By Mark Venables

The traditional wisdoms about the benefits of investing in marketing during tough times are proving true once again. Talking to people across the healthcare IT spectrum it’s clear that those who have maintained a high profile with potential customers are doing the best. They are also well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities being brought about by the enormous changes sweeping through the sector. The NHS, and independent providers, have an urgent need for efficient and cost-effective IT. In these circumstances suppliers cannot afford to see good marketing and communications as an option, it’s an essential.

The shift to GP commissioning is a prime example. New organisations are being set up with new IT needs – so which suppliers will they choose? Former PCT staff joining consortia will recommend the names they already know and trust. That could make a huge difference to purchasing decisions for years to come.

However, changing markets also bring new people. Many of those involved in GP consortia may have little knowledge of the kind of IT they need to make wise decisions on the best and most cost-effective patient services to purchase. They need to be informed and educated about the options right now – suppliers who can help should be ensuring that every GP around knows their name and what they do.

Those who don’t invest in intelligent, focused marketing and communications risk a bleak future. NHS budgets are tight and there will be intense competition for every penny. Some suppliers could end up like players who don’t buy properties early in a Monopoly game – finding that with every move they make, someone else has got there first.

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Mark Venables

Mark Venables

Founder and CEO
Mark is a specialist in sales and business development. After a long and successful career in IT sales he has excellent connections in the technology and healthcare sectors. Clients value the fact that he understands business from an insider’s point of view, having built and run his own technology company. Mark is now focused on growing Highland Marketing, winning new business and developing its future strategy.

Mark has a vast network of contacts within the technology and healthcare industry and he works hard to grow that network on a daily basis. Renowned for his tenacity and his positive outlook, he never gives up, something that clients really value. And it is here, in his second role at Highland Marketing, that he can assist clients with their business development and sales efforts.
“What I offer clients is an extensive network of contacts, and a detailed understanding of the realities of running and developing a business. It’s in my nature to communicate whether it’s with board members, key decision makers and stakeholders or individual staff. My goal is to understand their needs and offer a solution. And through this I can help build new relationships for our clients, either with potential partners, prospective customers or influential organisations and individuals.”
A little about Mark:
  • Sailing boats – He developed an early love of sailing – a skill he learnt aboard a 58ft captured German World War II yacht called Overlord. In 1982 he attempted to sail the world, but his vessel was nearly sunk in the same storm which prevented TV presenter John Noakes from making a similar voyage.
  • Selling antiques – Mark learned the gentle art of sales from his dad who had a specialist antiques business in Farnham, Surrey. He remembers his first ever sale, made as a lad in the 1980s, when he got £900 for an 18th century, veneered tilt top hexagonal table.
  • Mark has a knack of finding ways to make business entertaining as well as profitable, whether it’s with client trips to Grand Prix races or deep sea fishing expeditions. If you want a chat about what Highland Marketing can do for you then he’ll happily join you for a meeting at your office, or even a round of golf – at which you’ll almost certainly win!

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