Common Medical Device Marketing Challenges

3 Marketing Challenges Medical Device Manufacturers Face and How to Overcome Them

By Casey NewmanDec 29 /2020

Pandemic or no, medical device companies can have a lot of challenges when it comes to marketing their products. Your device or product can be a great innovation for patients and healthcare, but if it’s not marketed well and its benefits aren’t communicated, its potential impact will be lost.

Medical device companies face some unique challenges, namely getting in front of busy clinicians and hospital executives, overlooking the value of your device, and much more.

Challenge No. 1: Knowing Your Audience

Sure, you know you need to get your device in front of nurses or administrators, but what do you know about these professionals? What are their pain points? How does your device help alleviate those pain points?

Furthermore, do you know where they get their information? This can help influence your future advertising campaigns and the content you develop. It also has the possibility to set you up as a trusted source for your audience.

Real-life example: A medical device manufacturer Kuno works with wanted help marketing a hemodialysis device to kidney care professionals. As part of the discovery process, our team spoke with dialysis nurses and professionals. We learned that though these professionals were interested in the clinical and business happenings within the kidney care space, they did not have time to scour journals or industry publications to stay up to date. To address this need, our team created a monthly blog feature that is a news roundup of clinical and business happenings over the past month.

These posts are continually one of the most popular posts on our client’s blog, and kidney care professionals have expressed gratitude for the roundups.

So, how do you find your audience? If you have customers or current device users, talk to them. Ask them how they learned about your brand and device, ask them how and where they get their information. Do they scan their phones quickly between cases? Do they read on a desktop in their office? Do they prefer print publications or briefings with sales reps?

Next, work with your sales team. They are likely on the front lines interacting with your target audience, so they have valuable insight into what they need, their likes and dislikes, and so on.

Challenge No. 2: Getting in Front of Your Audience

Not only are healthcare professionals very busy, but they’ve also got a slew of people vying for their attention — pharmaceutical reps, other device manufacturers, interns and more. So, how do you break through the rest of the noise? With the right content at the right time.

That work you did creating your buyer personas can give you important information on what kind of content you should be creating.

Real-life example: One of Kuno’s medical device clients needed to get in front of cardiothoracic surgeons. As you can imagine, the prospect of getting in front of this busy audience seemed daunting. However, the Kuno team used the knowledge we collected during our buyer persona process to create an out-of-the-box solution.

We knew surgeons would be interested to know if they were included in a top cardiothoracic surgeons list, and they would also be interested to know if colleagues made the list. So, we created a year’s-end list of the top 10 cardiothoracic surgeons and marketed it to our lists of contacts as well on Facebook. An additional interesting tidbit: During our buyer’s journey process, we found that doctors and healthcare professionals are pretty active on Facebook.

In addition to the top surgeons list, we included a section on the future of cardiothoracic surgery to pique interest and the role of technology in the future.

Our top surgeons piece was one of our best performing pieces for this client. The email alone had a 50% open rate and high engagement on social media. We found it very interesting that we didn’t need to provide clinical information or directly market our product to be successful.

Challenge No. 3: Overlooking Your Website

In addition to your sales team and your physical marketing materials, your website serves as a pillar to your successful marketing strategy. But for a lot of medical device manufacturers, the website gets left behind. After all, healthcare workers are too busy to browse a medical device manufacturer’s website, right? Not so fast.

Your website is where your prospects go to find out more about your products, company and use cases, where they can learn about who uses what device and why, where they can learn how to care for and use the device. Knowing this, if you look at your website as it is now, can a prospect or customer easily find what they need? Does it provide content that each audience will find valuable? If the answer is no, then it’s time to consider a redesign.

Real-life example: One of our medical device clients wanted to drive demos of its hemodialysis product. In addition to a comprehensive inbound strategy, our team redesigned the product landing page. The previous page consisted solely of a contact us form, which, as you can imagine, didn’t produce many leads.

To increase conversions, we created a new landing page for the product with a dynamic design and fresh content.

We learned from our buyer persona research that dialysis professionals want to provide better patient care but, for the most part, are unaware of one issue patients often experience — cardiac failure.

On the redesigned landing page we spoke to this issue, explaining how the manufacturer’s product helps safeguard patient well-being while screening for cardiac failure. We also communicated that, by filling out the form, the person would get an in-person demonstration of the product.

The results? This new page saw a 283% increase in conversions.

How to Market Your Medical Device

While it may seem daunting to market your medical device, knowing your audience, having a website that provides valuable information, and creating helpful content can make all the difference in your success. Ready to get started with an experienced agency?

Casey Newman
The Author

Casey Newman

A former journalist, Casey tells brands’ stories and helps to create engaging content strategies for companies. Before joining Kuno, she was in charge of public relations for marketing tech company Knotice. She earned a gold Hermes Creative Award for Knotice’s blog content and spearheaded several content initiatives that helped lead to the company's acquisition.