We sat down with JP Lind of Axion Health to discuss the power of branded tradeshow merchandise and the success they had in acquiring qualified leads.
JP Says: "We know that when we show up with anything from Anthem, that it's gonna be highly desired, people are gonna want it, and they're gonna come to our booth specifically for that. I hate to say that, but in healthcare itself, people get very, very excited if there's something that looks expensive, and cool, and unique."
"I'm the executive vice president of marketing and business development at Axion Health. Worked with Anthem branding for 10 years. Yeah, healthcare is one of the fastest-growing markets right now. It is begging for innovation.
In terms of Axion, or our challenges were that we don't spend any paid advertising. And so promotional types of giveaways were very important for us 'cause all our dollars are sponsors, where all of our existing clients and prospects are. There is generally about five different conferences that we go to where the majority of our existing clients are and our prospects. And if you stand out and do something different in that environment, you're gonna engage your audience much differently, you're gonna get more traffic. And in doing so, you're gonna fill your pipeline. Which we filled $7 million of pipeline last year from conferences. So if you think about that, Anthem was associated with pretty much all of those giveaways, right?
Anytime we'd get feedback, we'd get someone to fill out a form, they were getting a really thoughtful Anthem water bottle, or a key chain or bag. And that came about from thinking about our target audience, what they would be excited about. And the people are like, "Where did you get that?" Like, "Axion." So people were coming to our booth because of the water bottle. And we had people coming up to us, our competitors saying, "How are you guys getting so much booth traffic?"
What I appreciate about Anthem is you guys took the time as you've done so in the past to really dig in and understand what differentiates Axion Health, how we think about our brand, what our core tenants and our core values are, and made sure that you reflected that in the promotional items that we were gonna be representing ourselves with at the conferences.
We wanted to get feedback for a new product that we were taking to market. And we wanted to get that from doctors. Doctors notoriously will not give you much time, they're very busy. We were thinking foolishly that it might be a good idea to give away a iPad to get feedback from them on a new product that we wanted to take the market. So as they came up and they started talking to us, we'd ask them for feedback, and in doing so they could win an iPad.
We didn't get any feedback. Well, they started looking at these really cool key chains that we got from Anthem that were genuine leather, had a really cool brass clip, and just looked expensive. And they said, "Can I have a key chain?" And we started to say, "Well, you can have a key chain "as long as you give us some information on our product "and give us your information." They did. We got actually 70 different feedback requests from the doctors to look at our demo, to give us very thoughtful feedback, and to put it into our database. And so that is an example of how we had not even intended to use the Anthem products to get customer feedback for a new product and really engage a new audience.
That worked extremely well. The cool thing was they actually picked up the key chain and they'd smell it. And they smelled it like this is genuine leather, and it was not a piece of garbage that they might get at any other booth. And because of that, they gave us their information. You're giving them something that they really want instead of having like a silly little bowl of candy or some sort of a pen that everyone else has seen. It's something that's cool. And as they walk around, other people see that product, and you're actually getting more traffic to your booth from people who wanna come up and talk to you. And because more people are coming up and talking to you, you kind of create this virtuous circle of a crowded booth, which we have every single time.