Trust has always been a deciding factor in our industry, where human health is the outcome. As in-person interactions have diminished, the needle has shifted again. The lines between human and online interactions are merging, creating a need for reliable digital interactions at every touch point.
The interactions that do occur in-person today are largely related to managing backorders/maneuvering through supply disruptions. This mainly involves short burst interactions with customers, largely putting out fires, and causing inordinate amounts of stress on a MedTech brand’s local ambassador - the territory sales representative.
And what of those high-value, momentum-building interactions with provider customers (remember, those things we used to call “sales meetings”)? Many of those have been put on hold, and when they are opened, they have largely moved to a virtual setting. Providers have grown more accustomed to managing the discovery process with new products through online means.
The digital channels are where brand trust is formed include online training modules, webinars, virtual meetings, and call centers.
In addition to achieving traditional marketing goals, digital channels must honor privacy concerns, offer data security, provide 24/7 accessibility and feed an incredible thirst for online content. For a brand to gain trust in marketplace, it must present an exemplary online reputation; exceeding the expectations of their empowered audience.
MedTech should look to build brand-trust-creating strategies around these four components: Consistency, Expertise, Education, and Competence.
Brand consistency is the intersection of messaging, core values, and the customer experience. For a brand to resonate, these core components need to be in alignment. This goes well beyond sending your brand guidelines out to the sales team or the vendor of choice. Brand consistency is a baseline of behavior to which your customer has become accustomed. A brand's digital behavior, along with all human-to-human interactions, are ingrained in the mind of your customers. There are high standards to uphold, across all channels.
Managing your brand internally is challenging enough; with multiple channels, tools, and vendors involved, distributing your brand message gets increasingly complex. We’ve all seen what happens when external vendors and support personnel drop the ball - one mistake, and trust is diminished. This is due to the importance of reciprocity; clients anticipate recognition when they reach out. It is at this juncture that brand consistency evolves into the customer experience.
Winning in brand consistency, across all channels makes inevitable slips more forgivable. It also provides MedTech brands a leg up against the competition and reaps economies of scale.
An excellent customer experience, from a digital perspective is personal, reliable, predictable and repeatable; in other words an experience they can trust.
Brand Expertise: Make an Impact with Independent Voices
The ability to source, vet, and deploy trusted advisors across multiple channels within your organization offers the following benefits:
- creates social proof
- provides organizational direction
- builds credibility
- and has the power to increase awareness exponentially.
3 Ways to Deploy Independent Voices
Key Opinions Leaders act as intermediaries: think of them as brand ambassadors that speak on behalf of the brand. Between their clinical expertise and respected reputations, Key Opinion Leaders provide valuable credibility. Additionally, they provide new and extended reach to your potential market, through publications, webinars, and social media. Your ideal audience not only listens to this trusted content but actively seeks it out.
Go-to-market strategies, product launches, and new technologies benefit from support from early adopters. On a traditional product curve of adoption, the acceptance and promotion from early adopters is essential. By including subject matter experts into go-to market strategies at the earliest stages, brands have more opportunities to adjust, tweak and adapt to the feedback they are receiving. More importantly, these subject matter experts can act as thought leaders, now confident in the new technologies, and they can provide written and oral arguments supporting the need for these products in the marketplace.
The MedTech industry is small but growing more diverse, in gender, age, culture, responsibility, experience, and clinical skill set. Brands need to be educated, aware and able to connect across all the various segments of the marketplace. One voice, from one area of the business, is no longer enough. Building teams of key opinion leaders and subject matter experts that make up a greater representation of the market provides MedTech marketers a powerful opportunity to build trust on a deeper level.
The ability to ingratiate Key Opinion Leaders into MedTech marketing makes an impact that traditional forms of advertising and marketing cannot achieve. On a tactical basis, Subject Matter Experts and Key Opinion Leaders build the credibility of the brand and can be deployed as speakers, virtual educators, moderators and for on-demand market research. They connect with your market, because they are your market.
Brand Education: Build Trust through Clinical Education
The more you give, the more you get. Build trust, before asking for the sale, by providing your clients with the educational content they need to solve their pain points.
What is educational content? It can be delivered in the form of on-site training, webinars, or e-learning.
Virtual MedTech Education: eLearning
Virtual education, such as training modules or recordings of webinars, can be used to position brands as thought leaders and experts within the field. Becoming the “go-to” source for material that your clients find valuable positions your brand as the top choice for trusted content, which builds your reputation as a leader in the market.
On-site clinical education will always be a component of MedTech marketing. Imagine a brand ambassador, a clinical expert, available when and where you need them. This new approach to clinical implementations represents an opportunity to not only close a sale but to also build the brand reputation.
Brand Competence: Create Cohesive Marketing Campaigns Based on Customer Feedback
Integrated marketing campaigns begin with a clear understanding of the needs of your clientele.
The first step? Market Research.
Don’t wait for the next large conference. Imagine being able to pull segments of your market together for fast and affordable “touchpoint” insights and guidance. Panels of clinical technicians, nurses, or doctors that use your products or services can be utilized to develop key insights that affect strategy, product development or on-site training recommendations.
Build a Better Customer Avatar
One of the most valuable outcomes of market research is having a deep understanding of who your customer is; what they need and how your brand is uniquely positioned to assist them. One of the core principles of marketing is the testing phase, which requires the ability to understand where your customers are in the buyer's journey and what they need from you as they make purchasing decisions. Frequent, fast and easy access to expert panels allow brands to query, collect and adjust more nimbly than traditional, high-cost market research.
Target the Channels Where your Audience Lives
Learn the marketing channels that matter most to end-users and decision makers, and use that as a starting point. Once the market research is complete, brands should have a 360-degree view of the components of a successful and cohesive marketing strategy, including tone of voice, content strategies, and distribution channels that are the most effective in reaching the target audience.
At The Clinician Exchange, we’ve not only recognized the need for trusted omnichannel MedTech marketing based on creating customized and excellent customer experiences; we’ve built a suite of digital and human services to achieve it.