By Kendall Mathews
For Medical Device Manufacturers (MDM) and other healthcare product companies, marketing challenges stem from a lack of understanding your customer journey goals as well as regulatory compliance. Like the analogy of the fox carrying the ill-fated gingerbread man across the river, company marketing approaches can be overly focused on just their own ends of gobbling up product sales fulfillment. That doesn’t necessarily serve the ends of the customer.
Sometimes the priority of marketer product or service excitement leads to a customer marketing journey that is built to fail. The customer, like the gingerbread man, trusts the company’s marketing plan to get them where they need to go with the product. Unfortunately, they’re getting insufficient information from the company trying to sell the product or service, so it doesn’t provide what they need to get the outcomes they seek.
Healthcare product companies in regulated markets are challenged by the need to make sure customers are getting to their destination through the right marketing information arriving at the right time and through the right channels. That includes ensuring that the provided information meets all customer segment and end-user needs while meeting the different regulations to the letter.
Many marketing challenges can be traced to five areas that my team focuses on as part of a care method that includes the following:
Successful and profitable healthcare product and MDM companies understand how these five areas collectively and individually affect the customer journey. In this first installment, we’ll examine the first two of the five areas to show how some of the regulatory and marketing challenges can be avoided for ideal customer and company outcomes.
Understanding Regulatory Compliance for Marketing
Compliance is a major challenge for healthcare product manufacturers that are solely focused on pre-market regulatory compliance development. They often fail to give the proper weight to the ways regulatory compliance for marketing can derail a product or company.
For example, Google Advertising adheres to FCC compliance rules for product marketing and has very strict and in-depth ad policies for MDM and other healthcare product companies. These regulations prohibit specific types of content and practices that violate ethical standards associated with compliance regulations.
Google’s personalized advertising policies are extensive and cover everything from data collection, re-marketing and demographic principles to an extensive list of prohibited categories. This poses significant challenges for healthcare product and MDM company marketing campaigns that aren’t intimately aware of the associated compliance restrictions.
These challenges only increase with associated FDA compliance rules such as the broad FDA labeling regulations for MDM. The best way to overcome and avoid these challenges are to have Google Ad policies as well as the government and compliance rules as part of your standardized workflows for marketing.
Authenticity Supports Trusted Outcomes
Governmental regulatory entities demand fair advertising practices, which goes to the second point of being authentic. Companies that are too focused on sales growth alone often create challenges when they don’t make authenticity part of the customer’s product marketing journey. Connecting with a user on a personal level through content and marketing across channels forces you to tell your own story by doing the following:
- Avoiding product sales pitches by gravitating to authentic and relatable stories and content
- Crafting well researched and supported content that enables each audience segment to find answers to their hot button issues
- Utilizing user and website analytics to identify hot button issues and incorporate associated answers into call center and customer support systems
- Developing communication channels through call centers and customer support that are geared to a better customer UX
Taken together with product marketing compliance integration, these authenticity approaches help companies to further avoid regulatory and associated marketing challenges. In the next installment, we’ll look at how inadequate research, ethics, and segmentation through customer data management can add to marketing challenges.
About the Author
Kendall E. Matthews is a Technology Strategy Advisor for growing businesses. He brings more than a decade of experience in helping companies grow through strategic marketing initiatives. Today, he lends his expertise to help businesses and franchises secure the right scalable and secure technology. A graduate of Purdue University, he has won three American Marketing Association Spectrum awards, won a district-wide competition in Toastmasters for public speaking, writes creative fiction and enjoys hiking. He offers owners and executives free checklists and easy-to-follow resource guides at kendallmatthews.com/.