Moving the HME Industry Forward


Digital Marketing Comes of Age

September 29, 2014

ATLANTA – Medtrade attendees looking to beef up their digital marketing strategies can get a great start on Monday, Oct 20, from 3:15 to 4:45, in a session entitled, Engaging Patients, Building Business and Proving Value.

Panelists include: Lisa Wells of Get Social; Christina Throndson with VGM Forbin (Booth #1927); Chris Malcom, a DME provider; and Dave Henderson, a vendor with EZ Access (Booth #2145). With so many educational sessions to choose from, Medtrade Monday asked panelists to make their case for attendance on day one.

Medtrade Monday: What do you say to providers who may be hesitant about arriving to the show on the very first day, which could mean an extra hotel night stay?
Chris Kinard, director of Corporate Systems Development, LifeHME (moderator of the panel discussion): The resource commitment and time investment yields great returns when you consider the value of the conference content. Arriving to Medtrade early allows you the opportunity to participate in extended education sessions, focusing on the latest news, trends, and business strategies. Additionally, you have time to interact with industry experts and network with other providers without compromising time on the exposition floor. 

Medtrade Monday: Why is digital marketing (as opposed to traditional marketing) so important in 2014?
Christina Throndson: Our customers are becoming more reliant on digital technology every day. Where desktop and mobile usage is constantly increasing, circulation of newspapers, use of the US Postal Service and even the effectiveness of television commercials is dramatically decreasing. You need to be where your customers are, and the vast majority of your customers are either spending most of their time online, or relying on their caregivers to research for them online.
Lisa Wells: I’ve been teaching on digital marketing in the HME industry since 2008. Competitive bidding and industry consolidation are forcing providers to approach their business in different ways if they want to keep the doors open. Going online is a fantastic way to lower overhead while expanding your reach into new markets through emerging, profitable avenues.

Medtrade Monday: What range of perspectives can the panelists offer?
Kinard: The panelists represent a full range of digital marketing perspectives. The panelists include two digital marketing consulting experts who lead the industry’s most advanced digital marketing firms, an innovative product vendor, and a DME provider who is both a business owner and patient. Collectively, these professionals leverage every digital marketing tool available and can speak to the success of each. 

Medtrade Monday: What is the biggest misconception that DME providers have about digital marketing?
Throndson: I’d say the biggest misconception is that their audience is mainly seniors, and that seniors don’t spend much time online. The senior age group happens to be the fastest growing demographic on social media, and our research has found that the majority of baby boomers are internet-savvy and access the internet every single day.  Also, the senior product users are not the only ones searching for these products. Their caregivers, who are prime age for internet usage, are researching online for their senior loved ones.
Wells: Unfortunately, many HME business owners haven’t taken the time to learn or invest in new skills from a sales perspective. Many more think that they can’t handle digital marketing on their own, or that it doesn’t merit any attention beyond what they currently have on their plate. Or, they refuse to invest to grow their brand online. Here’s the problem with that line of thinking. The world is already online, engaging in shopping and social behavior on a daily basis. If you or your business aren’t, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with your customers. Another competitor will take that opportunity away from you—that’s the bottom line.

Medtrade Monday: How much does it cost? What is the exact time and exact room?
Kinard: The session is included in the Medtrade Conference fee. The session is Monday, Oct 20, from 3:15 to 4:45 pm in Room C213.

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Exhibitors have already bought 99% of the floor space at the Georgia World Congress Center in anticipation of what could be the most important Medtrade in the event’s long history. For a complete list of exhibitors and/or additional information about the show, visit