My mind is a dangerous place. Make sure you wear a cup.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I need women!

Well, not like that, silly. Specifically, I need the opinion of women.

You see, I think I have a really kick-ass idea. And I need a focus group. And you are it.

Why specifically women? Because only women go to the gynecologist.

Okay, maybe I better explain.

Mrs. Fab is the practice manager for the largest OB-GYN practice in town. And, naturally, the company is a huge supporter of March of Dimes. For the last several years they have not only fielded a team, but have also manned one of the spirit booths along the route for the annual March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon. And they always go all out. Their booth always has a cool theme and is always voted one of the better booths if not the best each year.

But money is harder to raise than it used to be. Drug reps are more limited in what they can do, and it just seems harder and harder to raise money through selling the little stuffed animals, etc. The doctors also contribute money every year, but Mrs. F is fretting that they will not come anywhere close this year to the amount they usually raise.

Enter Mr. Fabulous: Visionary!

Everything these days is all about sponsorship. Sporting events are named after sponsors. So are stadiums. Why not have, say, the exam rooms sponsored by drug companies?

They have approximately 40 exam rooms. Have a sponsorship cost $2000 for one year. What that gets them is a plaque recognizing them as the sponsor, along with a listing of their products, as well as a line making it clear that all money from the sponsorship goes directly to the March of Dimes.

This way, assuming they can sell all the sponsorships:
  1. They raise $80,000 before they do anything else, which is more than several times what they raised during their best year
  2. The doctors don't have to make up the shortfall every year, which saves them money
  3. The fact that the money all goes toward a good cause would, I should think, take the bad taste out of anyone's mouth who didn't like the idea of commercial sponsorship
  4. The drug companies look good because they are publicly recognized as good corporate citizens

Mrs. Fab kind of likes the idea, but is convinced the doctors wouldn't go for it because they are not big fans of the drug companies or the reps. But I think they need to look beyond that, to the greater good. It's all about the babies and preventing birth defects.

So, my question for you, ladies, is if you were to go to your gynecologist, and he was doing something similar, what would your opinion be? Would you think the doctor was selling out, or going too commercial, or would the fact that it was all for charity make it okay?

What do you think?


Blogger Trinette said...

You think we're looking at the exam room doors? You need to put the damn placques on the ceilings!

9:19 AM  
Blogger Trinette said...

Oh, you wanted a real answer.

I don't think I'd pay attention to it one way or another. That any company was a sponsor for the MoD walk would be cool. But, as a rule, patients don't get to decide which products from which reps will end up on their prescriptions, so the ad part of the placque is probably not going to be very effective.

9:23 AM  
Blogger momma of 2 said...

I love this idea! (maybe because I think the March of Dimes is a great thing! - but anyway...) I personally would not be offended. I think they could send a letter to their patients informing them of their "project" and perhaps the patients would have a positive attitude and not feel that the docs have "sold out". Most patient's know that the doctors aren't going to prescribe a particular drug just because they happen to have a clock from the rep for the room... and have something on the inside of the room for they patient to read saying that their donation went to the MOD, as we spend a lot of time waiting in the exam room.

on a side note: I agree with Trinette - if you want a patient to read the plaque - put it on the ceiling.

great idea I hope they go for it!

9:46 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I thought about on the ceiling. That's not too tacky?

10:44 AM  
Blogger Suzy Homemaker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Trinette said...

Depends on the general atmosphere of the office. Some may be too upscale for it. But some used to put posters on the ceilings.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Chelle said...

Well, it's a great idea, in theory. I do think the March of Dimes is a great thing, but maybe someone else wouldn't? Not all people go to the OB/GYN for "baby reasons", some just need their insides checked Maybe some long time patient who has, say, cervical cancer or ovarian cancer, might feel that money should be raised for cancer research. Just sayin'. I, personally, would not be offended, but I'm always thinking about how someone else might feel. I think it's a fine line and it's one of those things where, you can't please everyone. If I sound like a complete dumbass, I apologize.

11:30 AM  
Blogger T said...

As far as caring wether or not a drug company sponsered a room... I wouldn't really care. We all know that doc's work the system just like anyone else to get free samples for thier patients etc, but at the end of the day they are going to use what works- they don't really care beyond that. Problem is I think there are laws in place as far as what they can and cannot give Docs - so there I have no idea.

11:31 AM  
Blogger CrankyProf said...

I don't even NOTICE crap like that at the OB/GYN office; I'm there to get it over with as quickly as possible, and forget the entire experience for the next year.

If the docs go for it, and the drug reps go for it, why not?

3:21 PM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I think it's a fabulous idea. No, seriously! Of course I'm from a marketing background, but I really like it.

...Trinette has a point, though. ;D However, on a serious note, it truly would be considered tacky to put it on the ceiling. Not that I've done any focus groups, but my hunches are most always right. UNLESS it would be a pretty picture with the sponsors logo prominently on it. Now that would work!!!

3:47 PM  
Blogger T. said...

I wouldn't notice something like that. Of course, it's a great thing to support the March of Dimes but I wouldn't even pay attention.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Indigo said...

It's a good cause and I'd spread my leg............ i mean.. ahem.... I'd support it fully.


5:52 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I appreciate the comments, ladies. Hopefully I can convince the wife to bring it up.

Hmm...almost caught PG working a little blue there :)

6:41 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I personally probably wouldn't notice and if I did I wouldn't care but that's just me.

If you want I can pose your question to an online bulletin board I belong to that's 99% women. They'd give me gallons of feedback, I'm sure.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

I think it's a great idea!

Not only are you Fabulous, but a visionary too?!?!? Lucky Mrs. Fab!

Anyway, while I think it's a great idea and I wouldn't be bothered at all seeing something like that at the gyno~ I wonder about the legalities of it...

7:18 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

I think it's a fabulous idea - and I would encourage sending a letter out that says two things:

* this is how we're kicking in (the plaques)
* if you're so inclined, here's how you can kick in.

That way, those who want to support their charity of choice can make other decisions. And I wouldn't worry about appealing to everyone's pet charity. You've picked yours; you've gotten people to pony up money for it. Let others take up the torch for their own cause in their own way...

8:03 PM  
Blogger Ms. M said...

Here's my two cents.

I like the idea. It would raise a lot of money and do good.


Docs will not like the idea as Mrs. F says. The drug companies or the reps may possibly begin to expect favortism.


Good corporate citizenship is important and the drug companies get such a bad rap (deservedly so) that I would imagine it might be something they would be interested in.


I would notice the plaques because I tend to wait for a long time in the exam room at my OB/GYN and I'm look at EVERYTHING on the wall. It's just me though, I'm naturally curious.

I say give it a try. What have they really got to lose?

9:26 PM  
Blogger Tenacious T said...

I wouldn't mind if it were for a good cause and March of Dimes ties in so nicely with the OBGYN.

I think the drug companies would do it - always willing to lend their name to a cause. But you are probably correct in thinking the doctors will be the harder ones to convince.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Dixie--That's a great idea! You would be my very best friend!

Pissy--Unfortunately, I think I'm one of thise misunderstood genius visionaries!

Betsey and M--You make good points. I told Mrs. Fab I would be happy to make the presentation to them...

Tenacious T--Stupid doctors...

5:51 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I think it's a great idea. I also think you should put them on the sure beats trying to make small talk while the doc is...doing his thing.


8:23 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

I think it's a great idea. Fabulous, if you will.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Stacy and Amber--It's nice to have someone appreciate my specialness!

6:33 PM  
Blogger June Cleaver's Revenge said...

I probably wouldn't pay attention, but I do love the idea of supporting The March of Dimes. I contribute to them regularly and if I did happen to notice at the doc's, I'd probably be pleased.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Okay, Mr. Fab. I posted this entry on the bulletin board I'm a member of and I'll let you know the feedback I get.

Dude, you owe me a nickel and a PopTart for this! Heh!

6:49 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Okay, I asked for opinions and got them. The overwhelming majority said no in a big way. They don't like the idea of drug companies possibly getting favoritism from the doctor and virtually all of them said they would like to see less intrusion in doctors offices from drug companies.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Dixie--Do I still owe you the nickle and poptart? :)

6:48 PM  
Blogger Prairie Girl said...

Yikes! I have a doppelganger. I wander off for a few days and I find myself replaced ...

Cool idea Mr. Fab, in any case.

The Original Prairie Girl

11:08 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

TWO prairie girls? It's madness!

5:18 AM  

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