80 Leads in Two Days for Medical Innovation Startup

Tracy Thorpe and Wade Goolishian founded OR-6 to solve some of medicine’s most persistent and vexing problems. Their first product, Surgi-Sign, is a temporary tattoo that promises to finally end wrong-site surgery—but unlike previously proposed solutions, Surgi-Sign can do so without disrupting the workflows that surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other operating room personnel are often reluctant to change.

The Challenge of Breaking Through the Noise

Tracy and Wade have a lofty goal to fulfill, with limited resources: both still work full-time, Tracy as a professor and Wade as a physician, and OR-6 is entirely self-funded. Considering these limited resources, and a target audience grown jaded by decades of existing solutions that fizzled out, generating attention and traction was a challenge that required a very strategic application of marketing and communications principles.

The Ad

OR-6 has had a presence at several major medical conferences since its inception; but given the above challenges, and the multitude of other vendors at each conference, we needed to make an extra effort to grab people’s attention.

The best way to do so was through an ad in the conference’s program brochure. We arrived at the following ad, used during the OR-X Conference in October 2018:

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A few of the messaging features in this ad include:
* The headline: The headline is one of the most important elements of any marketing or communications piece. It must stand out from the information din constantly bombarding readers, and entice them to read further. A tried-and-true way to do this is by calling attention to the problem “Wrong-Site Surgeries”, and teasing a solution “Finally… a Thing of the Past!” — such teasing instills curiosity in the target reader, compelling them to read more.
* Highlighting benefits, not just features. Features are important, but benefits are what sell a product. So while it’s fine—and necessary—to include features in your copy, tying them into a benefit lets the reader visualize how said features will make their job (or life) easier. In this case, “A uniquely-formulated temporary tattoo” was the feature, whereas “Better Time-Outs without disrupting workflow” was the benefit.
* Product demonstration: Pictures are worth a thousand words, and nothing sells a product like seeing it in action (infomercial producers understand this innately). Since a video is obviously not possible here, its print equivalent, the “Before/After Image,” fulfills the same function of showing, not just telling, readers how the product works.
* Clear call-to-action: The call-to-action is a simple command, at the end of your copy, that tells the audience what they need to do with the information you’ve just given them—whether it’s to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, donate to your cause, or attend your event. It must be clear, direct, and unambiguous: in this case, readers know they need to pick up a sample at booth #510 so they can try out the product for themselves.

The Results

The conference was a success; visitors were constantly stopping by the booth, mentioning how they saw the ad and just had to see Surgi-Sign for themselves.

The ad was a big part of us being mobbed with visitors, asking for samples and pricing.
— ~Wade Goolishian, MD; Co-Founder, OR-6

In total, OR-6 generated 80 leads from that single two-day conference.

We are happy to have helped Tracy and Wade find a new audience for their innovative product, and are proud to count them as another satisfied client of Rooney Ink!