Business Development What? Commercial Strategy In Healthcare

That Business Development Thingee?

For a lot of us, business principles and business development strategies can be almost a foreign concept. Worse still written in a foreign language that we have real problems understanding. Conversion Rate, TNS, KPIs, CNP and all of those other catchy acronyms. “We are going to leverage all of our divergent channels in order to consolidate customer engagement, boosting both sales and cycle rate through the input of early adopters” I don’t know what it means either, but god damn it sounds good! Smile 

So, you need to think about your business development strategy in order that your business moves forward as you hope. Many of us lack the innate understanding and skills to ensure that success is a foregone conclusion. That is why it is imperative for us to look to outside professionals to shore up the skills that we lack.

But there are some simple questions to apply to any business development strategy, questions that are useful when addressing any strategy. Be that a long term plan for continued growth or a short term campaign for instant tactical reasons.
Who are you going to target?

Seems like an odd question, but you need to define who your target market is in order to identify how to reach them. That definition needs to be narrowed in order for you to identify the best channel to utilise to reach them.

What do you want to sell them?

Again, doh! But is it such a stupid question, are hearing instruments the best hook to catch the target market you want to reach. For instance, there are a lot of medium to long term hearing instrument users in your target market. Are they ready for new instruments? If they are not ready an advert or communication relating to new instruments is wasted. What about an advert or communication about assistive devices that allows them to fuller connect to their world using their existing instruments.
There are many instrument users out there who are relatively happy with their two, three or four year old hearing instruments. Just because they don’t want instruments does not mean that they will not purchase something they feel will be of value to them.
Where are they located?
Again a stupid question, but the answer allows you to better define the actions you will take to attract them. For instance, you have a large concentration of your target market in a neighbouring county, region or area. In order to tap into that potential you need to be relevant to them. In this case I would undertake SEO principles on my online marketing channels that would return me high on the search rankings for “hearing aids, My County”. That seems straight forward enough, but if you have not identified where “My County” is, how are you going to target it?
Why should your target market do business with you?
This is probably one of the most important questions you can ask, exploring this question will set the terms of your business strategy moving forward. I don’t know why your target market should do business with you, do you?
How will you reach them?
Wahoooooo, the thousand dollar question! How will you reach your target market? What channel will you use to touch them? What channel will give you the best return for your buck? We have multiple marketing channels available to us, the traditional and the non traditional. We know that return on investment is falling in the traditional marketing channels, we also know that the new marketing channels are really untested fully. But you need to think strongly about these channels, I believe that these channels are already imperative and are already delivering the best ROI to dispensaries that are taking full advantage of the opportunities that these channels offer.
Don’t forget about the other channels such as talks and presentations to local groups. A column in a local paper. A referral network of synergistic businesses. All of these elements are marketing channels that you need to tap into. You also need to remember that,
The Most Important Marketing Channel You Have Is Your Existing Patient

If you apply these simple questions to any of your on-going business strategies, you can quickly identify the elements that you need to pull together to be successful.
P.S. I have been reviewing my social media strategy as you should do on a regular basis. I have endeavoured to follow the delivery of high content model in our strategy, delivering interesting links to posts on topics as diverse from Studies on the latest findings in relation to hearing loss through the latest thoughts on social media to the latest topics in business management. Whilst this strategy has been successful to a certain extent particularly through cross pollination via the blog and Twitter, I have decided on a new strategy which I hope will move me to the big leagues of social media. The strategy is as follows….
Please please please please, pretty please, like me, like me, like meeeeeeeeeeeee,  I am not needy, pretty please with a cherry on top, pleeeeeeeeaasseeeeeeeeee!!!!!


Sorry, sometimes you just have to let a little humour into the world. I shall endeavour to refrain in future.

About Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling is an Irish hearing care blogger and the author of The Little Book of Hearing Aids and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World. He has been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession since 2007 when he qualified as a hearing aid audiologist. He has worked in private practice and for a major hearing aid manufacturer. He has become recognised as an authority within the field of hearing care and hearing aids.

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