Is your brand your customer’s first thought when they have a problem/need you can solve? If so, you’ve achieved mindshare.
Separate yourself from the competition by winning the mindshare battle with your trading partners and your customers.
Keep the lines of communication open at all times, ensuring that your trading partners (surgeons and anesthesiologists, suppliers, etc) and consumers have access to the updated information they need at their convenience.
Keep them in the loop about current and upcoming products, seminars, price changes, upcoming promotions, and events. Keep them engaged and excited to know more.
Connect with potential customers and let them know you exist. To achieve this, broadcast your brand promise and message on the social media channels they use. You don’t need to be on every social outlet and platform. You need to focus on where you customers are and how they use social media. Become part of their stories.
Recruit brand evangelists
Providing each type of partner with tools and strategies to help them become your brand evangelists. Show vendors and suppliers who your ideal customer is and how they can tap into that market. Provide them with analytics for visibility in the sales cycle to increase sales. Provide specific ways to help them grow their business. After all, they have a bottom line too.
For consumers, share stories about your ideal customers so they can share the stories with friends, family, and others they influence.
Invest in Marketing Materials
Your trading partners rely on you for quality marketing materials. In turn, ask for their up-to-date materials and for permission to co-brand with yours. More important than the marketing material itself, suggest ways your partners can put these resources to use. Create a marketing “playbook” that lines out the specific actions and materials you and your trading partners need and helps them understand the expected business outcomes they can expect from those efforts.
Consumers will largely rely on your internet presence and website. Make sure links are easy to share, content is sufficient and interesting and not over their heads with too much jargon and clinical language.
Stay 10 Steps Ahead of Competitors
Make brand awareness and engagement an obsession. Focus on increasing your brand footprint. Organizing brand blitzes each quarter is one way to achieve this. Billboards, mobile ads, geotargeting, videos, event marketing, community outreach, radio and TV commercials, Ask the Expert advertorials in local lifestyle and health magazines, are some of the ways to do this. But remember…these approaches cost money to deploy and money to create the collateral that will be inserted or posted or shown.
Create memorable experiences
Increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty with brand experiences. When your brand personality is fun and engaging, customers want to stay around–and enjoy the journey with you. Healthcare providers and facilities with great brand experiences enjoy increased mindshare.
For example, if you are promoting knee replacement surgery, don’t limit focus to the surgery itself or your technology. Instead, set imagery where the patient sees themself as the protagonist:
Excitement: patients engaged in carefree, spirited, and youthful activities after surgery.
Sincerity: nurses, administrators, receptionists, surgeons being kind, thoughtful, and orientated toward family values.
Ruggedness: Patients post operatively returned to rough, tough, outdoorsy, and athletic activities through physical therapy and not dependent on opioid pain management. This is one where you can feature technology partners and co-branded opioid alternatives, PT providers, etc.
Competence: Surgeons and anesthesiologists who are successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership
Sophistication: Facilities that are elegant, prestigious, and sometimes a little pretentious. Show off special certifications, accreditations, accolades that patients and partners recognize, respect, and demand. If these certifications or accreditations are unknown, don’t pay huge sums to obtain them unless there is some specific clinical or contractual reason to have them. And don’t expect consumers to know what they signify if the accreditors and certifiers don’t invest in consumer education to create value. Otherwise, you’ll be the one doing their marketing for them, on your budget.
The clearer you define your brand personality from logos, website design, social media presence, and products, the better your partners and consumers will understand your brand. Aim for recognition, trust and alignment. Customers are more likely to purchase from you again and again if your brand’s personality aligns with theirs. But tie the image together with consistent colors, fonts, images, and other ways that even if your logo was not present, they would know the story is about your brand.
Maria Todd is a globally-recognized healthcare industry influencer with the power to transform your practice, hospital or ASC. She shares practical healthcare marketing, branding and business development tools, tips, techniques drawn from consulting projects and assignments from her practice. Her latest book on marketing will become available in Spring, 2020.
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