Audira Articles

Views, insight, perspectives, and commentary on hearing care.
Oct
11

We reap what we show – Part 2

We reap what we show

 In We Reap What We Show: Part 1 we saw how the hearing healthcare profession has been basing its marketing assumptions on a series of self-perpetuating myths.

In this article we are going to look at some more "fit-for-purpose" guidelines on the type of imagery we should be using in hearing healthcare marketing and campaigns, together with an introduction to the evidence-based rationale behind them.

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Oct
11

We reap what we show — Part 1

Reap what we show with stereotypes

Have you ever wondered what type of images we should be showing in our marketing and hearing healthcare messages?

Whilst it very much depends on the particular context and response we are aiming to evoke, there are some fundamental principles we need to consider here, principles grounded in the way the human mind works.

When people are formulating their perceptions and attitudes towards hearing, they do so by drawing on information that springs most readily to mind. Think how easy it is to recall images, and we quickly see why it's important we get our imagery right.

This series of two articles will explain how.

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May
18

Best practice, or bloat?

best-practice-bloat

In an age where differentiation through best practice competes with value for money propositions, what path should we follow in our own practices? Should we be aiming to blaze a trail by “doing more” in an attempt to set ourselves apart from other providers? Or should we be looking to streamline our models to remain competitive on price?

As hearing care develops in the years to come each of us will encounter new research and new ideas on what should or shouldn't be included in “best practice”.

But there is a temptation with best practice to include anything and everything, to confuse doing more with real world benefits significant enough to justify the cost implications to the person paying for the service – whether that's a patient, a consumer or a third party.

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Dec
08

The myth that people wait X number of years

the-myth-of-waiting-for-hearing-aids

If you are a hearing care professional or work within the hearing technology industry you will no doubt have been taught that "People wait X number of years before they get a hearing aid."

It has been one of the industry's most influential mantras, a foundational belief on which we build much of our activities, research, public awareness campaigns and training courses.

In case you are unfamiliar with this doctrine, it is based on studies that ask people how long they were aware they had a problem with their hearing before they began wearing hearing aids. The number of years varies from around 3 years to over 10 years, and it's sometimes used as a measure of whether attitudes towards the wearing of hearing aids are changing. See for example Marketrak.

But the idea that people "wait" is a myth, and a dangerous one at that because the consequences of such a mistaken belief are actually contributing to the very problem we are "measuring".

Here's why.

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Nov
18

Manufacturers’ response to commoditisation

Hearing aid manufacturers are like dealers in a game of poker – their channels must work with the hands they are dealt, never knowing what their competitors are working with

In Hearing care’s response to commoditisation we looked at the impact of commoditisation and the accessibility of information on hearing care practitioners. But hearing aid manufacturers are just as vulnerable, as we shall see, partly from the changes in consumer behaviour and partly from the way they maintain the relationships with their key channels. Understanding these relationships and their impact on the Consumer are the key to minimising the risks, maintaining margins and reducing the likelihood of outsiders encroaching on their market.

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Nov
18

Hearing care’s response to commoditisation

differentiation

In Hearing Care in the Age of Commoditisation & Information we saw how a combination of increasing commoditisation and the accessibility of information has forever changed the behaviour and expectations of consumers. We also saw how vulnerable traditional hearing care is to these changes in which expertise is slowly but surely sidelined by consumer knowledge, and the price needs justifying as never before.

In this part we'll be reviewing the three main ways that traditional hearing care has responded so far, before looking at what constitutes true differentiation and how hearing care practices should seek to differentiate themselves.

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Nov
04

Hearing Care in the Age of Commoditisation & Information

Commoditisation of hearing aids

Traditional hearing care is facing unprecedented threat from increased commoditisation and accessibility of information.

These two trends are not unique to hearing care. Many industries and professions today face the same crisis, and some have not survived because they have been unable to adapt to the way the world is changing or because consumer behaviour has moved on and left them behind.

This series of three articles has been written to explain how these drivers are affecting traditional hearing care and their implications for the future of hearing aid provision. We will look at the different paths the industry and profession might take as a response to these changes in consumer behaviour and look ahead to see where each of those paths lead.

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Jun
04

Marketing hearing technology to increase uptake — Part 2 (practice)

Marketing hearing technology to increase uptake part two

This is PART 2 of a series of two articles which looks at how changing the way that hearing technology is marketed can increase hearing aid adoption, change the public’s attitudes to hearing technology and better differentiate themselves in an increasingly homogenised market place.

In Part 1 we began by looking at the limitations of the current approach to marketing hearing technology before examining the principles and practice of a more effective approach that focuses on shaping consumer perceptions.

In Part 2 we put these principles into practice with a worked-through example of a consumer-focused advert by an imaginary manufacturer as a way of demonstrating one way in which the new approach might be implemented.

This builds on many of the principles and philosophy of Destination Marketing outlined in How to get people to want and like hearing aids.

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Jun
03

Marketing hearing technology to increase uptake — Part 1 (Theory)

Marketing hearing technology to increase uptake - part 1

This is PART 1 of a series of two articles looking at how changing the way that hearing technology is marketed can increase hearing aid adoption, change the public's attitudes to hearing technology and better differentiate products and manufacturers in an increasingly homogenised market place.

In Part 1 we begin by looking at the limitations of the current approach to marketing before examining the principles and practice of a more effective approach that focuses on shaping consumer perceptions.

In Part 2 we will put the principles into practice with a worked-through example of a consumer-focused advert by an imaginary hearing aid manufacturer as a way of demonstrating one way in which the new approach might be implemented.

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Apr
22

Why it’s imperative we re-define the word ‘deaf’

What is the definition of the word deaf?

How would you explain the meaning of the word ‘deaf’?

The question is immensely important because how we answer it has a direct effect on our messages, which in turn affect Society’s attitudes towards hearing and deafness. The problem is that we are currently using the term ambiguously, which leads to mixed messages and confusion – both of which are counterproductive.

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Jan
22

How to get people to want and like hearing aids

Creating demand for hearing technology

One of the most widely-held myths in hearing care is also one of the most damaging. It's the belief that, "Nobody wants hearing aids, do they?"

This, perhaps more than any other myth, is responsible for holding back the entire from becoming as acceptable to the public as eyecare or dentistry, and it's about time we addressed this head on – because if we don't, we'll be having this very same discussion ten, twenty, thirty years from now.

In this article we'll begin by looking at where this myth has come and why it's essential to eliminate it from our thinking if we're serious about wanting perceptions to change. We're then going to learn about powerful, yet simple, tools that each of us can use to get people to want and like hearing aids. 

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Nov
27

How to resonate with how people see themselves and their hearing

How you perceive someone may be very different from how they perceive themselves

How people see themselves plays a major role in whether or not an individual considers themselves to be "ready for hearing aids", and yet we very seldom take this into account in the way we present and provide hearing care.

We are often so focused on trying to convince people that they have a hearing problem and should be wearing hearing aids that our communication instantly loses its audience. Our message lacks what psychologist Howard Gardner terms "resonance".

This failure to communicate in a way that resonates with how people see themselves is possibly the biggest contributor to why people delay seeking timely treatment for a reduction in their hearing.

So how can we change this? What do we need to do differently to avoid falling into this trap?

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Nov
09

The missing ingredient for increasing hearing aid adoption

What's wrong with this picture? What's the missing ingredient (and don't say hair).

Let's consider the current estimate that only 1 in 4 people (US) and 1 in 3 people (UK) who need hearing aids actually have them. That means there are more people who don't have hearing aids (but may benefit from them), than do. And despite the considerable efforts of hearing aid manufacturers, hearing care practitioners and charities to increase the adoption rate over the years, this statistic has remained fairly consistent.

We're obviously still missing a vital ingredient. But what is it?

Perhaps you have some ideas of your own. So before we go any further, how would you complete the following sentence:

"We can increase the rate of hearing aid adoption by..."

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Oct
24

Why we must never use the ‘S’ word in hearing care

stigma-of-wearing-socks-in-be_20170716-113004_1

Imagine for a moment that you come across an interview with someone who says, "We want to remove the stigma associated with wearing socks in bed."

What runs through your mind?

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Oct
19

How to rewrite an article about hearing to modernise attitudes

How to rewrite an article about hearing to modernise attitudes

Many of us involved in hearing care automatically assume that Society's attitudes to hearing care are inherently negative and believe this is the reason why many individuals will delay seeking timely treatment for any difficulties they might be experiencing with their hearing.

Yet ironically, by assuming society has such an attitude, the Profession has a tendency to communicate in a way that reinforces those very same negative attitudes that make the provision of hearing care harder.

In order to illustrate this, I have taken an article that recently appeared about a famous rock musician who is now wearing hearing aids.

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