Awaken the Force: Aesthetic Consumers Are Looking for their Obi-Wan

You won’t find it on many wall calendars but for fans of a certain intergalactic movie franchise, today, 5/4/15, is a big day. It’s called Star Wars Day and it owes its existence to the wise man referenced above who almost, but not quite, said the immortal words:

May the fourth be with you.

Ok, so the pun’s a groaner but the reference is still timely and applicable to anyone trying to reach today’s aesthetic consumers. Like a Jedi in training, those seeking cosmetic surgery are on a journey, often unsure of how to proceed and eager for guidance from someone who can help them reach their goal. As Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media, put it in a recent paper:

The prospect is Luke Skywalker. Your brand is Obi-Wan.

Or to put it in medical marketing terms, the potential patient is Luke (or Leia) Skywalker and any doctor who helps them can be their Obi-Wan Kenobi. By providing content — answering questions, posting reviews and photos, and sharing other helpful content — you can serve as a mentor, helping them gain the knowledge they need to succeed.

The fact is the Internet has essentially delivered a death blow to old-school marketing in which brands push messages at consumers. Not only are consumers increasingly adept at tuning out such messages, they also have access to virtually infinite resources that don’t entail sales pitches at all:

The prospective buyer is going on a journey of their own making, says Clark, and smart marketers create engaging content that positions the brand as the only logical choice by being exceptionally helpful. In this approach, the buyer is the hero and your product or service is what they need to succeed.

[And] ‘Hero’ really is the perfect term. It is always their story that’s unfolding, and they are always the protagonist. Your brand can also be a heroic character, just not the primary hero. You instead play the role of the archetypical mentor or sage.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get the roles wrong. Doctors whose content is all about their skills and services make themselves the hero of the stories they tell rather than listening to the stories potential patients tell and responding with helpful information. According to Clark, this “miscasting” is one reason 80% of companies believe they deliver a “superior experience” to customers, yet only 8% of customers agree.

Providing helpful content, on the other hand, puts the emphasis where it belongs — on potential patients’ needs, issues and concerns. It’s the key to patient-centric marketing and it’s the secret weapon that empowers both patients and the doctors who embrace it.

Or, as “Dr. Kenobi” might have put it, may the fourth — and an audience of interested, motivated aesthetic consumers — be with you.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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