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 ESPN.com, 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.