How to Market Medical Devices and Medical Equipment
June 23, 2021
Tips for Developing a Low-Budget Medical Device Marketing Strategy
After the cost of manufacturing the product, marketing is usually the second biggest expense for most medical device companies. But that doesn’t mean you need a huge marketing budget to generate buzz and interest among physicians, hospital administrators, and other decision-makers who may be interested in your medical device.
The key to marketing medical devices, like anything else, is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. We aim to help you do that. But first, a few words about FDA regulations.
FDA Marketing Regulations
The Food and Drug Administration closely regulates the advertising and promotion of “restricted” medical devices—devices that can only be sold, distributed, or used upon the order of an authorized healthcare provider. However, FDA regulations are not as strict for devices with low to moderate risk. See this guide to learn more about the FDA’s regulatory controls for marketing medical devices in the United States. And if you still need to submit your device for review and approval, see our recent post on getting a medical device approved by the FDA.
Medical Device Marketing Strategies
Create Buyer Personas
If you’re trying to get a medical device into hospitals and clinics, or if you’re trying to get healthcare professionals to prescribe or recommend your device to patients, the first step is to make sure your messaging is crafted for your target audience. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to create buyer personas for each of the decision-makers you’re trying to reach.
Buyer personas synthesize insights into each target market’s motivations, concerns, frustrations, and opportunities so marketers can tailor their messaging to create more impactful and personalized content that has a better chance of turning a prospect into a client.
Connect on Social Media
If you don’t have a social media strategy in place for a new medical device, you’re missing out on one of the top channels for reaching hospitals and healthcare professionals. But don’t just take our word for it:
- 70% of primary care physicians and oncologists use social media at least once a month to explore or contribute to health information (source)
- One-third of surveyed physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants stated they would be likely or very likely to click on display ads if the content was relevant to their practice
- Approximately 26% of hospitals in the United States use some form of social media (source)
Having a social media presence is a great way to connect with administrators and physicians, but it’s also useful for reputation management. Addressing comments on social media channels about your device can prevent the spread of misinformation that might hurt buy-in and adoption. And if any healthcare professionals engage with a post, responding immediately can help keep them interested until your sales team reaches out to schedule a demo.
Create Compelling Case Studies
The medical device industry is growing, and that means more manufacturers are competing for the same business. One way to differentiate your device (and demonstrate its value) is to create a compelling case study.
According to Chuck Malcomson, a senior enterprise account manager in the medical technology field, case studies serve as the ultimate trust builder among medtech buyers:
“The medtech buyer looks to case studies for trust signals and peer recommendations to make a case for the reliability and credibility of your offerings. They want to know that your solutions have been used in the real world and have produced positive outcomes. Most importantly this persona looks to case studies to help them establish that your product or solution can provide an economic advantage over their existing systems. In the age of value-based healthcare purchasing, this last part is critical.”
Case studies, especially in the medical technology field, show how a device or solution reduces operational costs, increases quality of care, and impacts other outcomes physicians and health administrators are interested in when considering a medical device for their patients.
Present at Trade Shows
If you have a working medical device that’s ready to demonstrate, make sure you exhibit at least one trade show this year. Exhibiting puts your device front and center among medtech industry experts and decision-makers who can help catapult your device to success.
A few things to remember as you plan out your 2018 medical device trade show strategy:
- Invest in eye-catching booth accessories to help draw more attendees and make a good first impression (depending on the size of the convention, you may be competing for attention among hundreds of other exhibitors).
- Synthesize the main value propositions so you can quickly speak to the matters attendees are most interested in (i.e., patient outcomes and/or operational costs).
- Have a system in place to manage contacts obtained during the event and a strategy for following up with trade show leads while they’re still interested.
Considerations When Developing a Marketing Strategy for Medical Equipment
While many of the strategies mentioned above work well for medical devices, a larger piece of equipment presents different challenges. Often, you may be visiting doctor’s offices, however sales reps will also find themselves visiting healthcare professionals in large medical centers, hospitals, and other modern medical facilities. A talented sales representative understands the needs of various medical professionals and healthcare industry executives and decision-makers. Large medical organizations such as hospitals take the procurement process seriously and often have multiple stakeholders including surgeons, nurse managers, supply managers, and administrators.
- Utilize innovative methods to demonstrate the medical products – consider technology like virtual and augmented reality when it is unrealistic to travel from location to location with a large piece of equipment. Showing potential buyers your ability to meet their needs, even when difficult, can be your differentiator.
- Build a relationship and stay involved in the process – these are important and often very large purchases. Procuring important medical equipment can be a process of months or longer. It is a significant event in a fiscal year.
- Partner with a distributor – a third-party channel party can help you gain access to organizations in regions throughout the country that you may not have access to otherwise. They can help you provide a high-quality customer experience and help keep your costs to a manageable level, allowing you to keep pricing at an affordable level to your potential buyer.
- Educate the stakeholders – demonstrating your expert know-how in the types of medical equipment these healthcare professionals need in order to provide excellent patient care will show that you understand their needs and have a solution to their pain points.
A well-educated sales rep who can show healthcare industry professionals that they care, understand their daily challenges, and can answer all their questions is always in high-demand.
Outsourced Medical Device and Medical Equipment Lead Generation Services
Thanks to our extensive experience in healthcare appointment setting and lead generation, Intelemark understands the decision-making process medical device buyers go through – and we leverage that knowledge to communicate the value of your device to the right people at the right time.
Find out how a customized healthcare lead generation and appointment setting campaign can drive more leads and deliver outstanding results for your medical device company.