The 2nd annual MedDev eMarketing Summit commenced in San Diego last week, and it was filled with over 20 educational sessions and 15 key opinion leaders that shared their expertise on Marketing’s role in the medical device industry. With the overall theme of how to effectively initiate and leverage a digital marketing campaign for product and brand success, several key takeaways came to surface:
Marketers Must Adapt to Changing Times
The healthcare landscape is changing, and with that, marketers must adapt to the changes happening around them. Today, the healthcare industry has a world of customers; it’s not only about marketing to providers or hospitals, but also to patients, executive boards, and regulators.
This is especially true of marketing to patients, as they are becoming more involved in managing their own health. Because of the increasing out-of-pocket (OOP) costs they’re now responsible for, patients are more involved than ever when it comes to purchase decisions that affect their well-being.
While medical device marketers may have only needed data and clinical proof to sell a device back in the day, they now need a lot more to remain relevant in a competitive market. A buyer cares about much more than a device’s features nowadays; they care about the benefits of one device over another—the “why”.
Patients, and even healthcare providers (HCPs), serving as buyers consider not just the utility of the device, but also the potential cost savings, the potential increase in quality of life, and the community by which they would be supported. Therefore, medical device marketers must adapt to the changing landscape to stay ahead of the competition and properly market to their various buyers.
A Symbiotic Relationship between Sales and Marketing is Key
Think of the Telephone Game: One person starts with a specific message in hopes that the last person in line will shout the same message after it has made its way through several exchanges. What often ends up happening in this game, however, is the message shouted at the end is entirely different than what was originally intended. Somewhere along the way, the message was misconstrued and improperly communicated.
Now think of what would happen if this occurred within the medical device industry, and a message was improperly communicated to a provider or a patient. Chaos would surely ensue.
To facilitate consistent messaging across the board, medical device marketers must work alongside their sales team(s). Driving collaboration and maintaining a strategic relationship between Sales and Marketing is a critical success factor for any organization, but especially critical for medical device companies. Not only will this alignment help in building a streamlined HCP and patient engagement strategy, it will also ensure that the right message is delivered to the right person, at the right time.
Content is King (or Queen)
To appropriately adapt to changing times, medical device marketers need to understand the importance of content. Not just content on a website, or in an email campaign, or at a conference, but the true meat of a comprehensive content strategy, and what it means for their multiple buyers.
To create a winning content strategy that appeals to different buyers, medical device marketers must do the following:
Create their buyer personas
Understand their buyers’ journeys
Determine goals and targets at each phase
Develop content at every stage
Build a balanced funnel of content
Generate paths for progressive engagement
With a clearly defined strategy, medical device marketers will be able to establish thought leadership and create a collaborative experience across the organization and for their buyers.
However, medical device marketers that create content solely focused on the utility and surface-level benefits of their products will completely miss the mark in this changing landscape. As mentioned above, buyers today care about other factors when making a purchasing decision, and those factors should be reflected in an organization’s content and overall marketing strategy.
This “ted-esq” style event was educational and thought-provoking. With the shared goal of improving the medical device industry, and patients’ lives, overall, it was great to see so many colleagues coming together to improve their marketing efforts.