Successfully selling your medical device proves to your investors that you have a viable market and generates revenue. Both things that are crucial for running a successful company.
Most businesses generate sales with a mix of marketing and brand loyalty strategies, but these don’t always apply to medical device companies. One of the reasons is stricter Medical device regulations. In only five years, from 2005 to 2010, the FDA changed the time it takes to get approval for a marketing message from 90 to 140 days. At the same time, medical devices are becoming more complex and difficult to explain to customers. Many marketing platforms such as Facebook are also closed to some industries. This includes many medical treatments as well as companies showing before and after pictures. We will discuss effective methods you can use to sell your medical device, and pitfalls to avoid along the way.
Why do you need a messaging strategy?
In response to rising R&D spending, many companies are turning to commercialisation to recover their investments. Selling to consumers or pitching to investors requires a different communication strategy compared to selling to medical professionals with a higher scientific literacy. By not paying attention, medical device companies can find themselves being overwhelmed by misinformation or resistance to technologies that could greatly improve healthcare.
When customers don’t understand the difference between two products, they base their decision on price
Besides having a clear message, the platform you choose can greatly affect your results. Many social media platforms change their algorithms yearly or even monthly. Relying too heavily on one source could result in you hitting the panic button after a new press release from Facebook.
When customers do not understand the difference between two products, they base their decision on price. Try to avoid this since competing on price lowers your margins and undermines your efforts.
Use your website, because you control it
Perhaps the most important change you can make to your website is changing your homepage. The first thing you need to do is decide what actions you want visitors to take. Are you looking for them to purchase your product or just show enough interest to submit their email? There is no right or wrong format, as long as you engage customers. If one of your other pages, like your product page, has the most traffic or conversions, make this your homepage.
If one of your other pages, like your product page, has the most traffic or conversions, make this your homepage.
If you have more than one type of customer, it is worth spending some time tailoring a landing page for each type. For example, if you sell toothbrushes you might want a page for adults and one for kids brands. The closer your page is to meeting your customers needs, the more likely they are to buy.
This can also be done for different stages of your funnel. Someone who has just heard of your product might be interested in a video of how your product works, while someone almost ready to buy would be more interested in the price.
Use YouTube to show how your product works
Video is becoming more and more dominant as a successful form of marketing with 74% of traffic being generated from video in 2017. Besides catching attention, a video is an ideal way to talk your customers through your product, show every angle and explain the benefits. Including real customers in your video is a great way to build trust and show your passion for your product.
Videos posted on YouTube can be shared publicly or to selected people through a link. This gives you the freedom to embed videos on your website, post them on social media or simply send them to interested investors without revealing any confidential information to the public.
Use blog posts, not just press releases
Blog posts are a tried and tested method to drive traffic, boost SEO and engage your customers, but is rarely used by Life Science companies. You might be familiar with the endless stream of funding updates, new studies and press releases that fill most Medical device company blogs. As inspiring as these accomplishments are, they are not a great way to engage non scientists who would want to buy from you. Instead, consider adding content to your blog that tells the story of why you are making this product. Examples can be stories from customers of how the product has helped them, new features you have just finished or even reaching out to the community to ask what they would like to see next. Engagement is not just a way to build trust but also a form of market research for you.
Engagement is not just a way to build trust but also a form of market research for you.
Focus on the benefits
It is easy to dive straight in to the functionality of your device, but people make decisions based on how your product can benefit them. The quote “People have little interest in purchasing a bed. What they want is a good night’s sleep” helps put this in context.
Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to quickly understand how your product will make their lives better. Infographics, animations and icons are all great ways to get your message across.
Make it shareable
If you spend time creating helpful illustrations and blog posts, you want them to get in front of as many potential customers as possible. Sharing buttons such as “Share to Facebook” or Tweet this” are a great way to get more engagement. Because the content is now shared by someone other than your company, it also gets more credibility. 92% of consumers state that they trust peer recommendations more than advertising and you don’t need to pay for traffic.
Ask real people and split test
Split testing uses two or more versions of the same explanation with only one factor changed. Similarly to running an experiment, we are testing the hypothesis that one of the versions will perform better. The different versions are then randomly shown to the same number of people (your sample for each version) and they are then asked to explain how the product works. This is a great way to discover misunderstandings before you launch a new campaign or product on your website.
Focus groups can give you more quality answers since it allows for follow up questions. Ideally, an outside representative conducts the session since people are often hesitant to say anything bad about a product to the person creating it.
Don’t forget your packaging
Packaging is an opportunity to highlight benefits, communicate your brand values and entice customers to find out more. Done right, a great customer experience can reduce your acquisition costs by happy customers referring their network.
Both the practical and the visual details need to work together. From choosing the right size, protective film and sustainable material to accurately representing what is inside and how to open the box are all important in creating a great first impression.
Staying on top of packaging requirements also means you do not risk having your package design rejected before going to print.
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