Secrets to Getting Access to Decision Makers Like It’s 1999

Secrets to Getting Access to Decision Makers Like It’s 1999

MedTech companies are facing major roadblocks in generating demand for their new technologies. Gone are the days of catching doctors scrubbing in for surgery — and the endless sales opportunities that followed. In this new age of medtech sales, many are wondering if we will ever have the same access to decision-makers that we did before.

Even before COVID, there were forces at play limiting access to clinical decision-makers — the pandemic just sped up the process.

Those megatrends include:

  • Physician employment by IDNs
  • Vendor credentialing and other access-limiting efforts
  • Professionalization of supply chain, including Value Analysis Committees

With so many factors curbing the adoption of new technologies, one question is consistently at the forefront of the minds of medtech companies concerning their marketing and sales efforts:

How do we get good sales opportunities in our current environment?

When finding new sales opportunities, the core aspects of prospecting remain the same: your target audience must have a pain point they would like addressed, and you must present your solution in a meaningful way that solves their issue. None of that has changed. What has changed is how you do those two things.

Before we get into the details, there are three things to remember:

  1. Prospects are still as interested as before — you need to get in front of them so they can act on that interest.
  1. Doctors are people, too. Like you and me, they spend much of their downtime on their phones. Name the social media platform, and you’ll find them there.
  1. Doctors always want to make their practices better, and they don’t turn it off at 5pm. Finding ways to leverage that fact will get your foot in the door with key decision-makers.

With all these things in mind, let’s look at how strategically using digital marketing strategies solves the problems created by the pandemic in the medtech industry.

Contextual Marketing

The first thing to do is define your target audience. The healthcare industry has a limited number of decision-makers in each specialty. Your task is to identify the key players who will champion the adoption of your product or service, down to the names, emails, and phone numbers of those people.

The next step is creating relevant and interesting content for your audience. Through a personalized marketing experience, you catch their attention and encourage engagement by appealing to the needs of their practices and patients. Content should be easily digestible, speak directly to their concerns, and promote further interaction with your company.

The “Surround Sound” Approach

Now that you have your content, present it to your target audience in a way that draws them to you without being too forceful. In other words: pull, don’t push.

An omnichannel approach finds clinicians where they are already online. Marketing on channels and social media platforms they use every day, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, generates a high frequency of touch with your content. Supplementing digital ad campaigns with email outreach ensures no prospect is left behind. Surrounding your audience with content holds their attention and encourages them to act. Campaigns should be consistent across platforms, with similar calls-to-action.

Measurable Success

A vital component of digital marketing is identifying strategies that worked — and those that failed to engage. Not only can you focus your efforts and resources more effectively, but you can also provide valuable information to your sales team. That way, when a salesperson prepares to contact a prospective client, they’ll know what led that prospect to request more information. Identifying what leads to success saves you time and money while filling your sales pipeline.

Although the landscape of healthcare marketing has dramatically shifted, digital marketing provides a new path forward that reopens doors to the easy access we had to decision-makers back in 1999.

Implement a successful digital outreach strategy. Jairus can help you create tactics that will generate better prospects and boost your sales cycle.

Three Characteristics of Successful MedTech Companies

Three Characteristics of Successful MedTech Companies

Over the past two years, my company, Jairus Marketing, has worked with dozens of medical device, healthcare IT, and medical service companies in this new era of business. There are three things that separate the companies that are succeeding from those that are struggling. These three characteristics will help your MedTech company take flight and keep it soaring.

1. Mindset

Companies that are waiting for things to go back to how they were are faring substantially worse than those that have embraced this new environment as something to explore and thrive in. We are in a period of testing and learning – so much has changed, and the winners are those who are trying to build relationships through new channels, educate prospects in new ways, and deepen penetration in existing accounts with new approaches.

2. Metrics

There are several critical metrics companies should measure to understand the health of the pipeline. While the specifics may vary slightly, there are a few that are universal:

Share of Wallet

How much of a current account’s business is being captured by the company?

Lead to Customer Efficiency

This is a simple measure but an extremely valuable insight into the effectiveness of the company’s sales and marketing engine. To calculate this, divide the number of new customers by the number of leads generated over a set period of time. It is a lagging indicator since the sales cycle takes time, but it is extremely valuable to understand the investment made into the front end of the business. A leadership team can look at this metric by salesperson to understand differences in selling skills or by product line to determine which are most ripe for growth. They can also look at this as a measure of marketing efficacy by channel – which efforts develop into customers versus just wasting money. The insights are endless.

Length of Sales Cycle (by Step)

I find that most companies have a vague sense of their sales cycle but are frequently wrong about how long each step takes to complete. By tracking new opportunities across the various steps of the sales process, bottlenecks and gaps become very clear, very quickly.

Cost per Lead

This is a commonly measured metric and a good one as it relates to marketing investment. The actual number isn’t a full enough story, though. To use this metric, it’s critical to view it in the context of close rate. To illustrate the point, if the lifetime value of a new customer is $100,000 and 10% of leads become customers, a cost per lead of $150 versus $200 is irrelevant. Instead, the company should invest as much as they can into generating new leads, even if the cost per lead doubles or triples.

3. Marketing

Historically, the only person with insight into prospect engagement was the sales professional. Marketing’s job was to make brochures for the sales team. As we’ve been forced online, we can now leverage tools to see what a prospect is doing over time without having to rely on manual reporting. Companies who see an investment in marketing (most notably, digital) as worthwhile are seeing substantial ROI from those investments. To make marketing work, it’s important to target correctly with a value proposition that the prospect cares about. Additionally, it’s critical to store information on prospect engagement in the CRM or a marketing automation system. This sets the company up for long-term growth with its prospects.

Over the next five years, we are going to see continued upheaval in the industry. By aligning to these three factors, you can prepare yourself and your organization to win.

Medical Device Success podcast: Innovating physician marketing

Medical Device Success podcast: Innovating physician marketing

In today’s crowded media marketplace, there are hundreds of options for placing your marketing budget, and it can be challenging to sort through the clutter to identify the best channels for your specific target audience.

It’s widely recognized that social and digital platforms offer great ROI with effective targeting strategies and the ability to pinpoint success with robust metrics. But do those opportunities translate to successful B2B outreach, especially for niche audiences such as physicians? In today’s post-pandemic world, the answer to that question – how to effectively reach medical providers – has become more critical than ever.

Scott Alexander, CEO of iVelocity Marketing and Jairus Physician Micro-Marketing, recently shared insights into that question and others related to targeting physicians on the Medical Device Success podcast.

Listen now:

Kim Kardashian Fame for MedTech

Kim Kardashian Fame for MedTech

Kim Kardashian is famous for being famous. It’s the fact that she’s seen on magazines, TV, and online continuously that makes people interested in her and demand to know more about her. Her ascension to media maven is tied to her adept usage of social media to build an audience of followers, whose hunger then spilled over to other media – leading to the cultural phenomenon we now have. But it’s more than just fame that this marketing effort created. This “fame from being famous” has made her, and her younger sister, Kylie Jenner, both billionaires.

How is this relevant to the medical device industry?

For too long, as an industry, we’ve relied on individual sales representatives to spread the message of the latest product or service available to healthcare decision makers. While a sales team is a crucial part of any medical device company, relying on one-to-one, individual conversations to drive adoption of new technology is an expensive, time-consuming effort and with COVID, it’s not really much of an option. The “push” strategy of medical device marketing isn’t relevant anymore.
But don’t worry – there is a better way.

Healthcare decision makers are people, too. They react to social media, to banner ads on, and to the other forms of digital outreach that marketers have used for years to drive awareness and interest in consumer products.

There is an opportunity to take a page out of the Kardashian book and create effective “pull” strategies for medical products and services. The formula is easier to utilize than one might think, so let’s walk through how to do it:
First, define the audience. Who are the doctors, administrators, and other clinicians involved in the evaluation and acquisition of a given healthcare technology?

Second, determine where those individuals spend their time online. The average American spends more than 3 hours a day online. Doctors, nurses, and administrators are no different. They check their Facebook feed in between cases and watch YouTube when they are at home. With advanced audience building techniques, it’s possible to be where your prospects are. We just need to determine where those locations are.

Third, develop content to catch their interest. Medical professionals are a dedicated bunch. Even when they aren’t on the clock, they are willing to engage in relevant materials for their specialty. A well-placed banner ad on the latest ECG will get the attention of cardiologists online. A Twitter ad on new developments in fixation screws does get orthopedic surgeons to lean in.
Fourth, provide additional digital assets to engage prospective customers and lead them towards requesting more information from the company. These assets can be immediate (micro-websites with very specific information) or longer-term (drip email campaigns, for example).

Fifth, engage the sales reps on qualified opportunities to convert prospects to customers. It’s easier to convert warm leads than cold ones, so let’s serve up as many warm qualified leads as possible.

This is admittedly different from how medical devices have always been marketed in the past, but there are substantial benefits of a “pull” strategy:

It’s cost effective. For less than the cost of marketing at a trade show, a company can run a national campaign targeting tens of thousands of prospective customers for several months, generating qualified sales opportunities that far surpass the “drive-by” leads that trade shows produce.

It’s scalable. There are dozens of ways to get messaging in front of healthcare decision makers. Campaigns can focus on only a few channels or can be scaled out to create “surround sound” for a new product launch or a growth campaign.

It eliminates geographical constraints. Digital pull strategies can cover the entire country, identifying prospective customers who may never have been called on previously. Every rep has parts of their territory that aren’t consistently called on. This approach allows the company to nurture those areas without burning precious rep time.

At Jairus, we built a technology platform to facilitate pull marketing for medical companies, based on our deep knowledge of the healthcare industry and our decades of experience using digital outreach systems.

No more tradeshows?

No more tradeshows?

If you’ve been in medical device sales or marketing for any period of time, you’ve been to more tradeshows than you can recall. We’ve all experienced the hours of standing around on concrete floors having the same conversation over and over with unqualified prospects who are barely pretending to be interested in what you have. At the end of the conversation, you scan their badge and POOF! you’ve gotten a lead in the system.

We all know what happens to those leads. They get sent to the rep for that prospect and are (mostly) ignored.

The tradeshow routine is tired, unproductive, and a waste of money.

Luckily, 2020 is the year of No Tradeshows.

Now, while we mourn the loss of that right of passage, let’s talk about an alternative to tradeshows that actually does drive brand awareness and qualified opportunities for the sales team – the Jairus platform.

For less than the investment in one tradeshow, it is possible to run a robust marketing campaign through the Jairus platform that only targets your pre-vetted, qualified prospects for an entire quarter – generating substantial brand awareness and dozens of qualified sales opportunities for the team.

The Jairus platform is built on years of experience in the industry and a deep understanding of cutting-edge marketing & sales enablement techniques.

As Post-COVID Sales Calls Dwindle, Here’s How We Survive

As Post-COVID Sales Calls Dwindle, Here’s How We Survive

There are “fluke” outbreaks that fade out of our historical consciousness soon after they pass, and then there are globally disruptive events like the COVID-19 pandemic, which is sure to produce a loud and clear paradigm shift that changes the world permanently. Expert projections as to what a post-COVID-19 landscape will look like vary slightly, but most agree that we will see “more contactless interfaces and interactions” across all industries, as Bernard Marr of Forbes wrote in his list of predictions (Link to the article).

In terms of the medical device industry (and many other industries), this shift will pull focus from the long-reigning sales call. In order to seamlessly pivot away from this focus to a world with less face-to-face interaction, you need to strengthen your “socially distanced” sales and marketing channels.

This means beefing up your digital outreach campaigns far beyond a static site here and an occasional social media post or newsletter. Instead, you need to encompass the entire buying experience in all of its phases.

In the relative absence of face-to-face interaction following the outbreak, buyers will have to take more onus in the buying process. If the supplier doesn’t provide the framework for that higher level of engagement to occur, then it simply won’t occur.

How to Ramp Up Your Digital Outreach Effectively

As mentioned, most agree that businesses will need to emphasize digital interfaces more from now on, but the real question is how? The answer involves a multi-faceted approach that includes strengthened email communications, web properties, and marketing campaigns that actively respond to each user’s engagements to optimize their experience. Let’s start with email.

Purpose-Driven Email Campaigns

For demonstration purposes, let’s use a tiered ranking system to show the differences between low-quality email campaigns and more engaging and comprehensive campaigns.

Tier 1—You send your list messages on an inconsistent basis that pitch products directly to them and announce promos, sales, etc.

Tier 2—You send your list messages on a semi-regular basis that pitch products/sales and provide some pre-launch product info and helpful guides.

Tier 3—You send your list messages that provide useful information on their own (guides, evidence-based support for your products, etc.) while directing them to content-rich microsites designed around their specific interests and needs.

Up until now, teams with tier-1 or tier-2 quality could at least survive, even though they were missing out on profits. As the rug is being violently pulled out from underneath us, however, we all need to strive for tier-3-quality email communications.

This means using this channel as a way to generate interest, strengthen relationships with prospects, inform them of relevant developments, and send them to highly optimized content instead of trying to force sales prematurely.

So, if email won’t be a sales vehicle first and foremost, then where on earth will we send these people?

Introducing the Content-Rich Microsite

Anyone on the web can access your homepage, so it stands to reason that your main website banks on broad appeal.
Nothing compels conversions, however, more than a content-rich microsite that speaks directly to the prospect, which is why we target email users based on their specific interests and affiliations.

Let’s say our avatar is a director of orthopedics who wants to find a specific hip implant that will improve surgical outcomes at her hospital. Could she find it on your homepage? Hopefully, yes, but the supporting content will not likely be enough to encompass the entire sales process.

If she were driven to a site focused on this exact product,however, lush with evidence-based justifications, video guides, and a way to contact a sales representative about this exact product she’s just learned about, she is much more likely to convert.

Even a highly effective microsite can still be rendered ineffective by the deadly “wait-and-see” pitfall, however. Your prospects need to be guided through the process in a way that speaks to their exact preferences, which the mindful marketer will be able to identify based on how they engage with the content.

So, instead of just churning prospects through an email list and microsite and hoping money comes out on the other end, jump in and become an active part of the process.

What does this look like? First, it requires that you structure your funnel so that it brings the prospect right to you. The microsite’s job is to prime the prospect for the sale with compelling content, and your sales team’s job in a post-coronavirus world will be to close a sale that has been in the works long before the prospect meets with you. This will de-emphasize interaction while still allowing your team to get those touchpoints and important messages across for steady sales.

Keeping Awareness at the Forefront

Finally, it’s vital that marketing and sales teams working to fit into this quickly shifting landscape remember to utilize all marketing efforts for brand awareness purposes. Regardless of what you’re trying to do in any particular communication, whether it’s providing pre-launch product specs, posting important updates on social media, etc., there’s always an opportunity to increase brand awareness by structuring the content to emphasize your company’s presence in all niche-related happenings. When we layer this over our active, sales-driven approach to physician marketing, the result is a steady rise in revenue.