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Plastic Surgery Marketing: How Much to Budget for Practice Growth

Plastic and cosmetic surgery continues to be in high demand in the United States. This demand has created a healthy yet competitive marketplace for plastic surgeons.

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According to the ASPS Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, breast augmentation continues to be the top cosmetic surgical procedure and has been since 2006. Silicone implants were used in 88%, and saline implants in 12%, of all breast augmentations in 2018. The other top procedures with notable gains include tummy tuck (up 107%), liposuction (up 5%), and buttock augmentation with fat grafting (up 19%).

With more cutting-edge procedures and technologies hitting the market, patients are becoming more aware of new opportunities and more interested in researching the best options for their bodies.

Plastic surgeons interested in starting their own practice or looking to market their long-standing practice need to:

  1. Be visible in a competitive market
  2. Properly address patients who have become obsessed with wanting to know answers within seconds

The questions come down to: How do I set a budget for marketing? What’s the best way for a plastic surgery practice to achieve sustained growth?

Spending too much on marketing can take away from the costs needed for a healthy operations budget. Spending too little on marketing can keep you from achieving your goals and paying off your loans in a timely manner.

When building a strategy for marketing your plastic surgery practice, three things must be considered: the age of the practice, the location of the practice, and the size of the practice.

Age: A practice that is just starting up will need to invest more money upfront to help build brand awareness in its market. This can include internal marketing software, branding, and website and digital marketing (SEO/SEM).

Location: Practices in high-population, high-income locations will face larger competition than practices in other areas. The more competition in your market, the more dollars need to be allocated toward your marketing budget.

Size & Number of Procedures: The more services your practice offers, the more competition it will have with other plastic, cosmetic, dermatology, and medspa practices. Each procedure offered will need a specific marketing strategy to get more patients inquiring about this procedure.

Measuring ROI

While digital marketing always delivers the strongest ROI, it’s important that each and every individual marketing activity is being measured in regard to the number of leads.

This means tracking every single phone call and email that comes into the practice from the marketing strategy at play.

A plastic or cosmetic surgery practice should plan on spending no less than 6 – 12% of its annual revenue on marketing. Younger practices will need to spend more initially to gain exposure — same for practices in areas of larger competition. Initial costs will focus on establishing a digital and physical presence.

Below is a list of guidelines on how to plan out your marketing budget for the first five years of your plastic or cosmetic surgery practice:

Year 1 - 2

$500,000 – $1,000,000 projected annual revenue

$2,500 – $5,000/month budget (larger markets could need more)

  • Website
  • Google Organic Presence
  • Directory Listing Optimization
  • PPC Ads
  • Marketing ROI software (i.e., call and email tracking)
  • Internal marketing automation software (i.e., patient reminders, practice specials, events, etc.)
  • 1 – 2 in-person events per year

Years 3 - 5

$1 – 2 million projected annual revenue

$5,000 – $10,000/month budget

  • Expand digital budget for additional PPC or ad campaigns
  • Social media campaigns
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • 2 – 3 events per year

Published on
Dec 30, 2019

Written by
Andre Riley