Studies say most New Year’s resolutions are null and void by March. So let’s call ‘em reminders instead, and before January 31 rolls around, pull out your planner or PDA and enter the following reminders month by month.
- February: It’s National Wise Health Consumer Month, sponsored by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. What a perfect opportunity to generate publicity for your company or product. Offer a member of your clinical training staff or a key customer to speak to area media outlets about preventive health care tips related to the medical markets you serve. It should earn your brand visibility.
- March: As the quarter draws to a close (for many companies), a shout-out to your sales colleagues early in the month could be well received — if it contains a message they want to hear, such as, “Anything the folks in marketing can do to give your prospects an extra push?”
- April: Schedule your annual physical. The 15 minutes you get to spend with your primary care provider during this visit should be all about you, certainly; but you can also throw in a question to gauge the current state of the medical market from a front line perspective. A casual “What’s the buzz in the world of medicine these days?” should suffice and shouldn’t feel intrusive to you or your practitioner.
- May: Do yourself a favor. Look ahead now to which trade shows and conferences your company is attending in the fall and learn what will be expected of you. Start laying the groundwork now; the summer months will pass quickly.
- June: Looking to acquire another company’s product by year-end? It can take, on average, six to nine months to complete a deal, so now is the time to shift into high gear for such an initiative.
- July: This is the month thousands of doctors-in-training start their residencies in U.S. hospitals. Do you have a contact program that targets residents in this lucrative market? If not, here’s your cue. Physicians tend to favor devices they trained with.
- August: Follow the lead of your European counterparts and take some serious time off. The fall quarter is always busy, so rest up while you can.
- September: This month the job market becomes flooded with recent college graduates—who happen to know a lot about social media. Consider offering an entry-level position or internship to a young expert to help jump-start your social marketing on Facebook, Twitter or other online communities.
- October: One of the largest exhibitions for medical device companies, the American College of Surgeons’ Clinical Congress, takes place in Washington, D.C. Oct. 3-7. For more information, visit www.facs.org. (For a giant list of medical meetings, visit Merck Medicus at www.merckmedicus.com/pp/us/hcp/hcp_medical_meeting.jsp.)
- November: For capital equipment manufacturers, the end of the calendar year brings tax incentives to spur customers to sign purchase orders. True, the Section 179 deduction (which allowed businesses to deduct up to $250,000 from their 2009 gross incomes), [www.section179.org] expired December 31, 2009. But who’s to say the federal government won’t offer something similar to further stimulate the economy in 2010? Be on the lookout.
Come December, you should find yourself toasting a more profitable, productive year, so pencil in that party now. Seem too soon? Recall how quickly the first decade of that thing we used to call “the new millennium” has passed. December will be here sooner than you think. Take a deep breath. Here’s to a great year.
Rob Kinslow, vice president of strategic communications at SeidlerBernstein, oversees the quality and accuracy of branding and message strategy for the company’s clients. He makes it a point to know everything about clients’ business, products and market, right down to the smallest detail. He’s worked with clients including Bayer, Boston Scientific, Genzyme and Millipore and has won awards from the Biomedical Marketing Assn., the Rx Club, the American Medical Writers Assn. and others.