We are eagerly counting down the days until we land in Denver for city number two of our four-city tour across the United States. Why are we doing all of this traveling? It’s all a part of our ETHOS Seminar Series, designed to bring business and ethics training to addiction treatment providers. Our next event will take place on August 25th in… you guessed it: Denver, Colorado.
Our enthusiasm for the series is matched only by our impressive speakers who are eager to share their expertise. Our ETHOS presenters have distilled their insights into powerful workshops for our attendees to walk away with actionable training they can use immediately.
To showcase the passion of our speakers and their knowledge, we are sitting down with each of our presenters to get a personal look at why this series matters. Ruchi Dhami, the Director of Research at Recovery Brands, shares what she will bring to the well-rounded lineup of ETHOS speakers.
Recovery Brands: You have an impressive background in research ethics within multiple areas of healthcare– what ultimately drew you to the addiction treatment industry?
Ruchi: When I started my research ethics career, I was heavily focused on creating processes and policies for reporting payments made by pharmaceutical and device companies to physicians. This is an area of medicine that, not until recently, was completely unregulated and created windows for greed, conflicts of interest, and ultimately harm to patients. When I was given the opportunity to join Recovery Brands and oversee our research and market insights strategies, I jumped on board immediately. Though the mechanisms for unethical behavior were different between my previous experiences and the marketing practices in the addiction industry, I saw an opportunity to affect serious change. The addiction treatment space is simultaneously rooted in deep tradition and finding its footing in an ever-expanding digital world. It’s fascinating, challenging, and provides a large canvas for immense impact.
Recovery Brands: You’ve helped establish the importance of reviews at Recovery Brands through your research on the benefits of transparency and consumer empowerment. Why do you think reviews are important not just for the client experience, but for a treatment center’s business success?
Ruchi: Reviews are utilized by over 80% of all consumers across every industry — whether you’re looking for a microwave, a home cleaning service, a restaurant, a hotel, a doctor, or addiction treatment, reviews help the vast majority of consumers with their decision making processes. Millennials are now the generation with the highest level of purchasing power in the country, and these digital natives are looking online for information, testimonials, and star ratings. Being an informed consumer has never been more significant, and thus, having a robust online presence full of reviews that are appropriately managed also has never been more significant.
For consumers, reviews help guide decisions. For a treatment center’s success and growth, reviews serve a multifold purpose. For one, reviews can illuminate strengths as told by a third party. It’s one thing for a facility to say that they have amazing family programming, but if an alumnus or a loved one of an alumnus gives positive feedback about family programming, it’s much more convincing to a potential consumer. Also, negative reviews provide an opportunity to correct wrongs. Facilities can learn areas of opportunity, correct them, and showcase via reviews’ responses how future consumers will have a different — and better — experience. All in all, reviews provide a free marketing platform, and with a little TLC, it can be incredibly powerful in a business’s overall growth strategy.
Recovery Brands: Your team has also explored what clients are searching for online when they look for treatment options — how do you hope to see online marketing evolve to address these preferences?
Ruchi: Transparency, transparency, transparency. That’s the key! Consumers, particularly younger generations, are becoming much more savvy because of the Internet. Addiction treatment is a significant investment of time, money, resources, and emotions. Consumers and their loved ones want to know what they are in for. Our research shows that of utmost significance is ability to pay. How much does treatment cost? Is my insurance accepted? These are some of the first questions consumers ask themselves when they seek treatment. This information is incredibly difficult to find. Whether facilities hide this information themselves, or insurance providers don’t disclose cost, the inability to find payment information is a deterrent, and makes the process of finding and booking treatment all the more daunting. Beyond finances, people want to know about what their experience will be like — they learn this through reviews. Reviews serve as a conduit to the future: the aggregation of several reviews create a picture of what the overall experience will look like for one individual. Honest reviews free from manipulation are critical to a digital marketing strategy.
Recovery Brands: How does the ETHOS seminar series align with Recovery Brand’s mission and why do you think addiction professionals should attend?
Ruchi: Recovery Brands strives to provide education and information about the ever-changing digital world. The Internet can be the wild west, and that can be incredibly scary to treatment providers who, without much knowledge about the digital landscape, are now being pushed onto the web as a primary marketing and growth platform. ETHOS aims to provide actionable items for addiction professionals to scale their business efficiently, effectively, and ethically — that’s right up our alley! For us, it’s all about giving treatment centers the tools to grow. A rising tide lifts all boats, so if we’re able to lay a solid foundation for the industry to evolve and adapt to new technologies, then I’d say that we’re doing something right.