Medical marketing, as you knew it, is dead. Unless you were literally were born yesterday, all of the rules have changed. It’s not just the media that are new, it’s the whole approach. In case you haven’t noticed it, people do things differently than they did even five years ago and vastly differently from the way they did things 10 years ago.
Here are some of the ways that marketing your medical business, medical products or services, hospital, or practice has changed.
- In the olden days, most medical marketers relied on print (often in journals or daily newspapers) and the phone book. We still recommend a phone book ad but not for the same reasons. Nobody will find you in a phone book any more because nobody can find their phone book. Daily papers and even print medical journals are going the way of the horse and buggy.
- Medical marketing is under intensive scrutiny which makes the executives who run large pharma and medical device companies more attention-deficit and reactionary than usual. This means if you’re a marketing team member of such a company, you have an inside game to play to even get your execs comfortable with the concept of marketing.
- Print materials, a mainstay of medical marketing, are on the way out. Everybody has embraced the electronic. Only here’s the part nobody seems to understand. Electronic materials are fundamentally different than their printed counterparts. People read differently on the web. People in 2011 want to consume information in different ways than they did in, say, 1947, which was a grand time to be in the brochure printing business. You have to write, design, and present information much differently online. If you’re just putting your old-fashioned brochures online, you’re missing out.
- Most medical organizations do not know what to do with social media. But it’s an essential part of the marketing mix nowadays.
- Review sites and boards like CafePharma mean that everyone in the medical business is now living a very public life. Reputation management is now an important service that most high-ranking individuals in the medical world need. But do you even know what that is?
- Right now, half of all search engine queries are made from a mobile device. That number will increase. Yet many medical organizations do not have an optimized mobile website or mobile presence. This means that about half of the people looking for you online will have a bad-quality mobile device experience, and this number will increase next year.
- About half of physicians do not have a website. It’s time. Even if you think you do not need a website, you need one for the sake of your credibility. If you are in any kind of serious business endeavor, you need a site the same way your business office needs a front door. It’s a way for customers and patients to get to you.
- You need to deliver your messages by text. Most people with a cell phone text more than they call. And you can reach people by text if you know how (we know how, by the way). But here’s the kicker. Right now, if you email market, you’ll be lucky to get an “open rate” (that’s how many people actually look at your email message) of 8% to 10%. That’s considered good, even on a very carefully groomed, double opt-in type of list. But text people, and your open rate soars to 90%. Wow, wouldn’t that be a good thing to know how to do?
- Marketing takes time. There was a day and age when your company could hire a few weirdos and let them do marketing. Marketing is more integrated into the total business today. And it takes more time. The tools are better and the potential is exponentially greater than in the old days of Yellow Pages and printed brochures, but it takes time. And you need to be consistent at it.
Give us a call at LeQ Medical and we can help you out.