We wondered if we were lowering our professional standards, Dr. Giddings said. Were we becoming like the hearing aid dispensers, or worse yet, were we starting to look like attorneys advertising? So we took baby steps.
Explore this issue:November 2006
They began with some simple direct mail pieces, then some small newspaper ads, eventually stepping up to some targeted advertising on radio and cable television, which has provided the practice a pretty satisfying return on investment, Dr. Giddings said.
You probably didn’t see our ad during the Super Bowl last year, but cable TV is an incredible medium for advertising and I don’t think a lot of people realize it, he said. We are seeing returns of tens of thousands of dollars by running those ads on a monthly basis. The TV companies know exactly who is watching what shows, how old they are, how much money they make, and so on. The demographic information they have on their audiences is just phenomenal.
Open houses, patient education seminars, health fairs, and other community events are other effective avenues for otolaryngologists to connect with their communities and market their practices. And with advances in both the science and the technology of hearing loss, the panelists emphasized that there in no time like the present for otolaryngologists to make their presence known in the hearing aid industry.
Partially implantable hearing aids are available and totally implantable hearing aids on the near horizon, Dr. Green said. There’s the area of electrical acoustic stimulation and the fact that hearing aids are being combined now with cochlear implants. In fact, there’s a hybrid device that is being tested now through a couple of different manufacturers of cochlear implants. Otolaryngologists are in position to move into those areas.
©2006 The Triological Society