We would like to thank Dr. Rodriguez-Feliz for his “helicopter” view on customer-based business models in aesthetic plastic surgery. We agree that a customer-based rather than product-based business model should be considered the criterion standard for marketing of an aesthetic surgery clinic. Our study has focused on patients’ decisions and provides several recommendations for customer-based aesthetic plastic surgery marketing.1
We have analyzed the decision making of patients when choosing an aesthetic clinic using conjoint analysis, a marketing tool with more results than the usual questionnaire, giving a different and better insight for improving strategies. In conjoint analysis, subjects score different scenarios with the same attributes but different levels in which they make tradeoffs (Fig. 1). These tradeoffs are then analyzed based on their responses.
With respect to the online presentation, we studied the attributes “modest” and “extensive.” Although the relative importance overall of online presentation was rather low (9.7 percent) compared with “experience of the surgeon” (35.6 percent) and “method of referral” (21.5 percent), it was found that an extensive online presentation had a positive influence on the decision to choose for a clinic.
So, what to do when you are a young plastic surgeon starting a private practice? You will probably lose some patients to more experienced colleagues when they market their experience well. Focus, therefore, should lie on method of referral and having a Web site, as they are the easiest to influence by a young plastic surgeon compared with the other attributes. The impact of a Web site depends on its content2 and it should be an asset to the surgeon and give clarity to patients and the general practitioner (referral) about your procedures. Also, the information stated on Web sites should have a high readability3 for patients to help them choose your clinic.
The authors have no financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this communication.
Maurice W. H. M. van den Bergh, M.Sc., L.L.M.
Department of Economics and Business Economics
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Roland W. Luijendijk, M.D., Ph.D.
Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery
Bilthoven, The Netherlands
1. Marsidi N, van den Bergh MW, Luijendijk RW. The best marketing strategy in aesthetic plastic surgery: Evaluating patients’ preferences by conjoint analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014;133:52–57
2. Mabvuure NT, Rodrigues J, Klimach S, Nduka C. A cross-sectional study of the presence of United Kingdom (UK) plastic surgeons on social media. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2014;67:362–367
3. Dunne S, Cummins NM, Hannigan A, Shannon B, Dunne C, Cullen W. A method for the design and development of medical or health care information websites to optimize search engine results page rankings on Google. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15:e183
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