Traditionally, the healthcare field has been one of the slowest to adopt new technologies – particularly when it comes to marketing. However, today, marketing teams across the medical industries have had to adapt to use omnichannel marketing strategies and tactics to remain competitive.
The big question every team must answer before their marketing efforts can yield results is what omnichannel marketing means in the context of healthcare.
Marketing healthcare devices focuses on establishing a personalized connection between device manufacturers and providers with physicians and patients. It must, however, focus on ensuring a seamless performance of the marketed devices and the consumable items they need. The best relationship perfectly integrates targeted digital, online, offline, and traditional marketing strategies.
Here is a summarized guide of the most critical elements of a successful marketing strategy for healthcare devices in 2022.
Today’s physicians and healthcare C-suite executives are ever-busy and have little time even to see one additional patient – let alone talk to a marketer. It takes effort for a healthcare marketer to engage and convince them why their devices are worth their time. It is harder today to invite these medical professionals and administrators to launch or for medical reps to corner them at their place of work.
There are tactics you can use, though, to reach and market medical devices to busy physicians.
1. Build practical physician buyer personas
It is critical that you personalize your marketing campaign to reach the right buyers. Even before you roll out the campaign, you should create buyer personas for the professionals you are targeting. For instance, if you plan on selling your devices to biotech manufacturers or physician clinics, you would need to create at least one persona for each target market.
According to HubSpot, internalizing the ideal customer personas humanizes them and makes it easier to reach them as real humans. Online buyer persona tools such as Vested make creating different buyer personas for your marketing campaign easy and fast.
2. Capture a physician or executive’s attention and engage them on the platform they consume information.
If you wish to stand a chance to engage a busy healthcare professional, you must find out where they get their news, updates, and other information. Professional physician networking sites such as Sermo, Doximity, Daily Rounds, and QuantiaMD are among the best places to find leads and engage physicians in the US.
3. Embrace omnichannel marketing strategies
The term omnichannel marketing refers to a marketing approach that involves providing potential buyers with a seamless experience regardless of their channels. For instance, your marketing processes must be consistent in digital and in-person marketing. Every interaction should feel like a continuation of previous channel marketing. All your marketing strategies, including referral portals, virtual sales, ABM, and digital advertising, should be centered on a central theme.
Omnichannel marketing is beneficial in the medical industry today. When planned and executed correctly, omnichannel marketing leads to a greater market reach, increased conversion rates, higher sales and profits, and improved customer loyalty and satisfaction.
4. Automate your marketing campaigns
It is a painful waste of time and effort to do the same thing over and over when you can use simple software to automate it. Marketing automation is a sure way to handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks easily and flexibly. Putting important campaigns on autopilot, aligning sales and marketing, and building leads and lists automatically are some of the most effective ways to automate your marketing campaigns.
There are many marketing automation tools you can use, each offering different capabilities and features. However, the right tool can go a long way to streamline your campaigns, save time and effort, and result in greater outreach and performance.
5. Leverage physician motivations
A marketing campaign will only be as successful as the accuracy of the buyers it targets. Aside from building accurate buyer personas, you must take the time to appreciate your target customer’s key motivations, such as the need to diagnose patients better and elevate the levels of patient care.
When you understand the physicians’ motivations, you can align them with your devices’ benefits to encourage adoption. The right devices and technologies must be easy for the physician to understand and should emphasize effectiveness, quality, and durability.
Marketing automation is essential to helping your team focus on the overall strategy and nurture highest quality leads. The various automation tools you can use in your marketing campaigns can be used alongside CRM (Customer Relations Management) platforms to simplify the process of building relationships with physicians. These sets of tools are essential for segmenting and acting on data to market to busy physicians.
As a medical device sales professional or manufacturer, you probably know all there is to know about the product. But how well do you know the end-user?
Build patient personas and create in-depth information materials
As with any marketing campaign, marketing to the end-user begins with creating a user persona and finding the best ways to engage them. Once you identify the prospective end-users, strive to understand their challenges and how the medical device will alleviate them. This step is critical for preparing the suitable in-depth materials the patients need to understand and use the medical device.
It is important to point out that there is no “average medical device end-user.” You cannot create a marketing strategy based on the general device user audience if you are to sell—instead, segment patients based on unique characteristics such as background, lifestyle, and healthcare expectations. You can further segment patients based on the company service line, location, and demographics and other custom segments based on the devices you are marketing.
Promote products using different channels
Marketing medical devices directly to the patient or B2C is not the only way to reach the product’s end-users. Other popular ways to promote your company’s devices include promoting products through physicians and medical device distributors.
As a professional marketer, you have to find the proper marketing channels to promote your products based on the target market. As a rule of thumb, always strive to find a balance between preferred channels and available marketing tools. The available marketing automation, segmentation, advertising, and optimization tools should guide you in maximizing your marketing efforts.
Today, it is necessary to automate as much of your marketing campaign processes as possible. When combined with customer relationship management tools, automation can go a long way to improve your efforts to market directly to patients. As you design your marketing strategies, remember that patients typically seek the most immediate and cost-effective solution to their current challenges.
Device Management, Maintenance, and Uptime Monitoring
The US medical device manufacturing industry is quite large; hence, the competition among device marketers is quite steep. In many cases, the best-performing devices provide the most seamless service.
When shopping for the right devices, healthcare institutions, physicians, and patients consider the devices’ quality, reliability, and efficiency. In this age of IoT and cloud services, buyers want devices whose uptime can be monitored in real-time – preferably locally and remotely – to improve the patient’s experience. The best devices guarantee full-time uptime and can be easily and quickly repaired when necessary to prevent or minimize downtime.
Connected medical devices typically use IoT vendor services to maximize their uptime. They also use a connected CRM to track and analyze data and automation tools to engage patients based on individual insights.
Do the medical devices you are marketing use consumable products such as catheters and testing strips? Do they need to consider if a disposable is a commodity and dependent on price? Are there alternatives to the official product?
These questions will help you design a winning marketing strategy specific to your product. For instance, disposable consumables that need to be refilled may need a marketing approach different from another with non-refillable consumables.
Linear vs. circular supply chains
The nature and types of consumables a device uses may also guide its supply chain strategy. Device consumables that flow from the manufacturer to consumers through distributors are said to use a linear supply chain. Those with many intercrossing lines between parties in the supply chain are said to be circular.
The nature of the supply chain for a medical device’s consumables supply chain has a huge impact on the most effective marketing strategy you should use. In some cases, they make it easier or more challenging to market to an existing device user, depending on the disposables it uses.
You must also ensure that instructions on when and how to order new disposables for a medical device are included in its information materials. This will make it easier for physicians and patients to order new disposables and consistently have them on hand when needed.
Closing the sale of a medical device to a physician or patient is rarely the end of the transaction. A customer relationship management platform is essential to segmenting customer data, generating reports, and automating all the consumable replenishing or customer support services.
Every medical device manufacturer or marketer must use new and better omnichannel marketing techniques to outdo the competition. Such platforms as Marketing Cloud, Pardot, and CRM tools such as Salesforce Health Cloud can help you streamline the marketing process of your medical devices and outdo the competition.
Visit Penrod.co to discover more on how to market medical devices or get help in choosing the tools to use in building lasting relationships with your target market.