Do you experience any of these challenges with your telehealth program, product, or service?

* Painstaking process of getting people to buy-in to your telehealth or telemedicine program?

* Slow uptake for your telehealth technology or service?

* Difficulty getting hospitals or other customers to join your telehealth network?

While you could cite a variety of reasons for these struggles, it’s highly likely that you have a marketing problem.

This article covers some fundamental marketing mistakes (“sins”) that are common to many industries in addition to telehealth and telemedicine. If you find that you are guilty of any of these sins, you have a golden opportunity to eliminate them from your marketing strategy, so that you can edge out your competitors and get the PR, patients, and profits you deserve.

Marketing Sin #1: Field of Dreams

The movie Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner is built around a central premise that if the character played by Mr. Costner builds a baseball field on his farm, then legendary baseball players who have long since died will emerge from the cornfield in their youthful form to play on his field. “Build it and they will come” says his advisor played by James Earl Jones.

Let’s face it. “Build it and they will come” only works in the movies.

Yet too many people are guilty of thinking that if they start or build the next great thing, everyone will be lining up to use it. Marketing is a fundamental requirement for the success of any “business” or “venture”.

Even Apple doesn’t subscribe to the Field of Dreams. They put a lot of time and money into market research, strategy, developing market buzz, etc. before the launch of the iPad 3 and its predecessors.

So if you are a telehealth company, telehealth consultant, or telehealth program, you absolutely need to market and promote your offering in order to attract and win customers, patients, participants, etc.

How do you know if you are suffering from the “Field of Dreams syndrome”? Just answer these questions…

1. Do you find yourself wondering why everyone just doesn’t get what a great solution you have to offer?

2. Did you put out a single press release about your new product or program and get surprised by the lack of response?

3. Do you find yourself procrastinating about putting together a newsletter, sales letter, promotion, etc. for your telehealth solution?

4. Are you “uncomfortable” selling yourself or your services

Marketing Sin #2: Random Whim Marketing

Statistics have shown that a potential customer has to see your ad an average of 7 times before they even notice it. Assuming they are even interested in what you’re selling, they have to see the ad another 7 times before taking action.

That means you have to get your message in front of the potential customer an average of 14 times before they might even think about getting in touch. This is why ad agencies typically suggest that you run ads for 13 issues.

So your #1 goal is to make sure people recognize and remember your solution. This is why consistency is key.

While you may not have the budget to run an ad 14 times, the real lesson here is that your marketing materials need to create consistency in several forms:

* A consistent look and feel, so people learn to recognize you and your brand

* A consistent message, so people remember what you do, who you do it for, and why you are better than your competition

* A consistent delivery schedule, so people see your name and message often enough to recognize you, remember what you do, and have you at the top of their mind the next time the problem you can solve hits a critical point for them

Are you guilty of Random Whim Marketing?

1. Do you tend to market primarily when business is slow or an opportunity happens to present itself?

2. Have you avoided putting together any formal marketing plans, strategies, or goals?

3. Are you putting together advertising and marketing materials at the last minute?