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Why Content Is the Key to Opening Healthcare’s Digital Front Door – Part 3: Medical Devices

A key unlocking the digital front door of a medical device organization

This is the third and final part of our series in which we’re discussing healthcare’s digital front door — the technologies and strategies you use to engage with consumers throughout their journeys. By now, you are getting the idea that a cohesive content strategy is key for consumers to open your digital front door and engage with your organization regardless of where you sit in the healthcare ecosystem. If you missed the first two, they are:

  • Part 1 of the series focused on the provider experience
  • Part 2 focuses on the payer (insurance) experience
  • And in Part 3, we will focus on the experience of medical-device organizations

Like healthcare consumers who are searching for a new doctor or comparing insurance plans, medical device consumers also need a strong and consistent mix of emotional, rational, and motivational content to open the digital front door and look around. We’ll dig further into each of these factors and discuss how addressing each of these in your strategy is crucial for the success of your digital front door.

Emotional: Your Content Lets You Create Connection

As Michael Adkins mentioned in his previous article, consumers and patients have an inherent trust in healthcare providers. It’s easy to understand why: Providers have a face, a personality, and expertise that patients experience one-on-one during appointments. Medical devices don’t have that luxury, so organizations must help to give their products a face and personality and showcase the experience that patients will have with your products.

So how do you build emotion with a medical device? It all depends on the type of device and whom you are speaking to. For example, let’s consider patients doing research on a new continuous glucose monitor. Yes, they’ll want pricing, ordering information, and specs, but they really want to understand how has it saved the day for other patients (just like them), how easy is it to use, what annoyances can they avoid by using your device, and how easy is it to slip into their lives without much of an issue. By applying the device to the daily lives of patients, you can begin to tap into those emotions and tell a story that helps the patient picture their life improving with the device.

Providers are Key

But in this example, the patient is going to need a prescription for that continuous blood glucose monitor, so creating connections with providers is key too. No doubt they are more data-driven, but don’t discount the need for emotion-driven content with this population. They want to see their patients thriving. Also, they want to prescribe products that work well and deliver what they promise.

Healthcare Providers also don’t want patients to overspend for their care. Providers want to see consistency in their patient’s usage of a device. And they want their patients to have a product that is easy to use (they know they’ll get questions if it’s not!). So the emotion for providers really goes through that patient’s lens. This device can help you, the provider, continue to be that trusted adviser your patient counts on, and they’ll appreciate that you prescribed a product that works well, is easy to use, and doesn’t break the bank.

Those are two very different messages, but the end result is the same — the patient purchases the device, and both the patient and provider are delighted by the results.

Rational: Your Content is Critical for Delivering Proof Points

Customers in need of medical devices, whether through a prescription or over the counter, are counting on quality, accuracy, cost, coverage, ease of use, and, of course, to help treat the problem they are experiencing. Once the emotional messaging lands, it’s time to speak to your consumers’ rational minds, and that’s where your proof points come in.

In Michael’s previous post, he talked about the current expectations of digital consumers. They know the Amazon experience, and they want to see that everywhere, including on your website. But comparing medical devices is much different than interacting with or comparing your average consumer product. And that’s where medical device organizations can start to get creative. While you have a lot of detail to include, helping your audiences quickly move to the content they need streamlines their experience and puts the most important proof points right into their hands.

Creating Opportunities

Creating an environment where consumers can tell you a bit about themselves for the opportunity to view the device in the context of their lifestyle is ideal, particularly if you have a few device models to choose from. A guided approach can help you quickly understand what’s important to your consumer and deliver content that speaks directly to those concerns. Let’s circle back to our CGM consumer. By asking a few questions about their preferences, lifestyle, and goals, you can help them quickly home in on the product features and functionality that matters most.

Providers often have a different set of proof points they are looking for. They are more likely to be looking for outcomes and clinical trial data, indications for use, and impact on the patient’s lifestyle. They are also concerned with coverage, cost, and other factors that they know will impact the patient’s ability to access the device and use it consistently over time. Creating a place for providers to access this information and share it with others is essential.

While this example makes a pretty clean cut between provider and patient content, make sure you look at your current site analytics and recheck your consumer research. Patients are more and more likely to dip their toes into traditional provider content. Making sure that it is still accessible to patients who want a deeper level of information is another way to build trust through proof points.

Motivational: Your Content Must Encourage Action

For medical device organizations, a strong call to action can take the form of a variety of activities, from “request more information” to “buy now” to “talk to your doctor about.” However you structure your CTAs, driving strong action is important, even if it’s just to the next screen.

From the consumer perspective, make sure to align the business action you want the consumer to take with the action they should want to take at this point in their journey. Can you offer the action they want to take? Is there a way to offer that action with little or no need to wait for action from your team to progress? Don’t be discouraged if your business processes don’t yet align with the ideal consumer journey. Offer the easiest experience you can today. Then work to iterate with an improved experience later.

For providers, consider offering options for consultations (for those who are still investigating your device options) and patient referrals (for those who are further in their information-gathering journeys). Make sure your team includes well-trained call center representatives who can speak to these concerns. Consider capturing providers’ contact information for nurture campaigns down the road as they continue their research. This can help you turn a research visit into a conversion weeks or months after the fact.

Content Keeps your Digital Front Door Open

Our healthcare-exclusive strategy team has helped medical device organizations get the most out of their digital front-door strategies with our conversion-focused content solutions. We have the experience and expertise you need to turn consumers into users of your devices and services. Contact us to learn more.

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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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