By Elizabeth Mansfield
information that educates.
People enjoy doing business with those they know, like and trust.
Create a top ten list such as “Fitting Problems Amputees Face
Summer Weather” that you can distribute to patients and
sources alike. Sharing information that educates, and doesn’t
just try to sell, establishes trust and credibility.
9. Take a reporter to
Every town has a local paper that likes to cover people who live and
work in the community. In West Hartford, we have the West Hartford Life
magazine. Taking a reporter to lunch and getting to know him or her is
something you can do on a quarterly basis. This makes it easier for you
to approach the reporter when you need to pitch a story.
8. Ask for feedback. Everyone
loves to share opinions. What they don’t like is to fill out
boring, cookie-cutter forms. The Sheraton Four Points hotel in
Vancouver, BC has a cute feedback form that utilizes different smiley
faces. The form is fun to fill out—you circle the face that
corresponds to your feelings. By asking for feedback in a unique way,
they’ve shown they really do care about what their guests
7. Record a
doesn’t have an MP3 player or access to a computer? Recording
podcast of FAQs (“Ten Things You Didn’t Know About
a Scoliosis Brace” or “What Prosthetic Parity Means
Amputees”) and submitting it to iTunes puts you in front of
millions of iTunes podcast subscribers.
6. Start blogging. The
blogosphere is exploding. At last count, there were 70 million blogs.
Link your Web site to a company blog that can be updated by you, your
staff or invited guests. It’s a strategic way to increase
online presence. Blogs are easy to update, and search engine spiders
love them. The more you update, the higher your search engine rankings.
The higher your rankings, the easier you are to find online.
5. Develop a microsite. A
microsite is a small Web site that is an offshoot of a parent Web site.
Just like blogs, microsites that are linked to your company’s
site are another source for search engine spiders. You can create a
microsite on a particularly interesting aspect of your business. Use
Squidoo, a platform for building simple Web pages that was developed by
one of the top marketing gurus in the world, Seth Godin.
4. Market to a cause. Do
by doing good. In 2004, American companies spent nearly $1 billion on
cause-related marketing campaigns. Creating a campaign that collects
used prostheses or orthoses to be distributed in other countries, or
partnering with OPAF (www.opfund.org)
for a First Volley or First Dive program, enables you to raise your
profile in the community while promoting a good cause.
3. Hold a contest.
of winning anything is alluring. Do you need a name for a new product?
Ask your target markets to come up with a name for the product and then
pick the winner. Are you launching a new Web site? Tell your target
markets that you will donate a can of food to the local food bank for
every unique hit your Web site gets in its first month. Not only will
you engage your target market to participate, you’ll be doing
2. Got jobs? High
colleges and vocational tech schools all have career fairs. Put
together a visually stimulating display of orthoses and prostheses and
participate in a career fair as an unique way to market your company.
Some manufacturers, such as Utah Arm or Otto Bock, might be able to
provide you with an interactive upper-limb prosthesis display that
people can actually use. Having students connect with O&P
technology at a local level creates buzz.
1. Create a
With all the advancements in technology and the current media
fascination with anything related to O&P, knowledgeable
are in demand. Offering to speak at non-O&P meetings and
conferences can give a big boost to your marketing efforts.
Put together your credentials and a list of topics, such as
“Today’s Prosthetic Technology: Are We Building the
Man?” Distribute these to your local health care
hospital development department or medical associations. Establish
yourself as an expert on prosthetic technology and you’ll
people beating a path to your door!