How to spread the word about your startup and gain customer insights
When Medicast launched in multicultural Miami, locals understood the startup's vision to provide house call doctors on demand, said co-founder and chief medical officer Sahba Ferdowsi. "A lot of folks here traditionally used house calls in the countries they came from," he said. But when Medicast expanded to California, Ferdowsi said, consumers there faced a greater learning curve. "We tackled that through traditional and digital media," he said.
In California, the Medicast team has used a combination of radio and television advertising, social media campaigns, and in-person marketing to get the word out about the company, Ferdowsi said. The startup set up a mall kiosk and participated in sponsored events and community service to meet locals face-to-face, he said. That on-the-ground presence has helped Medicast learn more about customer needs, Ferdowsi said. "It's been wonderful," he said, "the combination of having a community manager and marketing folks in Los Angeles that have created the awareness."
Here are other entrepreneurial insights from Ferdowsi:
Consider digital media -- "As a nascent startup, it's important to weigh the different balances of how much awareness you need for your product and how much traditional media you need," Ferdowsi said. Traditional media can be limiting in terms of analytics, he said, specifically in narrowing down the customers that are looking for your specific product or service. Ferdowsi said his focus has been on digital channels, such as Pandora radio, versus traditional media.
Seek understanding -- Ferdowsi spent years talking to people about the idea behind Medicast, but the concept went over their heads. When he met up with the man who became his co-founder, something clicked. "It was a breath of fresh air to have someone understand the concept," Ferdowsi said. That foundation of unity has helped the team build and grow the company, he said. "Whatever happens from there, we believe it's going to lead to the right direction," Ferdowsi said.
Take the risk -- The healthcare field is changing rapidly, Ferdowsi said, making now the best time to take a leap into entrepreneurship. "This is the greatest time for that," he said. Why now? "The market has proven itself," Ferdowsi said. Healthcare has become more of a service than ever, he said, opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs.