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What not to do when marketing a healthcare product

Medical Pharmaceutical Translations • Dec 19, 2022 12:00:00 AM

2022 is coming to an end, and according to recent statistics, a majority of healthcare manufacturers and distributors will be closing out the year with an unsuccessful ad campaign under their belt.

Marketing analysts at Share Moving Media looked closely at the way many healthcare manufacturers and distributors reach out to clients, and found it lacking. While campaigns for other healthcare specialties often yield good results, manufacturers and distributors average significantly lower conversion rate percentages.

Expert John Pritchard has narrowed the reason for this lack of success down to three main causes. They make for a helpful list of how to make a medical marketing campaign go very wrong.

1. Using dense blocks of text.

Healthcare workers are busy and don’t have time (or the motivation) to sit down and read a long sales pitch or informational brochure full of dense, uninterrupted text. Pritchard advises breaking up information into sections with bold headlines, and keeping paragraphs as short as possible.

In fact, this is also a good idea for patient education material and communicating essential information in general!

2. Messaging with quantity rather than quality in mind.

As consumers, we’ve probably been there a few times: You sign up to a newsletter or buy a service or product and find yourself bombarded with emails and “news”. Even if you’re interested in the products or services, the flood of messaging gets exhausting, especially since so much of it is repetitive and not particularly necessary or interesting.

This is the same problem for healthcare manufacturers and distributors. Pritchard encourages them to stand out from the crowd by posting more interesting content less frequently. He points out, quite appealingly that:

A misconception in B2B content marketing is that your content must be formal and rigid. While you should retain professionalism, that doesn’t go together with stiff content. Your decision-makers are still human and work in a stress-filled environment. Your content can be a mental escape that uses a variety of colors, interesting writing styles, media, and current healthcare content marketing trends that will capture their attention.

Pritchard also encourages marketers to think of going beyond newsletters and print materials, for instance by creating videos, infographics, and podcasts.

3. Misidentifying the target audience.

As we often discuss on this blog, not taking the time to understand a target market’s language(s) and culture is a surefire way to make less of an impact, or maybe none at all.

But Pritchard points out that when it comes to healthcare manufacturers and distributors, there’s an additional issue. Their marketing teams may want to draw inspiration from successful healthcare marketing campaigns, or follow current health and wellness advertising trends like connecting with individuals. But doing this means they’ve forgotten that their target isn’t patients or the general public, but rather other businesses and hospitals.

Successful marketing for healthcare manufacturers and distributors involves keeping content at a level appropriate for the industry, not for laypersons, and identifying and contacting decision makers at each business or hospital. Instead of putting a personal, compelling touch on marketing material, it’s important to evoke things like productivity and earnings.

Marketing is a challenge, no matter what field you’re in. But some fields have even more hurdles to overcome than others when it comes to successfully reaching the right audience and getting the right message across. Will healthcare manufacturers and distributors adopt the strategies Pritchard suggests, or will their area of of the healthcare industry continue its low rate of marketing success into the new year?

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