Radiation detection technology – A marketing perspective

With Kromek leading the way in breast cancer detection technology, it’s been a busy few months in post for new Digital Marketing Manager, Tony Hitchens. Having been tasked with building brand content on the website and raising the company’s profile across social media, we caught up with Tony to find out how his career has evolved and how he has adapted to his new role with the radiation detection tech company.

Last month Kromek joined forces with Newcastle Hospitals on the development of a pioneering breast cancer detection device. The project will use Kromek’s CZT-based SPECT detectors, which are capable of significantly lowering radiation doses in molecular breast imaging, greatly improving the detection of cancer in a significant proportion of women.

Tony explains “There are two kinds of breast tissue, one denser than the other, and in over a third of women, the amount of dense tissue makes it difficult for current mammography technology to clearly see tumours. To combat this, we’re looking at using low level radiation markers to make the suspect tissue easier to identify with our CZT-based SPECT detectors. As our detector is a light-weight device, the mammogram procedure will then also be a much more comfortable experience for women and will dramatically reduce the number of false alarms.”

For the next few months Kromek’s main marketing focus will be on spreading the news about this pioneering new device, and Tony comments on the plans he has in place.

So the initial news is out – what’s the plan going forward for marketing this new pioneering device?

“First and foremost, I need to define our message. Who is Kromek? What is our story? What impact does our technology have in the grand scheme of things? And not just for breast cancer detection, but for radiation detection across the board.

Kromek’s sell is ‘trust us to keep you safe’ whether that be through our work in the medical field or our security equipment – from the detection of breast cancer to the prevention of nuclear terrorism.

Our website will be the most obvious starting point, but as a multinational organisation, does our current website reflect our company in the way it should? If not, how can we change it so that it’s aligned to meet our business needs on a global scale? We need to make sure we look polished online. There is a wider project to create sharable content and ensuring it is search engine optimised and discoverable.

The next obvious thing to consider from a digital marketing perspective is the constant drum beat of social media – both LinkedIn and Twitter are primary for us as a B2B platform. Who is our primary audience? Who is our influencer audience? And who are all the other people around those that we want to have on our side? Who are the good guys to us, and who are the bad guys?

Moving away from breast cancer but sticking with the topic of content, I also believe there is a lot to be done around the topic of terrorism. It’s one of those subjects that many shy away from addressing, and as a company we don’t pass any comment when news of attacks is released. But there’s a lot for Kromek to talk about in terms of blog content around nuclear terrorism and the detection of radiation.”

Can you walk us through your career before Kromek – did you choose to go into digital marketing?

“I left university after studying psychology and fell into marketing as a career. I found myself in a job doing publicity for radio stations, finding volunteers for their programs and running a team – realising pretty quickly that it was effectively a marketing role. Various CIM and IDM qualifications later, bringing my business knowledge and expertise up to scratch, I’ve gone full circle back into direct marketing.

I’m quite old fashioned when it comes to marketing – it’s very much about the story and the communication in my eyes. There is no difference between marketing and digital marketing – anyone in a marketing role should be comfortable with the digital aspect of things. Marketing is marketing. The concept is the same; there are just different new and emerging platforms for spreading those messages and ways to connect to customers and stakeholders. The pace of marketing is admittedly faster, but the premise is the same.

On the flip side however, having the ability to alter and change so many things yourself via clever content management systems, as well as monitoring clicks and page views can all lead to ‘analysis paralysis’. You can find yourself faffing around changing colours and positions just because you can.

I’m now in a position with Kromek where I want us to be on the leading edge of marketing, producing content that actually brings in sales. I want to look at the stuff I’ve produced and really think – WOW.

I’m working with a great team of people and the potential for Kromek is in that they can control the way things are done. If you want to be in a business where there is a real chance to transform things, then this is the place.”

Tony is already well on his way to implementing his plans at Kromek, with their brand new website just launched – take a look here.