DTCs have a habit of addressing sensitive consumer issues, often neglected by legacy brands. Here, DTC Daily talks to Sokratis Papafloratos (pictured below), founder and CEO of Numan, one such DTC business, which focuses on broadening the conversation around premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and hair loss. He discusses some of the challenges in changing the way brands engage with consumers around sensitive issues.
Can you explain why you decided to set up Numan?
I have a lot of male friends who I noticed were not taking care of themselves as well as they could have been, not going to the doctor for a whole litany of things. There have been huge strides made in what’s available to support men with their mental health, but not as much in terms of their physical health. So, I wanted to change that by encouraging and helping men take more action when it comes to their health.
Some of the most common male health concerns can have a big impact on men’s lives, but they don’t necessarily require a visit to the doctor or pharmacy anymore. Instead, they can be solved easily and conveniently online through digital appointments with doctors and discreet delivery of treatments directly to men’s homes.
With the brand addressing some sensitive issues, what has been your strategy for acquiring customers?
Championing real testimonials and reviews has been really important. This helps men feel less alone and more comfortable in dealing with sensitive issues like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
We’ve also created a collective of leading experts (urologists, psychotherapists, pharmacists, doctors) to break down complex and sensitive conditions into bitesize and actionable information. Speaking to our customers has shown that men don’t want to be ‘mollycoddled’ but given good advice from experts they can act on.
Traditional spaces like TV advertising is an important part of our strategy as it can make sensitive issues seem more commonplace, by appearing alongside things you enjoy like movies or sports for example.
We have also had a lot of women visiting our site, so speaking to the female market is something we want to do more of in the future. They can’t buy prescriptions for their partners, but they have a big influence and evidently want to help them deal with sensitive health issues and ultimately act to solve them.
How have you grown your team so far? What hires have you made to date and why?
We are currently a team of 15 with a range of departments – including web developers, marketing and a prescribing clinical team. We also have a collective of expert consultants (urologists, psychotherapists, pharmacists, doctors) to help give out medical advice on our site and social media. The team also includes partner pharmacies who dispense our treatments and laboratories who analyse our test kits.
How are you using the data collected on your customers to grow the business and refine the product?
Customer data primarily lets us figure out what new products men want available online and how to continuously improve our offering and user experience.
As well as analysing customer data, it’s important to listen to what our users are saying. Emails that directly ask for customer feedback help us figure out what new features we need to look more deeply at, including flexibility in terms of our subscription model. On the back of this feedback, we recently introduced the ability to pause erectile dysfunction subscriptions depending on our patients’ relationship status and sexual activity at different times.
What does the future hold for Numan?
We have had a big 2019, adding new product ranges, online consultations and follow up appointments with doctors. We want to continue this work and become a truly holistic, digital health clinic for men in the UK.