Do you need to adjust your HCP marketing and patient marketing campaigns?

04 May 22

Learning Hub / Content Marketing for Medical Devices / Do you need to adjust your HCP marketing and patient marketing campaigns?

Are you wondering if you need to adjust your campaigns depending on whether you’re marketing to patients or HCPs?

Are you looking for tips on the best ways to tailor your campaigns to different audiences?

We specialise in all different areas of Medical Device marketing and one thing our clients often come to us for help with is how their marketing activities should differ when appealing to healthcare professionals versus to patients.

So, we thought we’d write down what we know.

Although medical device marketing is surrounded by regulations, the basic principles of marketing can still be used to create successful campaigns that help businesses meet their objectives. We believe that being in a technical industry doesn’t need to mean that creativity is stifled.

When marketing to different audiences, the same principles still apply, but you need to shift your focus slightly.

1. Knowing your audience

This is the golden rule of marketing, and one that will not change.

Knowing your audience isn’t as simple as just being able to say who you’re targeting (HCPs or patients), you need to know as much about them as possible.

You need to be able to understand your audience, for instance, what are they interested in? What are their challenges? What questions are they asking? How can you help them? Which platforms do they engage with?

Knowing this will inform you on the best way to reach you audience. Are they more likely to come across your materials on social media or through a search engine? Is the best way of reaching them through live events? You will be able to tailor your efforts to where they’ll be most fruitful.

Furthermore, you will also be in a better position to predict what they will be searching for online, or what will stand out to them when scrolling through social media. You can ensure that the content you create will appeal to them and leave the best impression of your company and device.

2. Multichannel marketing

One of the most prevalent rules of marketing, and one that we firmly believe in when it comes to Medical Device marketing, is that your audience needs to be exposed to your message at least 7 times before they act. With the rise of digital marketing, this number is now more likely to be closer to 15-25 times.

This means that you need to reach your audience as often as possible and with the right content, multichannel marketing can help you do this.

An effective multichannel campaign involves distributing your message consistently across multiple platforms and mediums, reaching your audience on numerous touch points. In Medical Device marketing, this means an approach that involves digital activities, like social media and SEO, as well as offline activities such as event marketing and magazine adverts.

The rule of 7 (or 25) spans across industries and audiences, so whether you’re marketing to HCPs or patients, a multichannel approach is a great way to approach your marketing strategy. Of course, you’ll have to tailor your approach depending on your audience.

For instance, when marketing to patients there may be few opportunities for the in-person contact that HCP conferences present, but you will find that less niche platforms such as magazines or even social media advertising can be used, and never forget SEO, one of the most underrated tactics in Medical Device marketing.

Considering adjustments to your HCP and patient campaigns?

3. Tailoring your content

Again, the importance of knowing your audience cannot be overstated, especially as it enables you to tailor your content, which in turn means that you’re likely to see more success in achieving your business aims. This principle is the same for both HCP and patient audiences.

It’s helpful to understand their challenges and the issues that your Device can help them to overcome. Consider what the top questions your audience are asking and use this as a starting point for creating your content.

By reaching out to them in this way, you’re building more trust than if you were to simply just list the benefits of your Device. Although this type of promotion does have a time and a place, it’s usually when your potential customer is further on their buyer’s journey.

You can also tailor the type of language that you use and the message you present. For instance, when communicating with HCPs you can use more technical language and reference studies and statistics.

On the other hand, when you’re marketing directly to patients, this type of information may not appeal to them as much. You’re more likely to be focusing on lifestyle changes using approachable and open language.

For more tips, check out our podcast on coming up with content ideas.

4. Choosing the correct channels

We briefly mentioned the different channels you may approach for patient marketing and HCP marketing, but it’s important to consider this in detail when planning your strategy.

Generally speaking, you’re likely to find your patients on more casual platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, but again, it entirely depends on your intended audience. You’ll need to research which platforms are most popular among your patients.

On the other hand, HCPs are probably less likely to engage with Medical Device companies on these platforms, simply because they are not necessarily in a professional frame of mind when using them. That is not what they are there for, and as a result you may struggle to engage them.

Platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube and attendance at events may see better results. In this case, they are more likely to be in the right frame of mind and open to receiving marketing messages.

SEO is an extremely effective tactic, no matter who your audience is. For most people, when they have a problem or a query, their first port of call is likely to be a search engine, meaning they’re actively seeking out your help and your messaging.

They’re open and engaged, meaning it’s a great time to get in front of them and encourage conversion.

Are the regulations different for HCP marketing and patient marketing?

One thing to be aware of when tackling the differences in Medical Device marketing strategy for HCPs and patients is the difference in what you can say to still comply with regulations.

The EU MDR contains some differences between the member states with regards to patient marketing and often increased limitations do apply. France, for example, has the strictest rules forbidding marketing to a patient for any device that has a risk classification of IIb or higher.

We have a handy PDF download of EU MDR and local country medical device advertising guidelines.

Follow the basic principles

As you can see, successful marketing comes down to remembering the basic principles and applying them to your campaigns, no matter who they are aimed at.

As long as you’re complying with regulations and you know your audience well, you are sure to see success.

Patient and HCP marketing with Podymos

Do you want to communicate more effectively with HCPs and patients? Do you want to be able to deliver high-quality, multichannel campaigns? You’ve come to the right place.

Podymos is a healthcare marketing agency, specialising in downstream Medical Device marketing.

We’re more expensive than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams because we only work in the Medical Device space so we have specialist knowledge and experience that other agencies may not be able to offer you.

If you want high-quality, compliant campaigns that help achieve your business goals, we’d love to hear from you. Simply leave us your contact details below and we’ll get back to you very soon for a no obligation chat.

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