HearBuy Conference 2013 Roundup

Keeping It Fresh

By Geoffrey Cooling

20130910-132544.jpg I really enjoyed presenting at the HearBuy conference, judging by the questions and the fact that no one was visibly asleep. I think the audience enjoyed it too. HearBuy members are an interesting and diverse bunch of people with really diverse business models. From high street Practices through clinic model businesses to solely field dispensing. It was obvious to me afterwards when talking with people in the exhibition hall that they are concerned.

They are concerned about the future place of the Independent Hearing Healthcare sector. I feel that while their concern is warranted, I consistently told them that they have the solution to their longevity and continued success. I firmly believe that and hope that it came across in both my presentation and afterwards in my conversations with people.

I think that the Independent Hearing Healthcare sector is important and its survival is paramount. The sector applies checks and balances on the profession as a whole and its continued existence is imperative for the well being of Patients. The questions after the presentation were focused mostly on online branding and it’s benefits. Afterwards in the exhibition hall I had a few conversations based around the presentation and other ideas that I have discussed on the blog.

I would like to thank everybody I spoke to on their kind comments and feedback in relation to the blog. The workshops on Saturday morning were particularly interesting. Practice owners from all backgrounds attended, so again the discussions were diverse and the outlined strategies differed. I think that there was elements of the message that were relevant to everybody.

I asked one group what they thought of the strap line “honest independent hearing healthcare advice from your local family healthcare provider”. They immediately jumped on the honest, they thought it devalued the phrase a great deal. So I asked what about “Independent hearing healthcare advice from your local family healthcare provider”. They thought that was a pretty good message.

I asked them how many of them used it? The answer was no one, I asked why not to shrugs. I thought the message had real power in the current climate and leveraged the shop local message. I told them that it was a message they should be pushing across all their marketing channels. I discussed the use of social events around your Practice some time ago in an article called, Community as a commercial strategy,

I was pleased to find in one of the workshops that a practice owner had come up with the same idea. They were running a monthly social event around the Practice. Some of the events would have a theme such as Tinnitus or medical or technical advances whilst others were purely social events. They felt that the startegy was really paying off for them, driving loyalty and referrals.

So in synopsis, a good time was had, no one threw fruit, I didn’t get scrumpy Jack’d up, I learnt some new stuff and I hope I brought real value to some of the attendees. Now I just have to lobby BSHAA and Triple A for an invite and we are off!



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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