Post COVID-19, medical device marketers have to face the music: Reps are losing in-person access, and trade shows are kaput. Today, the best way to drive interest, engage, and sell is through digital, non-personal channels. And chances are, the biggest digital channel of them all – your company website – is nowhere near ready for this task. Here’s how to fix it and make it your best sales rep.
STEP 1: DEFINE WHAT GOOD LOOKS LIKE
The large majority of medical device company websites are nothing more than product descriptions. Beyond that, they provide customers and companies with little practical value. For example, many company websites don’t:
To make sure your website doesn’t fall similarly flat, start by asking yourself how you want it to perform. Do you want it to accomplish each of the above goals? With in-person rep engagements cut off and trade shows shut down, the answer should be an emphatic and unequivocal “yes!” The most viable way to access customers in the post-COVID world is through virtual engagement – and your website is key.
STEP 2: KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT
Prospects visit your site for a very functional purpose. They’re looking for information. They want to be educated. They expect to receive value. To engage them and pump up your SEO/SEM performance, you have to give them what they’re looking for.
Start by performing market research. Know your customers — their different roles, challenges, and aspirations. Map their buying journey, so you know what they’re looking for at each stage. Then, overlay your value proposition and key messaging. For example, during early stages of the buying journey, it’s critical that your customers co-opt your value prop. Your differentiators must become their selection criteria. And don’t forget to bring your value prop to life in a meaningful, memorable way.
Ultimately, customers come to your site with real-world problems they’re looking to solve. Prove that you know their problems and have devised innovative ways to solve them (i.e., solution marketing). Refrain from “product first” marketing; think “customer first” instead.
STEP 3: REMEMBER, FOR ENGAGEMENT & SEO, CONTENT IS STILL KING
Every customer visit to your site is an opportunity to shift their thinking. Once you know what your customers need and want at each stage of the buying cycle, you can create solution-oriented content that supports your value prop, engages customers and persuades them. The content should also include popular search terms.
Solution marketing requires that you market the problems, dimensionalize their impact on patients, payers, and providers, and then demonstrate how your product uniquely solves those problems. And remember, nearly every clinician wants to transform clinical practice and produce better patient outcomes. Website content that acknowledges and embraces those goals will resonate with your target audience and motivate them to act.
STEP 4: ENABLE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO MARKET FOR YOU
Medical device marketers rarely give customers the opportunity to advocate on their behalf. This is a huge miss. Customer advocacy is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Customers are actually better than you at:
Showcase your customers. Empower them to tell their stories. Perform virtual roundtables with Zoom. Promote them. Build email lists. Populate a content-marketing campaign. Using white space content found nowhere else, you’ll provide value found nowhere else. And you’ll help generate repeat visitors who represent additional opportunities to engage and persuade.
STEP 5: SHIFT SPEND FROM TRADE SHOWS TO YOUR WEBSITE
Building a website that becomes your best sales rep takes significant, ongoing investment. Website strategy, design, content creation, SEO/SEM, execution, measurement, and optimization require a team of specialized marketers working tightly together. Invest in them. Give them the tools they need to create best-in-class online customer engagement. Empower them to build a site that’s both optimized for search and extensively indexed for measurement.
COVID has exposed the inability of many company websites to virtually drive demand, nurture leads, and shape perceptions. Many companies still have a ton of work to do to get there. Don’t wait for revenue to rebound. Digital, non-personal engagement is a minimum requirement, and it’s here to stay.
Shift your spend from budget-busting trade shows with terrible ROI, to your website. Rather than creating temporary virtual trade show experiences, build a website that provides an amazing customer experience year-round. Unlike trade shows, website experiences have global reach that can easily be measured and optimized.
DO YOU NEED HELP MAKING THE SHIFT?
Turning your website into your best salesperson isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a heavy dose of up-front strategic marketing and deep knowledge of your customer.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. VIVO can help. We have the deepest medical device marketing expertise in the industry, and our multidisciplinary team can guide you every step of the way. Reach out today and let’s make shift happen together!