The big question every team must answer before their marketing efforts can yield results is what omni-channel marketing means in the context of healthcare.
Marketing healthcare devices focuses on establishing a personalized connection between device manufacturers, providers, physicians, patients. However, it must 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 busier than ever. It takes effort for a healthcare marketer to engage and convince them why their devices are worth their time. It is more difficult than ever to engage these medical professionals and administrators in healthcare settings.
However, there are tactics you can use to reach busy physicians with engaging campaigns.
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.
Here is an example of a persona document for a physician.
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.
The first step of engaging busy healthcare professionals is discovering where they get their news, industry 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 United States.
3. Embrace omni-channel marketing strategies
The term “omni-channel marketing” refers to a marketing approach that involves providing potential buyers with a seamless experience in a channel-agnostic manner. 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 – and leverage your brand equity.
Omni-channel marketing is incredibly powerful in the medical industry today. When planned and executed correctly, omni-channel marketing leads to an expanded market reach, increased conversion rates, higher sales and profits, and heightened customer loyalty.
4. Automate marketing campaigns
It’s a waste of time and effort to do the same thing over and over again when you can use software to automate it. Marketing automation is a scalable way to handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks with ease and flexibly. Putting important campaigns on autopilot, aligning sales and marketing, and building lead 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.
For B2B marketing that doesn’t have stringent HIPAA requirements, we recommend Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot). In cases where patient interactions are required, Marketing Cloud Engagement is an ideal tool for building robust patient journeys.
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 and priorities, 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.
- Balance goals of devices with goals of care
- Shared decision making with the patient
- Prolonging life, maximizing comfort, maintaining health
- Engaging patients with personalized offerings
- Maintaining staff satisfaction to reduce onboarding costs
- Improving the ability to diagnose patients
- Elevating levels of patient care
- Provide user-friendly technologies that encourage adoption
- Brands that have a reputation for durability and quality
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 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 help you 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 improving your B2C marketing efforts. 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 and competitive. In many cases, the biggest competitive differentiator is service quality.
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 in order to improve patient experience. The best devices guarantee full-time uptime and can be easily and quickly repaired when necessary to prevent and 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 chain
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 that rely on complicated relationships 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 collateral. 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.
Marketers at medical device manufacturers must use the latest omnichannel marketing techniques to remain competitive. Platforms as Marketing Cloud Engagement, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), and CRM tools such as Salesforce Health Cloud can help you streamline your marketing processes and meet your KPIs.