There are few industries as impactful as medical devices. Because these products can define an individual's quality of life, people need to understand why they can trust your product to perform better than the rest. That means that a bare-bones marketing plan will not suffice. Medical device manufacturers need well-crafted, highly-effective marketing plans to convey trust and authority to their target audience.
This article will outline the critical components of a high-impact marketing campaign. Let's get started.
1. Understand your customers
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who understood everything you said? A person who empathized with you and showed that they're here to help? This is who you need to be for your customers. You need to cultivate a deep understanding of their situation and needs.
So how do you start? The answer is research. Depending on how long your product has been on the market, you may already have data on your product's buyers. Even if you don't, there are plenty of sources that you can use to get information about who you're selling to and what their needs are. The goal here is to know who is looking for your products and why they're looking and what problem they're aiming to solve.
A few questions you can ask yourself to start are:
- How would my target persona describe themself?
- How willing are they to spend money on a new product?
- Who influences their decision?
- What are the biggest struggles they're facing?
- What are their biggest fears and pet peeves?
- What information do they need before they make a purchase?
While this isn't an exhaustive list of the questions you'll ask, it gives you an idea of how you’ll start to understand your buyer personas. You may have one persona or multiple. It depends on your product and your company. What's important is that once you have this information written down, you communicate how you help them solve their problems.
2. You need a defined brand image.
You can think of your marketing as a conversation between two fictitious people: your brand and your customer. Each of them will have a voice and certain things they need to hear to make their decision. Your brand has as much say in who it works with as your potential customer.
Knowing your brand inside and out helps you focus your energy on targeting the people who will get the most use out of your products. One common mistake that many companies make is spreading their resources too thin and trying to appeal to everyone. Instead, invest your efforts into understanding your products just as you know your customers.
Potential clients will want to know that they're making the right choice when they choose you over the competitors. That's why it's essential to understand what your company offers inside and out. For example, what do you have in common with your competition? What sets you apart? And what feelings do you want your brand to convey? Set your customers’ expectations of your brand straight and show them what they can and cannot expect from your products. This will help you save resources that you'd otherwise spend weeding out under qualified leads. It also helps potential customers make their decisions faster by giving them more information up front.
In addition to the technical aspects of your product, pay special attention to the emotions that you associate with your brand. Should they think of your company as trustworthy with years of industry experience? Or are you a newcomer here to solve a problem that existing solutions have neglected? Carefully chosen wording on your website and product sheets can help buyers see exactly what they can expect when interacting with your company.
3. Be specific
Now that you understand who you are as your target personas, be clear about what you want them to do. Each communication that reaches a target persona should include an explicit action that you want them to take. If a potential client is just learning now that they have a problem, don't jump on them immediately with a sales pitch. Instead, imagine what they're looking for and what you would need if you were in their position.
Vague or absent calls to action leave potential clients without a clear sense of direction. Think of your marketing plan like a map. Each piece of information you provide should lead them to a defined next step and, eventually and with them purchasing your product. Some people may start at different points on this map, but they should know exactly where to go and see that they can trust you to lead them to a solution.
Let's look at an example: Your target persona is just beginning to see that their x-ray detector can't provide the quality they need from their imaging in a short amount of time. The first thing they'll do is begin to research what is happening. More likely than not, they will find a blog post helping them understand what their problem is. A call to action to contact their sales department here would be premature. Instead, you could provide a link to download an ebook that gives them a detailed explanation of the topic. After they fill out the download form, you can provide them with information to show them potential solutions through an email campaign. Once they understand the solutions and are ready to choose, you can offer them a call and answer any remaining questions they have.
4. Don’t neglect the technical aspects.
When designing your marketing campaign, your first concern should be your target persona. However, your website won't just appear in front of them. It's crucial to understand how search engine algorithms work and ensure your site has what it needs to rank well in search results. A solid SEO strategy balances what the algorithms need with what your clients need. Too much emphasis on either side tips the scale and throws off your marketing efforts. Search engine algorithms are constantly updated and kept intentionally opaque. The goal of this is to avoid spammy content meant to artificially boost rankings and find better ways to prioritize quality information.
Getting started with the technical aspects of your marketing campaign may seem intimidating at first. Take it piece by piece, and don't rush. The first thing you want to do is understand what resources you have in-house and who else is available to help. Different types of software can help you scan for elements that may improve or lower your rankings, and some even allow you to make the changes within the program itself. If your team is pressed for time or doesn't have the resources to do this in-house, you can look at other options like agencies that focus on digital marketing to do this step for you.
5: Be willing to make mistakes.
High impact marketing campaigns are an ongoing work in progress. Part of the reason they work so well is their constant improvements. When you implement your marketing campaign, ensure that you're tracking every part of the process. Identify the most relevant KPIs based on your specific sales goals and track how they perform over time. The idea is not to get everything right on the first try but to be open to receiving new information and using it to get closer to your goals.
Once you've refined your existing campaigns, you'll also have a plethora of new data that you can use to develop new ones. With this, you can add more information to your buyer personas, create more relevant content, and show how your devices address new pain points in the industry. You can turn one successful marketing campaign into a comprehensive, outstanding marketing strategy by constantly striving for growth.