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How Much Should Cosmetic Surgeons Spend on Digital Marketing?

By thumb rule, cosmetic surgeons in private practice spend between 5-10% of their total annual revenue. However, it depends on these factors:

Harshal Limaye

Harshal Limaye

Published On: March 15, 2019

How Much Should Cosmetic Surgeons Spend on Digital Marketing?


If you are a cosmetic surgeon with private practice, you know that you need a digital marketing strategy to acquire new patients and achieve sustained growth. What budget amount is right for you? Spending too much on marketing can interfere with your operations budget. Spending too little can keep you from achieving your goals. In this article, we’ll discuss what marketing budget amount is affordable and at the same time helps achieve your objectives.

Measurable goals :

Before you start spending money on marketing, it is important to identify your marketing objectives, in other words where you are starting and where you would like to be at the end of the period. Very often this is expressed as an increase in qualified leads and consultations, measured by digital metrics using a marketing software platform.

Return on investment :

Once you have established goals, you can measure effectiveness by comparing the year-over-year cost of acquiring a patient, known as patient acquisition cost (PAC). This calculation represents the average cost of acquiring one patient and reflects the return on investment (ROI).

What should be your Budget?

There’s no standard formula for how much your medical practice should spend on marketing. And the last thing you want to do is spend on marketing just because someone else is. As a thumb rule, cosmetic surgeons in private practice will generally spend between 5% – 10% of their total annual revenue. It also depends on what stage you are in your practice. Are you just starting up a new practice? Are you growing into more locations or new services? Are you a mature practice and now need to grow your bottom line?

Starting a new practice (or less than 2 years of practice)

If you are just starting out a new practice, you will have to spend more initially to gain exposure and create your brand. You’ll need to invest in building your website – which is your single most vital marketing asset. Initial costs will be focused on establishing a digital and physical presence then planning and implanting ongoing marketing support. Typically, you’ll spend a higher percentage of your annual revenues, because your total revenues are low. Plan to spend about ₹50,000 – ₹100,000 per month

You don’t need a lot of money to get started in marketing activities. Even small budgets do work. You need to establish clear and realistic objectives with any budget you set aside for marketing. Measure the return on your marketing investment. You want to achieve multiples in returns, but generally speaking, any positive returns are good and it just means you are ready to invest more to get more returns.

Here are some of the marketing activities that can get you started:

  • Build Website
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Email campaigns
  • Marketing software

Growing Your Practice

In this stage of your practice, your primary objective is to grow your revenues. You are looking to open more locations or offer new services. In this stage, a 360° digital marketing approach is recommended to help you achieve your goals. You’ll be spending more each month, but as your revenues grow you’ll be spending less and less as a percent of total revenues.

Engage with patients everywhere and every time by leveraging multiple channels such as:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Google Ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Social Media
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • SMS
  • Youtube Channel
  • 1-1 communication automation

Grow Your Bottom Line

In this last stage of your practice, you’ll still need to invest in marketing to sustain your growth, as new competition will keep coming. At this stage, you need to invest in automation technology to reduce your overheads and grow your bottom line.

Harshal Limaye

About Author

Harshal Limaye

CEO & Founder, Mktg.Doctor

LinkedIn – @ Harshal Limaye

Harshal Limaye runs Mktg.Doctor, an all-in-one digital marketing platform that leverages 360° marketing strategies to acquire new patients, re-engage existing patients, improve patient’s experience, streamline your front desk, and justify your marketing spend. He is a Certified Aesthetic Consultant from The Aesthetic Academy USA.

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