Although it seems like a long time ago, it wasn’t that long ago that medical device marketing consisted of conversations in crowded trade show halls, large ads in medtech magazines, and the clinking of glasses during dinners and other social functions. The current pandemic has completely changed all of that, when in-person business meetings were cancelled forcing many medical device companies to completely recalibrate their marketing strategy. Perhaps this change was for the good, as many device manufacturers have now reallocated their marketing dollars towards digital outreach, content marketing, and digital advertising to support the industry’s evolving digital environment.
So where does that leave device marketers and what are the biggest benefits of this new digital age that the pandemic has brought us? We break them down for you below.
1. Flexibility and Adaptability
Many industry giants automatically made the switch to a digital strategy while some others took more time to ditch old marketing tactics for new advanced technological efforts. This has created a space in which there is more flexibility between digital efforts such as PPC and face-to-face contact with customers as the market shifts. Let’s face it, even with the return of in person events many customers have gotten used to the convenience of their homes which requires device marketers to be creative in making sure their message reaches everyone. While other companies are also pivoting to digital account based marketing, by flooding inboxes and social media platforms, adaptability is crucial. Your company must find a proper balance between in person connections and virtual conversations to remain attuned to your customers’ individual needs.
2. Digital Innovation
Perhaps one of the largest benefits that pandemic has brought us, is the ability to explore endless opportunities to reach customers with innovative technology. With the removal of in-person contact, many medical device marketers had to find ways to digitally acquire and nurture leads, without having to rely on traditional face-to-face communication. This brought about improved websites, virtual product tours and trade shows, engaging webinars, and creative brand strategies. Other tools such as marketing automation systems, customer relationship management and social outreach software have increased the efficiency of digital marketing in 2021.
3. Measurability and Increased Targeting
With advanced technology, this also increased the ability to track, measure and record data. This allowed more companies to analyze their spending and assess their return on investment rather than throwing money towards an advertising budget and seeing if it sticks. Being able to track data not only increased ROI’s, but gave us more insight into our customer behavior and increased our targeting. Using various tools you can now perform market research to better understand your target audience and industry as a whole, to know exactly how to reach your potential customers. This gave medical device companies more insight on consumer behavior and buying cycle patterns.
4. Focus on Value
Across the board, COVID-19 made almost all companies redefine their messaging. Now no matter what industry you were in, you were forced to incorporate health and safety standards to establish trust and credibility among your customers. This also shifted the focus from product features, to the value your company can bring to the table requiring strategic and impactful messaging. Traditionally, many medical device marketing tactics relied heavily on their product details, however the pandemic showed us that more interest arises from how specific problems can be solved; placing the pandemic front and center.
For example many medical device companies focused on the use of healthcare IoT devices to limit physical contact between patients and increase data generation. It’s important to align your value proposition with the C-suite’s strategic objectives as many decisions aren’t being made by a physician anymore. Starting by mapping out the new-customer’s buying journey will provide you with a greater understanding of where to engage them and how to craft the right messaging.
5. Enhanced Branding
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that we should always be prepared because nothing is certain. With major shifts to businesses across the globe and a dramatic increase in the medical device industry, this forced many companies to sit back and truly analyze their brand strategy. What does their brand say about their company? How do they want to be remembered by their customers? With thousands of options in the medtech field, building a unique brand is crucial medical device marketing in 2021. Many companies were left scrambling to reposition their brand due to the lack of in person contact with their customers, forcing them to identify unique ways to share their company messaging in a way that reaches their target audience. As competition continues to rise in this vast industry, you must find a way to make your brand stand out, which is why creating a multi-channel digital strategy is so important.
Adapting to the Post Pandemic Future
Although we might be the closest to normal that we’ve ever been, when it comes to the medical device industry, pre-COVID marketing may be a thing of the past. The pandemic has shifted almost every aspect of our lives from the way we do business, how we interact with our customers and the way we promote our products. Don’t be left behind with traditional marketing tactics that don’t work anymore. Invest in an agency like Icovy who knows the ins and outs of your industry, and will ensure your medical device company takes the proper steps to building a post-pandemic digital marketing strategy that will help meet your customers where they need you the most.