We’ve Moved!


Thanks for stopping by!  Please note, we’ve moved to a new home on the web: http://www.kbkmarketingandconsulting.com/Blog.  See you there!

-Your Team at KBK Marketing and Consulting


In yesterday’s post, I shared the first half of my interview with Mary-Anne Disimile, Product Director at Johnson and Johnson ASP, and a founding member of Professional Women in Healthcare (PWH).  As I mentioned yesterday, while interviewing Mary-Anne, I couldn’t help but think about the power of a network! I loved her insight and wanted to share it with all of you.  So, without further ado (and as promised!), here’s part two of my interview with Mary-Anne.  Enjoy!

KF: Have you ever come to a point where you realized you were over-doing it, work-wise?

Disimile: I’ve been in the healthcare industry for over 18 years, so, definitely. I was lucky, because at the time that I realized I was over-doing it, I didn’t have any children at home.  Because I was able to do it, I went ahead and did it.  There are certain nights that if I really need to, I’m going to work late.  I set restrictions for myself.  So, if I schedule something in the evening, I know I have to leave early, and I’m more efficient so I can leave on time.

KF: Describe a low-point in your career and how you overcame it.

Disimile: When I worked for Cardinal Health, I moved from New York and bought a condo in Chicago.  A little over a year later, they moved the company from Chicago to Ohio.  I had too much going on at one time, in both my personal and professional life.  I knew I wanted to go back to New York, so I just kept looking for another job.  I talked to everyone I could possibly talk to and pushed forward.  It also helped that I had a decent reputation in industry and people knew me.  It paid off.  Now I’m with J&J in California.

KF: What are the major influences shaping the healthcare industry and how can PWH play into that education?

Disimile: One of the major influences is technology.  It’s changing all the time.  Not just in terms of our ways of communicating with each other, but in the medical field as a whole.  Also, the economy is very key.  We have to take costs out of system.  It can’t just come down to price anymore; we have to show good value.  It works the same for PWH.  The amount of money to join our organization isn’t much, especially for the value.  We have to ask ourselves: What does it cost?  What does it offer me?  The networking alone is so valuable.  It makes your sphere is much larger.  It’s nice to have PWH to help you expand your circle, and your span of friends. I am proud and we all should be proud of how far we have come with the PWH organization.

So, Readers, what was a low point in your career, and how did you overcome it?  Please share by posting a comment below!

-Katie Fassl

For the Professional Women in Healthcare (PWH) Q2 Newsletter, I interviewed Mary-Anne Disimile, Product Director at Johnson and Johnson ASP, and a founding member of the organization.  With a strong foundation as an organization dedicated to ongoing development for women in healthcare businesses, PWH is providing a national voice and progressive leadership for women in the healthcare manufacturing and distribution industries.  Their mission (and one that I’m proud to be a part of) is to empower women to lead and succeed.  Their vision is a healthcare industry equally led by women.  PWH has grown to over 500 members, since it’s inception.  While interviewing Mary-Anne, I couldn’t help but think about the power of a network! I loved her insight and wanted to share it with all of you.  So, here’s part one of two, from my interview with Mary-Anne.  I’ll post part two, tomorrow.  Enjoy!

KF: What made you, and the other founding members, form PWH?

Disimile: As women we always work really hard, in our own little world.  There wasn’t the same camaraderie that there was with the guys.  [With PWH] it was so nice to finally have a place that you could fall back to, with people who had the same work/life balance issues.

KF: What is your best advice for networking? What works for you?

Disimile: I tend to be shy, and sometimes it’s hard for me to walk up to a stranger.  I have to force myself to reach out.  I have found that compliments go a long way in networking, and the reaction is always positive.  PWH has been great, because it’s another platform where you can meet people and find out what’s going on in the industry.

KF: What advice would you give women in our industry, aspiring to move into a leadership role?

Disimile: There are so many more opportunities for women, than when I first started.  Be aggressive, don’t be afraid to voice your ideas, and don’t let anyone else take credit for what you do.  Also, don’t burn any bridges.  Always try to be as good as you can to your employees.  Even when you have issues within the company, treat it as “it’s our issue,” not just your employees’ issue.  Finally, thank the people who have helped you.  A simple “thank you” goes a long way.

KF: What are your strongest leadership qualities?

Disimile: I’m a big time planner; sometimes to a fault.  I like to know what’s happening so I can be prepared.  I’m also very deadline oriented, and that’s helped me along the way; especially in managing a team.  If someone tells me they need something by a certain time, they know they’ll get it from me.

KF: What qualities do successful leaders share (in your opinion)?

Disimile: First and foremost, vision.  Also, treating people with respect, and being respectful of the people who work with you.

Readers, what advice has helped you, in your career?  Please share by posting a comment below!

-Katie Fassl

We recently had a strategy meeting with a client, where the CEO announced that we all needed to plan for a drastic reduction in the next quarter’s marketing budget.  His reason?

Our patient base goes down during that quarter!

Considering this is the client’s first year doing any type of mainstream marketing; we needed respect the clients concerns, all while being kindly persuasive and creatively open in our recommendations.  So, what did we recommend?  Maintain a strong presence in what is typically a down quarter of the year for health care.  Note: In our recommendations, we also had to consider that several competitors in the market are ready and waiting to capitalize on the marketing efforts of this client.

They were open to our recommendation.  So, onward we go with our ITM (Individualized Target Marketing) strategy.  And you know what? Patient base, referrals, web traffic, conversions, market share, and brand awareness are all up…and continue to grow, as I type.

How are you addressing budget constraints and the need to keep top of mind?

-Jan Beery

Recently, I joined a webinar on Health Care Reform, and its impact on the medical industry; conducted by Andrew Van Ostrand, Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), VP of Policy and Research.   Andrew is so incredibly well-versed on the reform landscape for our industry.

Here are a couple of key take-aways:

  • Expected revenue from the reform is $1.1 Trillion over 10 years.  Where will this revenue be coming from?  Fraud & abuse crackdowns, cuts in Medicare, and taxes and fees.
  • The bill will SPEND over $956 Billion over 10 years.

The question for our clients that remains is: how do you keep on top of a seemingly uncertain outlook?

If you’re a manufacturer or distributor, you’ll be one of many considered in contract settings.  Be out there talking about your products and services.  Why are you the experts, and what you have to offer?  Remember where we all go for our information (blogs, mainstream media, social networking, etc.) and have a presence.

Physicians/Hospitals/Long Term Care/Home Care, you have a lot to talk about.  Why chose you or your facility?  What sets you apart?  Talk about your quality care.  Engage.  If you’re not top of mind, you’re headed to the bottom of the list.

Now it’s your turn to really answer:  What are you doing to build awareness about your product, service, or brand?  What’s helped you to succeed, or what’s contributed to failure in your strategy?

-Jan Beery


Our group, literally walking through the vineyards, at Southbrook Vineyards

Every two years, our organization, PWH (Professional Women in Healthcare) gets together for an awesome networking event: a wine vineyard tour!  Well, 2010 was the year!  So, on July 15th we flew to Buffalo and made our short trek across the border, to join our international PWH members.  We were hosted at Niagara-on-the-Lake for two days.  These two days took us through seven vineyards of education, networking, and memories.

While we caught up with old friends and connected with new, I was given a booster shot of what I already knew: The power of the network is amazing.  We talked about family, careers, issues, struggles, outcomes and business opportunities.  We discussed everything from social media and changes in health care; to how one vineyard is succeeding as a biodynamic farm (and is forging an unchartered landscape…not to mention, it’s being led by an incredible woman).  Along our vineyard tours, we also learned how women are changing the landscape in a Chef’s kitchen; and finally, we recalled old songs from sitcoms of the past.  (Our group is one that loves to laugh!)

As I looked around the room to the many faces I’ve known for years, I felt emotional thinking about how inspiring these women truly are.  They’re the trailblazers of our industry, and I’m incredibly blessed to be one of them. In 2004, PWH was born to meet the needs of women in health care and Empower Women to Lead and Succeed in a male dominated environment.  This incredible group is where I turn for advice, support, input and encouragement.  Our careers all continue to evolve but one thing has remained: The power of the network!

Are you involved with a network? How has it chartered your business growth and direction?

-Jan Beery


I recently read an Ad Age article, that brings to light what we’ve been preparing our health care industry clients for.  Health Care Reform is a game-changer, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on.

The article talks about Hospitals and Clinics recognizing the importance of marketing, more than ever before; which requires increasing budgets to gain market share, awareness and presence.  Hospitals and Clinics are recognizing how important it is to position themselves as a “go to” for their treatment.

The article also discusses Social Media.  On that subject, Paul Matsen, CMO of Cleveland Clinic states:

It’s not replacing the web or targeted advertising, but it’s a great complement.  Social Media is the way word-of-mouth happens in the 21st century.

He also makes a point of saying you participate in social media not to gain new patients, but to be a resource for potential patients and referral sources.  I love that.  The days of a Hospital, Clinic, or Physician Group or Practice being successful on the merits of traditional “word of mouth” or referral based marketing are over.  We deal with this every day and explain it to our clients.  If you’re not talking about your practice or institution, who is and what are they saying?  Can you really afford to take that gamble anymore?

The bottom line, here, is you must build market awareness about your services, or you will soon find your competitors passing you by and your phone will go quiet.  All of your potential patients and referral sources are more empowered than ever before.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–Over 70% of patients have researched their physician or health care institution long before they make an appointment.  Are they hearing your message in the market? Are they able to engage with you in social media?

Don’t underestimate the power of appropriate marketing.  Traditional and social media work in concert with each other to help our health care clients continue to do what they do best: treat patients.

-Jan Beery