General, Marketing with Mansfield

Spread the Love!

Welcome 2021! 2020 was an unhappy year. World turmoil and weather catastrophes and COVID-19…death, destruction, and despair. It’s been a tough time. I think the nice thing about February is that it brings us Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to give all your “fans” some virtual love.

Who should you “hug”?

Now is the perfect time to spend some quality time with data and analytics — time to decide how you want to thank all your stakeholders for being there for you this past year. Messages of thanks are always appreciated, but who do you usually thank?

Back in the day, we made sure our referral sources were acknowledged and felt appreciated. That was a different time when referral sources were actually sources of referrals and not constrained by insurance directives, contracts, networks or whatever else gets in the way of a direct referral. Yes, referral sources still exist and you should make sure you send them some love.

Staff, patients and vendors

You cannot do what you do every day if you do not have the support of your staff. Make sure they know that. I am a big fan of the “celebrate us” day off of work. Even if you cannot manage to close the whole office for a day, why not have a barbecue, catered lunch or a post-work event specifically designed to thank your coworkers?

Thank your patients. Let’s be real. If you are in patient care, the only reason you have a job is because there are patients who need care. We get caught up in the drama of providing services to others and the toll the bureaucracy and battle for reimbursement can take on our spirit. It can be easy to forget that as difficult as our days might be, we are beholden to our patients.

Patient appreciation days are fun. Who does not want to be appreciated? Everyone wants to be appreciated! If the thought of putting together a socially-distanced, masked, outdoor event is too much, why not send cards — actual cards that are signed by everyone in the office? You can always send a “Happy Valentine’s Day” card since everyone is eligible to receive a Valentine’s Day card and you do not have to worry about offending anyone or leaving out someone.

Thank your vendors, manufacturers, suppliers and sales reps. If you have never been on the selling end of O&P and you think you get beat up by insurance companies and payers all day long, then you have never ridden with, or been, a sales rep.

I have been involved in O&P since 1987. I can tell you with certainty that we have some of the nicest, most helpful sales professionals around. While you may expect them to thank you for your business, how about you tell them how much you appreciate their support, too?

February and Valentine’s Day always provide a great opportunity to start the year off right and show some appreciation. What are you going to do say thanks? Let me know!

General, Marketing with Mansfield

What’s the plan? Where do you want your marketing to take you for 2021?

Happy New Year! What are you most looking forward to – marketing-wise for 2021?

It’s been a TOUGH year but the beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the results of last year’s marketing plan and to consider what changes you’re going to want to implement for 2021.

I’m willing to bet that your 2020 marketing plan took a back seat to some of your other business-related plans. Not to worry. It’s a brand new year, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and we can take what we learned last year and start making a new plan.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

The keys are flexibility, adaptability, trend-spotting, and commitment – and a map. If we’re going to get where we want to go then we need a map.

Begin with the end

Oftentimes when it comes to a marketing plan some people don’t start with the final destination, where they want to be by December, in mind. Instead they start heading off “down the road” – destination to be determined.

I spent the weekend of March 7-8, 2020, at the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington, D.C. It is a convention for people who, obviously, like to travel but it also includes sessions for people who like learning about how miles and points can enhance their travel experience. It was perfect timing because all my travel and loyalty program calculators had reset to zero at the end of 2019 (just the calculators, not the accumulated points or miles). This is important because in order for me to achieve my travel-related goals for 2020 and beyond, I needed to know by the end of the year how to structure my travel plans.

Well, 2020 was a bust as far as business or leisure travel so whatever miles and points plan I had originally made based on traveling 10 out of 12 months a year was pretty much useless. (Same thing could be said for the face to face education-based marketing and in-person meeting & event marketing plans!)

If my original goal was to acquire a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass in 2020 so that I could bring a companion along for free in 2020 and 2021, then I would have needed to determine what strategy I would use to acquire the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points I needed to receive the pass. The final destination – 110,000 points. I could keep the same goal but I’d really need to re-think my strategy since it would’ve been really difficult to accumulate 110,000 without stepping foot on a plane, renting a car or staying in hotels or having a reason to use my Southwest Visa card. Probably wouldn’t have been impossible but, it made sense in March to take that “destination” off the map for 2020.

Know your starting point

A lot of things in the travel industry have changed since last March. Airlines have been hit hard and they’ve adapted and pivoted so what seemed like a very difficult destination last March might not be so difficult this year. You might think that there is only one route to get there – not true. Route 1 equals flying. Route 2 equals a mixture of flying and buying things through the Southwest Airlines online shopping portal. Route 3 equals getting a Southwest credit card that will give me 50,000 points after I spend a certain amount in a certain time frame, plus flying, plus shopping. Those are just three examples but there are a plethora of routes. Some that will take me all year to get there. Some that will take me a matter of months. Some that will be cost prohibitive and some that will be relatively inexpensive. The two things that I know for sure are where I am right now and where I want to go.

Know your route options

For example, you know that you have 27 newsletter subscribers as of today but that you want 2,499 subscribers by the end of the year which route are you going to take? Just like getting the Companion Pass, there are a lot of different routes with different time frames and different cost.

In our newsletter subscriber example, we have a clear goal of acquiring 2,472 new subscribers. We want to make sure that all of our new subscribers are people who are relevant to the success of our business and not just route “detours” for the sake of pumping up the numbers.

How can you get there? Which routes?

http://www.cecpo.com/

Sign up form on your website (of course!)

Sign up form on your business facebook page

Incentives in your office waiting room or fitting rooms for signing up

Those are just a couple “routes” for you to take.

Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? We’ll talk more about tools and budgets in the next post….

General, Marketing with Mansfield

Get Your ‘Gram On!

Instagram can be a tool to build brand awareness in O&P.   
Instagram is (STILL) an underutilized marketing tool in orthotics and prosthetics. There, I said it. This morning, I logged in and searched “#prosthetics.” What came up? All kinds of cool – prosthetic makeup photos and animal prostheses. Unless there are a lot of zombie prosthetists, most photos with the hashtag “prosthetics,” are posted by people who create goiters or elf ears.

#prosthetics

Uses
Why is Instagram so great? Or a better question, why is Instagram so popular? The top reasons are that it is fast, free, easy and visual. Let’s take a look.

Fast: It takes about 10 seconds to snap a photo and upload it to Instagram.
Free: That is self-explanatory.
Easy: See “Fast.” Also, anyone can do it. It is not overly complicated. It. Is. Simple. It does not require the effort of Facebook. It does not even require you to have a smart phone. If you want an Instagram account but do not have a smart phone or tablet, you can create an account on your desktop or laptop where you can view, follow or like photos without using a phone.
Visual: It is all about the pictures – and short videos, too. But mostly about pictures.

What’s your plan? You’re going to want to create a lot of content beforehand so that you make your ‘gramming even easier.

“Say cheese!”

Instagram Post Types You Should Know

Single-image posts: self-explanatory, right?

Carousel posts: Multiple images (up to 10). Viewers can scroll from left to right to view each photo in the post.

Video posts: Appear in your profile grid and are shared in your feed. They must be less than 60 seconds long.

Video carousels: An easy way to get past the 60 second video time limit. If you have three minutes of video content you can break it into three one minute videos, then post a video carousel to showcase all three videos. Viewers scroll through the videos just like with carousel photos.

Boomerang: A short, looping video created in the Boomerang app. Boomerangs are created by taking a burst of photos and using them to create a video that loops in the main feed.

Ready, Set, Get Gramming!

If you’re on instagram, let me know so I can follow you!

General, Kentucky Orthotic Prosthetic, Orthotic Prosthetic Continuing Education, Orthotics and Prosthetics State Meetings

Registration is OPEN for the June 11-12, 2020 KOPA Online Meeting

kopa
What you need to know.
  1. This meeting will be held online. All presentation times are Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Meeting fee is $10.00 for KOPA members. (Your 2020 dues will be collected as part of the registration.) $70.00 total.cailor_diamond_sponsor
  3. You are eligible to register at KOPA member rate if you work in KY or you work for a company that has an office in KY.
  4. It is $100.00 for non-members.
  5. Please note: If you cannot show up for the live event on June 11th and/or June 12th, you will not receive a refund as the event will be recorded and you will be able to attend the recorded sessions until July 31, 2020.
  6. You do not need to attend every session if you have a scheduling conflict as you can come back to the recorded sessions after the event is over up until July 31, 2020. So, no refunds.
  7. You will receive credits for the sessions that you attend regardless of the day.
Agenda
Orthotic Fitter/CPed Program – Thursday, June 11, 2020
9:25am Welcome
(Fitter) Breakout Room
9:30-10:30am Spinal Orthoses, A Deeper View, Going Beyond a Commercial Approach, Carey Jinright, LO
10:45-11:45am Advanced Shoe Fitting, Billy Kanter, CPed
11:45am-1:15pm EST Lunch Break
(Fitter) Breakout Room
1:15-2:15pm Understanding Causes and Management of Partial Foot Amputations, Dennis Janisse, CPed
2:30-3:30pm How, Why, What: Ulcerated and Post-Ulcerated Feet, Dennis Janisse, CPed
3:45pm-5:45pm ACM (NCOPE’s Approved Clinical Mentor)*, Chris Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, ATC, FAAOP (D) – Questions? Ask us.
*You must complete the recorded ACM modules in order to participate in the ACM Live.
General Session/Orthotic and Prosthetic Program – Friday, June 12, 2020
General Session Room
8:15am-9:15am Medicare Updates for O&P, Teresa Camfield, CGS
(P) Breakout Room One
9:30-10:30am SCUBA Research, Michael McCauley, MS, CPO/L, Duffy Felmlee, MSPO, CPO, FAAOP
10:45-11:45am Clinical Application for an Adjustable Volume Socket, Keith Cornell, CP
(O) Breakout Room Two
9:30-10:30am Orthoses for Various Uses: Plagiocephaly, Charcot Foot Issues, and Kids with Gait Anomalies, Bill Carlton, CO/L
10:45-11:45am Carbon Infused Polypropylene: Reimbursement, Fabrication and Clinical Implications, Gary G. Bedard, CO, FAAOP
11:45-1:15pm EST
Lunch Break – Time to eat lunch, complete eval forms and quizzes and visit the Exhibit Hall!
(P) Breakout Room One
1:15-2:15pm Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation & the Amputee, J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO
2:30-3:30pm “Holistic” Amputation Rehabilitation Protocols, New and Old for Best Outcomes, Craig Lombard, CP/L
(O) Breakout Room Two
1:15-2:15pm Overview of High Intensity/High Repetition Gait Training for Stroke Patients, John Frederick, CPO/L and Caitlin Deom, PT
2:30-3:30pm Solving Complex Foot and Ankle Alignment Issues with Case Studies,
Marmaduke Loke, CO
General Session Room
3:45-4:45pm O&P in the time of COVID-19, Invited Speaker
4:45-5:00pm Complete eval forms and quizzes and visit the vendors in the Exhibit Hall
Register-Now-button-red
General, Kentucky Orthotic Prosthetic, Michigan Orthotic Prosthetic, Ohio Orthotic Prosthetic, Orthotic Prosthetic Continuing Education, Orthotics and Prosthetics State Meetings, West Virginia Orthotic Prosthetic

Ohio Chapter AAOP and CEC

The Ohio Chapter AAOP has faced many changes this year. One of those changes is that Rich Butchko, the executive director, has retired. Please join us in thanking Rich for his many years of service to the Chapter. He has been a huge part of the Chapter for many years, and we wish him well as he moves on to this next stage of life.

Financial constraints have caused some organizational changes to the Ohio Chapter AAOP Board. We have elected to eliminate the executive director position and to distribute the responsibilities of that position to board members. We have also voted to hire a third party to help organize and assist with our spring meetings. We have enlisted Clinical Education Concepts (CEC) to help coordinate our meetings and to oversee and update our new website. Over the years Elizabeth Mansfield and Tom McGovern at CEC have helped other chapters and O&P state associations organize and run their annual meetings. They have been involved with our industry for many years and have much experience in marketing and event planning.

Obviously, COVID has affected all of us and caused the cancellation of the 2020 spring meeting. Because of the uncertainty surrounding this pandemic, the board has decided to have a virtual spring 2021 meeting instead of the normal in-person meeting. This will allow us to begin planning for that meeting in the midst of unpredictable times.
Going forward, we will continue to develop a virtual education platform in conjunction with regular in-person meetings. We will provide excellent educational and CEU opportunities through top-notch speakers. We will promote collaboration of like-minded professionals in the O&P community and provide networking opportunities with our peers, interdisciplinary healthcare partners, and manufacturers as they share new products, ideas and techniques. Our goal is to keep the Ohio Chapter AAOP strong for years to come by being an organization that provides value to our members and encourages others to join.

Challenge and change are part of our profession. The Ohio AAOP stands ready to navigate those changes and rise to the challenge in ways that continue to support our membership as we all continue to serve our patients.
Sincerely,
John Brandt, CPO
President
Ohio Chapter AAOP
General, Marketing with Mansfield

Time to “Fall Forward” and Freshen Up!

Summer is over.

“Back in the day” (aka last year) this is the time of year that I would avoid Staples, Walmart, Office Depot and Target at all costs. That’s because it was back to school time and because everyone needed new items for school. A+B=insane, Black Friday-esque, crowded stores.

You can’t take notes in an old, used-up notebook. The locker might not even be the same size as last year so you couldn’t use the same old stuff. Your markers were probably dried out. You needed new binders. But you wanted to make sure you went through old school supplies first. Maybe there were a couple markers you never used. There was probably a mirror or a locker shelf you could’ve used again.

The outlet mall was just as bad if not worse. You needed new clothes for back to school. New dress code or you might have grown or old clothes were just plain worn out. If you needed new clothes, then you probably needed new shoes for all the same reasons. It would have been silly, however, to have gotten rid of everything and just gotten all new clothes and shoes. It would’ve been a good idea to try everything on so you could’ve decided what to keep and what to toss.

Freshen up

What can we learn from this back in the day, back to school frenzy?

Clearing out, cleaning up and freshening up your resources are exactly what you should be doing with your marketing materials!

By marketing materials, I mean your online materials, digital tools and social media marketing platforms.While you’re at it, you might as well take a gander at your print materials, too.

As far as brochures and other print materials go, you want to make sure the information contained is up to date and accurate.

Make a to do list!

Have you changed your logo?

Did the area code change?

Are the people listed still employed?

Have you added people?

What about your services?

Sometimes when I am working on a customer’s email newsletter, I will send a draft to the client and I receive an email in return that reads “We haven’t done mastectomy since 1998. Can you take that off the list of services?” Of course I can, but guess what, I got the list of services from the website so you should probably update it there, too.

Update online resources

It is easier to go “back to school” on your online materials and digital tools, but it still takes time and energy to keep these updated. Here is a tip. When you are putting together your website, Facebook page, instagram, LinkedIn or other online portal, don’t use a photo of your entire staff. Rather, use photos of individual people. It is a nice touch to have pictures and bios on a website, but there are many O&P websites with photos that include people who no longer work there. It is tough enough to get photos of individuals, try taking a new whole staff photo every time you add or subtract staff!

Do all the links still work on your website?

Do the contact us forms work?

Test all the actionable content on every page.

Check every link.

If you have a “click here to email us” button, then make sure users can actually send an email by using that button AND make sure the person who is supposed to receive it is still receiving it.

The end of the year is fast approaching. Why wait until the holidays to go “back to school” on your marketing materials? Do it now.

Need help? elizabeth@cecpo.com