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Case Study: How a Medical Imaging Company Helped a New Sales Team Establish Client Relationships and Surpass Sales Goals

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Company: Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.
Contact: Jim Burch, director of communications at Toshiba America Medical Systems
Location: Tustin, CA
Industry: Medical technology, B2B
Annual revenue: $650,000,000
Number of employees: 1000

Quick Read

In tough economic times, when employees everywhere are questioning their job security, it would do a company good to strategically hearten and care for its people—in a manner that makes sense for both company and employee.

When Toshiba America Medical Systems, the medical diagnostic imaging subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, restructured its sales team recently, it thought it best to give those assigned to new and unfamiliar territories an extra hand.

The company invested $200,000 in a targeted direct mail campaign designed to increase product awareness, demonstrate credibility, and pave the way to new client relationships within those territories.


The newly aligned team is now on track to exceed the company's sales goals with $16,000,000 worth of sales from organizations directly targeted by the campaign. And those gains, combined with the commitment the company was able to demonstrate to its people, have made an important impact on internal morale.

Challenge

Toshiba America Medical Systems specializes in diagnostic medical imaging solutions such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MRI), ultrasound, and x-ray imaging systems. Its Infinix-i line consists of catheterization-laboratory, or cath lab, products specifically designed for non-invasive cardiac procedures.

In 2007, when a new digital detector technology was implemented across the Infinix-i line, Toshiba America determined that it also needed to reconfigure its sales force to include a designated cardiac cath lab team solely committed to providing field sales support for the new technology.

Doing so, however, meant that several of the company's sales representatives were being reassigned to unfamiliar territories, where they would have to forge new relationships in a time when the medical imaging industry was beginning to experience a slowdown.

To make it easier for them, the company determined that it next needed to conduct a targeted marketing campaign to help establish awareness and credibility for the Infinix-i line within those territories.

Campaign

Toshiba America Medical Systems first conducted a telemarketing campaign to determine which medical facilities might be in the market for a new cardiovascular cath lab system, narrowing the target list from over 1,300 facilities to 245.

It then identified three decision makers within each of the 245 facilities and sent each the following three mailers, approximately two weeks apart:

  • The first was a fold-over card designed to promote confidence among targeted recipients who may have had only limited exposure to Toshiba America products. Messaging on the card cover read, "You're invited to experience greater cath lab satisfaction," while the interior emphasized the company's high customer-satisfaction scores. as rated by a respected third party.
  • The second mailing built upon the message of the first and was enclosed in an envelope that carried the same color scheme and design as the first mailing, along with an imprinted message that asked, "If you invented a stent, which cardiovascular lab would you choose?" Contents included a cover letter hand-signed by Toshiba's VP of Marketing, explaining how a well-known medical center, led by a top stent and stent-delivery-system inventor had employed the Infinix-i line to increase workflow productivity and handle a wide range of medical procedures. The letter then introduced an enclosed case study, which further detailed the solution and benefits achieved by that center with the Infinix-i product.
  • The third mailing arrived in a box, again designed to match the previous two mailings. The exterior read, "What do the #1 cardiovascular lab and Leading Innovation have in common?" Inside, a flash memory USB drive presented recipients with a music video that highlighted Toshiba's achievements in developing many leading technologies, such as flash memory, in addition to medical systems, and went on to explain the Infinix-i line's productivity-enhancing technology. A link at the end of the video connected viewers to the company Web site.

The direct mail campaign was also supported by information on the company Web site, such as video customer testimonials and a downloadable copy of the second mailing's case study. A print and interactive ad campaign via industry publications and professional Web sites also steered traffic to the Infinix-i portion of the Toshiba America Web site.

Results

All 245 targeted facilities turned into solid sales leads, and the Infinix-i business line is exceeding its sales goals since the inception of this campaign.

The company anticipates at least 16 Infinix-i orders within the next couple months, or approximately $16,000,000 in new revenue.

Lessons Learned

Toshiba America's dedicated cath lab sales representatives say this campaign was effective in "warming up" the leads that had been qualified through the telemarketing campaign and helped to get those relationships off to a strong start—just as the company had hoped.

Campaign elements that supported this goal included the following:

  • Trust-building messaging: Each of the direct mail pieces was designed to establish credibility and minimize the perceived risk of choosing a new medical equipment partner. This was achieved by highlighting customer-satisfaction scores, providing examples of respected clinicians already using the technology, and emphasizing the company's history of innovation.
  • Communication frequency: The company's three-touch approach helped drive more sustainable product and brand awareness; and because all packaging was branded the same, subsequent mailings reinforced and reminded recipients of the messages already received.
  • Tangible proof: Direct mail was chosen for this campaign so that recipients would have physical pieces to touch and keep. In addition, the USB drive provided an interesting medium for illustrating the company's message, while giving recipients something to interact with and share with their colleagues.
  • Strategic targeting of multiple authorities: Reaching out to multiple decision-makers—such as cath lab managers and hospital administrators, as well as the clinicians who use the equipment—gave the company's sales representatives a head start in both identifying on whom they should focus their efforts and laying the groundwork for the conversation to take place once personal contact took place.

Related Links

Toshiba America Medical Systems site


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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via kims@marketingprofs.com.

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  • by Kim Giansante Wed Nov 26, 2008 via web

    Medical capital equipment companies have been slow to harness the power of targeted direct marketing, still believing road canvassing by its sales force is the best way to generate leads. Besides it being an inefficient, outdated method, face-to-face calls are an expensive way to uncover prospects. It's refreshing to read Toshiba "gets it."

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