For marketers of medical devices, it has never been more important to engage directly with your patient consumer audiences. With an abundance of consumer-grade device competition, an overall focus on ‘care in place’ for aging populations, and even consumer interest in exploring devices as an alternative to pharmaceutical therapies, the momentum is squarely on medical devices, and consumers are paying attention. Even devices that require a prescription or are distributed through channel sales require the same marketing awareness, audience understanding, and loyalty building activities as their DTC counterparts. Let’s look at five ways that you can build greater engagement and patient consumer loyalty for your medical device brands.
Know your audience, and their ecosystem
You’ve likely heard me talk about personas and journey maps before, and they are absolutely essential to understand the pathways your audiences take to your product, and with your product. But do not stop there – think about the other audiences that exist in that patient’s world. For example, the clinical teams who treat the patient, the spouse or caregiver who provides support or services for the patient, not to mention the pharmacists, sales staff, and more. At what intersections do these profiles cross paths? How can you leverage these moments to educate, support, and convert?
Help your medical device audiences select the right product
Whether you are focused on one product or a entire family of product lines, you can help your patient consumers understand what products are right for them – and lead them right info a purchase flow (or to alternative products as appropriate). A series of well-crafted questions delivered through an intuitive and engaging digital interface can help audience quickly understand what product(s) meet their needs best. This also helps medical device marketers deliver additional complementary products to the patient and can set marketers up for a strong nurture campaign that continues to delivery timely, tailored information right to the patient’s inbox.
Don’t forget caregiver impact on medical device consumerism
Learn how AI/ML can be used by pharmaceutical and medical device companies to improve the clinical data review and cleansing process.
Caregivers are an often-overlooked group, but their impact on the overall health and wellbeing of millions of patients can’t be overstated (after all, 1 in 5 U.S. adults provide informal caregiving services). Depending on your audience profile and their needs, they may be one of your most important groups too. Informal caregivers, such as family members or friends, need support, and you can help. They are often helping the patient with day-to-day needs, but also in research, purchasing, and using a host of medical devices. Providing detailed information on how to use your medical device, highlighting best practices, and sharing advice, patient stories, and caregiver tips are just a few ways to bring meaningful content to this group. Caregiving can be emotionally and physically taxing but speaking to them directly and delivering practical and actionable content will provide deeded help and no doubt drive loyalty.
Why simply say it when you can show it
The most effective and memorable pieces of content tell a story, and your medical device is no different. Why say your product is innovative, when you can show the development team behind the scenes focusing on solving a problem your patient consumers have. Why say that your product is life-changing, when you can show how it has positively impacted your user’s mobility, peace of mind, dignity. Why say that your customers love it, when quotes, testimonials, and reviews can communicate that message much more effectively.
Don’t forget these three ‘Rs’: recommendations, reviews, and referrals
Which brings us to the three important Rs for medical device marketers, recommendations, reviews, and referrals. It’s highly likely that you have a solid group of happy patient consumers out there, and if you haven’t already, its time to invite them to join your marketing team. Send out surveys after a purchase or after a customer care experience, solicit stories on social media, create materials to help your patient consumers share the product with friends who may also benefit, and enable your audiences to refer potential customers as well. Activities like these not only engage your patient consumers throughout your digital channels, but they also engage the wider ecosystem as well – creating an active network around your product, and the people that it helps.
Our Digital Healthcare Strategy team helps medical device organizations better understand their audiences and create memorable experiences that drive usage and inspire brand loyalty. Contact us today for more information.