With the health market booming and expected to continue to grow exponentially in the future, companies are forced to adapt themselves to changing environments and reinvent their marketing strategies.
Here are some suggestions that can help medical companies decide how to best invest their marketing budget.
Leverage Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)
Medicine, medical devices, biotechnology, and similar fields are extremely scientific. The target audience is in most cases very well defined, and the personas are people that want to read scientific, well-founded materials that speak their language.
Using thought leaders that relate to the target audience is an excellent way to convey your message. You can use videos interviewing key professionals, testimonials, organize webinars where they speak about how your product benefits their practice, or quote papers where KOLs talk about the advantages of your technology even if they don’t mention you by name.
Itamar Medical, a medical device company focused on leading the integration of sleep apnea management into the cardiac care pathway, works closely with leading cardiologists to test their products and services and to provide feedback on how to improve them. Once they have had the opportunity to treat their patients with products, we ask them to share their experience and use their testimonials to create articles, blogs or videos.
We also have experience cooperating with KOLs to consult on concepts for campaigns, share their opinion on which creative would best catch the attention of fellow cardiologists and which messages would be most effective and be the best call to action.
Real-Time Marketing (RTM)
Your product may be excellent and unique, but perhaps there are many like it on the market. One way to gain an edge is via RTM campaigns.
With Itamar Medical, for example, we felt that the current social-distancing limitations are ideal for advertising a home-based solution for sleep apnea. Since many clinics are closed and people refrain from going to sleep laboratories for fear of getting infected, what better time to advertise a product that practitioners can give their patients to use at home?
Creating New Personas
Creating new user personas is another excellent way to market your products. The world is changing, and people are becoming more and more digital, even the most ‘old-fashioned’ professionals.
One of our customers, a large implants manufacturer, for example, has a method for developing digital images/simulations of implants that can be easily created in a 3D printer, thus enabling to develop very accurate drilling implant-assistance elements. Young dentists and general practitioners who have just finished their studies are the ideal target audience for this type of products as they will be proud to be at the edge of technology. At the same time, you can create a target pool of more ‘traditional’ practitioners to serve messages about innovation and joining the digital transformation revolution.
Education, Education, and More Education
As in all campaigns, creating awareness and educating your target audience are crucial. However, for many medical devices companies this process may not be as clear-cut as in other segments. This also depends on whether the specific product has an ‘obvious’ market or is a new product where a market has to be created.
If your product or company is already known or has a market presence and your target audiences are clear, the approach to educating them is relatively standard. Among scientific people, however, less is definitely more.
Start with a single sentence in a banner (for example, a quote from a scientific paper about sleep problems, or FDA statistics about a technology that matches yours). Then send the reader to a landing page where you list other findings from the study. At the end of the journey, make sure to give them the entire research or study so they can read it, educate themselves, and know that whatever you’re promising is indeed true. If the study piques their curiosity, their way to your products will be much smoother.
On the other hand, if your product or application is new to the market, you first have to educate your audience and tell them what the product does and how it should be used. You have to go into more details of why it exists at all. Sometimes, this means that you’ll have to tell them how what you’re selling is related to them.
Let’s take cardiologists again. Sleep problems are not really related to cardiology. But they can be ‘taught’ that poor sleeping patterns have a direct effect on heart failure. This means that your approach has to be to educate the cardiologists’ audience about a topic that is not directly related to the heart, so to speak.
Or tattoos, Lumenis has a range of tattoo-removal products. If cosmeticians today engage in eyebrow microblading and tattooing, who is to say they cannot remove tattoos in other parts of the body? The world of beauty is constantly expanding and growing, giving marketers an excellent opportunity to create new segments.
In short, in the medical devices field, knowing your audience and targeting campaigns is not as straightforward as in other industries.
You may also see the review of Xtra Mile on the prestigious DesignRush website
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