Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

Marketing Tool Kits: Exemplary Compliance October 10, 2011

Updated post

In Lisa’s post about legacy marketing, she extols the virtues of doing things well and I couldn’t agree more especially when considering the legal realities associated with industry codes–AdvaMed, PhRMA, CMSS, et. Al. If those acronyms are alphabet soup to you then please take the time to read up and come back, I’ll wait.

Bottom line (and one of my truth’s):

Health care providers must own their reputations and practice marketing.

What that means to companies is that they can supply to all QUALIFIED CUSTOMERS with a DIY Marketing Tool Kit.

The company determines exactly how a customer qualifies as long as those rules are applied consistently across the customer base. Here are some qualifications:

  • Complete product training program
  • Perform a minimum number of cases to demonstrate competency
  • Perform procedures in a specific site of service
  • Have admission privileges to at least one hospital facility
  • Have an active medical/DEA license
  • Agree to make specific dollar contributions to a turnkey marketing program with a third party vendor.

If your management team wants you to just dole out money for customer’s marketing activities without a formal program, push back. Regulators can see the brightly lit money trail a mile away. Here’s an example:

[Newly added 10/10/11]

Here’s a Press Release from Office of the Inspector General about a military cardiologist getting sentencing because of benefits received from a variety of activities including dinners with sales reps.

NPR Story:

Here’s a story from the AP on Massachusetts reporting of payments to physicians. “The report was the result of a 2008 state law that banned some types of gifts outright and required companies to report other types of payments.”

Note how the state has categorized the payments to physicians:

“That’s according to a new report from the state Department of Public Health, which said the payments included speaking and consulting fees, meals, and education and marketing programs.”

Doing it right is more than a compliance issue–it’s a mindset. People value what they pay for and they are more engaged in success when they have skin in the game. Everybody wins when customer marketing programs are both compelling and compliant.

(C) 2011 all rights reserved eGold Solutions.

  • Marketing Tool Kit post series:
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A Word About Events: STOP November 30, 2010

Before you move forward to develop an in-person event-based marketing program, I am begging you, please STOP and ask: am I trying to create independent events or am I leveraging existing in-person events?

If you are creating a program to execute individual in-person events STOP again and ask: do I have any real ROI from previous efforts? I will bet the answer is no.

If you are creating a program to insert your product into an existing in-person event then good for you.

Two tests to use before committing budget dollars for an in-person event:

  • Does the in-person event already have committed attendees (e.g. industry meetings, community events)?
  • Is the in-person event being actively promoted by the organizers and sponsors (e.g. clinical organizations, hospitals)?

If you can’t answer yes to both questions, walk away from the event. Here’s why: everyone is busy!

Why would anyone want to attend an individual event put on by a group of people they don’t know on a topic to which they have no perceived connection?

It is so difficult these days to get the attention of your target audience (see Lisa’s post). Put yourself in your target attendee’s mind–would you want to attend? Is there anything interesting being said that will actually change your future behavior or is this just another opportunity to get a free meal?

Now if your organization wants to host a webinar, you are really thinking along the right lines. Why?

  • No travel, venue or food costs
  • Invitations and registrations are electronic
  • Attendees can ask questions before and during
  • Webinars can be recorded and posted to websites for broadcast and sharing (and posted transcriptions contribute to SEO)
  • Anyone who missed the actual “event” can participate at their convenience.

I attend many live webinars and review recordings when I miss events They are invaluable as a marketing professional on a quest to stay ahead of the curve on topics like intersection of social media channels and healthcare. I am such a believer in the webinar event that I’ve even recorded one of my own (in case you missed it).

(c) 2010 eGold Solutions

 

Marketing Tool Kits: Easy To Complete Tactics October 1, 2010

From: http://easilyamusedinstitute.blogspot.com/2009/02/that-was-easy.html

Great news. You’ve organized your content and are able to deliver the latest and greatest electronically. So why are your customers STILL not using your tool kit?

Going above and beyond

Providing the template is just part of the effort needed to have customers utilize your marketing tool kit. Most health care providers are busy doing their job–delivering specialized health care services.

Where to begin?

The health care provider is not familiar with marketing strategy or how to implement successful tactics that drive revenue. They have no idea where to start or what vendors to use.  Most have a printer for their business cards and stationery. A few might have mailed a postcard when they changed locations. Some have run print advertisements by enlisting the help of the publication’s art department to create the graphics needed.

“Help me, help you,” Jerry Maguire

From prior experience, your customers may or may not have been satisfied with the creative work by the vendors they used or the ROI from their efforts. Here’s where your company and its great tool kit can really help:

develop a turn key package of tactics for your customer
at a pre-negotiated price!

This allows the tool kit materials you’ve created to ACTUALLY be used by your customers to build their professional reputation and business.

What does turn key look like?

  • Patient brochures personalized with your customer’s logo, photo, bio and contact information $xxx for 1000
  • Direct mail postcards to promote a new procedure to a targeted demographic that is geo-located around the practice $x,xxx for 2,500
  • Practice website or specialized micro-site with pre-written, patient-facing content for a set-up fee of $x,xxx  + $xx/month for hosting

How do you build turn key tactics?

  1. Research and vet vendors that understand practice marketing and how to scale their pricing and customer service for individual health care providers.
  2. After supplying your tool kit, negotiate a preferred price for exclusive offerings and create a sales sheet detailing the turn key package.
  3. Launch the program and introduce the vendor to your sales personnel so they feel comfortable handing off customers that are interested in the turn key package.

It’s a good thing

Just imagine how effective the sales organization will be in getting customers to use the tool kit? They can walk into their accounts with activities that are truly turn key. It should be obvious that the less time your sales team spends on tactical logistics, the more time they have to meet their objectives (admit it, you’ve seen sales personnel get sucked into logistical details only to dump them on the marketing department for completion).

(c) 2010 eGold Solutions

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Marketing Tool Kits: Excellent Content July 28, 2010

Typical advertising mail
Image via Wikipedia

You’ve engaged with branding, advertising, public relations, web and communications firms and/or leveraged internal resources to create highly effective marketing assets. Now, lets get creative on how customers might use them to set up a win-win situation.

1. Assets—creative re-purposing of existing work

An enormous body of work has made the successful journey through legal and regulatory. Without a doubt, you have a treasure chest of assets to re-purpose into a marketing toolkit. Be creative when looking at each asset in its current form and deciding if elements can be combined into a new use.

In a first pass audit of materials include any item:

2. Tool Kit Organization:

A common approach is to organize the elements based on the user of the materials—physician, nurse, and hospital marketing staff. The challenge comes when you realize that most elements can be used by any of these customer groups. As with any marketing activity, the target audience (patient/consumer) should be the focus of the elements contained in the kit. Here’s a common list of channels that can be used to reach the patient and referring health care professional audiences:

  • advertising: print, broadcast, outdoor, on-line (banners, ad words)
  • direct mail: postcard, newsletter, and email copy
  • media relations: releases, backgrounders, b-roll
  • web content: pages, images, downloads, transcribed videos, clinical data
  • educational collateral: brochures, posters, videos, presentations
  • social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

3. Delivery and Maintenance of the Tool Kit

Gone are the days of the clip art on printed pages and so should the material contained on disks. These pieces of paper or DVDs “cement” a marketing moment in time and are not easily modified. To be nimble and stay current, the delivery mechanism for your marketing toolkit needs to be electronic. Creating a website section for the media that includes files to download is a great first step. Now services like Google Docs, DropBox and Box.net allow downloads to be by invitation and tracked. As new material comes out of your development and approval process it can be uploaded upon release and not have to wait for the next disk burning.

Next up:  Easy to complete tactics

(c) 2010 eGold Solutions

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Importance of keeping practice websites current June 30, 2010

All Female Vs. All Male Medical Practices

In Trisha Torrey‘s second post about Men and Modesty she is advising consumers about how to choose physician practices that are staffed entirely by a single gender. This tidbit jumped off the screen:

“That begs the question — just how can you find the all-the-same-gender practices? Ask. When you need an appointment, call the office and ask about staffing. (A note here — the doctor’s website won’t help because you can’t be sure how current it is.)

A list of your staff with photographs becomes a differentiator when attracting modest patients of either gender. This is an interesting aspect to consider when putting together a website. It is also a strong reason to have the capability to make changes yourself so you can keep the site current to accurately represent your practice.

(c) 2010 eGold Solutions

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Is Your Marketing Tool Kit Great? June 16, 2010

Judge a marketing toolkits greatness by the depth and breadth of customer use. Image from:http://www.roomu.net/home-decoration/basic-toolbox.html

In today’s competitive health care environment, life science companies with messages directed toward consumers and patients are expected to provide a marketing toolkit to all their customers. I’ve worked in corporate marketing with product marketing managers and agencies to create amazing tool kits. The sales organizations always embrace these tool kits as a key element of their consultative selling and relationship building with the physician customer. The major challenge is in getting the customers to use them.

A great marketing tool kit needs these three elements to be successfully utilized by the health care provider customer:

  1. Excellent Content
  2. Easy to Complete Tactics
  3. Exemplary Compliance

Over the next few posts I will discuss each element so you can decide if your tool kit is great. But first we should define what a marketing tool kit is:

A collection of materials that can be customized for use by the  health care provider to promote the availability a specific treatment option in their practice.

Next up: How to assemble excellent content.

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions

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