“If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door.”
While this notion promotes the idea of creating excellence, even in the most mundane of items, it does not not take into account the need for making the world aware that “you” have now made a better “mousetrap”.
Creating awareness is where the marketing team comes into play
Traditionally, the role and function of the [outbound] marketing team was to create product awareness by promoting those products in print ads, radio and television spots, billboards and flyers as well as sales brochures, posters and other sales collaterals. The colors, graphics and style was often based on actual market research to determine customer preference. The goal was then to create a desire on the part of general public to purchase that particular item.
What this traditional [outbound marketing] approach did not do was to address the most fundamental purchasing motivator, the personal referral. Whether it is a new brand of toothpaste, a high definition TV set, a brain surgeon, or even a new mousetrap that you may be interested in, the most compelling influencer may well be your next door neighbor, your sister-in-law, or an acquaintance from the nail shop or auto parts store. We typically are more inclined to make purchases from sources that our friends, relatives and acquaintances have found to be effective and beneficial than from a picture on a billboard or TV screen.
This, then, is where Inbound Marketing comes into play. We, as the prospective buyers, have already decided that we are interested in a particular product or service. We are not looking to be “sold”, but rather to be informed; not convinced, but instructed. We are looking for validation from other people.
So what do we do?
If we do not have information from a trusted referral source, we go on-line to find out who has what to say about the various brands or manufacturers of the product we are interested in. We may be simply looking for background information about a particular product genre or specific information about a particular brand. This is generally true whether we are talking about a personal purchase or a business purchase.
In the world of healthcare business, things are not much different. So states a 2013 online Google article.
According to their research, more than half of the purchasing process for B2B buyers is completed before contacting a sales rep. Apparently, hospitals are not much different. They are gathering information and comparing options online and without the help of any particular individual. In fact, they say that, “More than 90% of hospital administrators rely on search engines to identify vendor and product options and to research features.”
What does this mean to (medical device) manufacturers?
You have to be visible online. Your online presence is available 24 hours a day, 365 ¼ days a year (let’s not forget Leap Year), and your potential customer has to be able to access it any time, or you will have lost him/her as a customer.
Sales teams have to be up-to-dated on what is presented on your website. This is true because, “Hospital decision makers bring up their research during sales calls and expect sales reps to be able to validate or counter their findings right away.”
Information (website) must be mobile friendly. More and more, hospital administrators are taking notes and looking up things on their mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), then going back to their desktop to follow up. Google reports that there are now more Google searches on mobile devices than on desktops.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, so much more is a video. It is the best (most informative) way of presenting your product. Purchasers want to know where it will go in their facility, who will use it, how easy or complex it is to use, what kind of training will be necessary and what kind of maintenance is involved. BUT, keep it short. When it comes to detailing products, administrators and doctors have limited time available. Anything over five minutes will be wasted.
For more ideas about how to tailor your online presence to attract visitors, drive leads, convert customers and keep your clients happy, visit us at KBKCommunications.com or, call us at 815-464-8565.