Sivantos recently announced a strategic partnership and investment agreement with audibene. How might this impact hearing care professionals in the US?
audibene is the largest Internet portal dedicated to hearing care case management in Europe. They are based in Berlin; they have about 180 employees and actually three dogs in the office.
audibene is a very vibrant company that is focused on the online channel, specifically targeting Baby Boomers, who are currently an underserved section of the market. The average age of the people that buy from audibene is 61 years old. audibene is keen on addressing the desire of this demographic to look for information online before they make a major purchase.
Their value proposition is in their digital media, search engine marketing, and social media reach that draws people to their site. They provide excellent online content on hearing loss and hearing products. They have a very robust program with knowledgeable people answering the phone, including sales consultants, audiologists and hearing care professionals. It's a good combination of sales and clinical consulting, with the objective of referring consumers to one of the 800 providers in their network.
It's a company that's only two and a half years old and they have managed to create the largest network of its kind in Europe. Their providers are independent hearing care professionals that consult with patients, conduct hearing testing, determine hearing loss and select the right hearing aids for the patients. audibene pays the professional a fitting fee, and it's very much a process of several touch points with the professional and the patient to ensure that it's a wonderful experience for both sides. The idea is to expand this model to other markets globally. From a US perspective, we see this as a fantastic opportunity to drive leads to independent providers and to grow the market, especially from the underserved Baby Boomer segment.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from a full interview with Sivantos in spring 2015. Read the full interview here. Further information can be found at www.sivantos.com or at the Sivantos (Siemens) Expo Page on AudiologyOnline.