Website Secret’s Every Device Maker Needs to Know Secret’s Your Competitors Don’t Know
More patients and healthcare professionals than ever are using the Internet to learn more about emerging medical devices & equipment. Medical device & equipment makers compete in very aggressive segments of the medical industry and must market effectively to be successful. This document is a focused, six-page executive brief about the elements of an effective website presence in the medical device industry. You will find it useful to use it as a checklist for the items that every medical device or medical equipment maker needs to have on an effective website.
THE DEVICE / EQUIPMENT
1. Patient & Doctor Testimonials Providing testimonials from satisfied patients and doctors that have used the device will establish credibility. Testimonials from past and present patients and doctors will serve as a list of references that others can check. It can also illustrate that the device has been reliable in the past and is likely to be reliable in the future. Make testimonials even more effective by using video, as outlined below.
2. Video & Animation To build a personal interaction between the device and the sales representative, doctor, or patient, the trend is to turn to video based content. Video is a much more efficient method of conveying information than text-filled pages. Site visitors are simply in a hurry and want content that is fast and easy. What follows are a few examples of how video is currently being leveraged within the medical device industry.
Device Introduction Provide people that are unfamiliar with the device a quick twominute walk through to get them familiar with the highpoints of the device in as short and barrier free way as possible. Think of this in much the same way that you do an elevator pitch.
Device/Procedure Demonstrations What better way to sell a doctor on the features of your device than by demonstrating it’s use or how the device is implanted. A reputable peer will provide the best results for device demonstrations. Often if a doctor is used, they tend to do wordof-mouth marketing for you as well, without even asking. Tip: Make an extra copy for the doctor so they can show it to their friends, colleagues or even add it to their presentations.
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Video Testimonials People are naturally cautious, especially when they are presented with a new and innovative way of doing things. We all share a fear of making the wrong decision and as a result, we look for reassurance. Who better to explain the benefits of your device than your best customers? With video testimonials they talk directly to site visitors, and because they are talking peer to peer; you reduce the time involved to build trust.
Downloadable Presentations Allow site visitors and sales representatives to learn about your device(s) on their own time, by provide a downloadable presentation. With downloadable content they can spread the word about your device on their smart phone, tablet, or laptop when and where it is convenient.
3. Case Studies The case studies of your website should be used to highlight the previous achievements of the company and its device(s). Case studies are used as a discussion platform for solutions to specific problems that have been encountered by doctors, and how your device solved them. There should be a wide cross section of case studies from device implantation solutions, and alternative uses (if L&R will approve) to ROI and patient stories.
4. Tools At Bucca we always recommend that our medical device clients create something different and innovative which will become a traffic magnet for their site. This could be a downloadable tool, a smart phone application or web application. We’ve seen past success with reimbursement calculators, which doctor, sales representatives, and hospitals find handy.
3. Employment Opportunities
he “About” section is one way that a web site can help answer these questions. They are pages that provide assorted background information about your device(s), and information about the company and the people behind it. When people encounter a web site for the first time, they have 3 questions in mind:
1. Who Are You? 2. What Do You Do? 3. Why Should I Trust You?
4. Public Relations The public relations page contains information published by, as well as for, media outlets; such things as:
The “About” section should provide information tailored to customer demographics, interest, and needs. The list that follows identifies these important aspects.
1. A Solid Profile The profile describes who you are and what you do. It might include a brief history of the company, an overview of the device(s), and a mission statement that communicates your up-front value proposition. Be sure to include staff profiles with a mini biography, making sure to mention their qualifications and expertise. This type of information is essential in establishing credibility.
2. Show Personality People prefer to do business with those that they know. Let site visitors know who you are by displaying images of your work place, past events, and corporate outings. Show the fun side of your business so people will see the personality of your company.
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Describe the types of job openings and internships that are available at your company. Showing opportunities will demonstrate that the company is a growing business. Larger device makers will often provide very advanced database searches, describing positions, responsibilities, and geographic locations. Smaller companies do not need to be as sophisticated, and they can often just list all of the open positions with a short description and an email link to contact the hiring manager.
• Press releases about new products, partners, device milestones, changes in management…etc • Links to or excerpts from media coverage about a device or the company • Awards, FDA approvals & industry recognition • A media kit that contains contact information for interviews along with other helpful information for anyone who is interested in writing about the company or its device(s)
5. Investor Relations The investor relation’s page contains relevant financial literature about the company. Common items included here are annual reports, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, analyst coverage, and positive media coverage.
6. Community Relations Show the softer side of the business by describing how you give back to the community, including past charitable events, as well as what the company can provide for future events, such as time, people, or money. It is also useful to explain how people can contact the company to make a request.
3. Multiple Contact Methods
7. Frequently Asked Questions Some device makers collect questions that sales representatives and doctors often ask and create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), page that will answer them. Having a central location for these questions will allow site visitors to seek out answers to their questions, and if they can’t find the answer, ask a question from the page, which can then be added to the FAQ.
Some of the things that you must have are a physical mailing address, phone numbers, fax numbers, and at least email addresses for management and/or departments. Adding task specific instructions will guide site visitors to the correct person for press inquires, business opportunities, or general information.
4. Directions Driving and/or walking directions are a very nice addition to help site visitors find their way to your door. A stylish design with a Google map is a great way to add a bit of functionality and style to your directions. Doctors, sales representatives, potential employees, and the press will thank you for adding this handy little aspect to the site.
he purpose of the Contact page is to get your clients or customers to talk to you or enquire more about your device(s), and ultimately to generate businesses. A contact page may seem insignificant but it's the primary mechanism for your visitors to get in touch with you.
1. Physical Location Having a physical address is more important than it may seem on the surface. It’s often difficult to tell if the company behind the site is a real company or a fly-by-night organization. Listing a street address will help to diffuse any fears. By adding a photo of the exterior of the office you will also solidify, in the minds of site visitors that you are a real company.
2. Only What’s Necessary Know the objective of the form, and what you need to find out from those looking to contact you. Make it easy for people to contact you with short forms. You can always follow up with a phone call or an email to get additional information.
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f you look carefully at the most successful sites on the web you’ll see that there are certain elements that should be on nearly every page of a website; elements that are used consistently among the most successful sites. With that in mind, here are a few of the more important elements that you should consider including in your site.
1. Brand Consistency Site visitors often don’t land on the home page, and it should be obvious what web site they are on, and how they can get to the main homepage. Traditionally the standard method to return to the homepage is to use the brand image or site logo as a link. If your website does not follow this generally accepted standard, site visitors will quickly become frustrated with your site. If a page is printed or otherwise separated from the site it should be obvious what web site it is from with the address and brand image displayed prominently on the page.
2. Clear Navigation
Part of having an effective site is having a site that is easy to navigate, ensuring that the links to the key areas of your site are presented at the very top and bottom of the page. Even large sites like Amazon.com have a simple navigation structure that is easy to navigate, so there is no excuse for having a site where things are hard to find.
7. A Targeted Message
Just as your product continues to improve, your marketing message and website need to move with it. A website is only as good as its last update, and frequently updated pages rank higher in search engines, thus driving more traffic. If your site hasn’t been updated for a while it will reflect badly on your brand, negatively affect your image in the eyes of site visitors and lower search engine rankings. Don’t tolerate broken links, graphics, or “coming soon” pages; they are damaging your brand image more than you know.
5. Concise Copy In the online world, less is nearly always more. Site visitors are really only interested in a fraction of what’s on the page, so write concise copy for the impatient reader. Be careful not to use jargon, abbreviations, or terms of the trade. If the page is full of words that site visitors don’t understand you will alienate them very quickly.
When working to secure funding from investors, training sales people or marketing to the end-user it is not enough to communicate the technical design of or materials used to make the device. Know your audience and craft the messaging to those that you are targeting…
Investors must understand the long-term implications and expected ROI of the medical devices you produce.
4. Continuous Improvement
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Once your site is up and running you'll want to keep your eye on traffic. Who's visiting your website? What pages are the most popular? Where is the traffic coming from? All of these questions and more can be answered by using a good analytics program.
Sales Reps. must be fully educated on the R&D process behind the device(s), the competition in the market environment, your reputation and corporate history, and the technical features of the device(s), as well as the value propositions derived by those features. The Buyer, whether it is a doctor, department head, or hospital administrator, must be persuaded to choose your device over competitive products and must be convinced that this device will result in positive outcomes and improved quality of life for patients.
n addition to those features that we’ve outlined in this document, there are additional tools, which we believe to be essential to competing effectively in today’s device marketplace. The following are the top tools that we recommend.
Newsletters are a great way to stay front-of-mind with doctors on a consistent basis. The key to success here is designing a newsletter-styled email that will introduce readers to the topic. This will then offer them the ability to click through to the article or content on your website, allowing them to read further into your content and ultimately contact you for additional information.
Sales Communication Channel Your representatives in the field need support through planning, coaching, motivating and leadership from the corporate office. To pull together remote sales teams, communication is the key. Using an agent/ sale representative only, password protected area; team members at the corporate office are able to securely share business critical and time sensitive information with reps. in the field in a cost effective manner.
Lead Generation Apart from having a simple contact form, create a form to request additional information as a means of lead generation. On this form, you’ll be able to ask specific questions, which will allow you to tailor the reply to the prospective client. For larger medical device companies, requests can even be sent directly to the sales representative that deals with that territory or specific device.
s a device maker, your corporate website is one of the most powerful potential sales and marketing tools at your disposal, when in the hands of a professional. As you can see there are a number of aspects to a successful web presence. The good news is that all of this is readily achievable with some careful planning and execution with the correct web partner. Ensure you find a web partner who understands the challenges behind establishing a medical device website. In the end, your medical device site needs be about a business centric approach focused on results, which is a lot more than just repurposed print material.
Corporate Blog A blog can generate great word-of-mouth buzz on and offline, higher search engine rankings, increased press coverage and superior lead generation to name just a few of the benefits. Blogging works to build a corporate culture around openness and transparency. It can focus your business on customer ideas and create a dialog with those that are passionate about your product line.
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Contact Us at Bucca.com for more information or to simply discuss this document and how you can apply the principals that it outlines, to your site. If you would like to know what we’ve done for some of our past clients read the case studies for Boston Scientific, SalesSource or VTI Spine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Brian Porter â€“ firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Interactive Media at Bucca.com, an interactive media agency headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota specializing in solutions for the medical device and equipment field. Brian is at the forefront of digital solutions for the medical device industry working with Fortune 500 businesses like Boston Scientific, General Electric, and 3M as well as helping to grow medical device start-up companies in emerging markets over his career.
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This document is a focused, six-page executive brief about the elements of an effective website presence in the medical device industry. You...