Should My Medical Practice Advertise with Groupon™?
The popular deal-of-the day website, Groupon boasts 17.03 million unique visitors monthly in North America, according to Statista, the worlds largest Statistic's Portal. Groupon offers discounts specific to a user's locale, ranging from deals on local restaurants and spas, to exercise classes, to foreign vacations. New to the concept, medical practice deals are now making up for nearly 10% of the deals offered on Groupon. Should your medical practice be advertising on Groupon? There's great discussion determining the ethics and legality of doctors advertising on Groupon, but whether it's a permitted and recommended practice has yet to be entirely determined. To follow is a brief look at both sides of the doctors-deals debate.
Reasons Medical Practices Would Want to Advertise on Groupon.
- Just as many medical practices have a target patient demographic, Groupon has a targeted user-base. Groupon's users are predominantly female (75 percent). This statistic obtained on Groupon's website benefits plastic surgeons and cosmetic-focused dermatologists for a large pool of potential female patients. Groupon puts your advertisement in front of the right customer-- or in this case, patient.
- Groupon users are educated--nearly 71 percent have obtained a college degree-- and more likely to make healthy lifestyle decisions.
- According to Groupon, 85 percent of its users who redeem a deal at a merchant, are more likely to return to that business in the future without a deal. Groupon also states that its users, 77 percent of them, spend more than the value of the deal when services are rendered. This could mean that medical practices that advertise with Groupon may increase their overall profits after the initial investment.
Legal and Ethical Concerns for Medical Practices Advertising with Groupon.
- If the saying, "you get what you pay for," rings true, that physicians offering discounted medical and cosmetic procedures on Groupon could be damaging their reputations. Users may wonder, 'Why is Dr. Noname advertising on Groupon, is he that desperate for patients?" When patients' perception of a physician is lowered, he or she may be less likely to look up online reviews of the physician, or develop their own opinion based off of experience.
- Any Groupon user may purchase a medical deal without consulting a physician for evaluation. This is topic if strict ethical debate among physicians.
- Discounts for medical procedures may lessen the severity of the procedure among purchasers.
- Some medical boards and professional medical societies strongly warn against discounting services in advertisements, and in certain states may violate laws prohibiting the recruitment of new patients through kick-backs.
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Category: Medical Marketing