As a marketer, you know that you have to define your target audience before you start your campaigns. If you sell medical devices, this can be a challenge.
In most cases, your ‘usual suspects’ will be doctors and patients. Often, patients may ‘waste’ much of your paid media by clicking ads not necessarily to buy your product but only to learn what devices are out there to help them.
In most cases, even though they have done the research, they will rely on their doctor to get recommendations, which means that you should be targeting both these audiences.
But there are other personas that may influence the decision-making process. As important as knowing WHAT to say in your campaigns is deciding WHO to tell it to. Here are some additional buyer personas you could be targeting to increase awareness of your brand.
Gatekeepers / Decision-makers
Is your product suitable for hospitals? Are you marketing it to hospital administrators, board members in charge of procurement, or c-level personnel?
This is a large population of decision-makers that you should be identifying and targeting. Do your research, build a network of administrators, and identify key opinion leaders to whom you’ll convey your messages. Use statistics and numbers that speak to them (and to their pockets) – show them how your product increases performance, how it reduces patient complications or any other way in which it can reduce their costs while improving patient care.
Treat distributors as if they were your most valued prospects and create buyer personas that reflect their importance. Today, large distributors have more control over and are closer to end customers than manufacturers. Bringing them to choose you from among a pool of similar providers is not an easy task, but it is important and doable.
Do the homework. Study and learn what their challenges are and how you can help them sell more and grow their business. This can take many forms. For example, you could create a service support center dedicated to them that will answer their questions and resolve issues 24/7; or you could decide to develop a ‘lite’ version of your product that is especially geared to be sold by distributors.
Assistants, administrative nurses, support personnel.
In many segments, support personnel has direct (and influential) access to doctors, practitioners, etc. So, create the right message for them as well. If you have a customer service department, train them to become sales ambassadors. personnel that receives good service will not hesitate to recommend your company when their clinic needs to buy other equipment or upgrade the existing one.
Support personnel in clinics, hospitals, and the medical industry at large are very powerful as they can influence the decision-making process. Write content that is specially crafted for them, use the channels they visit, and help them sell more of your products.
So now your target audience has expanded. You have your usual suspects, doctors, and patients, but also other groups that may influence the decision-making process. While doctors and patients know what they need and you work to turn their preferences into a competitive advantage for your product, don’t forget administrators, hospital employees, distributors, and support personnel, all of whom can increase your exposure.
Obviously, each of these personas will require a different approach, messages, content, language, and channels. That’s where your expertise as a marketer comes into play.
Working with medical devices and pharmaceutical companies in global markets, we at Xtra Mile will be happy to share our knowledge with you and help your product effectively reach all your relevant target audiences.