7 Key Strategies for Medical Device Marketing

February 24, 2021

These are the details you need to know to plan a high-impact medical device marketing strategy in 2021.

Due to unprecedented demands on healthcare continuing to impact the market, the medical device industry and healthcare industry are experiencing a massive increase in demand. Hospitals require robotic equipment and other medical device products to provide critical care to COVID-19 patients. The Baby Boomer generation is aging, and due to high-stress conditions, Americans are suffering from chronic lifestyle ailments which presents new opportunities for medical device companies.

IoT technology continues to present in health and wellness products designed with smart capabilities most consumers have never imagined. IoT device technology is also revolutionizing the development of implantable medical devices - revolutionizing the medical device industry.

As demand for medical device companies and technology increases exponentially, so follows competition. Concurrently, marketing teams across all industries now heavily rely on digital forms of marketing in place of traditional marketing strategies and marketing tactics, like events, amidst the pandemic.

Delving into today's competitive digital marketplace is a challenge for any medical device marketer, yet critical for the success of your medical devices. 

Incorporating these seven key strategies into your marketing initiatives in 2021 will help position your medical device as a top contender in a highly competitive industry.

 

1. Know your market. 

As a medical device manufacturer or sales professional, you likely know your medical device or product better than anyone - but, do you know your prospective customer? To maintain market leverage, be sure to incorporate the most recent buying trends in the marketplace into your medical device marketing strategy. This will showcase that your brand is up to speed on economic trends, demonstrate your brand's relevance and attract your ideal customer.

Wolters Kluwer's medical device outlook for 2021 and beyond, he mentions that “the global medical devices market in 2020 was valued at $456.9 billion, which is an increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% since 2015. Despite an expected decline of -3.2% in 2020, it is expected to rebound in 2021 with a 6.1% CAGR and reach $603.5 billion in 2023.”

Be ready to demonstrate this medical device market increase to your clients with proof in the form of market surveys, statistics, and studies that are specifically relevant to the clinic, private practice or hospital that you're marketing to.

2. Know your customer.

To create an effective medical device marketing plan, customize messaging to your ideal buyer – likely a physician, practice manager, or nurse practitioner. Besides being highly educated, the buyer of medical devices excels in the art of swift, smart, decision-making.

Doctors and other medical professionals are trained to choose outcomes with low uncertainty over those with high uncertainty. Your buyer, in this industry, is risk-averse by design.

Market research defines who you're selling to; whether doctor, patient, hospital, private practice, etc. More than likely, most of the critical market research to build buyer personas and identify their pain points has already been done by your organization before the product was available to the market. Refer back to this research to tailor your marketing approach to each buyer persona who has a say in the purchasing process.

3. Get their permission.

In the medical equipment market, you're dealing with one of the most educated and discerning medical professionals out there: the physician. For this reason, a ‘permission marketing' approach is crucial for any medical device marketing strategy to fly. 

Permission marketing refers to a form of advertising where the intended audience is given the choice of opting in to receive promotional messages. Permission marketing is characterized as anticipated, personal, and relevant.” 

An additional challenge in this industry is that marketing teams attempt to reach a client for whom time is incredibly scarce, to say the least. For your strategy to work, crafting anticipated and compelling content will be essential. 

A 2017 Gartner survey showed that 27% of time spent performing key buying activities is dedicated to independent online research. Only 17% of time is spent meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with any one sales rep may only be 5% or 6%.

More than anyone, physicians and supporting medical staff simply cannot afford to allow an interruption to break their focus on patient care, or take up time unless it serves a worthwhile purpose.

Content marketing is key. Offer high-quality content such as a white paper, case study, or clinical trial in exchange for an email, and you'll gain consent to market to the medical device buyer. Once you have their contact information, keep them engaged and informed with relevant and mentally stimulating content regarding your device through digital marketing strategies such as email marketing, banner ads, blog posts, social media content, etc. This is a true win-win situation.

4. Respect the buyer’s journey.

The medical device buying process is often referred to as a buyer's journey, in that the customer does not decide to buy based on one exposure to your product. It's not as simple as just generating leads. In fact, it often takes several impressions and more than one decision-maker to encourage those leads to click on “add to cart.”

Think of the buyer's journey as a framework to acknowledge your customer's intention to make a smart, well-researched purchase. Starting with self-driven, independent online research, the buyer makes stops on his route to consult each decision-maker, before arriving at their intended destination: the decision to purchase.

Behind the scenes, your marketing strategy should come across as the friendly, informative tour guide in this journey – providing relevant intel regarding how your medical device solves their problems along the way.

5. Understand your customer's problems and pain points.

Your marketing approach needs to demonstrate that you understand the challenges your customer faces, how those issues can be solved by your device and the importance of overall customer experiences.

Your marketing touchpoints should also speak their language. If you intend to market your medical device to a physician, engage them by framing patient benefits from their perspective and include medical language within their lexicon.

Doctors are trained to avoid and mitigate risk. If your device has the potential to replace an older device with fewer instances of complications than its predecessor, highlight this aspect with patient testimonials and clinical trials. A decrease in complications or side-affects will also result in fewer instances of malpractice lawsuits.

6. Optimize your content for search engine queries.

Your marketing approach needs to demonstrate that you understand the challenges your customer faces, how those issues can be solved by your device and the importance of overall customer experiences.

Your marketing touchpoints should also speak their language. If you intend to market your medical device to a physician, engage them by framing patient benefits from their perspective and include medical language within their lexicon.

Doctors are trained to avoid and mitigate risk. If your device has the potential to replace an older device with fewer instances of complications than its predecessor, highlight this aspect with patient testimonials and clinical trials. A decrease in complications or side-affects will also result in fewer instances of malpractice lawsuits.

7.  Be sure your brand is consistent.

For the medical device industry, client trust must certainly be earned. The first approach to gaining trust should be a focus on brand consistency. Your marketing message should be similar across all channels, without being redundant. The intention should be to express your brand amidst your website, landing pages, blog, social media and email marketing campaigns as if each digital representation were a sibling, not an identical twin. Consistency across all digital channels will also demonstrate that your brand knows its audience, what they are selling, and help to portray a polished and professional image.

The second approach to gaining trust is to showcase the relevance of your product. One way to do so is to place an emphasis on self-care and stress management. In 2021, consumers have a vested interest in self-care in all forms. According to Scheiber Research, “consumers are coping with stress and anxiety in myriad ways, many times referred to as ‘self-care.’ Google searches for ‘self-care’ have been experiencing a steady climb worldwide in the last five years but have reached an all-time high during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Design your Medical Device Marketing Strategy with Confidence

A survey across brands revealed that less than 10% of those surveyed adhered to formal brand guidelines for their organization. By establishing a consistent tone to your marketing approach, a content marketing and brand strategy, you could easily emerge ahead of 90% of the other players in the game.

It can be helpful to get an outside opinion on your brand perception across channels for clarity on how to best proceed with a medical device marketing strategy. SEO optimization best practices are constantly changing to acclimate to Google algorithms. Defining the most effective keywords for your niche can help you fine tune existing articles on your website for better organic ranking to find your ideal buyer.

For additional insight on how any of these services could impact your medical device or product marketing strategy, reach out to us at [email protected].



About Insivia

Insivia is a Strategic Growth Consultancy helping software & technology companies scale through research, brand strategy, integrated marketing, web design, and retention.

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