Our team attended the American College of Phlebology Annual Congress on varicose vein disease in Phoenix last week, and we left feeling inspired and refreshed. But one of the biggest surprises for us was the noticeable increase in marketing companies attending the conference. Some were new, some were well known, but all seemed to be offering similar products and services, except for very important thing - a willingness to share.
A willingness to share not just the market space - which it seemed that most in the room spent their time thinking that they were going to clean house - but thoughts, ideas, even just a casual conversation. As I walked around the vendor booths I would stop by various marketing groups to get some insights into their expertise, but was often greeted with a sense of fear. I say “fear” because of the responses I received when the various business owners/employees of these companies were informed that I too was in the space of healthcare marketing. The common response was either “please go away” or really, “we don’t have time for you because you won’t give us money and that’s why we are here.”
Now I understand that these may seem as large assumptions, but as the day went on the feeling was expressed in physical facial responses, as well as verbally. No one would give anytime to learn from me and certainly were not interested in divesting their “valuable” information, except for one company.
As I walked to the end of the exhibit hall I noticed one company I recognized right away. A long time player in the healthcare marketing industry and certainly a reputable one at the conference. I decided, why not, just introduce yourself. As I sat down with both of the owners of the company I was immediately greeted with a smile and not only an ability to carry a conversation but a truly meaningful one at that. We discussed not only marketing, but family, career choices, difficult business decisions and opportunities for the future.
This company offered much more than good manners, but a willingness to share their knowledge and expertise openly to their competition simply because they understood what makes great marketing today. Marketing today should be a collaborative attempt to better not only our clients, but the industry that we market. We are the gate keepers of information dissemination and we share the responsibility to provide useful information to those in need. To do this requires the help of others who may have more experience, insight, and in this case tack.
Good marketing comes from the implementation of skill sets, great marketing comes with the collaboration of the whole and a willingness to share those skill sets- that's inbound marketing.