Education is one of the tried and true tools of any medical device marketer. Putting your product into the hands of a potential user and showing him or her how a device benefits patients is one of the most powerful marketing tools available.
In-person training is effective, but not always practical. Technology, however, has made it easier than ever for medical device marketers to make available educational materials that can help sell a product.
A device’s manual can be a very effective marketing tool, but is often-overlooked as a marketing tool. Medical device marketers spend countless hours developing slick brochures, pamphlets, and Web copy, but physicians often require more in-depth information than can be conveyed in a brochure. The user manual can usually answer these questions and boost a client’s interest in the product.
Showcasing a well-written user manual on your product’s website gives physicians critical information on the specs of a device and whether the device will work with their practice. Marketers should always make a medical device’s manual easily accessible on a product’s website. This content adds value to your site, establishing the device's website as a resource for quality information.
All user manuals, however, are not created equal. User manuals should always be readily available on a product’s website, even if they are not particularly well drafted. If a manual is well-written, however, you should consider giving the manual a more prominent treatment on your website and using it as a marketing tool.
How to evaluate a user manual
Medical device marketers should take time to evaluate the device’s manual before devoting too much website real estate. If the manual has not yet been drafted or can be revised, the FDA offers an excellent guidance on how to craft a readble, high-quality user manual.
If the manual has already been drafted, however, here are some criteria you should use when evaluating the existing user manual:
Will the device be used primarily by medical professionals or will it also be used by lay people in the home? Is the language suitable for that audience?
Is there a clear table of contents? Is the contents logically organized and information easy to find?
Are warnings and other critical information clearly communicated in the beginning of the manual? Does it accurately describe the proper conditions for use? Are there summary pages with all critical information?
Illustrations and tables
Are illustrations clear and easy to understand? Do they clarify difficult-to-explain procedures?
Is there an alphabetical index with relevant topics?
Put yourself in the position of a medical professional who is considering using this device in his or her practice. Test the manual to see if you can easily gain information a potential client would want.
If your device’s manual clearly and quickly answers clients’ frequently asked questions, it is a valuable resource for clients that should be prominently featured on your website.