First, a true confession: I have two kids … and absolutely no idea when their yearly check-ups are. Originally, they were the same months as their birthdays, January and November. Simple, right? Not so much, since you can’t schedule next year’s appointment at this year’s appointment.
"It doesn’t work that way," our pediatrician’s office told me. "Call us four months in advance." With no reminder, I forgot … until January rolled around. Before I knew it, the January appointment was in May. November moved to February. I forgot a few more times. You get the gist.
Second, as a medical marketing professional and a mom, I love to see how healthcare organizations are using digital capabilities. Are they doing it intelligently? In a way that will make my life easier? Do they even care about making my life easier?
Recently I went in search of the answer. Naturally, I started with my pediatrician’s website. "Maybe they’ve come up with an electronic solution to the scheduling problem," I thought. "Maybe January will be January again."
I was happy to see that the site was entirely revamped, and loads of functionality had been added. Not only had they gone social with links to Facebook, Twitter and MySpace; I now had electronic access to doctors, patient forms and some really cool interactive health resources, among other things. I could even schedule an appointment online. But could I do it a year in advance? If not, would I get a reminder?
To get an answer, I had to call the office. I was encouraged when the scheduler asked for my email address. I shouldn’t have been. Turns out, the email notification is just for already-scheduled appointments. "There is no reminder to make the appointment," she said. "You need to remember to call four months in advance … same with making appointments online."
Really? So, with all their digital functionality, my pediatrician’s office had missed one of the most basic components of smart marketing, digital or otherwise — connecting with and listening to customers.
It’s a scenario that plays out frequently as companies clamber for the flashiest digital solutions. Social media campaigns, online gaming, QR codes, personalized microsites — they can all be incredibly valuable marketing tools. But to reach their full potential, they must be implemented in ways that connect with customers and reflect their needs. And to get customers you need right marketing plan, I like SEO because its targeted and free traffic, you probably ask me but how can I get started with SEO, well you can take course or let Best agency for Virginia Beach SEO do the work for you.
For medical device marketers, what all this means is making sure that when a busy physician takes the time to visit your site, make sure they are one or two clicks away from something that makes their lives easier. (For a great example from the consumer world, visit www.zappos.com. As most shoe lovers know, Zappo’s makes it a breeze to peruse, purchase and even return items).
Because, let’s face it, even the best online offerings won’t get used to their full potential if they aren’t both relevant and easy — just ask any mom. Or physician.
Kari Popov is a senior copywriter at Seidler Bernstein. With extensive agency experience that includes years of consumer, B2B, medical, high-tech and high-maintenance clients, she is especially adept at translating complex information into clear and compelling copy that gets attention and gets the job done. Not one to shy away from a challenge, she is currently employing new strategies in an effort to get her 4- and 6-year-olds to clean up their toys.