beautiful about that is that you are using valuable time with that patient without someone having to sit in there with them to educate them. And in so many ways, we worry about practices, transitioning information to the patients on a consistent basis the same way, making sure that they're hearing it the way that the physician would want them to hear that treatment information, how they want them to understand the risks and the benefits and all of that is now standardized when you're using a beautiful electronic technology system such as TouchMD, because now it's all based upon one way of delivering it. I love how that really focuses on getting that patient, that information early on.

(23:34):
It's fabulous, can't even think of a better way to do it. And then I think about not only are you educating, but you're also putting the patient in the driver's seat to basically not only just to be educated but then make better decisions about their treatments, whether it's today or it's something that they book as a future service on their way out the door. I think there's tons of opportunity right there that again, so many practices just don't take advantage of. They let patients sit in the exam room for, I don't know, 15 minutes, 30 minutes. I mean, if we're lucky and they just sit in there and they play on their phone, they self entertain. Why not use this tool to really give them insights into your business and what they can actually do to really further their treatment journey?

Tyler Terry (24:20):
They're okay with ads being delivered to them in between their Snapchat or their Reels or their TikToks, but they still want to be in control of whether they're swiping left or right, up or down and what they're clicking on as long as they feel like they're in the driver's seat. And that's where we would teach practices to still, yes, you can still market to that patient, but let them drive. And yes, I still love the videos being played up on the TVs subliminally, but patients still want to be in control of what they look at.

Robin Ntoh (24:50):
Technology at its best. I love it. It's continuously evolving, isn't it?

Tyler Terry (24:54):
It is. It's crazy. And I'm excited to see where we're at at the end of the year and years to come. So we've gone through the five different trends that we're seeing, combining aesthetics and wellness, the rise of IV therapy, the boom in medical weight loss, smart, not so smart marketing and social media strategies, and then just with what we just talked about, a rise in the role of technology. But Robin, I'd like to give you some time to end this episode with any final parting shots that you have.

Robin Ntoh (25:28):
I think the one area we didn't spend very much time on, we touched on it here and there was some of the practice problems that they still focus on and they're dealing with, and a lot of it is around staffing. And I go back and reflect on a lot of the things that we talked about today, and I think a lot of those things that we talked about, support solving for some of the very intentional practice staffing needs. I go back to thinking about what we just talked about. I don't need to have a staff member in the treatment doing that education anymore. It can be something that the patients self-educate. And so when we continuously look at where are our staff the most important? They're the ones that provide the authenticity to everything. And so we need them to greet patients in a format that they're smiling, they're engaging and not their heads focused on a computer and not really focused on the patient.

(26:23):
That in and of itself is an opportunity for practices to really think about how do I look at 2024 as a way to invest in my staff and ultimately in my practice? Defined efficiencies and automation and thinking about all of these things that we talked about, where would they support my efforts in making my staff's life easier and making my practice more secure and opportunistic for growth? I think that is still a resounding concern with a lot of practices, and this is opportunity for them to think about just making it a better environment overall, not just for the patients, but for their staff.

Tyler Terry (27:05):
Robin, how do I get access to some of those staff training tools that you referenced?

Robin Ntoh (27:10):
Great question, Tyler. We've got resources out on the Nextech website, and you're welcome to always reach out via LinkedIn and or email us and we can send you a link over to those tools. We've created a toolkit for you. Just keep in mind, one of the things that we provide at our user conference is a whole section on business learnings, so we focus on manager 101 and different ways that you can build your business, whether it's lead management, how you look at the cost of your business, lots of different sessions that are focused completely outside of the product, but focused on your staff, your business, and how you can grow it.

Tyler Terry (27:52):
Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge with us today. For those of you that are listening who'd like to connect with Robin, we will have links in the show notes that you can connect with her on LinkedIn and in various ways. So thank you, Robin.

Robin Ntoh (28:06):
Thank you Tyler, and I'd love to say let's do it, "Aesthetically Speaking."

Speaker 1 (28:14):
Thanks for listening to Aesthetically Speaking, the podcast where beauty meets business, presented by Nextech. Follow and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. Links to the resources mentioned on this podcast or available in your show notes. For more information about Nextech, visit Nextech.com or to learn more about TouchMD, go to touchmd.com. Aesthetically speaking is a production of the Axis theaxis.io.