Marketing: Put your information out there
A. We often incorrectly assume that the HME target audience isn't online; however, as the Internet becomes less of a novelty and more of an everyday tool, it's no surprise that our aging population is becoming tech savvy. The Internet is becoming an important decision-making tool as well.
The bottom line is this: Patients (and referral sources) can't learn more about your company online if you haven't put any information there to find. Every provider should have a website that includes basic information, including company name and logo; the services/products you provide; location; and contact information. The best way to start is by putting yourself in the patient's shoes. What information would you want to find when "Googling" a provider for yourself or a loved one?
Beyond a website, there are a variety of online marketing resources available to providers, many of which are budget friendly. Some providers have started to use Facebook business pages to upload photos of staff, allowing patients and referrals to "put a face to the name" and feel more connected to their healthcare partners. Others have made strong connections through email marketing. Low cost services (like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp) enable providers to create professional looking emails, which are great for patient education, event and sale promotions, newsletters and more. Company blogs are also effective to improve lead generation. According to a 2012 study, 57% of companies have acquired a customer though their blog and 81% of businesses reported their company blog as "useful to critical" for their business. HME
Anna McDevitt is president of Laboratory Marketing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-227-6930.