A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery story yesterday. I was sitting at a traffic light and looked up at a billboard promising a good deal on a new smartphone. The ad had occupied the sign for several months and I’d probably driven by it without a thought a hundred times or more.
And yet, yesterday, it seemed brand new and it grabbed my eye for one simple reason. My old phone contract was expiring soon and I realized it was time to start thinking about making a change. Just like that, I was a potential buyer of that maker’s phone.
Aesthetic consumers approach their medibeauty decisions in much the same way (although generally without the billboard): One day, they’re immune to marketing messages because they’re not seriously considering a procedure; the next, they’ve decided to go for it and are suddenly attuned to everything that might help them make sure they’re making the right decision.
Marketers call that moment POME, or Point of Market Entry, and it represents the first step in the continuing transformation of any aesthetic consumer’s purchase journey.
At POME, customers will suddenly express interest in your market, ask questions, look for information, says Nicolas Chabot of TRAACKR.com. They might have been aware of your brand, but now they are interested! It’s the #1 most critical moment to establish a positive relationship and influence future behavior.
Obviously, deciding to have cosmetic surgery is a bit more complex than buying a new phone. The POME trigger can be almost anything — a job hunt, a life-changing event, reaching a financial goal that makes it possible — but you can tell aesthetic consumers have entered the market in exactly the same way.
They go online, they read reviews and they ask questions, hoping to glean insights both from other consumers and from professionals who provide the services they’re considering. Doctors who are there to share their expertise have already accomplished the goal of creating brand awareness for their practice.
In the old days, those consumers would be said to have entered the sales funnel, which, in turn, would steer them toward the so-called “moment of truth” when they feel ready to make a decision. For aesthetic consumers that would likely be during or after a consult when they decide to book their procedure.
But social media has changed all that, leading to what the folks at Google refer to as ZMOT, or the Zero Moment of Truth.
[ZMOT] occurs after the consumer sees an ad for a product, but before a purchase is made. More precisely, it’s the moment when a shopper goes online to research a product and decides whether to make a purchase.
In other words, if you wait to engage with consumers only when they’ve made the decision to move forward, you may be already be too late. Smart doctors, on the other hand, recognize the points at which consumers enter the aesthetic market (hint: it’s not on Facebook) and design their marketing plans accordingly.
If you want to see aesthetic consumers in person, engage with them online
According to Google, the average shopper uses 10.7 sources of information before buying. It’s highly unlikely that your practice website will be the first one they go to but if you maintain a presence on the sites they do visit and give them the information they’re looking for without selling yourself, you can increase the odds that your website will be the one they end up on.