MarketBridge teams with SonoSite to tap physician office market

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MarketBridge, an integrated sales and marketing consulting and management services firm, has partnered with SonoSite Inc., a manufacturer of hand-carried ultrasound equipment, to bolster SonoSite's physician office channel sales in major U.S. metropolitan areas.

In a series of initiatives designed to double SonoSite's share of the growing physician office market, MarketBridge has deployed a combination of 25 field and inside sales professionals to market and sell ultrasound equipment. Combined with the use of Web-based demand generation and sales management tools, the SalesStream approach has created for SonoSite a multichannel sales program that expands market coverage at sales productivity levels significantly above traditional industry models.

"We have a solution that involves both outside sales reps as well as inside sales reps and an interactive component which involves Web marketing, opt-in e-mail marking and traditional direct marketing," said Tim Furey, CEO of MarketBridge, Bethesda, MD.

"We believe it helps pharmaceutical firms and medical equipment manufacturers who have been trying to get access to doctors," he said. "There is no one single panacea answer, but doctors will respond to the right type of inside sales calls and read targeted direct mail."

SalesStream is part of MarketBridge's performance-driven marketing solutions. Since 2004, MarketBridge has designed, built or managed over 20 pay-for-performance, multichannel marketing and sales programs for IT and medical technology clients such as Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Cisco, Siemens, Agilent, BT and MasterCard.

SonoSite is the world leader in hand-carried ultrasound. The company, headquartered in Bothell, WA, is represented by eight subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 75 countries. SonoSite's small, lightweight systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high performance ultrasound to the point of patient care. The company employs approximately 500 people worldwide.

MarketBridge's campaign strategy involves integrating marketing tactics, and campaigns include direct marketing, e-mail marketing, microsites and sales support to the campaign.

"As a result of the integration and the tele-support, conversion rates from response to sales have been above industry standards," Mr. Furey said. "About 30 percent of the response to our campaigns turn into demos and about 40 percent of demos result in a sale. Without the tele-support and qualification these numbers would be much lower."

Mr. Furey also said that MarketBridge's direct marketing response rates have been between 1 percent and 2 percent. For e-mail campaigns, the company has seen click-through rates around 10 percent.

"These are relatively industry standard," Mr. Furey said. "The power of driving to a sale is in the solid direct marketing and e-mail marketing integrated with telemarketing."

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