Not surprisingly, patients are reluctant to experiment with medical devices. Most devices are used to manage different types of motor symptoms in diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, obesity and overactive bladder. As consumers are caught up in the ever-changing healthcare whirlpool, they are no longer relying solely on their physician to make decisions for them. Today, the consumer or potential “patient” digs for the information they need to make device decisions.
Medical device and pharma industries share similarly regulated, multi-dimension marketing challenges. The belief is that the shared goal is to create the most effective communication to best inform target consumers. In the case of most medical devices, the challenge is how to provide the right information for patients to overcome hesitancy, make an educated decision and boost device approval.
A Multi-Channel Roadmap
A 360° view of your patient-consumers provides insight into their unique characteristics including lifecycle stages, target value or segment. This strategic discovery process begins to answer questions about consumers that can drive a multi-channel campaign design, and how its success can be measured. It is essential to develop customer-focused and market-focused analytical benchmarks that can be used to make decisions about a marketing campaign.
A segmentation, or scoring plan, helps drive messaging tone and focus while identifying the proper message to deliver. Consumers in the same segment should have one or more similar characteristics or behaviors that cause them to respond similarly, and still be reached for their particular preference, through all touch points. Prospective patients are initially segmented according to the time since they were diagnosed with the specific disease, and where they are now in their device decision-making process.
No matter where patients are on their journey, you want to engage them and provide the education they need when they are most receptive. When patients feel knowledgeable, they are generally more comfortable talking to their medical device healthcare provider.
3. Measurement: Operations Through Analytics
The next step is to listen to the patient so the next program touch point can be very targeted. Today’s top analytics platforms offer the ability to directly identify and measure campaign initiatives, then adapt as the campaign progresses.
If collected intelligence demonstrates that a certain touch point is ineffective at any juncture, that tactic can be reassessed and re-measured against the performance metrics. It’s important that a consistent “test and learn” approach is carried out during the campaign—and from one to the next. New learnings then build upon findings.
4. Fine-Tuning: The Next Step
In addition to gaining important consumer insights and delivering greater relevance, a finely honed multi-channel plan in the device world can help direct resources to what, when and how strategies should be enhanced to prove most effective and economical. Analytics can help build a business case for each campaign, predict ROI, and prioritize future campaigns.
Discovery, segmentation, measurement and fine-tuning are steps on our multi-channel roadmap. They create a solid framework for providing patients the information they want. In the medical device space, that means accelerating patient education and approval of surgery. After all, a device lives inside you— which makes delivering the right message to the right person at the right time in the right way, all the more important.