Co-Marketing with ODs – Done Right!

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!

Robert Watson

Robert Watson

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.

Why You Should Stop Advertising “Surgery!”

Why You Should Stop Advertising “Surgery!”

shutterstock_139749922Why should you stop advertising “surgery”?  Because patients think surgery is scary. This fact is never going to change. So, how do you attract more LASIK and cataract patients without advertising ”Surgery”?  I’ll tell you, but first, let’s review some typical ad headlines and why they aren’t working.

It is very common to see ads with headlines such as, “Now Offering Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery” or “ALL LASER LASIK IS MAKING LASIK SAFER”. These types of ads may differentiate you from your competitors, but they do little to make the public feel more at ease about having surgery.

Continuous advancements in cataract and laser vision correction technology have forced many practices to spend their advertising dollars educating patients about how their technology improves surgical outcomes. But patients already expect you to have the latest technology so there is no motivation for them to respond to technology oriented ads.

Instead, patients who are considering LASIK are more interested in finding out if they are a good candidate for LASIK and what their vision might be like if they decide to have it. And patients who are experiencing diminishing vision due to lenticular changes simply want to know why their vision keeps getting worse.

So what type of advertising DOES work?

Advertising that communicates AFFORDABILITY and offers information that will help patients better understand their vision issues, such as, “Advanced Vision Analysis…. $99.” How do we know this works?  For years, hospitals have been offering inexpensive “Diagnostic Screening Packages” with a great deal of success. They don’t make much money on the screenings but they see a huge return on their marketing dollars, generated from the therapeutic and surgical solutions presented to the patients after analysis of their diagnostic testing.

How can you use this technique in YOUR practice?

Many cataract and refractive surgeons are using the Visiometrics® HD Analyzer on every patient that walks through the door. This simple, two-minute test provides an objective tear film assessment and assigns an Ocular Scatter Index (OSI) rating that measures how much light is being scattered on the retina by the lens. This allows doctors to better understand their patients’ “quality of vision” and each patient’s optical limitations they should consider in presenting the best therapeutic or premium corneal and lenticular surgical solutions.

It will be hard for anyone to say “NO” to a $99 Advanced Vision Analysis that will let them know for sure if they are a good candidate for any type of eye surgery and every patient that responds to your ad could easily become your patient for life.

You Want How Much for WHAT???

shutterstock_184377044How many times have you gone over cataract pricing options with a patient and they ask, “Now explain the differences in your options to me one more time?” Ugh! Having a clear, easy to understand price sheet will not only save you time and frustration, it will significantly increase the number of patients who say yes to your premium cataract options. (more…)

10 Things You Should Know BEFORE Adding Email to Your Marketing Strategy

shutterstock_270246926A great way to promote premium services and special promotions to existing patients is through email. Email marketing can be used in conjunction with other forms of marketing, but can also serve as a cost-effective media alternative to direct mail, radio ads and television commercials. Here are a few basics you need to know before adding email into your marketing strategy. (more…)