Article

BUSINESS: MERCHANDISING

EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN

CREATE PERSONAL CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR PATIENTS THROUGH ‘EDUTAINMENT’

I TRULY appreciate the constant creation of urban slang and marketing lingo. Marketing teams, who come up with words and concepts that adequately describe the world around us, in terms of popular culture, amuse me. Take for instance the phrase, “edutainment.” Definition: entertainment, (as by game, films or shows) that is designed to be educational (merriam-webster.com ).

In my office, we are always angling to make everything “edutational.” (See that? I just did it. Urban slang.)

How to do this? Read on.

A CHALLENGE FOR YOU

You probably already have some edutainment in your office, as many docs have educational video systems regarding the eye, eyewear, ocular conditions and diseases, contact lenses and special services. I challenge you to fully take advantage and use of these systems for your patients’ benefit.

This means not only running a loop on your reception-area television and/or exam room computer, but diving deeper. For example, you can actively illustrate so many modules as you walk a patient through his ocular anatomy and various conditions. Send those videos to the patient as well, via email, and post those videos on to your website and social media outlets.

The key here is customization. Although patients may welcome generalized education, personalizing your edutainment to their needs is much more meaningful and likely impactful. So, you might “edutain” patients in their early 40s with information about vision correction options for presbyopia.

A SOURCE OF EDUCATION

Contact lens companies have also enhanced the ability to educate your patients about lens options and technology. Video units, digital picture frames that play specific contact lens marketing and the support systems that align this all are now commonplace. (Ask your reps to help position this within your office.)

Additionally, consider creative programs that would resonate well with the interests of your patients (and possibly your staff), even if those programs do not deal solely with eye health and/or vision correction. One example is the Bausch + Lomb contact lens and contact lens packaging recycling program, which is offered free to patients. One of the biggest benefits is that TerraCycle, the recycling company, will donate $1 to Optometry Giving Sight for every pound of material recycled. Is this edutational? I think so — we are educating our patients about what we do, how we give back and what their role in this endeavor can be.

Edutainment can serve a variety of purposes, many of which are not self-serving, such as volunteerism or community involvement. The key is that edutainment initiatives should further your practice’s story, one that reaches your patients on a personal level.

Today’s patients want experience, want to feel a part of a story and want to feel part of a group or movement. Personal connections via edutainment are a way to bond it all together. Edutate away (See? I used it again.) OM