Know what you're trying to accomplish

Friday, September 26, 2014

ATLANTA – Many HME providers want to diversify their product lines, but it’s no secret that many aren’t quite sure how best to go about doing it. At Medtrade, in a session entitled, “Adding a Product Line to Your Existing Business,” Anna McDevitt, president of Laboratory Marketing, explains why, because there’s such a wide range of products in the market, providers need to focus their efforts.

HME News: We hear a lot of talk about diversification. Is this something providers are thinking about doing, or actually doing?

Anna McDevitt: It’s a little bit of both, thinking and doing. There’s so much regulation going into health care. It’s changing rapidly, and not always in favor of the provider. So a lot of providers are thinking about trying to find where to branch out to find another revenue stream. 

HME: What’s a typical provider’s strategy for introducing a new product to market? 

McDevitt: One of the things that’s really important to think about is where your strengths already are. Many underestimate how much they know. 

HME: How should providers be more methodical about adding new product lines?

McDevitt: The blessing and the curse of marketing is that there isn’t one way of doing things. It’s a lot of trial and error. But there are steps you can take. First, discovery: Identify the goal and ask what success looks like. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, it can be difficult. Next, research: Who are you targeting? You need to ensure the new line is potentially profitable. Finally, map out a timeline.

HME: How should new product lines fit into a provider’s existing business?

McDevitt: It should fit in with your expertise. It shouldn’t be much of a stretch. 

HME: What’s the one thing you hope attendees take away from your session?

McDevitt: Marketing is an essential part of business. It’s not optional and it must be approached with consistency. If you’re not doing it already, you need to be. If you are, you need to be thinking about how to make it better. There’s so much that is doable to make your marketing what you want it to be.