Don’t look now, but patients are looking beyond traditional advertising outlets for health-related information. Medical device marketers who don’t change their methods are missing a huge opportunity to communicate to prospective patients, educate them about their product’s benefits, and motivate them to take an action.
Don’t look now, but patients are looking beyond traditional advertising outlets for health-related information. Medical device marketers who don’t change their methods are missing a huge opportunity to communicate to prospective patients, educate them about their product’s benefits, and motivate them to take an action. With that in mind, here are five online statistics that can improve the effectiveness of your medical device marketing strategy:
- Looking for health information is a popular online activity: According to the Pew Internet Research Project, the top online activities are following email, using a search engine, and looking for health information. They estimate that, of the total U.S. adult population, 59% seek health information online. Medical device marketers that are targeting adults had better include online marketing in their plans. Websites need plenty of easy-to-understand information and videos. Email marketing can drive patients to the site, while search engine optimization (SEO) strategies work to secure high listings in search results.
- Online searches are topic specific: The Pew Research Center also found that 56% of American web users look online for information about a certain procedure or medical treatment, with eight in ten inquiries starting at a search engine. Think about keywords that patients use to search for your medical device or the problems it solves, and then conduct an online search using those words. If your product doesn’t show up, you could be in trouble. Pay-per-click marketing and search engine optimization can help boost your presence.
- Younger patients are more mobile: If your medical device is targeted at a younger demographic, your marketing plans need a mobile strategy as well. Some 85% of adults now own a cell phone, and 31% use it to look for medical information online, especially those between the ages of 18 and 49. Try searching for your medical device on your cell or smart phone and see what your site looks like.
- Patients are sharing their experiences more: 26% of the survey respondents said that they read or watched someone else’s experience about health or medical issues, while others went online specifically to find people who shared their same health concerns. Each week, billions of pieces of information are shared on Facebook and other social media outlets. Engage the users of your medical device through social media and encourage them to share their experiences with your product.
- Consumers spend a lot of time online: eMarketer reported that The Buntin Group, an ad agency, and Survey Sampling International surveyed US web users in May 2013, on behalf of Chinet. They found that the average user spends 23 hours a week texting, emailing, using social media and engaging in other forms of online communication. It appears that online will soon be the only way to reach prospective product users.
With the proper use of online marketing opportunities, savvy medical device marketers can find cost-effective ways of getting their message through to the right consumer.