There are more than 6,500 medical device companies in the world.1 A staggering number, no doubt, but also an indication of the competition. If you’re selling medical devices, it can be challenging to get doctors to notice your product and the advances your brand is making in medicine.
What can you do to get noticed and enable doctors and patients to benefit from your device? Simple. Invest in medical device advertising.
What Is Medical Device Advertising?
Medical device advertising is a strategy used by small, medium, and large medical device companies to promote their products to doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals (HCPs). A medical device advertising strategy combines audience building with HCP-level data and targeting tactics to deliver meaningful ads that can build brand and device awareness, increase consideration, and generate sales.
How Advertising Can Help You Sell Medical Devices to Hospitals & HCPs
Selling medical devices is more challenging than ever, but it’s also never been more important. Reaching the right HCPs with information about your device will enable doctors to improve healthcare and treat patients more effectively.
However, it can be hard to stand out and get doctors’ attention when there may be dozens of similar devices on the market. For example, take implantable cardioverter defibrillators, a common device used to treat people with ventricular arrhythmias. If you type “buy implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD)” into Google, you’ll see that a number of companies are selling them and related medical products. If you click on a few of these pages, you’ll also see that many of the devices offered are similar.
Due to these challenges, your success relies on getting your target audience’s attention and proving value. The best way to do that is with a medical device advertising strategy built on a foundation of HCP data, programmatic expertise, and innovative ads.
How to Sell Medical Devices to Doctors & Hospitals: Crafting the Perfect Strategy
Crafting an advertising strategy to sell more medical devices sounds complex, but it’s not. All you have to do is break it down into three categories: data, expertise, and ads.
Use HCP-level Data
The core of your strategy to sell more medical devices should revolve around data. You need advanced data that allows you to target only doctors and HCPs who may actually be interested in buying your medical device. This is called hcp-level data and here’s why it’s so powerful.
Let’s say you’re launching a campaign to promote a new ICD and your goal is to get demos with local doctors. To do this, you use demographic, location, and other high-level targeting parameters to build your audience. When you launch the campaign, however, you realize that many of the doctors you’re targeting fall outside of heart-related specialties or don’t have buying power. As a result, the campaign failed to generate enough demos and it cost more than it should because you wasted impressions on doctors who weren’t in the market for your device.
The alternative to this is to use HCP-level data. With this type of data, you can build an audience that only consists of senior-level cardiologists and hospital executives. While everyone in this target list won’t reach out to request a demo when they see your ad, the majority of these engagements will have value. Why? Your ads will resonate with their needs, provide opportunities for retargeting, and increase exposure to HCPs who may one day request a demo.
Combining programmatic with the right HCP data also enables you to reduce spend, as you can target exactly who you want — there’s no need to cast a wide net.
Take Advantage of Programmatic Expertise
Programmatic advertising — which refers to the automated buying and selling of ads — is part of a landscape that’s vast and constantly evolving, making it difficult to keep up with. Despite the complexity and constant change, however, selling more medical devices relies on your understanding of this technology and space.
Think about these recent developments and what they mean for your medical device marketing strategy:
- The rise of telehealth means that HCPs are using connected devices more than ever.
- GDPR and CCPA add another layer of privacy challenges to existing data-related restrictions and regulations.
- Google announces that it’ll sunset third-party cookies, while Apple changes its stance on mobile app IDs (MAIDs).
- The rise of video means you have to invest in existing and emerging video-related ad ecosystems.
- Fewer HCPs are accepting in-person meetings, putting pressure on your advertising strategy to do more of the heavy lifting.
This is a lot to keep up with, but the success of your medical device marketing strategy depends on it. Working with a programmatic expert enables your campaigns to keep up with the changes and account for new best practices so that you can sell more medical devices.
Be Willing to Use Innovative Ad Formats
Most medical device companies understand the role online advertising plays in the sales journey — or at least know it should play a big one. That’s why healthcare advertisers will collectively spend more than $11B by the end of the year.2 As a result, doctors and other HCPs are flooded with ads. Marketing experts estimate that most people are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day.3 The problem is that the majority of these ads look similar and lead to banner blindness, i.e., people are so used to seeing ads, that they start blending into the online ecosystem.
The best way to avoid this is to be open to more innovative and emerging ad formats. Specifically, video as well as mobile and in-app advertising. Within both of these ad formats are ad types, including high-impact mobile ads, rich media mobile ads, and interactive video ads that give you the ability to create a layer of differentiation and stand out from the competition’s run-of-the-mill ads.
Your messaging and strategy matter too. By understanding what HCPs want and using ad creative best practices, you can appeal to your target audience and stand out.
Successful Medical Device Advertising in 2022
Medical device advertising is the greatest catalyst for growth now and in the future. But to do that successfully, you need to focus your attention on core tactics — data and ad types — and work with a programmatic expert who’s been there and done that. In 2022 and beyond, this will be the only way to effectively and efficiently sell medical devices to doctors and HCPs.