The medical device and biotech industry is changing rapidly. New products, technologies, companies, and the new tax structure all effect the bottom line. When you launch a new product or upgrade an old technology the question every company will eventually face is…How do I effectively reach my target audience? Answer: Medical Education.
Medical Education continues to be the best way to legally and effectively spread the word about your technology. You have three audiences to keep in mind. The physician, the patient and the sales force. In fact, I always feel that SALES is your number one customer. Listen to them, travel with them, spend time talking with them and they will provide valuable insight on how to best approach the users of your product.
Medical education can influence your customers and help them to understand all of the options, side effects and benefits of your product.
These are four areas that have the greatest impact:
1) Clinical content, publications and planning: This includes social media, ipad applications for the sales force / physicians, posters, trade journals, and consumer publications
2) Key opinion leader (KOL) engagement: First, you must identify the industry thought leaders. Who is willing and able to present, what markets and publications are best and finally the creation of a national advisory board. The board will serve as a guideline to next generation improvements as well as insight on how to best message and position the product to the health practitioner.
3) Social media is an addendum to traditional marketing and not the only factor. However, it is relatively cheap and easy to measure in real time. By creating a public relations campaign using social media driven by content you can really create a buzz. It is a great way to educate the physician, staff and patient if conducted in a targeted way. Driven by content, engagement in relative groups and the use of google Ad Words the impact can be significant.
4) Patient Advocacy: There is no better testimonial then the story of your patients. How has the technology changed and effected their lives? This is the reason I got into this industry to begin with. This is the fun part. It also provides vital insight into the lives of the patients that use your product. Why did they choose XYZ device? How did it effect them?
All of these areas of medical education create a supportive learning environment for healthcare professionals and patients to engage. Patients will learn about the treatment options, efficacy of the technology and the benefits of your product versus the competition.