How to Launch Your First Medical Device Advertising Campaign

So, you’re launching your first medical device advertising campaign, but aren’t sure where to
start? We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn the proven 6-step process to launch a
successful medical device advertising campaign.

What’s a Medical Device Advertising Campaign?

A med device advertising campaign is a combination of programmatic tactics that help you promote your medical devices to doctors, nurses, physicians, hospital administrators, and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) when they’re online.
The best medical device advertising strategies can generate device awareness, increase consideration, and otherwise influence purchasing decisions. Today, successful medical device advertising campaigns should revolve around advanced first-party HCP data that target high-intent HCPs ready to engage with your ads.

Launching a Medical Device Advertising Campaign in 5 Steps

Set KPIs

Start by setting your goalposts, aka key performance indicators (KPIs). To do this, ask yourself: “At the end of my medical device campaign , which results do I want to see?”
  • Do you want to say that more HCPs know about your device?
  • Is your goal to increase sales by “X” percent?
  • Maybe you want to generate a certain number of meetings to discuss your device in more detail?
These are all KPIs that could be at the heart of a successful medical device advertising campaign.
If you’re having a tough time defining these, think about your goals on three levels: Awareness, consideration, and conversion.
  • Awareness: You want more HCPs to know about your device.
  • Consideration: You want more HCPs to add your device to their consideration
    set , i.e., when they’re ready to buy a device, they think about yours.
  • Conversion: You want more HCPs to purchase your medical device.
One more suggestion: Pick one KPI to build your campaign around. Too many moving targets will let steam out of the campaign and cost you performance and spend.

Analyze Competitive Ad Strategies

Before you get too deep into the strategy you’ll use to advertise medical devices, take some time to run a thorough competitive analysis. Your goals? Find areas of opportunity and leverage points you can use to level up your med device advertising campaigns.
Questions to ask:
  • Which medical devices are your competitors actively advertising?
  • Who are they targeting?
  • How are they positioning their devices?
  • Which ad types are they using and on which digital channels?
  • Which keywords are they paying for on search?
Ask as many questions as you can and come to an intimate understanding of what your competitors are doing with their budget. Then, take these nuggets of wisdom and build a campaign that differentiates you from the competition.
Pro Tip: Not seeing your competitors’ ads? Visit their website. If they’re using third-party cookies, they’ll start retargeting you with ads as you browse other sites across the web.

Audience Building

At the center of any successful medical device advertising strategy is the audience. When you’re getting ready to do this, you have two options: first-party data and third-party data. While both options will help you achieve your goals, only one of them will maximize performance: first-party data.
What is first-party data exactly?
Have you ever submitted your name or email on a website? That information now becomes part of that company’s first-party data. In other words, it’s the data that’s handed off from a user to a brand. It can then be used to target patients and HCPs.
However, this type of data isn’t easy or cheap to get. That’s where third-party vendors, like Adfire Health , come in. Over more than two decades, we’ve built a comprehensive first-party HCP database that includes 8MM HCPs across hundreds of medical specialties and subspecialties. Working with us enables you to tap into that data.
Now, let’s back up a little bit.
Why is first-party data so crucial in 2022 and beyond?
  • Apple is now giving iOS users the ability to “opt out” of in-app tracking, making it more difficult to run effective campaigns to HCPs using iOS devices.
  • Many online ecosystems, including Google, are getting rid of third-party cookies, meaning that you won’t be able to use them to retarget HCPs on the world’s most popular browser. In 2021, there were more than 3.2 billion people worldwide using Chrome as their main browser.1
  • Third-party cookies and other similar third-party identifiers lack the true intent signals you need to launch effective campaigns.
For these reasons, your medical device campaigns must revolve around first-party data. Start by going through your list and deciding which HCPs you want to target (or work with a med device advertising agency with access to an up-to-date and safe HCP database).
For example, if you’re trying to generate sales for a new positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, you might go through your first-party data and identify senior-level HCPs in heart-related fields, hospital administrators, and others with purchasing power. From there, you could work with the medical device manufacturer advertising agency to match these HCPs to online identities and advertise to them online.

Content Strategy & Delivery

Once you have your audience ready, it’s time to think about your content and delivery strategy, i.e., how you’re going to deliver your message. The secret here is to invest in engaging ad types — for example, video ads, mobile ads with rich media, and interactive banner ads — that have proven performance benefits. One study found that 80% of video marketers say video has helped increase sales.2

In a crowded online world — an HCP could see up to 10,000 ads daily — these ad types will help you break through.3 In addition to deciding on ad types, you should strategize your messaging. The trick here is to be succinct and use lingo that’ll resonate with the HCPs you’re targeting. The reality is that they don’t have a ton of time to spend with your ad, so it’s imperative that you get your message across quickly and make it abundantly clear what’s in it for them.

Measure & Evolve

Finally, it’s time to measure KPIs (the ones from step #1), optimize current campaigns, and evolve your strategy for the future.
Start by looking at your overall goal. If it was more leads, did you actually get more? If you were aiming for more sales, did they go up? Whatever you set your sights on, drill down into performance and determine if your campaign ultimately did its job. From there, look at specific elements to identify opportunities to improve upon future campaigns.
  • Did HCPs with certain job titles engage with your ads more than others?
  • Is the creative or messaging in a certain ad out-performing others?
  • Did ads on one channel get more clicks?
  • Did videos of a certain duration get more engagement?
Answering these questions gives you valuable insight into the mindset of your target HCP, what they like, what they don’t, and what you should do next to generate better results for a lower price.

Our Favorite Medical Device Advertising Campaigns

A leading medical device company wanted to reach specialists, including cardiologists, at hospitals across the United States and ultimately move strategic accounts down the funnel. Using 1:1 account-based marketing strategy built on the back of advanced HCP data, the campaign reached 166 high-value accounts and drove 25%+ of them down the funnel — all within 3 months.
A top 10 medical device and pharmaceutical company wanted to gain the attention of HCPs attending conferences and tradeshows. To do that, the company worked with Adfire Health to access its HCP database and match network. The nine-day campaign delivered over 750,000 target impressions (24% more than their request) at a great price, helping the company increase leads attributed to these events.
A leading med device company wanted to use digital advertising for medical devices to shorten its sales cycle. To do that, Adfire Health developed a creative digital solution that used HCP data, state-of-the-art ad tech, medical device expertise, as well as advanced retargeting strategies to engage high-intent HCPs. The campaign drove CTRs 233% higher than industry standards and conversion rates as high as 3,000%.

Sources

  1. Shanhong L. User population of selected internet browsers worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in millions)*. Statista. Published October 2021. Accessed January 28, 2022. 
  2. Jacinda S. Video Marketing Statistics: What You Must Know for 2022. OptinMonster. Published January 7, 2022. Accessed January 28, 2022.
  3. Carr S. How Many Ads Do We See A Day In 2021? PPC Protect. Published February 15, 2021. Accessed January 28, 2022.