An ophthalmology marketer’s view on what are the emerging trends in marketing

Having personally watched digital marketing and ophthalmology trends, it’s incredible to see how far the field has come since 1998. It all started with walking into a consulting firm’s office for a job interview and being told they specialize in laser vision correction. 

At the time, the concept of laser vision correction wasn’t nearly as well known. Their response was we help practices use lasers to correct patients’ vision. 

It’s always been amazing to see technological advancements, and it’s been fun watching the industry create new and extraordinary procedures that lead to better vision correction. Alongside the technology boom over the last 25 years, digital marketing has also emerged as a successful way to market ophthalmology practices. 

In 2023, what will be the emerging trends in ophthalmology marketing.

1.) Cataract Surgery Marketing

20 years ago, the consensus was that cataract patients would never use a website or submit a request for evaluation. Now, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Building a solid cataract marketing plan is gaining significant momentum. Closing the gap on search engines and working closely with optometrists are two key starting points for improving your cataract surgery marketing. 

There is an enormous opportunity to encourage premium lens implants and create unprecedented vision for patients. The demand for cataract surgery is growing. 

Why? Cataracts currently affect 20.5 million people over 40, which will only continue to grow. 

According to Google Trends, there are roughly 135,000 focused cataract surgery searches monthly. Email us if you want to see some case study data on costs to acquire leads. 

2.) Refractive Lens Exchange Marketing

For the last two years, refractive lens exchange has gained momentum through incredibly impressive campaigns for practices. Refractive lens exchange marketing is a much more challenging project because educating patients through marketing is an aspect of the strategy. 

In particular, the procedure is especially interesting for those reaching middle age and dealing with deteriorating vision. Many people may love the idea of LASIK but aren’t good candidates due to their age. 

Here at Glacial, various groups have created separate brands to market this procedure. Lens Replacement Surgery and Custom Lens Replacement are some of the names that come up for the procedure.  As RLE gains popularity, this is likely only at the forefront of seeing practices market this procedure. As surgeons get more confident performing lens implants, you’ll start seeing an increase in this as a focus. 

3.) The Resurrection of the EVO Visian ICL

Since its initial FDA approval, the Visian ICL, and the subsequent new advancements with the EVO Visian ICL, the procedure is now more accessible and better than ever. The new business development team that Staar Surgical has assembled is remarkable and contains numerous industry veterans. 

The energy they have brought to educating patients and practices is next level. Historically, marketing this product has been challenging for the company and eye care practices. 

With the proper focus, this product fits in nicely with a practice that wants to offer the best vision correction options. An emerging group of independent practices is taking hold of this new style or providing the best possible outcomes. 

Dr. Robert Melendez and the Outliers Ophthalmology meeting have been among the pioneers in marketing these new options for vision correction. For the first time, we are now seeing a different kind of practice.  It’s a practice that massively differentiates itself from a LASIK chain. The whole mindset is different. It’s transparent, honest, and, most importantly, delivers the best in patient care. 

4.) The Use of Integrated CRM Systems

CRM systems have been around for 20-plus years in ophthalmology, but now, it’s more common to see a CRM integrated into the practice management software. With MDprospects, we get a birds-eye view of watching this rollout. 

The practices that use these systems correctly have a massive advantage in patient acquisition and efficiency. Marketing automation that works automatically with drip campaigns and online scheduling improves the patient experience. 

Practices with this figured out look much more in control and like they care about the patient experience. Working directly with MDprospects has allowed direct insights into the power of this tool and its efficiency at work. 

Other CRM systems are available, but they don’t perform the way that MDprospects does. No matter what you’re using, stop tracking leads in your email or using an Excel spreadsheet. You owe it to your practice to be more organized than that. 

5.) Modernizing Referral Methodology and Increasing Touchpoints With Referring Physicians

It’s hard to believe that most referrals from optometrists still come through a fax machine. It’s also hard to believe that the practice needs to play phone tag to get any necessary insurance information. 

Why can’t there be an electronic submission of referrals with integrated scheduling so the optometrist can directly book the exam? Patients can get reminders synced into this system. 

Patients can get relative education before their exam, and physicians can keep track of referral volume and relationships. By modernizing referral methodology (eliminating fax machines), you can increase touchpoints with referring physicians and communication and connections.

You can also make it easier to track where referrals come from, who referred, and determine if your system needs updates instead of wondering how many total referrals came in. Leave the fax machine in the past and bring your referral process into the present.

Want to take your ophthalmology digital marketing efforts up a notch in 2023? Schedule your free ophthalmology marketing assessment with Glacial Multimedia today!