A Two Tier Approach To Healthcare Marketing

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?

Regards

David

About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

Let me know what you think