Marketing

Quarterly net unit sales of hearing aids, with the private/commercial market shown in blue, and the VA shown in red. Overall yearly sales percentage gains/losses are displayed at the top of the graph.
Hearing aid sales in the United States during the first quarter of 2015 increased by 11.32% compared to the same period last year, with nearly identical strong sales for both the private sector and the VA.
Figure 2. Same HIA net unit hearing aid statistics with an estimate of Costco unit volume and resulting sales for US private sector.
According to statistics generated by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), hearing aid unit sales in the United States grew by 4.76% in 2014—topping 3 million units for the first time in industry history. Hearing aid sales in the private sector increased by 3.4%, while the VA (which accounted for 21.6% of the US market) increased its units dispensed by 9.8%.
Figure 2. US net unit hearing instrument yearly sales, with the editor’s guess at Costco’s sales (in red, estimated at about 300,000 units this year, or about 10% of the overall market), VA sales in green, and the resulting effect on statistics for private/commercial sector sales.
The hearing aid industry will top 3 million units in 2014. Here is a review of projected 2014 hearing aid sales and a perspective on what the growth of Costco represents for the overall hearing healthcare market.
Catherine Palmer, PhD.
Results from a study published in the October JAAA indicate that the so-called “hearing aid effect” has diminished, if not completely disappeared, in the 21st century.

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[Click on images to enlarge.] From l to r: Alex Aubert, Solutionreach; Michele Ahlman, Clear Digital Media/HNN; Sergei Kochkin, PhD, industry consultant; Randall Baldwin, CareCredit; Dana Fisher and Karl Strom, The Hearing Review.
A special 1-hour seminar, “10 Winning Tips for Patient Loyalty,” moderated by long-time industry researcher Sergei Kochkin, PhD, included both established factors and new ideas for increasing patient loyalty in an era when repeat customers and patient referrals are vital to a hearing care practice’s survival.
Christopher Schweitzer
Christopher Schweitzer, PhD, examines word usage, and related confusion surrounding the PSAP terminology and designation, in the hearing health industry--primarily for hearing aid consumers. Relatively recently, the term 'PSAP' has been introduced and circulated within the profession to represent a personal sound amplification product, leading to consumer confusion. This unfortunate outcome is perhaps the reverse effect of the FDA's "Guidance" paper’s intent to clarify product distinctions.
BergerFig1
Effective marketing requires establishing benchmarks for successful efforts, collecting the data generated by your marketing tactics, and measuring their success or lack thereof through ROI analysis. Ultimately, ROI analysis provides you with the knowledge and ability to adjust your marketing plan to capture beneficial trends or eliminate wasteful spending.
The latest HIA statistics for Q3 2014 indicate good hearing aid unit volume growth. the entire US hearing aid industry has experienced a 3.9% hearing aid unit increase through the first three quarters of 2013 (2.5% growth for commercial sector; 9.3% for the VA).
According to the HIA, total hearing aid units dispensed are 3.9% above last years' figures. Commercial sector (non-VA sales) hearing aid unit sales are 2.5% higher that they were at this point last year; the VA's dispensing activity has increased by 9.3%.
Presenters and sponsors of the CareCredit/Hearing Review “State of the Industry” dinner in Orlando included Amyn Amlani, PhD, of the University of North Texas; HR’s editor Karl Strom and publisher Dana Fisher; Dan Quall, MS, of Starkey Hearing Technologies; Brian Taylor, AuD, of Unitron; and Amber Jacquez of CareCredit.
In Part 3 of this series, Brian Taylor, AuD, looks at the unmet needs of individuals with hearing impairment and the increasing importance of establishing deep, long-lasting relationships with your community, physicians, and patients through education on health issues—or what Dr Taylor refers to as “interventional audiology.”
ReSound profits
CareCredit and TIMS Audiology Software have announced the launch of newly integrated features that provide hearing practices with instant desktop access to program information and payment options that help patients get recommended hearing care.
Presenters and sponsors of the CareCredit/Hearing Review “State of the Industry” dinner in Orlando included Amyn Amlani, PhD, of the University of North Texas; HR’s editor Karl Strom and publisher Dana Fisher; Dan Quall, MS, of Starkey Hearing Technologies; Brian Taylor, AuD, of Unitron; and Amber Jacquez of CareCredit.
This week, in Part 2 of our 5-part "State of the Industry" series, Amyn Amlani, PhD, presents an overview of his research that involves the inelasticity of hearing aid pricing, the advantages of unbundling prices, and how smartphone amplification applications and devices for use as starter hearing aids may reduce the adoption time for consumers who ultimately purchase a hearing aid.
TinaSoika
As we consider present and future marketing tactics, we would do well to learn some important lessons from history. This article maps the customer’s journey—looking at Baby Boomers in particular—and reviews some points for engaging the customer of today.
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In terms of customer loyalty, hearing care professionals must find ways to eliminate saboteurs from their practice and substantially increase the number of apostles so that the latter comprise the majority of customers in a given practice. Here’s how you can do it.
Presenters and sponsors of the CareCredit/Hearing Review “State of the Industry” dinner in Orlando included Amyn Amlani, PhD, of the University of North Texas; HR’s editor Karl Strom and publisher Dana Fisher; Dan Quall, MS, of Starkey Hearing Technologies; Brian Taylor, AuD, of Unitron; and Amber Jacquez of CareCredit.
Last April, just prior to the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Convention in Orlando, The Hearing Review hosted a “State of the Industry” dinner sponsored by CareCredit that drew more than 100 distinguished audiologists and industry experts to see presentations on four important topics that are central to private practice hearing care from Karl Strom, Amyn Amlani, Brian Taylor, and Dan Quall.
shutterstock_161674859
If you are wanting to enter the search market and grow your brand—essentially crossing the Rubicon for the first time—you should know that, depending on your market, competition can be fierce. But a strong effort to grow visibility and differentiate your brand from those against the competitive backdrop is the surest strategy for success.

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Audigy has achieved a partner status with its online publisher. The online publisher’s partnership program is available to a select group of companies, which have hit certain thresholds in their advertising platforms, in addition to superior campaign management.
Karl Strom_photo
Commoditization and changes in hearing aid distribution are unsettling. Hearing Review Editor-in-Chief takes a look at the issues of concern in his July 2014 Staff Standpoint column.
Ron Gleitman opt
If hearing care professionals want to stay competitive and relevant, and attract new patients, they need to level the playing field. One of the most effective ways to do this is through differentiation. This article explores several key findings from a recent benchmark survey, and offers practical advice on putting these findings into action.
Abram Bailey, AuD
HearingTracker.com allows hearing care professionals to track their fitting-outcomes in real time and serves as an online resource for consumers to help them identify top-performing professionals in their area.
HAStyles1994-2013
In just over a decade, RIC/RITE hearing aids have taken over half the US hearing aid market. What implications does this hold, and will RICs continue on their unparallelled growth trajectory?