General, Marketing with Mansfield

What House Hunters International and Your Website Should Have in Common

charming flatOne of my favorite shows on TV is House Hunters International. It is one of the reasons I learned how to use the DVR settings on the cable box and one of the reasons I know how to use the Cablevision On Demand menu. Sometimes I watch the whole episode, commercials and all. Sometimes I skip the commercials. Sometimes, if the buyer or renter is particularly annoying (and oh, can they be annoying) I will skip right to the end and just watch the last five minutes of the show. This is the beauty of House Hunters International. Each segment of the show functions as its own mini-episode.

What exactly do I mean by that? Each segment has the same format.

  • Introduce the buyer or renter.
  • Tell where they are from.
  • Tell where they are looking to move.
  • How much money do they have to spend.
  • Etc.

The only thing that changes is the property. So, when I’m watching an aggravating couple who happen to have a four million dollar budget and they are looking for a charming flat in Paris, I can skip to the last segment and I will feel like I haven’t missed a thing.

The show gets it. By “it” I mean they get that people record their show. They get that someone might turn on the show in the middle of the episode or almost at the end. They plan for it. They want me, the viewer, to get up to speed asap. They don’t want me to feel left out or confused – and then, horrors, change the channel. It might seem repetitive to someone who watches the show from beginning to end but if you are watching it “live” you still have commercial breaks so it’s nice to have a little review post-commercial. House Hunters International understands that TV viewing is not like reading a book.

A website is not an online book.

What does this have to do with marketing? It has everything to do with online marketing, websites specifically. Your website is not a book. Your website does not have a beginning, a middle and an end. Your website should be like an episode of House Hunters International. It should not alienate me. It should not make me feel like a dummy because I landed on the “Services” page and not on the “Home” or “About Us” or “Our Story” page. Each page should give me enough information so that I feel like I know what’s going on without having to rewind.

Websites have words and pictures just like books. People read websites. People read books. But – people do not read websites like they read books. They do not start where you think they should start (like Home or About Us or Our Story) and go, nicely and neatly, from page to page, left to right. You should not ever think that a website has a beginning, middle or end. You should think of it as though it is an episode of House Hunters International!

Your website visitor should be able to land on any one of your “segments” (pages) and know, or feel like they know, what your story is. At the very least, they should know where you are located (including your CITY, STATE AND COUNTRY), how to get to your office, what types of services your provide and what your phone number is (AND THE AREA CODE!) Sure, you can and should have a Contact Us page but would it really be a big deal to put your address and phone number on the rest of your pages? No, it would not be a big deal and it sure would make it easier for the person in Reading, Washington to decide whether they want to continue looking at your site whey they see you are located in New York City.

Want to create a better online experience for your website visitors? Watch a couple episodes of House Hunters International…remote_control_pointed_at_a_tv_screen-1000x667

General, Marketing with Mansfield

Tatanka

buffaloFor the nomadic Native American tribes, the buffalo was more than just a source of meat. They used the hide to make clothing and tents. The horns were made into cups, toys and spoons. Hair was used for saddle pad filler, rope and ornaments. Hooves were turned into glue. Thread was made out of the sinew or tendon. Even the brain was used for tanning the hides. Nothing was wasted.

It took a great deal of effort for the hunters to be able to take down a buffalo. They were not about to do all that work and not make full use of their efforts. The same should apply to your marketing strategy.

Maximize your efforts

Take a look at your marketing efforts. You have probably spent a lot of time and money updating your social media, organizing events, mailing collateral, making brochures and keeping your website updated.

Picture each marketing activity as a…buffalo. Ask yourself, am I using all the buffalo?

For all that effort you need to make sure you are taking advantage of the alternative uses to your hard work. Concentrate on making those efforts worth your while. Consider the all alternate uses for your facebook photos. There are various ways they can be rearranged and reformatted to find new homes in print and online.

Health fairs

Trade shows, health fairs, chamber of commerce events are great places to spread business news. Incorporate pictures from your social media platforms into materials you distribute at these events. Use the pictures you take at these events to post on your online marketing outlets.

Direct mail

Direct mail marketing is a great place to re-use photos that you’ve used in your social media marketing efforts. Have a picture on instagram or facebook that has gotten a lot of attention? Use that as the front of your postcard. It is so easy to make and send postcards these days and, if the picture was popular online, you can drive people who may not be familiar with your online marketing efforts, to your online outlets by making sure to include the urls of your facebook and instagram accounts!

Action!

Media is constantly changing and a good marketing strategy works with the flow of change. Not against it. Video channels – like YouTube and Vimeo – are hugely popular all over the world. If you haven’t had time to make an actual video, you can take those same photos and turn them into a slide show – voila! – instant video. Now go upload it to your YouTube channel.

Keep that website fresh

Adding the photos to the news or photo gallery section of your website – make sure you tag those photos! This will not only be useful in getting the word out about the information you are sharing but will also show that you update your site regularly. Nobody wants to see obviously outdated pictures or info on your website. Keep it fresh!

E-mail newsletters

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Use them. They are easier on the eye and generate a lot more interest especially now that everyone is using their phones all day, every day. It’s super easy to link those photos to your website, facebook page, etc., so make sure you do it. Don’t waste ANY of that buffalo!

Just as the nomadic Native Americans turned buffalo skulls into headdresses, I am sure you can come up with even more uses for your marketing efforts. I can’t wait to see what you do with your tatanka!

General, Marketing with Mansfield

“Back in the Day” as a Marketing Tactic

Orthotics and Prosthetics, as a field, is MADE for pictures. So get your smartphones or your old-timey digital cameras and, after everyone you intend on photographing, has signed their release forms, start snapping (or clicking) away!

While you are taking new pictures have someone else head to the basement or the attic or your archives and have them dig up all the old pictures they can find. It does not matter how long you have been in business – you have “old” pictures. What to do with all the pictures??

Find your platform

First, figure out which platforms you want to use. Facebook, of course, because you know how to use it and it is so easy to put pictures into albums. Kids, pets and high tech are album categories you should absolutely be using. Everyone loves kids, pets and cool gadgets. If you do not believe me, go take a look at Facebook. What about staff? Patient-of-the-month? Birthday celebrations? Awareness days? Put your thinking cap on!

What about Instagram? It’s huge. If you’ve got pictures it is where you need to be. Thousands and thousands of pictures are being shared every second. Instagram photos can also be shared on Twitter and Facebook. You can kill a lot of marketing birds with the Instagram stone.

Throw it back

Second, get nostalgic. Everyone loved “Throwback Thursday.” They still do even though the actual term “Throwback Thursday” might not be as cool anymore. Here is where those old photos are useful. Who doesn’t like seeing guys in short shorts and knee high socks or girls with the sky high 80’s hair? Throwback is fun. I know O&P patient care facilities and vendors that are second, third or even fourth generation. If you are a first generation facility it doesn’t matter. Start a “this time last year” album. Uh, you were a baby once, right? You’ve got baby pictures. Use them. Remember everything doesn’t have to be work-related. Just throw back to the past. School pictures. Prom pictures. College. O&P school. Start throwing!

At CEC, we love using throwback pictures as part of our clinical course presentations. What a great way to really introduce yourself to your audience – and get them to know, like and trust you – when they see you are brave enough to share your baby pictures with them! (Cute baby, right?)

Before and after

Third, use before and after photos. Orthotics and Prosthetics is all about changing people’s lives and bodies. Before and after pictures are easy pictures to take and the results are obvious to see. Patient in a wheelchair  – patient with a running leg – patient running. You can also show a patient with severe plagiocephaly – patient with a plagiocephaly helmet – patient with a gorgeously shaped head.  Another option? Patient with Charcot ankle collapse, unbraced, and same patient with orthoses. I do not have to tell you what makes for a great before and after photo. YOU do it every day!

Share and share alike

Fourth, do not be stingy. You do not need to create new content for every single platform that you want to use. Use the pictures for both. More importantly, make sure your followers can share your content and that your customers can share their content with you. If you have got an Instagram-addicted mother who just loves taking pictures of her baby with the Spiderman cranial remolding helmet on, it would be a shame not to let her share her photos. Many hands do make light work so do not feel like you have to do it all by yourself. Friends, family, patients, coworkers can all help lighten that marketing load. The entire concept of social media marketing is that it is SOCIAL and it revolves around SHARING so do not make it harder than it has to be!

 

 

General, Marketing with Mansfield

Marketing Golden Oldie – Create a Top Ten List (or Four, Five, Seven…)

Here’s a top 7 list for O&P marketers.

7. Create information that educates. People enjoy doing business with those they know, like and trust. Create a top ten list such as topten that you can distribute to patients and referral sources alike. Sharing information that educates, and doesn’t just try to sell, establishes trust and credibility.

6. Ask for feedback. Everyone loves to share opinions. What they don’t like is to fill out boring, cookie-cutter forms. Make the form (paper or online) fun and easy. Don’t ask stupid or leading questions. Get creative. Then “talk” about any changes you made based on the feedback. Changed your hours? Let everyone know that it’s a result of the feedback. Open on Saturday mornings now? Let everyone know! Offering a different line of prosthetic socks or types of skin cleaner – let everyone know.

5. Record a podcast. Who doesn’t have a smart phone or access to a computer? Recording a podcast of FAQs (“Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Wearing a Scoliosis Brace”) and submitting it to iTunes puts you in front of the millions and millions of iTunes podcast subscribers.

4. See #7 but change it to YouTube. My mom is having trouble with carpal tunnel syndrome. She just watched a bunch of Bob and Brad videos on YouTube. Bob and Brad are “the most famous PTs on the internet.” Bob and Brad get it. They know people watch YouTube to learn….and who better to teach people about O&P than YOU! (They’ve got over 1.5 million subscribers, just fyi.)

3. Hold a contest. The prospect of winning anything is alluring. Do you need a name for a new product or service? 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 something newsworthy.

2. Got jobs? High schools, 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 or sales reps 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 speakers’ bureau…starring YOU. With all the advancements in technology and the current media fascination with anything related to O&P, knowledgeable speakers are in demand. Offering to speak at non-O&P (think physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehab-adjacent, Rotary, churches, etc., etc.,) meetings, events and conferences can give a big boost to your marketing efforts.

General, Orthotic Prosthetic Continuing Education, US ISPO

2019 ISPO World Congress in Kobe, Japan

Early morning, Kobe, Japan, October 5, 2019

17th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO)
5 to 8 October 2019
Leipzig/ Kobe, 4 November 2019

ISPO 17th World Congress a resounding success!

The 17th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) was held in Kobe, Japan, from October 5 to 8, 2019. This successful international event drew more than 4,400 participants from around the world, provided a range of learning opportunities, brought together multidisciplinary experts to report their scientific innovations, and showcased global industry solutions to improve mobility and services for people who use prosthetic, orthotic, and other assistive technologies.

The ISPO World Congress 2019 in numbers

4,400 participants from 97 countries (63% Japanese participants)

154 exhibitors from 38 countries (including 35 organisations in the International Community Lounge)

5 Keynote presentations

24 Symposia

28 Instructional Courses

348 Free Papers

129 Posters

The ISPO 17th World Congress was very successful. More than 4,400 participants from 97 countries came to Kobe in Japan to learn about the innovative possibilities of rehabilitation and assistive technology. In addition to the high-caliber scientific program, ISPO also brought numerous globally active societies and aid organisations together to discuss global assistive technology needs; including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Red Cross Committee (IRCR) and Handicap International (HI). This makes the ISPO World Congress one of the most important international platforms for mutual exchange and cooperation, which underlines the importance of this event in the industry and for society. The success of the World Congress was also due to the tremendous support by the Japanese government, the Science Council of Japan, the Hyogo prefecture, and the city of Kobe whose representatives welcomed the attendees during the Opening Ceremony.

Inspirational Keynotes
The personal life experience of David Constantine presented in the Knud Jansen Lecture masterfully interwoven with the development of the Wheelchair sector and the role ISPO over 30 years was both a riveting and emotional experience for the audience that filled the World Hall. The audience responded with a standing ovation to express their appreciation. Desmond Tong delivered the IC2A Inspirational Lecture and also took the audience on his journey as he adapted to his life as an amputee and can now have great pleasure on focusing on his family, work and leisure pursuits. It was both a very informative and an emotionally charged Opening Ceremony that set the scene for the coming days, inspiring all for the four days of the congress and beyond.

Focus on Innovation
The industry’s innovative strength was clearly demonstrated in the two fully booked exhibition halls, where 154 exhibitors from 38 countries presented state-of-the-art prostheses, orthoses and many other assistive technologies for people with physical disabilities. A major highlight was the Robotics Exhibition with high-tech solutions. Particularly outstanding projects in the prosthetics and orthotics field were honored during the congress. The Forchheimer Prize went to Lis Sjoberg, Helen Lindner and Liselotte Hermansson for their paper “Long-term results of early myoelectric prosthesis fittings: A prospective case-control study.”

The “Coapt Engineering” project by Blair Lock, Levi Hargrove and Todd Kuiken received the Brian & Joyce Blatchford Team Prize for Innovation.

Viva la Mexico
The ISPO 18th World Congress will take place from 19 to 22 April 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

About the ISPO World Congress
The ISPO World Congress takes place every two years in a different country and is held on different continents to reach a variety of markets. Special attention will be given to the respective host country’s national participants and neighboring regions. Recent congresses took place in Vancouver in 2007, Leipzig in 2010, Hyderabad in 2013, Lyon in 2015 and Cape Town in 2017.
Participant profiles vary from country to country.
About ISPO International: http://www.ispoint.org

The ISPO is a multidisciplinary organization that operates worldwide and aims to improve the quality of life for persons who may benefit from the rehabilitation practice of prosthetic, orthotic, mobility and assistive technology by:
Promoting multidisciplinary practice;
Facilitating professional education to provide quality care;
Promoting research and evidence-based practice;
Facilitating innovative and appropriate technology;
Fostering international collaboration and consensus;
Facilitating knowledge exchange.

Its members include prosthetists, orthotists, orthopaedic technicians, physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthopaedic shoemakers, nurses, and engineers. Currently ISPO is represented by more than 3,500 individual members in over 100 countries all over the world. ISPO International is committed to a world in which all people have equal opportunities to fully participate in society.

Press contact:
Karoline Nöllgen
PR Manager for Medical Trade Fairs and Conventions
Leipziger Messe GmbH
Telephone: +49 (0)341 / 678 6524
Email: k.noellgen@leipziger-messe.de
http://www.leipziger-messe.de
ISPO 2019 online http://www.ispo-congress.com
Twitter: @ISPO_int
#ISPOcongress19
#ISPOcongress21

Interested in global rehabilitation and access to assistive technology? You should join ISPO today!

Elizabeth Mansfield, US ISPO Board chair

 

Orthotic Prosthetic Continuing Education, Orthotics and Prosthetics State Meetings

2019 MWCAAOP Annual Meeting

The Midwest Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists headed back to the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in the ever so charming town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for the 2019 MWCAAOP Annual Meeting! Vari McPherson, CPO, MWCAAOP Board President, kicked off the event with a rousing welcome.

The event was held September 12-14, 2019 and provided over 14.25 continuing education credits for orthotists, prosthetists, pedorthists, technicians, as well as administrative and billing/reimbursement staff. Presenters from all over the United States lectured on a wide range of subjects – everything from critical Medicare updates to “Improved Clinical Outcomes with Consistent Successful Socket Fit via Full Weight Bearing Hydro-static Casting Techniques.”

Two and a half days of continuing education, golf, and of course, the Gunter Gehl Scholarship Award competition, made for a phenomenal event. Special thanks to Jerry Fenner of the Grand Geneva for providing exceptional customer service once again.

Abbey Senczyszyn was the winner of the 2019 Gunter Gehl Scholarship Award! MWCAAOP Board President Vari McPherson, CPO, presented Abbey with a check for $1,000.00. Congratulations Abbey!

Just some of the fantastic presenters…

Dennis Janisse, CPed
John Brinkmann, CPO, FAAOP
Jared Howell, MS, CPO, LPO, FAAOP
Steve Martin, OTR/L
Christofer Mowrer, CP
Robert Meier, CO, BOCO
Ann-Marie Rojas, MD
Brian Gustin, CP, FAAOP
Renee Lewis, BSE, CO, CPA
Don Foley
Stacie McMichel
Noel Chladek, CO
Jenny Kent, PhD
Caitlin Deom, PT, DPT
John T. Frederick, Jr., CPO/L
Dennis Smerko, CPO

Great material! Could personally relate.

presenter – john brinkmann, cpo, faaop – Using Motivational Techniques to Improve Patient Outcomes
D. Laur, co

Very pleasant and thorough.

presenter – Dennis Janisse, cped – back to pedorthic basics
E. Ventrice, CPed

Can’t wait to use system. Best thing since gel liners.

presenter – matt doering – Improved Clinical Outcomes with Consistent Successful Socket Fit via Full Weight Bearing Hydro-static Casting Techniques
M. raymond, cpo

Our 2019 MWCAAOP Exhibitors

Advanced O&P Solutions
Allard USA
Alps South
American Limb & Orthopedic Co
American Prosthetic Components
Anodyne
Becker Orthopedic
Bulldog Tools, Inc.
Cailor Fleming
Cascade Orthopedic Supply, Inc
Clinical Education Concepts
CGS Admin
College Park Industries
Diamond’s Fab, LLC
Dr. Comfort
Endolite
Fillauer
Freedom Innovations
Friddle’s Orthopedic Appliance
iFIT Prosthetics
Illinois Society Of Orthotists Prosthetists
Marathon Orthotics
OPGA
Orthomerica Products Inc.
Ossur Americas
Ottobock
PEL, LLC
Propét USA
Proteor USA
Royal Knit Inc.
Scheck & Siress
Spinal Technology, Inc.
SPS
Townsend – Thuasne USA
General, Marketing with Mansfield

What Email Newsletter Marketers Know That You Don’t!

I have a collection of “oops” emails that I keep in a folder in my inbox. I would like to share some with you. “Oops – Corrected Date/Time Inside: Best Practices for Content Marketing Webinars” is one. I received it from Chief Marketer, a content marketing company in Connecticut. “We forgot something…” from Magazines.com, a company that believe it or not, sells magazines. “Oops! There’s been a slight mistake” from Thrifty Car Rental. “Oops!” from IKEA. “Oops! 5-Star Cupcakes We Couldn’t Wait to Share” from Betty Crocker. There a lot more, most with some type of “oops” or “apologies” in the subject line.

Mistake? Or No Mistake?

I do not know what you think, but I think that IKEA, Thrifty Car Rental and Betty Crocker have pretty sophisticated marketing departments and consultants. Of course, the people who work there are just that, people, and we all know that humans make mistakes. What if I told you that not all of those “oops” emails were mistakes – would you be surprised?

According to MediaPost, email recipients click on these emails because they are either curious or genuinely interested in figuring out whether the sender’s mistake is going to have an effect on them.

I think it is pretty obvious that a “Best New Cupcake Recipes” email might not appeal to everyone but that an “Oops! 5-Star Cupcakes We Couldn’t Wait to Share” might garner a higher open rate. Either you opened it the first time and are curious what you might have missed the first time, or you saw it, ignored it and are now curious about the mistake Betty made.

I hope you do not think that I am encouraging you to send out digital correspondence with mistakes on purpose. I am not. I hope you do not think that I am advising you to send out these emails if you made a stupid mistake that everyone can clearly see was a mistake. Take the date for example. One of my pet peeves about email newsletter programs is that even though they love to have a date section, one which often stands alone, the section does not update automatically. It seems to me that should be an easy programming fix. Even Microsoft Word knows how to fill in the current date once you start typing. Anyway, my point is that sending out an email newsletter with a November date in the middle of March is clearly a mistake. Especially if everything else in the email is timely. If that happens, you do not waste an “oops.” You just move on. Address it if you want to in the next issue but do not waste people’s time sending them an email over a spelling error.

Reason for sending?

What does constitute a reason for sending an “oops” email? Something that has the potential to have a negative impact on the recipient:

  • Broken link – this is a big deal.
  • Day or date of an event mistake – definitely send one.
  • Venue mistake – of course.
  • Incorrect directions – absolutely.
  • Sent the email to the wrong list – HURRY!

So you made a legitimate, oops-worthy mistake. Do not fret. The silver lining is that your apology email will probably outperform your original email. Just do not be that little boy that cried “Oops!”

Reference:

McDonald L. MediaPost. 2011. Available at www.mediapost.com/publications/article/141444/fake-oops-emails-stop-it-already.html