Archive for the ‘Effective Medtech marketing’ Category
I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Still can’t quite comprehend that it’s that time of year again…
Not only is it the season of festive lights, holiday parties,and giving, for most businesses, it’s also the season of planning for the coming year.
I get a lot of clients asking me about what I think they should do, from a content standpoint, to improve or enhance their marketing. Should we be blogging, they ask? What about white papers? Are case studies good to have? What should we say on our website? How about an email campaign …
My answer is, it depends.
It depends on what your marketing plan, marketing strategy, content marketing plan and content marketing strategy is. While these are all intertwined, they are not the same thing.
In a 2-part blog, I’ll address what each one is and does, and how you can/should use each one to maximize your marketing efforts.
*A word of caution, your head might spin a bit after reading this information (as mine did in the process of trying to write it!). But don’t fret. As you start tackling each one, your mind will open to all the great opportunities you have to communicate your value in an impactful way.
So grab some eggnog and let’s get to it!
First up, the Marketing Plan
Definition (adapted from Entrepreneur.com): A written document that describes your advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It should include:
- An overview of your situation as it exists today.
- A short description of your current product or service offering.
- The marketing advantages and challenges you face
- The threats posed by your competitors.
- Market drivers that may affect your business in the coming year
- A simple, bulleted description of your target audience(s). For example, demographics, including age, gender, and any other important characteristics.
- Goals for the coming months and the year. These should be realistic and measurable so that you can easily evaluate your performance (e.g. Increase sales of peripherals 10 percent in the first quarter, 15 percent in the second quarter, 15 percent in the third quarter and 10 percent in fourth quarter).
- Your budget.
Next… the Marketing Strategy
Definition: A written overview of all the strategies you will employ to execute your marketing plan.
- Special promos.
- Places you will advertise.
- Trade shows.
- Public relations.
- A brief breakdown of the costs associated with each of your strategies. So if you plan to exhibit at three trade shows per year, you’ll include the costs to participate in the shows and prepare your booth and marketing materials. If the cost of the individual strategies turns out to be more than what you’ve been budgeted, then you know you’ve got to modify your strategies.
Next post I’ll cover the content marketing plan and the content marketing strategy.
In the meantime, have a splendid week!
I just re-read Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett’s book, Get Content, Get Customers. I really appreciate how clearly it addresses three fundamental marketing questions and offers keen insights on how companies should develop content.
The 3 main questions are:
1. What are the fundamental changes occurring in marketing?
2. What is the B.E.S.T. formula for content marketing?
3. How are results-oriented marketers creating content and effectively disseminating it?
These questions are critical for all companies—especially medical technology companies — to ask themselves and be able to confidently answer.
Fundamental Changes in Marketing
Whether you realized it or not, the old ways of mass marketing your innovations and technological solutions are losing their effectiveness in today’s Google-ized, Internet-centric world.
In a world of infinite informational choices, buyers will stop for only what is relevant and ignore the rest. (Get Content, Get Customers)
For well over a decade there’s been an irreversible shift away from media-driven company content and toward content created specifically for customers. Companies need to not only create products and services for their customers, but they need to also provide information that will help their customers prosper and succeed.
Ideally, your content should deliver relevant information to your prospects and customers and offer solutions to some of the toughest problems they face.
By delivering content that is vital and relevant to your target market, you will begin to take on an important role in your customers’ lives. This applies to your online, print, and in-person communications.”
For medical technology companies, this presents a substantial opportunity to educate potential buyers about possible solutions choices, best practices, and the right questions to ask—all before they call you, walk through your doors, or interact with you at a trade show.
The B.E.S.T. Content Marketing Formula
Pulizzi and Barrett’s B.E.S.T. acronym stands for:
If it’s not B.E.S.T., it’s simply NOT content marketing.”
The concept of the B.E.S.T. formula is similar to a creative brief in that the goal is to help marketers gain clarity about what they want their content marketing to achieve.
Behavioral – What action do we want them to take? How do we want our customers to feel?
Essential – What are the mandatory elements of the campaign? What do our buyers really want/need to know?
Strategic – How does this content marketing effort help us achieve our strategic goals? How does it integrate with our other strategic initiatives?
Targeted – Do we really understand our prospects’ professional roles, needs, and goals? Do we understand how they view the product/service we offer?
Integrating the B.E.S.T. formula within your organization is imperative for growing and sustaining a profitable business.”
Creating and Disseminating Effective Content
Once you’ve taken the time to understand your organizational goals (e.g., increase sales of xyz device by 10 percent; get 3 new customers by 2nd quarter of 2015), and clearly defined the informational needs of your customer, you need to actually plan and develop your content.
This is easy to conceptualize but hard to do, which is why, according to the Custom Publishing Council, approximately half of all U.S.-based companies outsource a portion—or all—of their content activities to an outside content expert (i.e. freelance copywriter) or journalist (or someone with a journalism background).
Let’s face it: marketers are so busy focusing on their products and driving demand that it’s difficult for them to step back and think about customers’ informational needs the way [journalists, copywriters, etc.] do. Also, great writing is an art form and takes talent. If you have that talent in-house, great. If not, find an expert from the outside. Companies, no matter what their size, may not always be able to outsource the complete project, but they can always afford to hire a great writer.”
So you’ve planned your content strategy, hired a freelance copywriter to help you write it, and determined how you’re going to measure results.
But great content is only effective if you understand how to market it.
All too often, a brand will engage in a content project, not see positive results, and halt the initiative, thinking that the content didn’t meet the customer need. The majority of the time, the problem was not necessarily in the content, but in the marketing of the content.
Whatever media you use (white papers, corporate blog, newsletters, articles, video series, etc.), content must be delivered consistently.
If you can’t commit to a schedule, don’t do the project. While great content can make a difference, going dark for a period of time or delivering your content inconsistently will damage the perception of your brand.”
Here’s the main takeaway point: Before you create any more ‘great content,’ figure out how you are going to market it first. For example:
- Social Media Marketing (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
- Search Engine Optimization (improving your “organic” search engine rankings on Google, etc.)
- RSS or Really Simple Syndication (allows you to syndicate your Web content to individuals with an RSS reader application)
- Press releases (finding good reasons to send releases any time, not just when “big news” happens; add social media tags; create releases that appeal directly to your customers, etc.)
Smart companies know that they need to be something more than just vendors, so they’ve learned to become significant content providers for their current and future customers.”
Companies that fail to develop and deploy successful content marketing strategies will not only miss incredible opportunities to build relationships with prospects, but they are likely to lose market share as their medical innovations and services continually get overshadowed by Medtech companies that are doing a better job of engaging with prospects and customers.
“You can’t start the change unless dare to be different.”
~ Toba Beta
Even when I’m provided with a detailed creative brief and explicit instructions from a client, I still conduct my own research so that I can develop content that will set my client and their company/product/services apart.
I’ll be honest – in the world of medical technology and services, this is not an easy process. Usually after 30 to 60 minutes of focused research, I’m cross-eyed, have a slight headache, and am ready for a nap! Why, you ask? Because I’m having to wade through incomprehensible jargon, company-focused content, and what I refer to as “me too” messaging.
“Me too” messaging is content that says the same thing as what everyone else is saying Read the rest of this entry »
If your company creates and uses content (e.g. words, images, videos, etc.) to sell its products and services, I have news for you…
You are a publisher.
And, as a publisher, you are competing with thousands of other publishers (i.e. other businesses) for your prospects, suspects, and customer’s attention.
So to gain and keep their attention, your content better be pretty darn good. But what does that mean, exactly?
Well, it means that your content — your articles, blog posts, newsletter articles, case studies, white papers, tweets, brochures, websites, etc. etc. etc. — needs to do the following:
Many medical technology companies have a lot of thought leadership to offer, but falter when it comes to actually conveying that expertise. And if they do have quality content, it tends to get stale because it isn’t being replenished quickly enough to keep prospects engaged.
In contrast to the old ‘interruption-based’ marketing model, content marketing is about real customer engagement that naturally moves the conversation into profitable dialogue.
To accomplish this, MedTech companies must think carefully about their customers, identify their pressing issues, and then effectively communicate that their company has the expertise to meet those needs.
With that said, here are 9 reason why medical device technology companies should focus on content marketing: Read the rest of this entry »