Lemonade Marketing Firm

Friday, May 18, 2012

Written by Miloy Schwartz.

There’s an adage used in the marketing profession that you must “eat your own dog food.”  While that isn’t to say you’ve got to actually eat the dog food, it does mean you’ve got to have some type of first-hand experience with a product/service before you can effectively market it. (Keep in mind that marketing is much more than creating an ad. But, that’s a blog for another week.)

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into one of my more challenging applications of this marketing proverb. And so began my maiden voyage into the world of … Botox.

Tuesday, July 12
 - Approximately 1:00 p.m.

As the owner of Lemonade Marketing Firm, I routinely check in with my clients to review and assess the effectiveness of our current marketing and branding campaigns.  Today was no exception when I stopped by Women’s Health Professionals.  I was speaking with my principal contact there when Paul Smurda, MD, saw me. He excitedly began to tell me what I missed while on vacation the prior week. He was all set to begin offering Botox treatments to his patients. He then asked to come up with the best way to market this “liquid facelift.”

Uh-oh ... Houston we have a problem here.  I was a Botox virgin. At only 34 years old, I’d only vaguely even thought about Botox treatment for myself. And, that was only due to a very exaggerated crease in my forehead from years and years of squinting because of constantly worsening eyesight. Then, I would envision those Hollywooders whose lips looked like they’d been through a bar room brawl or remember frozen-faced Joan Collins. And, the thought of me being treated with Botox would quickly subside. Although, a few years ago, I did get up the nerve for Lasik eye surgery to finally stop the squinting, the Botox plunge always seemed a lot scarier to me.

Then, the advertising dog food adage immediately popped into my head and, with a feeling of panic I thought to myself, “Seriously? Does this really mean I am going to have to try this before I can sell it?”  I knew the answer to the question. So, I bravely made arrangements to be back at Women’s Health Professionals late that afternoon to boldly go where I had never been before … under the influence of Botox.


Same afternoon
 - 1:30 to 4:45 p.m.

In the midst of meeting project deadlines for other clients that afternoon, I managed to squeeze in some heavy-duty self-talk. After much internal debate, I finally rationalized with myself that: 
“Yes, I’ve always wanted to get rid of that crease in my forehead. And, yes, if there is anyone I would trust in this situation it would be Dr. Smurda who has been my personal physician for several years. And, yes, this is really the only way I am going to be able to get rid of my pre-conceived notion of a Botox-induced puffed up, paralyzed Zombie face. I need to do this so we can develop a bang-up marketing campaign.”

(After aforementioned self-talk, I simply repeated to myself, “Deep breath. And, exhale. Deep breath. And, exhale…”)


Later that afternoon - 
4:55 p.m.

Amidst my continuous internal commands of “Deep breath. And, exhale. Deep breath. And, exhale…” I returned to the office of Women’s Health Professionals.  The receptionist sent me on back to Dr. Smurda’s office where I found his wife. We know each other, so she candidly began to show me the results on her face from the exact same treatment I was about to receive. There was no sign of a crease! None! Not even a fine line! Suddenly, I begin to get a bit excited about getting rid of my own crease, if only for a few months. (For all of my stress over Botox, the treatment is not permanent.)

Soon Dr. Smurda came in and began my Botox consultation. The first thing we discussed was which lines bothered me.  I showed him the creases between my eyes.  He proceeded to show me the muscles in my face that allow those lines to show up, explaining those were the ones he would need to treat.  He then grabbed his pen and meticulously made six dots in the shape of a V, starting between my eyebrows and going up a little over an inch high.  He continued explaining that Botox would paralyze the muscles for up to three months, depending on my metabolism.  He did such a good job of explaining what he was about to do that I almost felt as if I’d been through the procedure before. Almost.

“Deep breath. And, exhale. Deep breath. And, exhale…” And? He was on to the second injection before I even realized he had finished the first one!  I am not exaggerating when I say, the first shot felt like what I had always imagined acupuncture would feel like – just a tiny needle that barely pricks your skin.  I have no idea how deep the needle actually went, but it felt super superficial. Once Dr. Smurda finished the third and final injection of the left, he changed syringes to be sure he had a consistently sharp needle.

The first shot with the new needle did feel a bit like a bee sting but it still didn’t make me want to jump up and run. But, the remaining two were just as easy to take as the first 3.  And voila … three and three equal six. I was finished!

Sandy, one of the great nurses at Women’s Health Practitioners, cleaned the ink marks off my face and handed me a mirror. All I saw were six tiny red dots sitting atop what looked like six tiny mosquito bites.  If I hadn’t looked in the mirror, I wouldn’t have known that the Botox had left any evidence behind.  The whole process was nothing like I thought it would be.  I had always assumed Botox would make you feel a lot like you do after dental work. So, I was expecting a swollen, thick, numb feeling on my forehead. To my surprise, I felt no different when I left than I had when I arrived, except that the feeling of impending doom in my stomach was gone.


Same Tuesday - 8 PM

By the time we had dinner, the “mosquito bites” were gone. Even though the I knew the results would not show up at least three days, I couldn’t resist the urge to stop by a mirror and try to furrow my brow to see if things were a changin’.  Nothing yet.


Saturday, July 16th

Before I knew it, the week had flown by. As got dressed to hit garage sales with my husband, I suddenly realized that I couldn’t furrow my brow! It didn’t even feel like I was fighting any muscles in the attempt. I saw that the area between my eyebrows wouldn’t move when I squinted my eyes, but it felt normal, not at all like I had imagine paralyzed muscles would feel.



While my forehead line was never anything that anyone had ever made a single comments about, it was something I had a hard time not focusing on every time I looked in a mirror.  With the line invisible, my make-up seems to go on more smoothly and my self-confidence got a boost, too.

In the end, I feel quite silly about how dramatic I assumed such a simple procedure could be.  I encourage anyone with such fears and misgivings about Botox (or anything else you don’t know much about) to rethink your perception.  Do the research and talk to someone who is an expert about what you fear.  In my case, Dr. Smurda was wonderfully patient and answered the countless questions I had for him.

And, about the “dog food.”  Don’t be surprised if I ask for seconds in a few months.


(To learn more about Botox, you can set up a consultation at Women’s Health Professionals by calling 229.883.4555)

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