Grow your own

 - 
11/28/2007

This strikes me as kind of odd, but maybe it is not. In a recent poll

, we asked providers the following question: Do you use special events like World COPD Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote your business and product offerings?

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How many do you think said they did?

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A. 90%

B. 75%
C. 25%
D. 9%

Alien dvd The answer: 9%.

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Granted, the results probably do not qualify as statistically valid. Sixteen providers logged onto the poll but only 11 answered it. Of those 11, 10 said they did no marketing around special events like World COPD Day.

Ten out of 11 do nothing. Huh (duh?). I would have expected, at a minimum, that the results would have broken down 50/50. It seems logical that providers would take advantage of such an obvious opportunity to promote their business and services, to draw public attention to these chronic disease states and the HME therapies available. Doesn't that sound like a good thing to do?

Like I said, this is not a statistically valid or scientific study, but it is, nonetheless, troublesome. It reconfirms that a lot of HME providers don’t understand the new consumer-based healthcare paradigm. In case you haven’t heard: Consumers want information that helps them make decisions. If you’re not tapped into this, you’re missing a great opportunity.

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Good Luck Chuck hd The days of simply relying on referral sources for business are gradually diminishing in importance. As reimbursement declines, the industry must offset that by growing the market. You do that by educating consumers about COPD and other chronic disease states—sleep disordered breathing and obesity, for example. You’ve got to believe that a lot Medicare beneficiaries as well as younger folks have these chronic diseases but, for a variety of reason, have not sought medical help. One reason, I suspect, is because they don't know help exists; they don't know what products are available, who makes them or who provides them. Do you think the pharmaceutical industry would allow this situation to continue? No way. They’d start licking their chops over all the business to be had.

The bottom line: Cultivate referral sources but also grow the market. Feed the pipeline.

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