Let’s be honest — when it comes to marketing medical devices, the industry as a whole has been rather slow to catch up with the modern age. Although technologically, the products are truly something futuristic and innovative, marketing seems stuck in the past, where brochures and trade shows are the norm. Stock photos abound and online marketing usually consists of uploading said brochure as a PDF.
The truth is that it can feel uncomfortable to break out of that zone and try something new. Especially because regulations and compliance hang over you like a heavy cloud at all times. But you’ll want to break out of the mold, because doing things that your competitors aren’t is what will set you apart and still keep your message compliant in a way that perfectly reflects what your audience truly needs.
Here’s how to do just that:
Go Outside Your Industry
Sometimes it can be beneficial to look at what other industries are doing. How are they using their printed materials? What are they doing at events to stand out? How are they using apps and other promotional initiatives as an edge over competition? For example, you could help drum up excitement about a new product by hosting a pre-launch event — taking time to understand the core issues that doctors and physicians face in regards to the product and how it solves them.
You may find that they don’t view the issue as something as crucially important as you do, but it will still give you insights on what they do feel is important, and those insights might be surprising. Doing a pre-launch event in this way prevents you from going full-speed in the wrong direction, talking about facets of your product that would ordinarily create a disconnect between you and your audience.
Maintaining Regulatory Compliance
In an age where we can order takeout directly from our smart refrigerators, you’d think that medical device companies would be just as cutting edge with their web presence. But even live chat is highly regulated and trying to formulate a response in real-time can be a challenge.
With that being said, however, you cannot treat communications online with the same stoic approach. People go online, including physicians and busy doctors, to research and compare their options. Having set protocols in place in terms of what questions you can answer (and what you cannot) helps present the “ground rules” for a discussion.
Start a Blog and Publish to it Frequently
At least twice a week, create material about your device — but not sales material. Instead, talk about the issue that your product solves. Why is that important? Why should people care? What are they concerned about? How does your device help them solve that problem? What sets your product apart from your competitors’?
You may think it’s overwhelming (and maybe even overkill) to create a blog. How much can you talk about this device or product, and who will actually take the time to read it? You may be surprised to know that you already have the content in place. You may just have to delve into it a bit deeper than what a brochure does.
For example — share case studies and what the results could mean for doctors and physicians. Show how research and development is done. Show how affordable the device or product is compared to others or compared to continuing to doing things without it. Don’t forget to add in social media so that word can spread on its own.
Above all, the call-to-action at the end of your post is not to have them invest in your product (which they alone will likely not be able to decide), but rather to take the next step using the interest you’ve already generated — encourage them to download a white paper or to set up a one-on-one consultation with you for a demo or even just to know more about your product.
Getting Started and Standing Out
As you can see, marketing your medical device or product online may have its own unique set of challenges and certain hurdles that other products don’t. But there are certain steps that you can take that are worth the time you invest in them, and can reap rewards well after the initial marketing push.
To learn more or to get a custom strategy developed for your specific needs while keeping regulations and compliance front-of-mind, contact our senior advertising professionals here at Workdom today. Our specific knowledge about the medical device industry and what can and cannot be said in promotions is second-to-none, and our team has the skills and understanding to help you move your marketing campaign forward with confidence. Reach out to us today to learn more!