Rushing towards new marketing methods and channels? Don’t forget the tried and tested!
By David Keenan
This is a guest post from a colleague of mine named David Keenan. David has been involved in the hearing profession for many years. He has worked both for manufacturers and in the dispensing environment. He had a moment of interesting insight recently and I asked him to guest post his thoughts.
As a territory sales manager for a manufacturer, I have been watching with interest the changing dynamics of the private hearing aid profession over the past few years. One big change has been the introduction and rapid growth of Social Media and the Internet as a communication medium between Independent practices and both their peers and potential customers.
Whilst undertaking open days recently with a valued client of mine, it struck me that sometimes basic messaging is all that is required to elicit a response. Let me explain, I do concede that social media and the web are very useful and powerful marketing tools that have to be exploited to their maximum. However I wonder who is responding to these channels versus the traditional methods of marketing. Also in our adoption of these channels are we forgetting some important lessons?
During my open days, I noticed my client’s advert. The advert was the same type of basic advert that they have used for over thirty years. Consistently they have used this advert to advertise their open days. It has a straightforward message detailing the date, times and location of the events. It is accompanied with a photograph of the Audiologist and the promise that a product specialist was coming over specifically to see people for these days.
A marketing professional may have kittens at the use of the same advert for so long. When I questioned the dispenser about the long term use of the same advert. His response of- ” If it ain’t broke” was a point I found difficult to argue with. Particularly when faced with the success of the days in question. The business owner did concede that small improvements such as ” established 30 years” messages on the advert might attract more hesitant clients.
It lead me to conclude that there are challenges for hearing care practices, real challenges to market their business in a way that meets not only the needs of the information driven consumer who are internet and research savvy. But also the primary needs of existing hearing aid users and new users who are perhaps reluctant to seek help and who are less technology savvy. The message on this advert was a simple one, but it spoke of tradition and expertise.
Others are better versed in the art of marketing and brand recognition but it was an interesting thought process after a busy few days.
It lead me to wonder what are these people looking to purchase? Is it the Hearing Aid or the expertise?