MedGadget.com recently interviewed Joe Hage, leader of the world’s largest medical device community. As a medical device marketing consultant, his LinkedIn Medical Devices Group boasts over 220,000 members. He had some very interesting things to say about lead generation, developing a medical device marketing strategy, social media and web development for medical device companies.
Although he felt that some marketing strategies for medical devices can be similar to those found in the traditional B2B and B2C fields, he did acknowledge the additional challenges of attracting the attention of those in the medical fields who can be influencers or decision-makers.
Changing established beliefs in the medical field can be an uphill battle. Chief among his requirements for successfully marketing a medical device is creating a compelling value proposition. The target audience, whether the end consumer or the medical professional, needs to clearly understand why this medical device is better, faster, more effective, or less expensive than currently available options in order to build up the necessary motivation to make a change.
Although he believes that social media is helpful in spreading the word about any new medical device, he adamantly believes that success must revolve around having something useful, relevant and helpful to say. Just letting the medical community or patients know that a new device exists isn’t good enough unless there is a strong rationale and steady stream of supporting information behind the claims.
How can these insights translate to those trying to create a marketing strategy to introduce a new medical device or reinforce the effectiveness of an existing one? A few thoughts would be:
- Think like a marketer, not a manufacturer: During the manufacturing phase it is crucial to pay attention to specifications and technical details of the product. But then the company needs to reframe its thinking in order to create a marketing strategy which effectively translates product merits into patient benefits.
- Know what is important to your target groups: This relates back to the compelling value proposition. Why is your medical device better for the doctor or hospital; what benefits does it have for the patient? This information must be presented in multiple online forums to appeal to the widest audience possible.
- Grab their attention: Use carefully crafted pay-per-click (PPC), SEO and digital marketing campaigns to attract the attention of your target audience and reel them in with your value proposition.
- Use social media appropriately: Just putting out Facebook posts or tweets about your medical device isn’t enough to change minds. Build a strong Linked-In group like Hage’s, find a social media influencer who can curate a thoughtful discussion on your product, or look for patients who can provide knowledgeable testimonials about your product’s effectiveness.
Medical device marketing presents some unusual challenges to those who are trying to implement it properly. Relying on experts who have a record of success in the field can help ease the transition from new product to success.