Q&A: Eyeing innovation

Bausch & Lomb last month launched the latest innovation in lens care solutions—Biotrue—that is formulated to work like the eyes, with three bio-inspired attributes. Drug Store News caught up with Chris Huels, senior brand manager for lens care at Bausch & Lomb, to talk about the company’s launch plans.

Drug Store News: What is the media plan supporting the launch of Biotrue this fall?

Chris Huels: We have a multimillion-dollar integrative campaign incorporating television, online, PR efforts, some consumer promotions [and] in-store communications to the consumer, as well as various elements of social media. We’re trying to get a significant reach with a particular audience—women [ages] 25 to 44 [years] who wear contact lenses. There is a subset of this consumer called LOHAS [lifestyles of health and sustainability], which is a slightly different demographic. LOHAS consumers are in tune with what they’re putting into their bodies a little bit more than maybe the average person.

DSN: How will social media be utilized to promote Biotrue?

Huels: Social media is a very large part of our campaign, both [in] reaching consumers and [in reaching] healthcare professionals. We’ll be utilizing some of the bigger names like Facebook and Twitter, but also looking beyond those social media platforms to a variety of forums—blogs, message forums, [just about] any site where we think our consumers are going to be and [will be] in a mindset of thinking about eye care issues. Just to build on that, [the Internet] is really key as both consumers and professionals are looking for advice; they’re looking for product information [online]. We’ve always known that word-of-mouth is a big part of how you get your message out—it’s always been one of the best ways to get product news out there. These social media forums have helped facilitate that word-of-mouth. Social media really has to be an integral part of any campaign today.

DSN: How are you educating healthcare professionals around the benefits of Biotrue?

Huels: On the professional side, we’ve got a sales force that’s detailing doctors in a variety of settings using some new technologies. We’ve been utilizing iPads, which has been a great success for us [as compared to] the traditional paper detailing we’ve used in the past. The iPad has made maybe a 35-point difference in terms of the doctor recommendation rates…. We’ve got some more traditional elements like trade advertising, print ads to professionals, online advertisements to professionals, doctor events and also, as I’ve mentioned before, using social media. More and more, healthcare professionals are online looking for information on new products [and] handling questions or concerns from their peers through these forums. So we’re continuing to elevate online interactions as a more integral part of our campaign.