In eye care, over $100 million in advertising is spent on consumer and doctors, either to encourage them to buy more often or to buy newer items. For doctors, that means new technology, new ophthalmic materials and new contact lenses.
Easily, the doctor is at a disadvantage in deciphering what is important from what is irrelevant or unusable. Professional marketers are adept in plying dollars from doctors who often are unprepared to value the benefits or outcomes of purchases.
First, the prospective doctor should relate the purchase to their current product and service offering. Will the purchase mean a digression from the practice’s objectives. For instance, an office that attains 90% or more of its revenue from the sale of spectacles and ophthalmics might not benefit from corneal topographer, but might enjoy a new patternless edger. Assuredly, the doctor can expand but that can require a redirection of the practice’s basic plan. Because most marketing hype focuses on the doctor buying their product no matter what, little significance is attached to whether it fits the doctors practice at all.
Secondly, all new products and services create overhead in either staff or in office space. If the office has already calculated their sales and expense per square feet of office space, then the new technology purchase can be related similarly. Analyzing the complete cost of a service or product can dispel the illusion of a benefit, something that marketing literature will avoid.
Third and lastly, what is the durability of the expected income stream from the new purchase. Unlike other businesses, medical care is subject to statutory and regulatory oversight that can completely change revenue prospects as quickly as a month. Marketing literature rarely ponders this.
In summary, this three step approach can either justify or refute the utility and relevance of a potential purchase. Understanding these three factors will equalize the footing between doctor and marketer.