Marketing for Medical Devices: 3 Steps to a Winning Strategy
Medical device makers face a steep uphill climb when introducing potential buyers to their innovations. The proliferation of devices—and competition—on the market, the unpredictability of in-person marketing and sales calls in the wake of COVID, and changing buyer behavior in the face of shrinking budgets and economic uncertainty present challenges to effective product marketing in the medical device field.
The solution? Medical Device manufacturers need to execute an engaging, multichannel marketing campaign that speaks to ideal buyers in the right place at the right time. It sounds like a tall order, but these three steps—and help from the right marketing management partners—will get you on the road to success.
Step 1: Know Your Primary and Secondary Audience
The first step in marketing a product is identifying who you’re trying to sell it to, then tailoring your messaging and outreach to their specific needs and values. For example, you’ll communicate with hospital systems differently than you’ll communicate with doctors, differently than you’ll communicate with individual consumers.
In marketing for medical devices, however, there’s an extra layer of complexity because no matter who your buyer is, there will be other parties exerting significant influence over that buyer, and you have to market to them, too. Say your buyers are the hospital systems. You’ll create messaging and outreach that speaks directly to their values — operational efficiency, increased margins, etc. But you also know that the doctors, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals will significantly influence what the hospital purchases. So, you’ll have to develop messaging for them — focusing on patient outcomes, quality of care, etc. — that inspires them to be a champion or an influencer of your product to the decision-maker – or ultimate buyer.
Or maybe your devices are sold directly to patients, but you know their healthcare providers or even insurance companies will guide their purchase decisions. Similarly, you’ll create two layers of messaging: one geared to the consumer’s purchase and the other to help influencers encourage their patients to make the purchase.
In short, the first step to creating a powerful marketing campaign is to understand who you’re targeting and why, so you can speak to the needs of both the ultimate decision-maker and the major influencers.
Step 2: Develop & Execute a Multichannel Marketing Campaign
Once you know who you’re targeting — and you’ve crafted the messaging that will capture their attention and drive them down the funnel from awareness to purchase — it’s time to identify where you’ll meet those buyers and influencers.
This strategy will include the traditional, in-person sales calls that come to mind right away when we talk about medical devices and pharmaceutical marketing. Still, those will be just one part of a proper multichannel marketing campaign. You’ll devise materials—brochures, informational packets, and swag—for sales reps to put in doctors’ hands. You will also develop online outreach, direct mail campaigns, and signage for retail pharmacies and drugstores (for a B2C audience).
Why is this holistic outreach so important? Because people are busy. They don’t always read that email, save that postcard, or click the link in that tweet, but it starts to stick as they’re exposed to the same messaging on various platforms. And the research proves it: According to Swrve, an integrated multichannel marketing program can deliver revenue uplift in the range of 15 to 35 percent, and according to Heinz Marketing, marketers who integrate multiple channels are more than twice as likely to report higher marketing effectiveness vs. using those using fewer channels with less integration. (Learn more about the “why” behind multichannel marketing campaigns in part 1 of our two-part series.)
Creating a central, digital asset repository is imperative to preserve brand integrity and empower every marketer to reach their unique audiences. Of course, when there are lots of cooks in the medical device marketing kitchen — reps covering different territories, storefronts across the country, etc. — coordinating a consistent, effective multichannel marketing campaign can be easier said than done. Stocked with the latest pre-approved collateral and easy-to-customize templates, a platform like OneTouchPoint’s U.Connect makes it easy for every marketer to take ownership of these campaigns — without national marketing leaders having to micromanage every single communication on every single platform.
Step 3: Produce & Distribute Printed Materials and Promotional Items
A multichannel marketing campaign does include all the printed materials that come to mind when we think about medical marketing—plus more. And it’s just as critical to ensure these are produced and distributed in a way that highlights, rather than undermines, the meticulous quality standards that have gone into researching, approving, and manufacturing your medical device.
Here’s the good news: no medical device manufacturer needs to take on that production and distribution in-house or alone. Outsourcing print production to a single-source vendor is a powerful way to save money, minimize waste, and ensure regulatory compliance at every turn. And OneTouchPoint understands the importance of sourcing promotional items to meet safety standards. We make everything from trifold brochures, and appointment cards to trial protocols, diaries, water bottles, tote bags (fully closable for confidentiality, of course), and other swag reps will leave with doctors’ offices and hospitals.
A lot goes into successful marketing for medical devices, and with all of the other hoops manufacturers are jumping through — from research and development to approval and production — finding the resources and bandwidth to design and execute multichannel marketing campaigns can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, OneTouchPoint is here to help. As a single-source distributed marketing partner, we are dedicated to empowering our clients to streamline all the logistics involved in medical device marketing and communication – all while keeping data secure. We handle the medium so that you can focus on the message.
We invite you to peruse our website to learn more about our U.Connect platform and print and digital marketing execution capabilities. When you’re ready to learn how OneTouchPoint can transform your medical device marketing efforts, contact us, or request a quote on your next project.