The two leading reasons for this are the increase in the aging population in the US, who consistently struggle with chronic illnesses and diseases, and government healthcare assistance, which means more people than ever are eligible for insurance and can seek out medical care.
Because of this, the need for creative solutions to challenges faced by the medical community has exploded.
No matter your device, you need a marketing strategy that positions your product to stand out amongst competitors. How do you do that? Read below to learn effective marketing strategies.
1. Determine Your Company’s Brand
When developing your company or wishing to expand your company’s outreach, it is vital that your sole focus not only be on receiving approvals on your financial and legal paperwork.
Of course, those are important — you want to be sure all of your practices are legal, especially in an industry that is heavily regulated.
However, after your paperwork is in order, it’s time to consider what the public (i.e., your target audience) knows about your company. The best way to do this is by establishing a solid brand.
How To Define Your Brand
How should you create a brand that represents not only your product but your company as a whole? Ask the following questions to gain clarity:
What is your business’s history?
Creating a medical sales company did not happen overnight. You have likely invested three to seven years bringing your product to the US market and millions of dollars into your device. Although the beginning of this process may seem like a lifetime ago, it is all the more reason to capitalize on the story of your origins.
Create a story that may engage prospects and patients alike, who are more likely to follow your story as you grow.
What is your business’s purpose?
Closely tied to your company’s history, your company’s purpose should answer why your products and solutions exist.
For many who develop these devices, no matter their specific function within the medical field, the goal is to improve patient outcomes and support the physicians and surgeons who are the most responsible for these outcomes. Make this a focal point of your company.
What is your company’s mission?
Often distilled into one or two sentences, your company's mission addresses what you do and who you do it for. Take note of what you have determined your purpose and explain how you are attempting to accomplish these goals and for whom.
What are your company values?
First, you should identify the following:
- How your device came into existence
- Why your product and solution exist
- Concrete steps to take to implement your solution
Then, consider the morals your company holds in high regard when trying to accomplish the goals mentioned above. Don’t be afraid to share them publicly.
Yes, patients and health care providers are looking for solutions, perhaps your exact solution. However, if they do not believe you are being transparent or your company is simply looking to profit, they will not trust or feel as connected to you.
This makes it easier for them to rationalize a no when approached with your device.
How To Implement Your Brand
Branding benefits not only your buyers but also your sales and marketing team.
When you prepare formal brand guidelines for marketing strategies and materials, ensure you include all copy and correspondence. As this information becomes more centralized, it also becomes more recognizable amongst your employees and audience.
When implementing these brand guidelines into your sales department, you help establish the tone and message you wish to portray during all interactions between your sales team, prospects, and current accounts.
Your brand should establish a consistent tone and message throughout your customer's sales journey.
2. Don’t Clutter Your Branding Efforts
Your brand goes far beyond the name and logo of your company. After using the strategies above to help define your brand, now is the time to look at how to use this brand to propel you forward.
Consider the following tips when designing material that supports your redefined or reaffirmed brand:
Keep Your Brand Consistent
Use consistent colors, fonts, and messaging in your marketing material, no matter the platform. This includes online messaging using:
- Social media
Consider this in printed materials as well, such as:
- Business cards
When weighing your options on fonts and colors, be sure they are easy to read and remember.
Use Related Material on Different Platforms
You aim to create a recognizable presence but don't assume that one size fits all when using different platforms to market your device.
You want to speak to the prospect who uses that source in their own language — someone looking for answers on a website blog often has different goals than someone scanning through social media.
Find a way for your brand to share the same information, but allow it to speak in different dialects, reaching more people. You don’t want the information to be the same; instead, you want them to be related, never veering far from your company’s mission.
3. Create an Online Presence
Brands are discoverable by prospective customers 24/7 online. Once you have established your brand, now is the time to find the right platform to advertise your device.
In 2022, 94% of buyers researched online before finalizing a purchase. Building an online presence is one of the most effective ways to develop your name and reputation within the industry.
One common way to increase your visibility online is to use social media. Not all social media networks are the same, and neither are the consumers they attract. If you target industry professionals, consider engaging on LinkedIn rather than Facebook or Instagram.
SEO is another useful strategy. When implemented successfully, SEO can grow your company's organic reach, saving you from paying out of pocket for marketing materials.
Consider using SEO when posting:
- White papers
- Case studies
Your online material should lead back to your website, no matter where it is shared. One piece of quality online content could help prospective customers return to you with questions.
This strategy uniquely positions them into the sales funnel by enforcing the idea that your website is a place they can find reliable, timely, and helpful information.
You establish trust within a relationship before ever interacting with the prospect.
4. Expand Your Target Customer Beyond Doctors
Previously, much of your marketing and outreach efforts were likely based on physicians, surgeons, and other medical professionals.
As time has progressed and the current state of the medical industry, you want to find a way to differentiate your company and your product when targeting specific prospects. This means expanding the profile of those you are selling to.
Consider creating multiple buyer personas rather than just one and tailor pitches with each of these specific roles in mind.
When developing strategies, consider what each person in each role is looking for:
- Healthcare providers (physicians and surgeons)
- Nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants
- Non-medical administrative staff
- Hospital stakeholders
5. Look Beyond Patient Outcome
In the past, patient-centricity has been the best way to connect with medical professionals. It’s been the common ground between the goal of physicians and your device. However, the decision-makers in these medical settings are changing.
When creating ways to approach and appeal to these professionals, consider the cost-benefit analysis and how your device will assist in stabilizing patient outcomes while also saving the prospect time, money, and other resources.
6. Create a Stream of Quality Content
As mentioned, when you create your online presence, you ultimately create a paper trail supporting your reputation. With doctors especially, they want to be able to reference what was said, what information they learned, and why they made the decisions they did.
By creating quality content online, you are compiling information for them ready when you approach them with the claims about your company and your product. A basis of trust has already been established since they have referenced your website and materials.
Your prospects may not search for your company or project immediately. They often search keywords and ask questions about common (or not-so-common) challenges they face.
By creating plenty of content filled with quality information and connected to your website, you have positioned yourself as a trusted and knowledgeable authority within the industry.
Lean into this trusted persona; you have already broken the ice with what some might consider cold leads.
7. Compare Your Competitors' Strategies
Those who work in medical sales understand that it is a niche market being serviced by a highly competitive industry. The way that similar tropes are used in writing but still can tell entirely new stories is how you should approach marketing your device.
Why should buyers choose you over your competitors? First, you have to determine who your competitors are and what their strategies have been.
Collecting and analyzing information based on your competitors in the marketplace to build a business strategy is referred to as competitive intelligence. You should review your competitors' tactics and note what is effective and what isn’t to help you better recognize your own angle.
8. Weave Story Into Statistics
It’s a fact: our brains are hardwired for stories. We are more likely to hold onto information that is presented to us in a narrative way than simply numbers and statistics. This can be a difficult balance to maintain when you are talking to highly-intelligent individuals.
But if you present your statistics without weaving in specific, real-life examples, your prospect will likely forget the numbers you presented as soon as they leave your presentation or meeting.
According to a study done by Harvard Business School, 95% of buying decisions are based on emotion. You should use this information to prepare memorable pitches better.
9. Use Relevant, Useful, and Timely Content
You don’t want to post just any content online and associate it with your company. Instead, keep current on emerging trends within the industry, new technological advances, and challenges healthcare professionals face.
To do this, be sure to attend or follow:
- Medical journals
Another suggestion would be to program Google Alerts for specific keywords to help you learn about relevant information and gain new knowledge in real time.
10. Find Medical Journals or Sites To Review Your Device
In the same way that you are constantly learning based on recently published literature from well-respected medical journals and papers, see if you can find literature that supports your product, even if it is indirectly.
The literature may identify a current challenge that your new product will address. Maybe your technology is up-and-coming with multiple uses and benefits.
In medical device sales, it's not only a suggestion but a requirement to stay relevant when it comes to new advances in the medical field. It’s also a requirement when you are a healthcare provider. If you can get your device featured in a medical journal, take advantage of the opportunity.
11. Be Aware of Changing Regulations
When working in the medical field, you should stay up to date on emerging studies and technology and be aware of when lawmakers change the rules or regulations governing medical and pharmaceutical sales.
Without a working knowledge of the changes, or recent implementations, your sales rep may misrepresent your device, and you are liable to heavy fines.
As much as we hope our product can speak for itself, that’s not how it works.
To promote awareness and interest in your device, you first need to define your company’s brand and position yourself as a trustworthy and informative entity that makes healthcare providers’ lives easier while improving patient prognosis.