Our marketing conversations with practices and medtech companies alike keep coming down to two main factors: differentiation and trust.
Differentiation: what is it about your business that stands out? Why should anyone pick your solution over all the other solutions that are out there?
Trust: how do I know I can trust you? This is a tough time for building trust, and we need to be as reassuring as possible.
Difficulties with Differentiation
As marketers, we encourage differentiation with brand names for products and companies, but it can take a while to build up enough recognition to where people will know to search for those things. One of the issues we see (and can even fall victim to ourselves if we’re not careful) is that branding is very difficult in some industries.
For example, people may search for solutions to very specific health problems only when they arise. It’s not the same thing as creating brand awareness for Amazon or for Best Buy.
Creating a brand name for the solution to a specific health problem is certainly helpful, but patients aren’t searching for that brand name most of the time. If patients are not all that aware of the health issue to begin with, then they are certainly not going to know the brand names associated with it.
What avenues of differentiation are left then?
The user experience.
I’m a big fan of Mark Schaefer, a marketer that focuses very heavily on how the field is changing and how we need to adapt. He repeatedly points out that the customer experience is one of our key marketing avenues today.
In terms of what we are talking about with medtech companies and medical practices, this means helping patients and caregivers solve their problems as much as we possibly can.
Yes, we will need to include our brand name along the way, but our goal is to associate that brand with a very positive experience.
If we are successful in creating these experiences, then we have a huge head start in creating trust with our audience.
One Way for Medtech to Build Trust
In a recent episode of the podcast, we discussed the idea of how medtech companies can build trust. Right now, companies are very focused on marketing directly to physicians.
Some companies are taking the idea a step further and even creating material that practices and physicians can use. There are a host of legal ramifications around this kind of work, but it is certainly possible to get done.
The idea here is that the better the physician can get the word out about the benefits of a new procedure, and the better the med tech company will do in selling devices to that physician.
The podcast talks more about how well some companies do and don’t do with focusing on the patient experience. The main idea here goes back to what I mentioned above about trust. The more we focus on the patient’s needs, the better the effectiveness of the marketing becomes.
Sometimes, this means we mention a brand name less. This approach also may mean that we need to lean into the trust relationship that the doctor ought has already built up.
Trust is somewhat scary because it involves vulnerability.
Vulnerability is definitely scary to large companies, but people simply aren’t believing the “company and all its products are perfect” story anymore.
Effective marketing today requires a new way of thinking. We can’t keep on using yesterday’s tools and hope for growth.
Interested in listening?
Here is episode 21 of our podcast. You can find the full transcript here.
You can also find the show on all of the major players by searching for “Paradigm Shift of Healthcare.”