By 2023, the global medical device market is expected to grow by 4.5%. Already a $43 billion dollar industry, companies are working to gain market share and reputability in an industry with countless players among the giants: GE, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, are just a few examples. Each company has its own messaging for its devices, trying to create a niche in the market with loyal customers that advocate on its behalf. As such, marketing messaging is critical for company success, especially making sure it’s the right messaging to attract the right customers. So, as a medical device marketer, are you highlighting the right medical device attributes? Or, are you simply throwing a mix of messages out there and hoping that one sticks?
A recent survey of more than 9,000 healthcare professionals reveals both the attributes that are important and those which are not when purchasing medical devices. In this article we take a look at the attributes that are and are not worth highlighting to inform your medical device marketing strategy.
Recommended by a key opinion leader
Contrary to the explosion of influencers in the consumer market, the medical device market does not positively react to key opinion leaders. Medical device buyers do not place a high-value of importance on whether a device is recommended by a peer, distributor or colleague, which makes this attribute in device marketing of the lowest importance to device buyers.
If the medical device works, does it matter how much it costs? Well, yes, but device buyers suggest that a low price point, low cost to patients and promotional offers do not affect their buying decisions. Thus, there is no need to place a high importance on advertising a low price as a device attribute.
Education and training
The survey also found that extra education and training were not paramount in medical device marketing materials. Whether a device requires or offers offsite team learning opportunities with other practices, superior training programs or personalized training and service, these attributes didn’t sway decision makers into buying one device over another.
The consumer market is all about the latest and the greatest innovative technology—the newest iPhone model, the latest app. This market interest does not hold the same views as those that purchase medical devices. Whether a device has a cutting-edge design, incorporates advanced technology or shows product improvement and/or development was not a point of interest for medical device buyers.
Much like advertising a low price—an attractive design is of low importance to medical device buyers. Why? Whether the device works or not will always win over attractive design. If the device is aesthetically pleasing, that’s nice, but what healthcare professionals are really looking for is something that works for their doctors and patients alike.
This leads us into what attributes healthcare professionals noted as important when purchasing a medical device.
Most important attributes
Earlier we covered what attributes were low on the totem pole when looking to buy a medical device. So, now you might be asking, “Well, what is important when marketing a medical device?” According to the survey:
- Consistent outcomes: Does your device perform positively again and again in a similar manner?
- Positive patient outcomes: Are patients happy with device implementation, and do they have a better quality of life?
- Durability: Soes the device last? Is it made with high-quality products?
- Easy to use: Is the device simple to administer and highly intuitive?
- Efficacy: For what the device is and how it’s used, does it achieve maximum productivity for the minimum input?
As the medical device industry grows, the needs of healthcare professionals will continue to change. Healthcare marketers should focus on their audience—and what matters to them—to communicate effectively. By listening to the marketplace, marketers will be able to assess key attributes and prioritize what healthcare providers deem important and not spend effort on what is unimportant. By taking these attributes into consideration, healthcare marketers will be able to stand out from their competition and succeed in an industry where competition is fierce and only the best thrive.