Monday, November 23, 2009
How can a doctor market himself, when advertising is prohibited for the medical community?
So what if doctors are not allowed to advertise themselves? Advertising is just a minor part of marketing, and there are various ways a doctor can market himself. I want to debunk the myth that marketing is unethical. Ethical marketing is permissible. Doctors can market themselves within the purview of the existing prohibition.
What brand mantras do you propagate, keeping in mind the restrictions?
We advocate simple and practical tips to doctors for improving their marketing skills. Firstly, we stress on relationship building with the patient, which we call relationship marketing. ‘Sambandh’ is better than ‘sab-bandh’. A doctor needs to build a personal relationship with the patient by making minor efforts like remembering the name of the patients, writing the name correctly and being polite to them.
Most doctors get irritated when simple piece of information is asked. They behave as if the patient is wasting his time, by asking him that question. A doctor must not treat the patient as an imbecile. These days most of the urban and educated patients before going to a doctor are aware of the nature of the disease, by dint of the internet. The patient should go back not with scare but with care.
Secondly, to build a big brand name use a small brand name. Research has shown that small brand names do better than interminably long names. If a doctor has a long name, which the patient cannot even pronounce, then the doctor needs to shorten his name. Same holds true for hospital and clinic name. Thirdly, the doctor needs to make himself visible. We hear of doctors who are good at work and practicing for decades, with not too many people knowing about him. This is because the doctor has not made a conscious effort to make himself known through word of mouth. This hurdle can be overcome by getting involved in social work. If a doctor participates in honorary work, then people come to know him and that is how he becomes more popular.
Lastly, intangible is as important as tangible. Show the patient that you care for him, by uttering encouraging words, and even patting him. Be sensitive and sympathetic while informing a patient about serious illness and when breaking the death news to relatives.
Can you give us an overview of Samsika Marketing Consultants?
The first strategic marketing consultancy in India, Samsika is the catalyst that helps corporations grow and make their mark in the market. The complexities of the marketplace are Samsika’s greatest challenges and to meet them, Samsika offers its exclusive service. Being the only specialist marketing strategy consultancy in the country, Samsika is fully equipped on all aspects of brand building, whether it is advertising or public relations, market or media research. The Samsika team works closely with clients, steering, guiding, advising and pushing the brand’s graph to an upward incline. Our brand mantras have been penned in three books- "24 Brand Mantras" and "Brand Serve-31 Customer Service Prescriptions" and "Brand Naamkaran".
Are Indian doctors more insensitive and curt, in comparison with their western counterpart?
We cannot generalise about Indian doctors. Even if Indian doctors are revered and given the status of demi-gods, they definitely do not know how to market themselves. At the reception, when patients enquire about the report, it is common practice that receptionists reply curtly. Some even say "What do you want the report immediately. How is that possible? You just gave your sample now." Why cannot the patient be replied politely? Why would the patient be made to feel undeserving, when he is paying such a hefty sum? Indian doctors need to come down from the pedestal that they seat, segregating themselves from the patient.
Has there been a change in the attitude of doctors over the years?
Yes, in the last two-three years there has been a positive change. A research conducted by Samsika which involved 1900 service providers from seven different industry in 2001-2002 reflects the change. It shows that customers are looking for care, world class treatment and sensitivity of the service provider. In healthcare, the change can be attributed to the emphasis shifting from cure to care.
Sourced from # expresshealthcaremgmt
Friday, September 12, 2008
Brand positioning forms an intrinsic part of any product/service launch. It is the most important function of any brand to survive in this cluttered market of Brands. Positioning helps to define category in which the Brand will survive, grow and grab market share to earn RoI.
Often more than 10 brands of similar features compete for market share and that is the main reason why positioning is very important. The brand needs to segregate itself from other competing brands in terms of packaging, spotting the right target audience; features such as colour, taste, aroma does count the other factors being personal touch and user friendly. We can jot down more than 100 factors where the Brand needs to position, but this largely depends on Brand like whether it is a product or service, then whether it is consumable, etc.
The Brand to appeal a consumer, it should first appeal to their senses. The brand needs to create first impression or impact on consumer sight, then smell/aroma, the touch. The other two senses hearing and mouth will have less impact. Post approval from these three senses the mind and heart thinks about the brand. This whole process takes less then 2 seconds but a lot of money is at stake. The money involved for R & D, marketing, packaging, sales, human resources, etc
So this brings us to a very important point that, we have to influence the consumer at first sight, then touch, then smells and aroma. Now that we have reached this stage, the consumer is prompted to think and decide with the help of heart. Heart plays an important role as it takes most of the decisions. There are many examples, let me illustrate a few:
- Idea - An idea can change life - The priest wants to teach, needy and poor students but lacks resources less no of teachers, far of villages, less classrooms, etc. So uses Idea mobile network and starts classes for these students through speaker phone. The teacher teaching students through mobile phones a great idea to reach the needy students in villages. Everybody wants to help society what they need is a simple Idea, this also highlights that Idea can reach the remote villages where teachers cannot reach.
- Vodafone- While Vodafone says wherever you go will be there with you always. They positioned this with a pup following a small child the goes in forests, in bathroom, in school bus, etc the pup follows the child everywhere.
- Airtel – Airtel instills the emotional connect of a father and son. It starts with a young college lad visiting a small house in a distant village. An old lady opens the door and upon enquiring finds out that the lad is her grandson. Grandson meets grandfather who is angry with the lad’s father for leaving them alone in their old. The young lad uses his mobile to call his father, and hands his (young lads) mobile to his grandfather. Upon hearing apologies, the grandfather gets emotional and cries. Thus the young grandson helps to bridge the gap between grandfather and father.
- Reliance mobile – They openly claim that they are present in more than 100,000 villages through advertising.
If we compare each mobile service providers communication, they tell/inform the consumers that their network is present everywhere even in villages, but the positioning and communication is different. So positioning helps a Brand to separate itself from clutter of different Brands, this helps to establish trust in consumers mind and they began to own the brand.