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Medical Device Marketing: How You Can Watch Your Language and Drive Greater Engagement

Two people are reviewing medical device marketing content on a computer screen

Inspired by my colleague Michael Adkins’ recent post on word choice in healthcare marketing, I thought I’d explore how word choice, language, and tone can help shift prospect medical device buyers into long-term loyal customers. For device makers and marketers, this can be a tough ask, as you’re often dealing with several disparate audiences, from patients to clinicians and even caregivers and investors. However, by employing a few simple rules, you can help bring these audiences together and create warm, authoritative, and trustworthy content that appeals to everyone, regardless of the goal they had in visiting your site.

Address your medical device audience by goal, not name

I’ve worked with many organizations that refer to their device user as just that: a user.” This term can be so pervasive that it ends up on audience-facing materials from time to time, much to the confusion of actual ”users,” who don’t understand the term (or read it as a negative). So what do you call them? “Patient”? “Consumer”? While those may be accurate, this is where second-person writing comes in — address them simply as ”you.” The ”you” who is looking for a device to support a medical condition or improve ”your” quality of life. By addressing the audience member directly and painting the picture of their end goal — and how your product can get them there — you’ve sidestepped the issue nearly altogether.

This works for your other audiences as well. The ”you” for clinical teams is evaluating your device and wants to understand outcomes and how it might help their patients. The ”you” for caregivers wants to understand how your device can help their loved one and perhaps take some burden off of their shoulders. The ”you” for investors wants to understand your business, competitive advantage, and vision.

Don’t be cheugy with medical device audiences

As a child of the ’80’s, I have no business using the term ” cheugy.” And it’s likely you don’t either, unless you were born after 1996 or so – then it is fair game. Trying to inject terminology that isn’t clear to all of your audiences is a surefire way to turn them off and perhaps lose them altogether. And that, fam, is big yikes.

The same goes for medical terminology. But don’t lose it completely. It’s important for audiences to see the terms that their providers may be using — but be sure to accompany those terms with consumer-centric language that all will understand. Medical terminology will usually steer the reading level of your website up. But ensuring that you are giving friendly, easy-to-understand examples will go along way in supporting your patient and caregiver audiences.

Finally, make sure your words have meaning. “Innovative” and “revolutionary” are two words that jump to mind. They are great words, no doubt, full of energy and emotion. But what do they mean? Unfortunately, they have been so overused that their impact has been dulled. Does this mean you can’t describe your product as “innovative”? You certainly can. But don’t expect that word to do all the heavy lifting alone. Make sure its accompanied by a strong how. How is it innovative? How will that innovation make someone’s life better?

Authenticity is what medical device audiences are looking for

The biggest takeaway is to be yourself. Let the culture and the passion of your organization seep into your writing. As a marketer, take some time to think about the personality of your organization. How do you look? How do you sound? What gets you excited? And why are you doing what you do in the first place? Using the answers to these questions as your north star will help you avoid some of those ”innovative” clichéd phrases and talk more directly and authentically to the audiences that you serve.

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.

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Marlana Voerster

Marlana Voerster is a Senior Healthcare Strategist at Perficient, where she works with providers and MedTech, pharma, and digital health organizations to build brand loyalty and enhance the patient experience through customer-centric digital experiences.

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