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Elevating Medical Device Marketing: Applying Psychology for a Smoother Customer Journey

In today's fast-paced and hyper-competitive business landscape, successful marketing goes beyond catchy slogans and eye-catching visuals. It's about understanding your audience on a deeper level and using behavioral insights to create meaningful connections. Applying basic psychology to marketing practice has revolutionized marketer’s ability to influence but the medical device sector has sometimes lagged behind their B2C and other B2B counterparts in adopting these concepts.

Medical device marketers have unique challenges that are very different from those B2C marketers face, but don’t let those differences discourage you. The potential for psychological marketing in med device and med tech is no less immense than in B2C.

  • Complex decision-making: Medical device purchases involve complex decision-making processes, extensive research, and multiple stakeholders with different needs. In addition to understanding many individual segments, medical device marketers must also gain an understanding of group dynamics. Imagine having psychology in your toolkit to drive alignment across target account champions, Value Analysis Committees (VACs), and other key decision influencers.

  • Sophisticated, data-driven customers: The medical device space caters to a sophisticated and data-driven customer base. Despite this, psychological marketing can prove invaluable as customers navigate the adoption journey.

Here are some places you can use psychological marketing to help your customers along their adoption journey:

CAUTION! Psychological marketing should complement, not replace, your existing marketing strategies. Use it to elevate your programs to the next level.

1. Build trust and credibility by leveraging authority and listening

  • Position yourself, your company, and your products as authoritative and knowledgeable in the industry. Be bold in your discussions (but stay on label!). Leverage publications, case studies, whitepapers, and especially expert endorsements, whose voices can lend you even more authority.

  • Listen to your customers’ responses and adjust accordingly. Don’t send the same messages again and again. Instead, pivot the conversation to deeper, more meaningful topics. Be sure you are always offering something valuable in each discussion – new clinical data, a new testimonial. Whatever it is, make sure it’s new and relevant.

2. Identify allies and leverage their authority

  • Showcase testimonials and success stories from satisfied customers, especially in the same region or social circles as your targets. Demonstrate that others trust your product.

  • Feature Influential Practitioners. Emphasize that leading practitioners are using your product. This can build trust, create a desire to be part of an esteemed group and induce "Fear of Missing Out" (FOMO).

3. Be an empathetic ear and meaningful solution provider

  • Invest in thorough customer research to understand the pain points and challenges faced by each of your individual target segments.

  • Tailor your messaging to address specific issues and segments. Avoid attempting to cater to everyone at once. Use personalized messaging and leverage personal channels so the right prospects receive the specific messages meant for them.

CAUTION! Avoid sending generic, high-level messaging through channels where personalized communication is expected. (here's a blog post that can help you ensure you are not crossing generic messaging into personalized channels and what to do instead: link)

Here is a simple 5-step process for implementing psychological marketing:

1. Reframe your market research:

Expand your Voice of Customer (VOC) approach to understand the distinct challenges and motivations of each target audience. Look beyond just the product and uncover their pain points and desires. Find out what keeps them up at night and what their dream world would look like!

2. Reframe your segmentation strategy:

Stop segmenting based on volume or facility type and start segmenting based on needs and motivations. Segmentation in this way allows you to message around the factors that drive behavior changes and provide information in your campaigns that is valuable to your target audiences. This can help you begin to develop a relationship with your prospects.

3. Up-level your content:

Develop a content strategy that combines logical, data-driven persuasion with emotionally resonant stories and testimonials. Be factual, give them the information and tools they need to influence other decision-makers in their organizations but make them care about it! Get their skin in the game.

4. Don’t fall into the metric pit:

Yes, implement tracking and analytics to measure the effectiveness of your psychological marketing strategies and continuously optimize your approach. But please be careful about how you manage metrics. Metrics should not compensate for a lack of market knowledge, and they can be very misleading. (I’ll share a little bit more about this another day – if you’re in a hurry or have questions, feel free to send me a note.)

5. ALWAYS ask your customers to help you:

Unlike B2C, our market space is finite. We can get to know our best customers personally Encourage your loyal and high-volume customers to share what worked for them. Foster ongoing relationships after closing deals. Make your customers feel special and valued. This will cultivate their commitment to your brand, turning them into loyal advocates and champions.


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