Botox Deals: Is Cut Price Marketing Applicable for Medical Treatments?

Posted on the 10 September 2010 at 15:20

I noticed a recent advert today on the website www.mycitydeal.co.uk – a new site offering special one day only offers provided in conjunction with local businesses advertising in your city. These offers run for one day only with a significant discount , up 70% or more off the RRP on a range of deals including meals, haircuts and go-karting. 

The Deal of the Day was promoting an offer of £80 instead of £220 for ‘skin smoothing injections’ in 2 areas of the face. Although not explicitly mentioned in the advert, (due to UK advertising regulations that do not allow the advertising of prescription only medicines), this was, of course, advertising Botulinum toxin, better known as Botox® for the reduction of frown lines and wrinkles. 

 

This is the lowest price that I have seen advertised for 2 areas of Botulinum Toxin.

Cut price Botox® (or Azzalure®,  as according to CosmeDoctor’s facebook page it appears that they use this licensed brand) at this price is a loss leader, if you’re going to use an adequate dose of toxin to get a good initial response.

The aim of the game for Cosmedoctor and other companies who use large discounts  to attract new customers, is the hope of getting clients/patients back for repeat treatments at more profitable pricing levels.

The cosmetic injectable market has become increasingly competitive in recent years with more providers advertising cheap initial prices using various advertising mediums in order to try and attract consumers into their business model, of which there are many.

The advertising of prescription only medicines, discounting of medical procedures, vouchers and prizes for cosmetic treatments are all controversial subjects in the field of marketing cosmetic treatments – and there is a general shift towards stricter reinforcement of guidelines.  I am sure that many industry participants would not want to see a total ban on cosmetic surgery advertising that has recently come in force in France – but with new European Regulations being drawn up over the next couple of years, companies and individuals marketing cosmetic treatments may find it tougher to use the full range of marketing techniques used by businesses in markets operating outside of the medical arena. 

CosmeDoctor itself is a franchise, CosmeDoctor Franchising Ltd. Their franchising literature claims that:

“COSMEDOCTOR is one of the rising stars in the franchise market simply because the business represents a revolution within the industry. Simple to operate from home, the level of support from Head Office means that you can concentrate on developing your business knowing that you have the help and back up of an experienced and professional team. Many of your customers will come with their own client base. Your business (yes, you own it) will enjoy repeat customers year in year out.”

Franchising is not new to the injectable cosmetic market place, with Collagenics being one of the original franchise models launched a number of years ago.

The total Franchise investment for COSMEDOCTOR is £24,950 + VAT, ready to go, including full training, your first concessions, customers, product stock, equipment and full back up and support.

Over the last 16 years, since the launch of Botox®, a number of business models have been tried. The model employed by CosmeDoctor where an injector visits beauty salons every month or so to treat some of their clients is a very common model, although it is often set up as an independent arrangement between the salon owner and the injector rather than having a third party involved.

In more recent years we have seen more specialist (often Doctor or Nurse owned) clinics evolve focussing on a range of “medical aesthetic treatments” including cosmetic injectables, laser, radiofrequency, peels and needling, with the use of more sophisticated digital skin analysis systems.

On the other hand, you may find your local dentist offering to treat your frown lines after a dental check-up, or a non-medical person offering treatment in a local hotel or even your friend sending an invite to a “Botox Party” at their house.

Due to the lack of any government regulations, this explosion in business models with injectors from different backgrounds who train, often through one day training courses that have no transparent set of rules to regulate their quality, has caused controversy and concern within the industry.

As a result a new self regulation scheme, set up by the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS), has unleashed itself on the cosmetic injectables market with the aim of trying to raise awareness amongst consumers of the range in different standards that consumers may find between different business models and the people operating them.

It is fair to say that this has not be welcomed with open arms by many providers of cosmetic injectable treatments, especially those who are specifically excluded from joining because they cannot match the standards required. The IHAS Shared Regulation scheme for cosmetic injectable treatments will be launching publicly within the next few months, and it will be interesting to see whether this has any discernable impact on how consumers choose to buy these treatments, and which business models (if any) become more favoured by these standards. For more information – visit www.treatmentsyoucantrust.co.uk.

Add Comment

To leave a comment you need to be logged in as a Cosmetic Community Member or a Clinic.

Please Click Here to login / register with the Cosmetic Community.

If you are a Clinic Click Here to login to the partners area of Consulting Room.