Talking sales acceleration and PR with Fenner Pearson from Meantime


Highland Marketing has been working with Meantime, a bespoke software company that was approached by a major teaching hospital to develop a digital platform to manage clinical audit.

After the successful deployment of the Audit Management and Tracking (AMaT) tool, the company looked to sell into the NHS more widely. However, it found that while it received an enthusiastic response, it struggled to secure sales.

In response, Meantime decided to look for support from a specialist health tech agency. This led it to engage Highland Marketing to run a sales acceleration campaign, supported by case studies and PR demonstrating AMaT’s value. Managing director Fenner Pearson explains.

How did Meantime come to be involved with the NHS?

Our company develops bespoke software. Our biggest client is Heathrow, but three years ago we were approached by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust because it needed software to manage its clinical audit activity.

While we were scoping the project, we did some market research, and realised there should be a demand from other trusts for a product like this; so we went ahead. We went live at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals between August 2016 and February 2017. Then, we started working with Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, and it went live in October 2017.

Why did you need marketing support?

Over the course of a year, we really tried to get the product out to the market. What we found, time and again, is that we would go to a conference, and demonstrate AMaT, and get great feedback and encouragement; but we would not get a sale.

If you want to work with the NHS, you have to talk to the right people; and you have to talk to a lot of people; we might need to reach people in audit, governance, IT, procurement… So, in late 2018, we started looking around for marketing companies in the health space.

Meantime’s AMaT platform

Meantime’s Audit Management and Tracking tool (AMaT) is designed to streamline clinical audit requirements into one, easy to use system. Doctors, nurses and other staff can register audits, associate guidance such as NICE quality standards with them, complete audits online and manage action plans and scheduling.

Alison Leather, clinical audit and effectiveness manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, told a Highland Marketing authored case study that AMaT saves staff time, avoids duplication, and improves the visibility of improvement work.

It also means more audits can be conducted, helping to create a culture of continuous improvement. “We looked at different systems on the market,” Alison Leather said. “There was nothing that did everything we wanted to do [so] we worked with Meantime and they developed a solution that best meets our needs.”

Why work with Highland Marketing?

My experience of working with marketing companies wasn’t good. We had tried using marketing companies for our core business, and they would tell us they were different and that they would succeed. Then, we’d get very little from them.

So by the time I came to Highland Marketing, I had a lot of baggage. However, Highland Marketing told me exactly how long they wanted [to run a sales acceleration and PR campaign] and what it would cost and what the outcomes would be.

And Highland Marketing hit the target; or very nearly. They promised five appointments by Christmas and we got them in mid-January. Highland Marketing was the first marketing company that was clear to me about costs, timescales and outcomes.

What was it like, working with Highland Marketing?

Once we got into the process, I really enjoyed it. The marketing companies we have worked with in the past had their own way of doing things, and it felt a little bit like being fed into a sausage machine. Highland Marketing really took the time to understand the company, and the product, and what we do.

I saw the script that was produced for the sales acceleration calls, and it was really good. You need to reach the right people, but you also need to talk to them in the right way. The people we worked with on the content, and the sales acceleration, and the account were great. I know we were customer and supplier, but it felt like we were all part of the same team.

Why add the case study/PR element?

I asked Highland Marketing what we needed, and their advice was sales acceleration supported by case studies/PR. The case studies/PR are an awareness raising exercise. They support the sales acceleration calls, and they are also being placed in the press. Both elements are important.

What has the outcome been?

The feedback we have got on the product has been uniformly positive, so it was frustrating not to get sales. What we needed was a way to reach out that was replicable and sustainable, and Highland Marketing delivered that. The sales acceleration that has got us in front of people, and that is what I expect from marketing.

Key points:

  • Meantime is a bespoke software company that has worked with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to develop a successful clinical audit management tool
  • Meantime had a great response to its AMaT product, but found it difficult to make further sales
  • The company engaged Highland Marketing to reach the right people in the NHS; and say the right things to them.

Services and value:

  • Highland Marketing worked with Meantime on a sales acceleration campaign, supported by case studies/PR that demonstrate the value of AMaT to NHS trusts
  • The sales acceleration campaign delivered its target number of appointments on time and on budget
  • The case studies are being placed in appropriate media, to raise awareness of Meantime and AMaT in the market.

Highland Marketing is an integrated communications, PR and marketing consultancy supporting UK and international health tech organisations. Over 23 years we have built a reputation for being the go-to agency for vendors and their customers. Talk to us about market strategy, research, branding, messaging, content marketing, PR, social media and sales acceleration.

Health tech marketing delivering impact: How VR-EP successfully launched virtual reality to enhance paramedic education
Revolutionising NHS patient care: the C2-Ai and Highland Marketing partnership
“You need the right partner…”: amplifying webinar impact
Overcoming NHS market entry challenges: Parsek’s inspiring journey
Evolving health tech marketing: Clinisys and Highland Marketing