Medical Device Marketers take note: Howard won’t see you unless you have a real medical device innovation.
Doctors, if you read this, please leave a comment. Is Howard talking for all of you?
Joe Hage: I want to jump right in with a long question.
Howard Luks Go ahead.
Joe Hage: When we first met, I tried to connect with you on LinkedIn. You said, “I hate LinkedIn. People try to sell me s*** on there!” You were saying, you hate how everyone is using social media as a means of selling you stuff.
Howard Luks: Yes… I do remember saying that 🙂 I feel that many physicians on LinkedIn simply have targets on their back… for salespeople to assault us.
Joe Hage: Why are you on LinkedIn at all? What kinds of solicitations do you get?
Howard Luks: I engaged on LinkedIn to follow a lot of groups which initially appeared interesting. With time, it became apparent that I was too much of a target … so my interest dwindled. I receive solicitations from consultants, HIT companies, writers, etc.
Joe Hage: So these are direct solicitations to your inbox?
Howard Luks: Yes, these were direct inbox contacts.
Joe Hage: What’s the pitch? Dear “Doctor I don’t know personally,” can I demo my fantastic product for you?
Howard Luks: Close…. they began with a simple hello… and if I replied they immediately tried to go into pitch mode.
Joe Hage: Is this just a LinkedIn phenomenon? Are you assaulted elsewhere online with solicitations?
Howard Luks: Surprisingly… I have not found the same true of Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus.
Howard Luks: I think the broad answer to that question is yes … they can reach us both directly and indirectly. Direct… takes time to build these contacts … get to know me … allow me to know you … then we can talk about product lines. If med device company is available online, I would utilize soc med to perhaps reach out with q’s regarding new product development.
Joe Hage: So you would go on Twitter if the company is there and tweet a question, is that it?
Howard Luks: Yes, I might approach a company with a Twitter presence via a private message if I have a specific need or question.
A big area to nurture friendships is to try and engage with residents … who tend to remain loyal to brands they r exposed to during training.
Joe Hage: Nate, tell me what you mean by “humility” in this context.
Howard Luks: Hi, Nate. I agree with you.
Nate Osit: “HI!! HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT OUR AWESOME ***??? IT’S THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY!!! COMPLETELY UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE!”
Howard Luks: @NateOsit, I hear that a lot … but I never bite!
Nate Osit: Usually perpetrated by PR folks who don’t really know much about other products, and just use talking points.
Howard Luks: No doubt, Nate … they are very worried about social media exposure.
Nate Osit: I think one of the biggest issue medical device marketing in SM space is that there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of SM value.
Joe Hage: Howard, you mentioned some direct techniques to reach you. How about indirect ones?
Howard Luks: Indirect methods. Less concrete … harder to measure … but patients can drive physician adoption … data on 30yr knee shows this. My own personal experience also supports this … I have many patients asking specifically for the 30 yr knee.
Joe Hage: Great Smith & Nephew ($SNN) example. Sounds like traditional media though. Was there any social media element to the campaign?
Howard Luks: It was primarily a traditional media campaign … supported by online info/content and physician locator.
Joe Hage: So at least the physician locator is online …
Howard Luks: Yes, the locator is online. I happen to be a Smith & Nephew user… however, I know from discussions with other orthopedists that a number jumped over to them. Orthopedic device companies are not big users of social media, per se.
Joe Hage: I’m thinking influencing you to try a new product has got to be very hard!
Joe Hage: What can $SNN’s competitors do to get you to try their product? Is there anything?
Howard Luks: Full disclosure… I use Smith and Nephews components on most cases… and DePuy for most revisions.
Joe Hage: Can you help me understand “revisions?”
Howard Luks: A primary case is a patient’s first knee replacement… a *virgin* knee… a revision involves removing old components and revising the knee with other components. Reasons for revision include loosening or infection.
Joe Hage: So DePuy is also effectively using DTC. Is that right?
Howard Luks: Yes… DePuy has been active in DTC for a long time… not as successful as Smith and Nephew.
Joe Hage: Do you have a POV about Biomet?
Howard Luks: I don’t have strong views about Biomet. In the world of total knee replacements, if you place components correctly, the patient should do well. It is manufacturer agnostic.
Joe Hage: You have components you’ve been using for years, relationships built since residency … so what hope or approach does a #MedDevice company have to engage you?
Joe Hage: Do you typically get company reps calling on you? Or medical distribution companies? #MedDevice or both?
Howard Luks: Yes… all the time. But unless there is a very good reason to switch companies I’m not interested. Too many me-too one off products out there … a significant interest in price controls, rev cycle mgmt … so vry hard to break in.
Joe Hage: Does anybody get past your administrator? #MedDeviceDo you look at direct mail at all?
Howard Luks: Direct mail is a waste of a forest … reps can approach if they have something interesting to improve cost, or efficiency.
Joe Hage: And I’ll assume there’s no amount of quarterly promotions that will sway you … correct?
Howard Luks: Correct.
Nate Osit: @hjluks There’s also significant costs involved in switching companies, right? Does anyone ever try to mitigate that?
Howard Luks: @NateOsit we do by trying not to switch unless there is a very good reason to do so.
Joe Hage: Do you read physical magazines / journals? Do ads catch your attention at all?
Howard Luks: I read the ads… but usually one off me too products… so very little interest in majority.
Joe Hage: Two quick closing questions. What are your ACO plans?
Howard Luks: I’m not privy to my institutions ACO goals or objectives.
Joe Hage: Are you part of a GPO?
Howard Luks: Yes … we are. We use MedAssets, and one other. Freq use RFP for prosthetics, etc.
Joe Hage: Howard, this was great. Thank you so very much for joining us.
Howard Luks: My pleasure … thanks for having me!!!
Join the Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn to network and grow your business. #MedDevice is held most Wednesdays, 4 p.m. EST. We interview the medical device industry’s best minds and cover issues including sales, reimbursement, distribution, EMRs/HIT, regulations, and Marketing Medical Devices.