In nearly 30 years working with medical devices, Tom Treusdell hasn't seen anything impact marketing more than electronic media. Currently director of marketing for radiographic and fluoroscopic products at Siemens Healthcare, Treusdell's division has garnered attention and accolades for robust marketing programs that have optimized online viral tactics in reaching professional audiences. For two years running, Siemens has won top honors at the MM&M Awards—for this year's “Ysio Online Auction” and last year's “Win an MRI.” For the MRI campaign, an online video contest gave rural hospitals an opportunity to win a machine. The launch of Ysio, a digital radiography system, involved an online auction of a machine with proceeds going to the Children's Health Fund (CHF).
“We wanted to take the ‘Win an MRI' concept a step further by getting a facility an Ysio at a good price while benefiting a national charity,” Treusdell says. “It shows corporate social responsibility, and it piqued interest because we weren't just marketing a product. Bidding on equipment is a new concept for hospitals. It helped get attention.”
Indeed, the Ysio campaign certainly generated significant buzz. But it also scored a trifecta of positive business results —$285,000 was raised for CHF, the winning hospital saved about $165,000 on the Ysio, and Siemens landed more than $1.6 million in sales to date. Handled entirely in-house, the effort drew on expertise and talent from multiple departments. Treusdell is very proud of the campaign and the strength and diversity of Siemens' in-house team. Jenna Brennan, marketing manager, says Treusdell is a great collaborator, praising his flexibility, technical expertise and ability to bring out the best in multiple teams. “He's open to new and different ideas and looks for ways to bring them together for the most beneficial outcome,” she explains. “He makes you feel comfortable and want to work hard to reach the end goal.”
Treusdell and Brennan say b-to-b providers will continue developing innovative programs that use online tactics. “Everyone is trying to find the most cost effective way to get the word out,” Treusdell says. “Online media is a lot more cost effective.” Also, Brennan says the online auction got “the healthcare community talking about Siemens, Ysio and CHF in ways traditional brand awareness tactics couldn't.” She adds that online tactics allow Siemens to “sustain deeper and longer conversations” with customers.
“We can bring value to this conversation by offering relevant clinical content, interactive product demonstration tools and incentives such as the Ysio coupon we promoted as part of the auction for anyone who registered and did not win,” she says. “The internet also enables us to collect key information on our customer base, which can be integrated on the backend with our CRM tool, triaged to sales for follow up and entered into our opt-in database for future marketing efforts.”
The challenges, Brennan says, are keeping pace with digital information exchange and effectively integrating new technologies into the marketing mix. “The radical transparency tools like Facebook and Twitter represented is unprecedented,” she notes. “In minutes, an online conversation can mean an immediate lift or fall of brand equity, essentially moving brand ownership from the corporate entity to the consumer. It's an amazing marketing opportunity.”
He travels frequently for work, and when he's home his focus is solely on his wife and six-year-old daughter, whom the couple adopted from China.
While the FDA certainly seems to be moving toward tightening scrutiny on devices and device marketing, Treusdell isn't concerned. “We welcome it,” he says. “It puts the focus on the technology, and Siemens has always focused on the technology. Tighter scrutiny is a good thing.”
Director, product marketing,
Product manager, Siemens1992–1993
Vascular sales specialist, Siemens1989–1992
Applications specialist/Sr. applications specialist, Siemens