Turning an innovative medical device into a commercially successful product is a complex undertaking. An extended process of development and design goes into creating items like pacemakers and glucose monitors. Then, the device must be thoroughly tested and either cleared or approved for going to market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Once the product is ready for use by healthcare professionals, marketing and sales teams go to work with medical email marketing and other initiatives. However, for life sciences organizations to make their latest devices successful, these efforts must be strategically directed to capture the interest of physicians and other key stakeholders. With the right approach and resources, marketers can guide healthcare providers toward a purchase.
Here are five essential factors that can make the difference in successfully launching a medical device:
1. Collaborate across functions
“Marshal diverse sets of expertise for every phase of bringing a product to market.”
Medical devices are complex pieces of equipment that serve crucial purposes in medical treatment. That means it’s vital to marshal diverse sets of expertise for every phase of bringing a product to market. A McKinsey and Company report emphasized the importance of collaboration in bolstering the effectiveness of marketing and bringing about a larger transformation in a business.
Life sciences organizations most effectively drive higher sales when all departments work closely to optimize results. By sharing information between departments and keeping all stakeholders focused on fulfilling the needs of customers, a device manufacturer can seize opportunities to strengthen its commercial performance. Leaders provide marketers with the backing they need by improving internal communications, tracking relevant metrics and involving everyone in solving the problems medical professionals face on a daily basis.
2. Gather insights into physicians and treatments
For marketers to understand the needs and preferences of doctors, they need access to data. A robust database provides the information that guides marketing sales teams, such as doctors’ current contact information, specialties, institutional affiliations and locations. By understanding the demographics that physicians serve and the treatments they regularly administer, a marketer can make wiser choices in creating and dispatching materials.
Segmentation plays a major role in determining the success of a campaign, allowing an organization to target a physician email marketing campaign to the individuals most likely to take an interest in a new device. With intelligence on doctors’ areas of focus and methods, these communications can be narrowly tailored to address their specific challenges. By using data cleansing services, marketers ensure they act on information that’s free of errors or repetition.
3. Craft powerful communications
Healthcare professionals receive numerous professional emails and have busy days full of urgent tasks. Directing their attention to a new medical product calls for thoughtful messaging. Marketers must make clear the potential impact of a device for patient outcomes and keep their emails brief.
Formatting can also make a significant difference. Every email should be attractive and professional, but also easy to read on a mobile device. Oversized images or small text can interfere with getting the most significant points across to a physician who is quickly checking messages on a phone before seeing patients.
4. Provide extensive information
Doctors rely on painstaking research and scientific findings to make treatment decisions. Before moving forward with adopting a medical device, they want to know as much as possible about how it works and why it’s a good choice for their patients. Marketers increase the chances of making progress by offering immediate access to a variety of clinical findings – such retrospective data, meta-analyses and case studies – and technical details.
In each marketing email, a well-placed, highly visible call to action invites a physician to learn more and submit valuable lead information. It’s important to keep in mind that doctors will likely consult several different sources and return to the life sciences organization’s website repeatedly. Offering a broad range of collateral that details the trials a device went through and the applications included in its FDA-approved labeling is an indispensable means of making the case for a sale.
5. Build relationships
Moving from an initial contact to the purchase of a medical device is a process that can take a long time and involves numerous stakeholders. As Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine pointed out, many individuals with different priorities and areas of knowledge are likely to be consulted before a hospital or clinic decides to invest in a particular product. The complexities involved in this process only make it all the more important to establish solid relationships with physicians.
By getting to know the doctors involved and connecting them with sales teams, a device maker can find chances to deepen their connection. That starts with specifically laying out the value proposition for how a product will make a particular healthcare organization better equipped to handle its problems. In addition, the life sciences company can offer chances for deeper engagement, like training programs and certifications in using its products.
Marketing a medical device comes with special challenges and opportunities for a life sciences business. Garnering the interest of doctors in a relevant field is just the beginning of an extended conversation that involves multiple departments and exchanging a great deal of information. By treating marketing and sales as collaborative, data-driven operations, a device manufacturer increases the chances of successfully rolling out a product and forges strong relationships that can continue to bring dividends for years to come.