Go beyond products
HME providers that focus on education, rather than products, can build a marketing strategy that sets them apart from their competitors, says Cheryl Needham.
“You need to know what a product is, what it does, and what that means,” said Needham, senior clinical marketing manager for Philips Respironics. “Disease management is not just about the product any more.”
Physicians and other clinicians use evidence-based evidence to make treatment and product decisions for patients; payers use it to look for areas of cost effectiveness; and patients use it to find therapies that will make their lives better, Needham said.
“As the Internet grows, more and more patients are out there looking for (solutions),” she said.
Providers can capitalize on evidence-based medicine by building an education-based marketing program. For example, using a copy of a published clinical study can give providers the evidence they need to support product claims, Needham said.
“Work together with the clinicians as a team on what’s best for that patient,” she said. “You could have a series of supporting clinical facts.”
It’s also important to keep marketing fresh. Don’t keep using the same clinical information, Needham said.
“Where can you get fresh ideas? Customer inquiries,” she said. “What are people asking about? Address skepticism and controversy with clear, well-though out information.”
And make sure you know your target, Needham said.
“Identify the target and make sure that target is the right target,” she said. “Not every physician is going to (be interested). Understand their needs.”