Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Day of Summer!

Happy Summer! Today is the first day of summer, called the summer solstice. Maybe it's because I am a Leo, but this is my favorite time of year: Plenty of sunshine, camping trips, BBQ cookouts with friends and family, fireworks, swimming, gardening... Below are a few historic fun facts about how the summer solstice has been celebrated in the past:

  • The solstice was the month for weddings in pre-historic times and is where the term "honeymoon" originated.
  • Romans celebrated the goddess of the hearth, Vesta, during a week long celebration coinciding with the solstice.
  • Ancient Chinese people acknowledged the solstice as a celebration of the Earth; a contrast to the winter solstice celebration of the Heavens.
  • In the Christian faith, the feast of St. John the Baptist is within a few days of the summer solstice.
  • The Essenes, a Jewish group during the 1st century, built sun rooms within temples to honor the sun.
  • In ancient Sweden, women and girls would bathe in the river during the solstice in hopes it would bring rain for their summer crops.

How are you celebrating the summer solstice?

Source: Summer Solstice Celebrations: Ancient & Modern

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Marriage of Art & Science

"Stop thinking about what you want and start thinking about what people need."
  [design by ilovedust]
During my junior year of college, it was an advertising professor who first told me that marketing was both a science and an art — and those words have proven to be true in each new project I encounter. Combining linear scientific logic with creatively analytic brainstorming is the formula for a marketing sweet spot.

The science aspect of marketing is about the quantifiable process. It involves analyzing the measurable details to draw logical conclusions: 
  • What is your marketing goal?
  • Who are you trying to reach with your message?
  • What is your budget and/or timeline?
  • What tools are available to you?
  • Does my plan conform to Medicare guidelines?

The art aspect is about the intangible, gut feelings in marketing. Being able to understand how your customers think and feel is important for motivating a call-to-action:
  • What does your patient want?
  • What does your referral source want?
  • How can you make your company "easy to use?"
  • Who do you need on your marketing team?
  • Can I get my staff to participate?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Are You Going to Medtrade?

Summer may just be get started but, believe it or not, early registration for Medtrade 2012 opened yesterday! Medtrade is a great place to connect with the entire HME community and, every year I attend, I leave feeling re-energized about the work that we do. 

This year I am particularly excited because I am a presenter and will be speaking about marketing during the educational conference!

So make your plans early... and come meet me at Medtrade in October. Don't forget to let me know if you're planning to be there or be square.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Good Design Principles Meet Durable Medical Equipment

Today I was reading about Dieter Rams: a legendary industrial designer who has inspired countless creative professionals. Though his body of work focuses mainly on consumer electronics, his messages of functionality, organization and simplicity certainly apply to modern day branding and customer service in the HME world.  Take a look at Dieter's 10 Principles for Good Design above. Now replace the words "good design" with "a successful DME provider." Kind of makes sense doesn't it? Get more inspiration from Dieter; read his speech here.