An effective medical devices marketing campaign always starts with a product proven to be beneficial for both doctors and patients. In recent years, the size of the market has grown exponentially. Data shows that the global medical devices industry had reached a value of over 425 billion dollars in 2018 and is expected to grow by almost 50% by 2025.
Together with the market size, competition has also grown. That’s why relying on word of mouth only is far from being an ideal marketing strategy.
So, how do you stand out in a crowded industry? A medical devices marketing strategy must consider how the different elements of your business interact to reach the right target audience. In this guide, we will show you how to set the foundation for a powerful campaign before exploring what the key aspects of medical devices marketing are. From branding to email marketing, we will address the steps to take in order to build a solid customer base that stays loyal over time.
Before you start: setting up your medical devices marketing strategy
Like every successful product, a medical device has to be designed to fulfill an existing need or solve an issue that has not yet been addressed. You may follow through on that lightbulb moment when sketching out an initial draft, but, if you want to set up a long term medical devices marketing strategy, you need to know who will be buying, how regulations work, and whether there are challenges you should keep in mind.
Before you begin with product development, prototype testing, and launch campaigns, you need to know your target audience , the size of the market, and how to reach potential customers. Websites like Market Research provides papers and reports that offer critical insight on statistics related to your field of interest, however, it is well-worth investing in direct surveys as well to clarify specific doubts you may have about your future clients.
Obtaining both a defined profile of your ideal customer based on needs, habits, and cultural background and clear numbers on how wide your reach is essential to finding investors and predicting future growth patterns. Moreover, knowing where your target audience is geographically located, helps you address regulatory constraints.
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Once you have sketched a profile of your ideal customer, you have to understand how they will find out about your product and proceed with the purchase. Defining the buyer’s journey is an important part of your market research and a key aspect of any medical devices marketing strategy.
The decision to buy a medical device is usually preceded by two separate stages: 1) the initial phase where a problem is acknowledged and 2) the research phase where the person is looking for a solution. Identifying how these two steps play out in the buyer’s journey helps you to access the appropriate channels to create qualified leads, promote and sell your product.
An efficient medical devices marketing strategy considers regulatory constraints from the early development stages. Regulatory constraints vary from region to region and, depending on how your product is classified, different rules could determine how and where it can be sold.
The European Union and the United States have different guidelines to establish in which category a product falls. The regulatory classification of a medical device is necessary to define the perceived risk of the product, but it will also allow you to determine costs you did not account for at the beginning.
By carefully studying the regulatory constraints of each market you will be able to develop a product suitable for target audiences located in different parts of the world. Since each market provides its own rules, it may take some time before you can reach a global audience, however expanding gradually is common practice in the medical devices industry.
Medical devices marketing done right: 5 elements to consider in your strategy
To be sure that your product reaches the right audience, it is important to consider all the components that make up a powerful digital marketing strategy for medical devices.
Branding affects the first impression customers have when they land your website or come across your products. A nice-looking package, however, is not enough. The key to effective branding is consistency across all your communication channels, meaning that the visual elements, the tone of voice and the design that compose your company should be recognizable in any situation.
When people buy a medical device, they look for a brand they can trust, but also for an emotional connection with the product itself. On the one hand, it is important to create a professional logo and a digital infrastructure, perhaps by investing in corporate branding to gain an edge over smaller competitors. On the other, it is essential to provide the customer with an experience through storytelling and visual components.
Web design and landing pages
The design of your website is an integral part of your branding, but your online presence shouldn’t just be memorable in terms of aesthetics. When designing your website, you should always keep usability in mind.
By applying a user-first approach you will ensure visitors understand immediately what you are offering, allowing obstacle-free navigation and direct access to the information they need.
By analyzing user behavior on your landing pages through heat maps and statistics, you will improve the user’s experience over time and direct potential customers toward what they need.
Email marketing and lead generation
Reaching potential customers online has become more and costlier over the years. Relying on organic searches, social media channels, and word of mouth can be time-consuming and ineffective, this is why your medical devices marketing strategy should focus on building a contact list you can directly reach.
There are various ways to build a solid mailing list with qualified leads. First of all, you should create engaging content and a user-friendly website. Capturing emails of potential customers can be done with pop-ups, chatbots, and distraction-free landing pages.
Once people have signed up to your mailing list, you can create an automated email marketing strategy with services like Mailchimp, Active Campaign or Klaviyo. By analyzing how users react to your messages, you can segment and diversify your communication according to the type of reader.
For a complete guide on how to manage your contacts and generate more marketing leads check out our previous article.
Selling medical devices isn’t like opening an e-commerce website. Using traditional means of communication is still a tactic worth investing in if you are counting on long term results. But what does this mean?
From training a sales team to dealing with distributors, being able to nurture your customer base and show that there are real people behind the business can make a substantial difference in a data-driven world. Making sure your sales team is aligned with your marketing strategy (perhaps by installing a CRM system) is essential to make sure every interaction with your brand is consistent.
Last but not least, SEO. If you want people to find you online, you need to create content that people look for. A medical devices marketing campaign that includes a content strategy is designed to intercept potential customers’ queries and address particular issues that need to be solved.
With a specific target audience in mind you will have to create content tailored to their searches and offer valuable insight in how you can solve their medical problem. Software such as Ahrefs or SEMrush help you determine the keywords that perform best in your niche, but a specialized team of copywriters will be necessary to create textual content that is both high-ranking and engaging to read.
Medical devices marketing for GMV: a case study
Last year, Italy-based GMV contacted us to completely redesign their website, together with the development of medical devices marketing strategy. GMV’s main product is Plexr, an innovative non-invasive device designed for “soft-surgery.” While GMV was offering a revolutionary product, it struggled to stand out against competing brands offering lower quality skin products.
Our digital strategy started with a full re-branding of the flagship product and the company, combining UX design with content marketing. We developed a growth strategy based on targeted ads and a funnel built with the buyer’s journey in mind.
Through our brand awareness campaign, Plexr managed to receive the attention it deserved and GMV succeeded in gaining a top position both in terms of recognition against competitors and in terms of exposure on search engines and social media. The complete case study is available here.
Marketing for medical devices, some final words
Medical devices are a category of products that require a specific strategy to reach a wide audience. With an expanding competition fighting for customers’ attention online and strict regulations that need to be followed to enter the market, growing can be a challenge.
Building a solid medical devices marketing strategy is essential to succeed. As we’ve seen in this article, after you have set the foundation by carefully researching the market and understanding regulatory constraints the different regions imposed, there is space for creativity. Branding, content marketing, and lead generation are all steps that will allow you to widen your reach in the long term. Want to know more? Get in touch, we are here to help.