Today's medical device manufacturers are in a state of evolution. Although they are part of a $350 billion dollar industry that provides products to a growing aging population, government changes to Medicare reimbursement and increased competition from foreign manufacturers continue to exert financial pressures on the market. While some medical device organizations have turned to consolidation to face these challenges, others are turning to improved marketing strategies to maintain their domination of the world market.
This does not mean that medical device marketers can become complacent. They need to constantly analyze and rethink their strategies in order to insure that they are reaching the widest target market possible. To support those efforts, here are five strategic options for medical device marketing:
- Increase emphasis on inbound marketing: According to the 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report from Hubspot, inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a significantly lower cost per lead than companies that rely only on outbound marketing. The average cost per lead for businesses which are able to effectively leverage inbound techniques can be as low as $135.
- Rethink the website: Instead of being seen as a place for making branding statements, today’s website is a hub of communication and interaction. Medical device marketers must look at their websites from the point of view of the target audience and make sure they truly reflect the “what’s in it for me” philosophy.
- Regular outbound communications: A business blog is one of the most effective ways of making regular informative updates to your website. It serves the purpose of providing helpful information to target customers, and can also play a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO). While the website pages may provide the nuts and bolts about the medical device, the blog can be used to provide the real education that brings the product to life. Testimonials from physicians and satisfied users, new research, press releases and other information regarding the product can all be easily touted through the blog.
- Maximize SEO opportunities: Because the new emphasis is on inbound marketing the medical device marketer must pay strict attention to SEO tactics to raise product awareness on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Optimizing for keywords, constantly adding content, and including a wide variety of information all add to SEO effectiveness.
- Be accessible: Although the social media world might seem more like the haunt of the young and tech-savvy, medical device marketers need to become very familiar with its workings as quickly as possible. According to the Hubspot report, 62% of companies said that social media had become more important as a source of leads. As more consumers, physicians, and purchasing agents turn to social media for information, they will want to work with companies that are already there providing information and engaging in conversation.
In order to protect their market share, prudent medical device manufacturers are studying the warning signs and developing strategic marketing plans now that will build their communication bridges with current and prospective customers.