When it comes to medical device marketing, every company is different. Different ideas, different budgets and unique challenges. They all face the same overarching goal of ensuring doctors know about their products. This can be a difficult task. But to make things easier for you, I've created this resource – 10 ways medical device companies can market to doctors in 2022!
1. Don't sell, educate
Provide physicians with relevant and educational information about your product.
In the old days, medical marketing was about selling—a straight-up message thrown at physicians by a company. These days, physicians are way too busy to absorb this type of selly mess. They don't want to be sold to; they want helpful information.
So now it's all about education—providing insights that help doctors make smarter treatment decisions, providing information that helps them address issues in their practice.
For example, instead of telling you that "my medical device is faster and better than anyone else's" (which is a feature), tell docs why that matters to them (the benefit or outcome). It might be something like: "Your patients will heal faster so they can get on with their lives." Or "Your patient won't need to come back for another surgery."
2. Prioritize safety and ethics
It goes without saying that you should not make false or misleading claims about your product. While medical device companies are only expected to demonstrate substantial equivalence, the FDA will crack down on those who make dubious claims. While this may seem like an obvious point, it is a delicate balance when marketing new devices. So exercise caution, conduct plenty of studies and clinical trials, collect sufficient data to prove your points, and know the laws well before launching a campaign touting your revolutionary new device's benefits.
If your medical device is genuinely innovative and beneficial to patients, don't risk its reputation by lying about what it can do. This applies to you as a company and doctors in their interactions with patients: Know the ins and outs of your product well enough to honestly extol its virtues when talking about it with potential customers or referring physicians. If a doctor asks you whether the latest technology from Company X might be better suited for treating her patient's condition than your solution is, answer honestly rather than attempting to gloss over the competitor's merits just so that one more person tries out your device. You want doctors who work with you to feel good about everything they recommend for their patients—and if there are any doubts or concerning aspects associated with something that comes from you, word travels quickly in this industry!
3. Build trustworthiness with digital marketing
- Showcase your positive patient outcomes and testimonials. Let the world know if a happy customer has something good to say about you. Start with putting them on your website so that when a potential customer searches for you, they can see how great you are.
- Publish case studies and white papers. One of the best ways to do this is through publishing case studies that detail great patient results from using your product. These showcase your successes and demonstrate that you're an authority in the field and have expertise in medical devices.
- Build credibility with a robust website. While it might sound obvious to say "have a website," we mean more than just throwing up some photos of your products and calling it a day! Your site is often the first interaction someone will have with your company, so make sure it represents who you are well and shows off everything you have to offer as trusted product providers and industry leaders.
4. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with doctors
Doctors commonly use social media to seek educational content and stay abreast of the latest industry trends. Doctors also use social platforms to connect with key opinion leaders, engage with peers, and stay informed of available new products or services. With this in mind, your business should be using social media to its full advantage.
- Social channels can be used as a research tool to understand what doctors want from your products and services and identify opportunities for further growth.
- Your business should create and share educational content on social media, such as infographics that explain how your product works or videos from experts in the field who give advice regarding medical practice.
- Social networks can also help your business build closer connections with physicians via hashtags relevant to a particular campaign or event.
5. It's all about the content
It's no surprise that high-quality, helpful content is the foundation of any successful marketing campaign. But when it comes to marketing to doctors, the importance of quality content can get lost in the shuffle.
To be clear: great content is critical to medical device companies that want to market to doctors. I would argue that it's more important than anything else you do as a marketer. Content should be informative and educational; it should offer something new; it should address specific pain points for doctors in your target market, and it should be delivered in ways that are easy for busy physicians to consume.
6. Create educational materials for doctors to share with patients
Educational materials are a great way to provide doctors with the information they need to explain your offering to patients and answer their questions. Doctors won't have to take time out of their busy schedules to research and develop such content themselves with educational materials. Instead, they share it with patients when necessary.
The benefits of medical devices are not always obvious, so you must create educational materials for doctors that explain how your products and services can help patients. Such materials should be accessible for physicians to understand to relay information to patients in a digestible format readily.
7. Offer doctor-facing experiences
It would be best to keep them in mind even before they become your customers to appeal to doctors. That means creating experiences that allow them to learn more about the product and its effect on patients. This can take many forms:
- Offer training programs, webinars, and conferences
- Publish case studies that show how other doctors use the product
- Create a forum where doctors can share their experiences
- Offer online courses that educate doctors about the latest techniques
Or, for a more personal touch, organize small local events that give doctors a chance to network with each other. In any of these cases—and others as well—you'll be building trust in current and future customers, which will lead to stronger relationships down the line.
8. Create targeted sponsorship opportunities
There are a variety of ways to create sponsored opportunities for physicians, including:
- Sponsored events. These range from dinner meetings with speakers to large-scale conferences.
- Sponsored content. This includes blog articles, infographics, and videos written by the vendor and hosted on a credible third-party website (e.g., your brand's site).
- Journal ads. There is a wide array of medical journals in which you can purchase ad space. For maximum exposure, be sure to customize creative materials by specialty.
- Webinars and podcasts. In addition to sponsoring an event, you can also sponsor an online event such as a webinar or podcast series (or opt for both).
9. Make it easy for doctors to share their satisfaction with your product or service
In addition to sharing content with your audience, you should also provide your doctors with a simple way to share their own satisfaction. Share the success stories of other physicians who have successfully used your products or services. Create social media-friendly images that doctors can highlight their successes using your products or services. Give them testimonials and case studies about their peers that they can share on their websites, emails, and conferences. These messages can be shared via Pulse or reposted on a physician's profile when it comes to LinkedIn.
10. Know the audience and the doctor's needs
Know the audience and the doctor's needs. In many instances, marketers are unaware of the targets' current needs and pain points. Learn about their daily challenges and how they perceive your brand. Conduct research to learn what is important to them – which will help you develop a better campaign plan.
The takeaways here are:
- Focus on benefits to your audience, not features of your products
- Always be thinking about how you can make your content better
- The internet is your friend! It makes it easier than ever to reach physicians and build a community around your brand.