Understanding the behaviour of consumers is key to an effective marketing strategy for health and beauty professionals.
Closely behind referrals from friends and family, Google search is still streaks ahead of other digital channels for customer acquisition. And in this day and age, google search is primarily done on a smartphone. If your website isn't optimised for smartphone use then you really need to get onto this!
Here's a summary of research conducted by KANTAR (formerly TNS Australia) and Google which certainly caught my attention.
There are 3 different mindsets that consumers are in when searching on google for a health and beauty service. They want to know:
1. Where can I get the service
2. Who can they trust to deliver the service they are after, and
3. I know what I want already and am ready to book ASAP
Mindset 1: Where can I get the service
77% of smartphone users have used their smartphones to find local health services in the past six months. When people first identify that they have a problem, they look for information, advice, and where they can get treatment. Australians typically perform 3 searches with a focus on availability, pricing and directions.
Behind price, local convenience is an important factor in decision making. The 10-minute rule still largely holds true with people unlikely to use a service that is longer than a 10-minute drive or 10-minute walk away.
People typing "service x near me" has more than doubled since 2015.
Mindset 2: Who can I trust
Once convenience and service offering has been ascertained, consumers do more in-depth research to decide on a practitioner. The research suggests that Australians only compare and contrast two health service providers. It's you vs the other person. This is where trust and transparency become so important. Trust is established in a number of ways such as:
- Clear, simple and professional looking website.
- Create a connection through the use of storytelling about why the service provider is in business
- Displaying clear pricing (nothing frustrates a consumer more than having to enquire about the pricing).
Service specialisation is also key because people want to believe that you are an expert in solving their particular problem. Other trust symbols include patient testimonies (although be careful if you are regulated by AHPRA) and evidence of proven results.
Mindset 3: I know what I want and I need to book ASAP
When patients want a solution they want it ASAP. Everything about your online user experience needs to be optimised to facilitating this. If you still use a contact form on your website your business is outdated in the minds of consumers. The option of talking on the phone is still important with 66% of Australians saying it is extremely or very important to have the ability to call a business directly from a smartphone search results page. Alternatively, they like the ability to book an appointment online, as it provides more flexibility and control in fitting treatment into their schedules.
The key takeaways are:
- Make sure your Google SEO and SEM strategies are highly sophisticated
- Ensure your website is optimised for smartphone use
- Ask yourself whether your current website is optimised for establishing trust
- Make sure your online booking process is present and streamlined
I recently came across the method Google has been using internally to set goals. Here's the summary...
They get all employees to set out what are called OKRs - Objectives and Key Results.
The belief is that a true goal has to describe not only what you will achieve but also how you are going to measure its achievement. Here is the framing sentence:
I will ________ as measured by ____________.
I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of Key Results).
Objectives are supposed to be inspirational, qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve.
Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective. For each Objective, you should have a set of 2 to 5 Key Results. Apparently the former Google’s Vice President, Marissa Mayer, used to say:
“If it does not have a number, it is not a Key Result.”
Here's an example for a health or beauty professional...
An objective might be “Create an Amazing Client Experience.” This sounds great, but how would you know if the experience is amazing?
Hence the need for the Key Results. A Net Promoter Score and or your client Retention Rate would be two good options. But measuring NPS and retention rate alone might be misleading. The practicalities of running a business mean that there is a financial limit to keeping your customer happy.
Therefore, you should always include a countermeasure such as Client Acquisition Cost. You should always be conscious of costs when trying to keep your customers happy.
Objective: Create an Awesome Client Experience
What I like about OKRs?
AGILE GOALSThey involve shorter goal cycles - weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. I think you need to be adaptable in this world and constantly evaluating your position. Find the cadence that works for you.
SIMPLICITYSo simple and easy to understand making them appropriate for all experience levels within a business. They can be really quick to do which means more to spent on achieving the goals rather than simply setting them.
TRANSPARENCYOne of the most fascinating aspects in my reading is that the OKRs in Google are publicly accessible across the organisation. This helps to create transparency and alignment across a business.
CHALLENGING GOALSThe idea of OKRs is that you shouldn't achieve your goals - in fact Google aims to achieve about 70% of them.
This helps to stretch and challenge their employees to set difficult goals.
Common OKR mistakes1) Using OKR as a task list.
2) Setting too many OKRs.
3) Not aligning your OKRs with your staff or team.
4) “Set it and Forget it.”
To see an expanded summary of how Google do OKRs internally, click the link below:
The 1st of January is generally a time people set goals for the year ahead.
Most set goals for the things they'd like to achieve but achievement focused goal setting centres around the things you don't have that you'd like to have.
Fred Nickols created a new tool for goal setting called a goals grid which he argues provides a much more comprehensive set of goals. I think this is very useful in a business sense and follows on closely from another strategic planning tool called a SWOT analysis.
Here is a quick summary of his work:
What Is the Goals Grid?
It is a 2x2 matrix constructed by examining the Yes and No answers to two very basic questions: (1) Do you want something? (2) Do you have it? The interplay of the Yes and No answers to these questions defines four basic categories for goals and objectives:
What Benefits Does the Goals Grid Offer?
How Do I Make Use of the Goals Grid?
That’s easy, just download our grid and start using it. We suggest brainstorming sessions of no-longer than 15 minutes.
Make 2020 the year you start your new health or beauty brand and take advantage of our casual, hourly use rooms for rent.
Whilst you may have identified one perfect customer, to build a big business it is likely that overtime you will need to be able to serve other types of customers.
Try creating a list of other types of customers you may serve including the demographic, psychographic and pain points that your service will solve.
This give you confidence that you have identified a scalable opportunity, not just a one-customer solution. Try the following tasks:
For more information about our therapy rooms for rent.
Imagine your ideal client.
Now picture one of your existing clients who is closest to your ideal client. This is your persona.
The reason your persona is important is to provide you with clarity and focus. No client is perfect. Nor will the persona accurately represent all of your potential target clients. But your persona, will match the profile quite well. You will then focus your service development around this individual, rather than on the more-general end user profile.
It is important to describe as much information about the persona as possible. Lifestyle and career information are especially important.
Most importantly, you want to list the Persona's Purchasing Criteria in Prioritized Order, as these priorities will dictate what purchasing decisions the Persona makes. Do they value price, convenience or experience?
These are important considerations, especially when thinking about whether you need a beauty room to rent.
The Persona should become a key consideration when making decisions about your service offering. How long should your sessions be? What type of sessions? How much? Where? Once the Persona is done, it will help guide all kinds of decisions and create a consistent vision throughout your business.
The better you understand your Persona's needs, behaviors and motivations, the more successful you will be at making service offering meet their wants and needs.
Total Addressable Market (TAM) Size is an important calculation, especially when you're considering attacking a new market for the first time.
Defining your beachhead market and End User Profile provides you with enough specificity to make a first-pass calculation of the Total Addressable Market (TAM) size for the beachhead market. For Wellshare, we knew that initially we wanted to target alternative health and allied health practitioners who wanted to operate their business in the Sydney CBD so we used government statistics and industry reports to understand how many potential people could use our space.
The TAM for your beachhead market is the amount of annual revenue, expressed in dollars per year, your business would earn if you achieved 100 percent market share in that market.
You can calculate the TAM using two methods:
1. Bottom-up analysis
2. Top-down analysis
For Wellshare, we looked through government data and were able to understand how many small business (employing 20 people or less) were operating in the CBD area. This gave us a good guide as to how many potential practitioners might have been looking for a treatment room to rent.
Once we had this number we could multiply it by the average cost of renting a room with us per year to get an estimate of the market size. This is an example of bottom up analysis because we are starting with the smallest possible unit which is the cost of a single room for a single practitioner each year and working our way up.
For our top down analysis, we found industry reports which talked about how much revenue as a whole each industry generated. Then we found ATO benchmarking data which showed what proportion of revenue was spent on rent on average by our target end users. Thus, if there was $1b in revenue generated and on average 10% was spent on rent by these businesses then we could approximate that $100m was the market size for rent.
You are looking for a market that is big enough for you to get to scale, develop IP generate sustainable profitability. However, if the market is too big, you probably won't have the resources to compete with the larger players.
Last week I was watching Criminal Minds on TV and it suddenly struck me how running a business is kind of like working for the FBI.
You must come to accept that to win in business, you have to develop the service you deliver on what the customer wants, rather than pushing onto the market the type of service that you want to sell.
Check your ego at the door and you'll win this game.
Instead focus on creating a profile of the decision-making unit, not just the customer. The end user is the individual who will actually use your service. But we all know that the end-user is not always the driver of the decision to use your service. Sometimes it might be a spouse or a friend, sick and tired of hearing about a certain complaint that finally pushes the end-user to do something about their problem.
The decision-making unit is the group of people who actually decides whether the customer will buy your service. There are three types of decision-making units:
You want to build a profile of the end user that is specific enough calculate the Total Addressable Market size of your beachhead market. Your focus will be on the end user, because if the end user does not want your service, you won't have a business.
Your goal is to create a description of a narrowly defined subset of end users with similar characteristics and with similar needs. You do not want to spend your time and resources trying to be everything to everybody.
You can break down individuals based on demographic and/or psychographic features. Some potential characteristics to include in your end user profile are gender, age range, income range, geographic location, what motivates them, what they fear most, who is their hero, what they read, and the general reason they are buying this service.
If you don't have someone from the demographic already as a client, then you need to find one.
Your analysis of your target customer is nowhere near complete, but the End User Profile points you in the right direction for further steps.
If your next step is to find a room for rent then let us know :)
If you try and be everything to everyone, you'll end up being nothing to no-one.
For most health professionals, this advice is hard to accept. We are naturally geared to try and help as many people as possible and our curious, problem solving nature means we want to have a go at working with as many different types of patients as possible.
The problem is that in business, this approach doesn't work.
From the patients point of view, the only thing that they care about is that the practitioner they are going to see if the best as solving their particular problem. They want a specialist not a generalist. So with this in mind you must ask yourself - what is it that I specialise in?
You must ignore the other markets.
Instead, concentrate on developing a beachhead market. Once you gain a dominant market share, you will have the strength to attack adjacent service offerings.
A key determinant of success for health & wellness entrepreneurs is their ability to select a niche market and to stay disciplined by deselecting other markets.
It is better to avoid selecting the largest or very large markets, even if they seem like the "best" segments. For example, you're better off positioning yourself as the person to come to see when you have a rotator cuff injury, then as a sports physio. When the consumer is doing their research, if they have a rotator cuff injury they are more likely to select the specialist at fixing their particular problem than the generalist who can do it all.
The first service market you focus on will be a significant learning experience for you, so you are better off learning in a smaller market where you can quickly get high exposure among the base of potential customers.
You want to start in a market where you have great ability to dominate in a relatively short time period; a narrow, focused market is the best way to do so.
Choose a single market to pursue that meets the three conditions of a service market:
These three criteria for defining a service market mean that you will get efficiencies of scale in the market and you have a good chance to do that magical thing that all entrepreneurs want, "to go viral." And when you do we have the treatment rooms to service your demand.
One of the most important attributes of a successful health or beauty entrepreneur is the ability to focus on attracting a particular type of client and avoid attracting the wrong type of clients.
At first this may sound counter intuitive: shouldn't I just get as many clients as possible?
The answer is a resounding NO.
Instead you must choose your beachhead market - that is, the market you will choose to serve above all others. Once the beachhead is chosen, the key is to dominate that market. You're better off being known as the physio who everyone sees to fix their tennis elbow than the sports physio who treats every kind of injury under the sun. Even better if your interest and passion lies in the field of tennis elbow.
Avoid what everyone else in the industry is doing or the flavour of the month. Whilst the number of potential customers might be higher, the competition will be higher too which will make it difficult to stand out from the crowd.
This is especially important for those starting out. The first market you attack will be a significant learning experience for you, so you are better off learning in a smaller market where you can quickly get high exposure among the base of potential customers.
You want to start in a market where you have great ability to dominate in a relatively short time period; a narrow, focused market is the best way to do so.
Choose a single market to pursue; then, keep segmenting until you have a well-defined and homogeneous market opportunity that meets the three conditions of a market:
If you do this you should start to see your client numbers start to sky-rocket.
Need a beauty room to rent?
If you try to be everything to everyone, you'll end up being nothing to no-one.
This principle took me a long time to understand but once I did it completely transformed my business. And it's a common mistake Health & Wellness professionals make because when we learn these new skills that can completely transform a persons health and wellbeing it's only natural that we want to shout it from the rooftop.
But I now understand the power of Market Segmentation. Start by taking your service and brainstorming all the possible types of patients who might be interested in it.
Break the types of patients up by demographic and/or psychographic features.
Old, young. Performance or Pain management. Think deeply about what distinguishes different types of patients.
Next, identify the different tasks your patients perform. How might your service fit in with these tasks to help and improve your patients life experience.
Once you've identified numerous potential patients, your next task is to list the top 5 particularly interesting market opportunities, where a market opportunity consists of a specific patient type.
Now it is time for primary market research. Talking directly with patients and observing them will help you get a better understanding of which market opportunity is best. You should also perform Google searches and read research reports from research firms.
But talking to real people is always best.
Gathering the vast majority of your information from direct interaction with real potential patients about their situations, pain points, opportunities and market information. Be curious in your approach and take your time as there are few shortcuts in this process.
Once you gather your primary market research, it is time to refine your learning. The main categories you are trying to obtain information on for each patient are
The goal of the research is not to provide a perfect solution, but to present a wide spectrum of market opportunities as you start to think about where you will focus your business.
Entrepreneur, retired doctor. Passionate about helping health and beauty professionals build their own brand.