A crucial aspect of the scaling strategy for your growing medical technology company is the establishment of a brand story that clearly communicates the business value of your product and establishes trust with your potential customers. In our experience, clients who pay lip service to their brand story often end up rudderless in terms of marketing and sales strategy, with fragmented messaging across their channels. This can lead to general confusion when a potential customer visits your website for the first time, or interacts with your sales team. In this first chapter we explore the importance of positioning your products to empathize with client pain points, how to build trust and authority in your medical technology brand, and how to execute your branding strategy with confidence.

Medical Technology Brand Strategy: Building Your Brand’s Story

Establishing your brand story is important in determining the value of your products to prospective customers. This process involves researching the day-to-day experience of your client to establish the kinds of problems they face, and in turn, clarifying your marketing messaging to convey how your products can help your clients to achieve their goals. A framework we recommend is the StoryBrand approach from Donald Miller – it’s worth reading through this book and taking the free online exercise as a starting point. Based upon an adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s class work of comparative mythology, ‘The Hero’s Journey’, Miller provides marketing teams with a thought provoking and easy to follow process for generating their own ‘Hero’s Journey’ story (spoiler alert: your company is not the hero). 

 

The StoryBrand Framework. This framework aids in the creation of simplified and effective brand messaging for websites, social media, and marketing content that your customers will relate to. Image from ‘Building a Story Brand’ by Donald Miller.

Why Build a Brand Story?

Going through the exercise of establishing your medical technology company’s brand story helps you to unify your marketing messaging, empathize with your customer’s pain points, and establish your products as a clear solution to those pain points. This process is especially useful in remedying difficulties you may be having in converting website visitors into leads for sales follow-up. In our experience, companies without a cohesive brand story often struggle in this area as prospective customers are unlikely to engage in a conversation with a company whose products they don’t understand the value of,  or a company that doesn’t understand the challenges faced by its customers. Aligning your product features and benefits with the things your customers value is crucial to marketing success.

An important step in this process is carrying out thorough research on your prospective customers. This means trying to find out the day-to-day responsibilities of your customers or the end-users of your products to identify churn issues and position your products as a solution. To research successfully you should aim to find out where your customers get their news, and how they receive updates on industry trends and issues such as compliance. This research will help you to build your ideal customer profile, allowing you to hone your marketing efforts and deliver content to the most promising prospects via their preferred medium of communication.

Establishing the Business Value of Your Medical Technology Products

When considering how to approach marketing your medical technology product, it is important to frame the product’s benefits in terms of business value to your prospective customers. One mistake that we see medical technology companies frequently make is to lead with their feature set rather than how that feature set will provide specific value to the customer. Instead of focusing your marketing efforts on promoting your product’s features, instead aim to empathize with the pain points that your product solves as well as how the customer’s job and company will be transformed by your product or service. Customers should be able to easily ascertain how your product solves a specific problem for end users. It may be useful to think of your product’s offerings in terms of cost and time-savings, improvements in the quality and quantity of services, and improvements to staff experience and working life. Making use of a value proposition framework may help to align the messaging of your product offerings with the needs of your prospective clients. Check out our other tips on building your go-to-market strategy here.

The Value Proposition Canvas, Courtesy of Strategyzer

Consider the value proposition framework provided by Strategyzer. To start with, you should look to build your customer profile. Firstly, We have the ‘customer jobs’ section to the far right of the diagram which is used to describe your target user’s daily tasks and responsibilities. This section prompts you to research the day-to-day duties of your prospective customers in order to answer the questions: where in our customers’ day-to-day workflow would our product live? What duties do they perform or supervise that our product would intersect with? When and where do they perform these duties? These may seem like obvious points to consider – but the point of the exercise is to fully map out the context of the customer’s daily experience to generate better messaging. For example, if your software solution that offers improved healthcare scheduling would typically be used by a nurse manager or clinical coordinator in the morning prior to their other duties, this gives us insight into how to create imagery and messaging that speaks to the customer.

Secondly, we have the pains section. These may be thought of as obstacles encountered by your customers in the course of day-to-day business, as well as churn issues that arise from the use of competitor products. For instance, time-consuming processes that negatively impact patient care or lead to an inefficient allocation of resources. Next, the gains section will address the improved performance, social gains, and cost-savings that arise from using your product – how your product will enhance the quality of delivered care, the accuracy or delivery speed of results, or the staff experience.

After building your customer profile, you should look to establish your value propositions. Begin with the products and services you wish to present as the main sources of value. Your products should then be ranked on how successfully they address your customers’ pain points. Finally, the pain relievers and gain creators section refers to how your products will resolve pains and provide gains. For example, consider again the benefits of a scheduling software product designed for healthcare. Inadequate scheduling systems may lead to insufficient staffing levels, or confusion and churn among staff and managers. Your scheduling solution will take note of these pains, and propose value on the basis of ensuring staff never miss shifts again – thereby reducing the costs of inadequate staffing, and alleviating staff and manager churn. 

Case Study: TubeWriter – Marketing Time and Cost-Savings, Service Improvements, and Enhanced Staff Experience

For instance, consider the marketing approach for TubeWriter’s labware printing systems. These systems print labeling information directly onto labware, removing the need for researchers to manually transcribe this data. Eliminating the manual human component of this process significantly increases the accuracy with which labeling information is transcribed, as well as removing the need for highly qualified scientists to spend hours on this menial task. Freeing up staff from manual rote labor allows them to be reallocated towards more fulfilling and high-value work, where they can enjoy streamlined workflows. Reducing the incidence of human error through automation leads to higher quality outcomes, and subsequently lower remediation costs. Here we see the positioning of cost and time-savings from speeding up time-consuming processes and reducing the frequency of costly errors.  

Marketing efforts also emphasize the reduction in churn for in-lab staff, as well as increases to the lab’s throughput capacity by automating this time-consuming process. Here we see a presentation of the improvements in the day-to-day working experience for staff, using TubeWriter’s product to plug a common churn issue. The ability of this product to boost a lab’s capacity means ultimately that more samples and thus patients can be processed and seen more efficiently, improving the efficiency with which care is delivered. Here we see direct business value, as the product enables clients to increase their output, and improve the quality of their output.

Case Study: Champion Chair – Marketing Enhanced Patient Experience, Quality of Care Improvements, and Enhanced Staff Experience

Another example is that of Champion Chair, manufacturers of specialty treatment seating for acute care settings. Their products cater specifically to the needs of oncology and infusion treatments, wherein patients undergo treatment for several hours at a time. A need was identified primarily for furniture that could provide comfort and support to patients undergoing long treatment phases, as well as seating with a more homey and less sterile aesthetic. Further to this, the Champion Chair team highlighted a need for patient empowerment and independence, reducing the reliance on clinical staff for basic amenities. 

Champion Chair’s marketing approach addresses these pain points by empathizing with the need of patients to undergo treatment in clinical and sterile environments, which can be uninviting and uncomfortable. By styling their products aesthetically as more akin to a premium lounge chair than a medical treatment seat, they acknowledge the patient’s pain point and seek to introduce an element of comfort and familiarity into an unfamiliar space. Additionally, the team at Champion Chair addresses the need of patients for independence by building comfort features into their premium products. Massage and heating functions, as well as USB charging ports, give users more control over their own needs as well as a welcome distraction. By reducing patient reliance on caregivers, the valuable time of clinical staff is freed up for higher-value tasks. This case study demonstrates the creation of a product to solve specific end-user churn issues, while also considering the working experience for healthcare providers. Positioning of this product speaks first to customer pain points, and then how Champion Chair’s product alleviates churn.

Establishing a Trustworthy and Authoritative Brand

The next step in executing a successful medical technology brand strategy is establishing trust. It is important to invest in earning the trust of your prospective customers, as this will ultimately increase your rate of conversions and improve customer retention. Establishing your brand as trustworthy and authoritative involves presenting customers with trust indicators – various types of accreditations that vouch for the quality of your product or service, and your company’s contributions to the industry. Examples of indicators you can display are certifications, awards, the logos from recognizable clients, client testimonials and case studies, as well as press engagements, such as recent investment announcements.

HubSpot and Salesforce Partner Badges are Accreditations that Act as Marketing Trust Indicators

 

Beyond simply using trust indicators, you should also look to establish your medical technology brand’s intellectual presence through thought leadership. This involves the creation of unique and informative content, locating your brand as a leader in a niche space and speaking with authority on important industry issues. Generating a social media presence also helps further this goal. By releasing engaging content that is quoted and shared, and amassing a significant following on social media channels, you can establish your brand as a name that customers can trust, and that peers will look to for commentary on industry news. It is important, however, to carve out a niche in your industry through your thought leadership and product marketing strategies. Make sure to identify where in the space your medical technology brand can stand out and lead from.

Translating Your Brand Strategy, Product Value, and Trust Indicators into Clear Messaging and Streamlined User Experience on Your Medical Technology Website

It is important when presenting your company’s value proposition to prospective customers on a website, that you don’t focus exclusively on the feature set of your product or service. It may feel natural to focus on the unique and cutting-edge features your product offers customers – however, this narrow approach may alienate prospects who lack the technical expertise to fully appreciate how the feature set of your products helps to advance their business objectives. So, it is best to avoid marketing to customers using a laundry list of your product’s technical features. Instead, try to explain how your product works and describe its benefits simply and concisely, using visual aids wherever possible. Once customers have a firmer grasp on how your product or services can be of benefit and you have driven home your value proposition, then it is appropriate to provide a more technical examination of your product’s functions, feature sets, and how it integrates with other complementary products. Finally, you should bear in mind the user experience. For prospects and end-users, the user experience should always be seamless. Ensure your product is easy to research, demonstrate, and onboard.

A Holistic Approach to Building Your Medical Technology Brand

When forming the marketing approach for your medical technology product, it is important to take a holistic approach that doesn’t simply focus on promoting your product’s features, but that imparts value propositions to your prospects. Your product should be positioned to potential clients in terms of how it works to plug churn issues, and alleviate the costs of common pain points. Establish your brand as a thought leader and informed voice within your niche, using compelling and relatable content to build trust and authority with prospects and peers. Furthermore, it is important to make cost and time-savings tangible to drive home the value proposition of your product or service. Finally, ensure your website is user-friendly and intuitive – make it easy for prospects to find the information they need on your product, and keep this information simple and concise. 

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