Would a New Approach to Hearing Aid Marketing Boost Uptake?

Most hearing aid marketing does not resonate with me. Pictures of smiling seniors without a hearing aid in sight — what does that have to do with helping me hear better at work or in a loud restaurant? I think the industry can do better. In my latest article for Ida Institute, I explore a new approach to hearing aid marketing that would help lower stigma and perhaps even boost uptake. An excerpt from the piece is below. Read the full article on Ida Institute

Where are the Hearing Aids?

People with hearing loss are looking for information and solutions, not stock photos or unrealistic expectations. Hearing aids are wonderful devices, but even with them, communicating with hearing loss is hard a lot of the time. The people living with hearing loss know this intrinsically, so when the imagery paints a rosier picture, it does not feel authentic.

The best audiologists practice person-centered care right from the beginning — even as they are enticing clients to walk through their door. Credible marketing helps attract motivated patients who understand that both hard work and relief lie ahead.

Tips for Better Hearing Aid Marketing

Here are my tips for improving your clinic’s marketing. Please share your ideas in the comments.

Use realistic images

Instead of selling a fantasy, share communication best practices and other useful information on your site. This demonstrates knowledge and can be useful to both current and future patients. If the content on your site makes it look too easy, your patients are likely to be disappointed that the devices don’t work perfectly right out of the box like glasses do.

Lead with communication

Use your marketing to educate. One ad could ask, “Do you get the attention of your family member with hearing loss before speaking?” and explain why doing so is important: “Alerting them before speaking gives them a chance to prepare and makes it more likely they will catch what you are saying right from the start.” The image could be of someone doing exactly that.

Address issues that are important to potential clients

Focus on the problems people are likely having with their hearing loss and suggest ways that hearing aids can help solve them. In these COVID-19 times, content featuring the difficulty of communicating with people wearing masks or the challenge of hearing on a video conference call would not only ring true, but would also help potential clients feel understood.

Marketing shouldn’t promise the world, but by acknowledging how hearing aids can improve communication, you position yourself as a purveyor of solutions. And that’s what people with hearing loss are seeking.

For more discussion on each of these points see the full article

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter

Never miss a post! Sign up for email alerts. 

28 thoughts on “Would a New Approach to Hearing Aid Marketing Boost Uptake?

  1. Susan Berger – Blogging is one big experiment for me. Will it work? Who knows. I'll link websites that have published my essays and maybe I'll write original posts. My topics will be observations, points of view and life as I see it. I'm still marinating...
    Susan Berger says:

    Excellent points, Shari!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks Susan!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Why not approach younger people .I have had a hearing loss for years and thought it was mainly old person problem so did not seek help easily. I saw a clip of someone who engaged with others while camera was on his hat.Sort of like see the world as I do.People used to be irritated by me a lot.Now with hearing aids that is less so.Glad you advocate for us.Thanks for topic.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  3. I have been talking and writing about these unrealistic ads for hearing aids and cochlear implants for years. Ads that show people wearing hearing devices could help eliminate some of the stigma.
    Barbara Chertok

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for weighing in on the issue.

  4. These are very worthwhile points, Shari. Unfortunately, some of them are difficult to display in a single photo or three. But, definitely, more meaningful, refined, helpful messaging is needed in hearing aid advertising. It’s the rare person who overcomes what is put out there today and actually acquires devices and learns to make the most of them! Kudos to all who do!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good feedback. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Please note this must be an American site. As for as I know there is no captioned telephones or providers here in Canada. You still use TTY phones and go through an operator. I would love to be up here as my hearing is still going down. Please let us know about Canadian products.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Interesting. Thank you for pointing that out.

  6. Hearing ad marketing photos are generally unhelpful and it’s usually unclear what exactly they are trying to communicate with the photos that they choose. But I really don’t want to be manipulated by their marketing departments.

    I would really appreciate an unbiased (e.g., people who actually use the products) review of all hearing aids, their technical differences, pros/cons of each model and when to know if you are purchasing older & cheaper technology (e.g., Costco), as well as, how to compare costs & benefits and the best place to purchase the hearing aids and their accessories since I am usually paying for EVERYTHING out of pocket with NO help from the healthcare industry.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Ads promote stigma when they emphasize “invisible” hearing aids. A manufacturer told me they are just responding to demand. Well, demand will reflect promotion.
    The tiny hearing aids being promoted can’t incorporate needed features: t-coils have long been omitted from the smallest ones. Cochear implants now too. Loops in venues have NOT been replaced by Bluetooth devices, which remain grossly inadequate in large spaces. Change in that is not expected in the foreseeable future. New clients often aren’t told about t-coils and loops, or it’s not adequately checked that they heard. Too many learn too late.
    But Shari, I do appreciate you speaking out about so much with a voice that is heard more widely than most. I hope you will return to this topic and expand on it. It’s very important!
    Ann Karson.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for raising these important points.

  8. bluereadergal – This blog will be about books. Who does not like books? I have always loved books. Reading allows you to travel to whole new worlds. Everyone should read. I will cover whatever books captures my attention and share it with the world. Books, stories, and libraries are amazing!
    bluereadergal says:

    Marketing is a bit tricky. I think various hearing aid websites have some but not that much. I’ve been deaf all my life and I never really paid attention to the marketing because I just knew that I needed a hearing aid. Now they have so much more choices for younger children in colors which is great.

    (Twitter and Instagram do have various people who wear hearing aids, just got to look for it.)

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  9. Re accessories I got a Captel phone recently at the suggestion of my audiologist in Maryland after I complained about difficulties with understanding phone calls mostly from cell phones with bad sound quality. It is proving very useful in many ways and was completely free including a splitter as it shares the same phone jack as our still copper line landline and WiFi extenders in case we needed them to boost the WiFi signal you need for the phone to contact the captioning service.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      I am glad the phone is working well for you! Thank you for your comment.

  10. This is such a difficult topic. Whilst there are a substantial number of younger people who have a hearing problem it is an inescapable fact that hearing loss affects many people as they get older. As a volunteer speaker for the RNID in the UK I know that older people are often very resistant to seeking help because they fear wearing hearing aids will emphasise their advancing years – both to themselves and to others. If only I had £1 – or a $1 – for every time I have heard. “I manage!” They would rather ‘manage’ than admit they need help. The link between hearing loss and the risk of development of dementia (2x for those with mild hearing loss, 3x for those with moderate loss and 5x for those with severe loss) is often met with surprise but is definitely food for thought. I was one of those who put off seeking help for years but I can honestly say that I am extremely grateful for my digital hearing aids. I wear short hair and never attempt to hide my hearing aids. For me they are proof that I have a hearing problem and people respond in a very different way to when I asked for repetition before I got my hearing aids.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Great points. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  11. I found captioned phones pretty much useless. they don’t keep up with the conversation and apparently don’t speak “New England “ so many of the words are garbled.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is a shame. Quality can vary based on the skill of the captioner. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. I think Bee has a good idea. Why don’t we all talk about what we use and the good and bad things about them. Who is going to be more honest with us? By the way, I got my personal loop system to work on my computer!!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Congratulations! That is wonderful.

  13. I Agree with you. That would be so helpful. I’d love to see them compared. Need new ones but I have to pay for them and will not buy anymore until years of me reading and reading to make sure I can get better technology

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

%%footer%%