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Top Three Marketing Take-Aways From the AOPA National Assembly

I just got back from the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association National Assembly in San Antonio. There are a plethora of marketing-related things I could talk about relating to the meeting. I do not have a 7-page column though, so I am going to pick my top three take-aways from the meeting as far as marketing is concerned.

Marketing for mobile devices

Everyone was using their mobile devices. From taking pictures of the slides in presentations, to searching for places to go to dinner, to ordering Uber at the airport, assembly attendees were big time users of mobile devices. I saw someone actually using an Apple Watch. What does this mean overall? It means the marketing gurus who predict future trends are right on target.

What does this mean for you? It means you need to be aware of how your online information appears on mobile devices. Have you tried using your website on your phone? Does Siri give the right answer when you ask her to “find a prosthetist near me?” You have an office full of people. It is probably divided about 50/50 among Android and Apple users. Have people bring up the website on their devices. You should know pretty quickly what changes need to be made.

Downside of social media

My daughter, Eloise, always says “You know, Mom, Facebook is not real.” She is 24. She basically grew up with Facebook and she knows that Facebook posts are curated content. Posters are actively choosing what pictures or information to share. They may have a specific goal or image in mind or, and this is more true of the older Facebook crowd, they be inadvertently creating an image.

Elizabeth Mansfield

The upside of social media, specifically Facebook, is that I was able to connect instantly with people who I have not seen since last year’s meeting by talking to them about things or events that have happened recently since I saw it on Facebook. “How was your anniversary party? It looked amazing!” “When did you get back from Greece? I saw the photos and I am so jealous.”

The downside came out in several conversations about people who, it appears, spend all their time on Facebook. They post constantly. We are not talking about putting up some anniversary party pictures or some vacation food pictures. We are talking about all day, everyday clutter. Memes. Quizzes. Answers to quizzes. The visual equivalent of “honk if you like (insert whatever)” bumper stickers. For the most part they are just regurgitating all over Facebook feed.

If it is noticeable enough that your colleagues are talking about it, what do you think your patients think? My dad is a retired CPO and I worked with him until he retired in 2001. Times have changed, that is for sure, but I simply cannot imagine that he would have had the time to post all day, every day while he was at work. The people I talked to said the same thing. They just do not have time. I, at the time, jokingly said that I was going to write about it my next column. Would you want to go to a health care professional who posts non-work related clutter all day long on Facebook?

Video, video, video

There is not a lot to say about video at the meeting other than if you are not using it in your marketing efforts, you should be. According to Forbes magazine, 2015 is “The Year of Video Marketing.”

Once 2015 is over, it is not going to be the end of video marketing. It is just going to grow. O&P News knows this. The editorial staff was busy taking video of O&P folks, myself included, to use on OandPNews.com. Video marketing, like mobile marketing, is a trend you want to be using to your advantage.

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