Co-Marketing with ODs - Done Right!
Recently, I was shooting a custom video for an ophthalmologist and I asked his post-operative patient, “What made you decide to have cataract surgery with my surgeon client?” She picked up two brochures. One was a tri-fold brochure from a device manufacturer with the surgeon’s name and address stamped on it. The other brochure was an impressive, 16-page, glossy, very customized brochure that had a heavy weight and textured cover. There was an insert in the pocket that was all about the OD and discussed his role in co-managing. As she held them out for me to peruse she said, (with a no-brainer smile on her face) “Which one of these surgeons would you go to?”
“We toss the device companies brochures in the trash. If we hand those out, we are just like every other practice. We want our patients to know why they should choose us.”
Co-Marketing with Co-Managing doctors can have a prolific affect on increasing referrals when it is done right! In 2000, we surveyed 100 ODs and asked them, “If you were given marketing materials to distribute by a device company or surgeon, how likely would you distribute them to your patients?” 78% responded that they would likely distribute them if they believed in the product or surgeon. Next, we asked them, “If the marketing materials were customized with your contact information on them, how likely would you distribute them?”
The number of positive responses jumped to 98%.
One ophthalmologist I spoke to about this survey last week said, “We toss the device companies brochures in the trash. If we hand those out, we are just like every other practice. We want our patients to know why they should choose us.”
Referring optometrists are no different. They want their patients to know who they are, what they contribute to their patients’ care and have their contact information included on anything they give to a patient. Any premium marketing materials that an ophthalmologist would give to convert their most qualified patients to their premium cataract or laser vision correction services would have the same positive impact when handed to a qualified patient who is being referred by their co-managing OD.
The old saying is absolutely true: It’s never too early to make a good first impression!
President & CEO
Patient Education Concepts (PEC), located in Houston, Texas, is a marketing products and services subsidiary of Surgery Partners, the industry’s leader in managing, developing and acquiring single and multi-specialty ambulatory surgical centers. PEC’s president and founder, Robert Watson, has produced and marketed patient education materials for the ophthalmic industry since 1982. PEC has provided their products to over 12,000 eye care professionals in the United States and in over 30 countries.