DTC and Interactive for Ortho: A New Approach


For all of the boomers who are aging and expect to keep active, getting a knee replacement can be a difficult decision. recovery can be daunting and it is not a cheap procedure. Costs can go up into the 30-40K range.

I have talked in this space in the past how Orthopedics are somewhat insulated against recessionary pressures because a large component is pain related and if people are in chronic pain they'll more often than not get the problem resolved. However, the decision making process can be long and I have advocated that orthopaedic companies could utilize DTC and interactive marketing to speed awareness and decision making versus the previous physician focus. I also need not remind everyone of the "consulting agreements." Depuy, in particular, has done this well as outlined previously.

Because I have Google Alerts set up for orthopedic manufacturers I had a Gmail ad appear for this Web site, www.kneesforme.com.

This is interesting to me on many fronts. First, is that if you read the site, it's promoting "brand" knee replacements from Zimmer, Depuy, Stryker, etc in India. It advertises much cheaper costs (10K) than US based knee replacements and promotes the all-inclusive vacation to India.

I have seen this type of thing before for plastic surgery, etc. but this knee replacement targets a completely different kind of online information seeker. Someone seeking a specific solution to a specific problem. I'm very curious to understand how effective this marketing is for the practice in India. I wonder if the manufacturers silently endorse this because a Zimmer knee is a Zimmer knee regardless of where it gets put in?

I am not up on all insurance issues, but my primary question is are people that price sensitive? Are they targeting medicaid recipients, non-insured? I guess with Web design and hosting being cheap in India that any more than one knee replacement would pay for the marketing, but beyond the adventuresome who want to go to India and happen to have a bum wheel? Who would go?

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting approach and one that may increase if we stay in a deep recession and people are in chronic pain. Insurers may become more prudent in approving claims and chronic pain is very subjective.

| www.jlefevere.com |


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