In the April issue of our newsletter, Designochology, I discussed the impact that the “gift ban” regulations will have on the marketing of medical devices.
Volumes have been written about the new state and federal regulations, and how they’re changing the sales process for medical device companies. Doctors are less receptive to seeing representatives and device companies are struggling with how to support physicians CME needs while staying within the letter of the law(s).
I’ve seen much less written on the impact that new regulations will have on the marketing mix that device companies choose to employ. Will they turn more and more to online tools like Webinars and social media, or do traditional marketing tools play an even more important role considering the limitations on personal contact with physicians?
One trend has been noted that’s worth watching. In the MDD Exec report, Selling Devices and Diagnositcs: The World is Changing, 150 medical device and diagnostic executives were surveyed and data showed that a shift is happening in the buying process within hospitals. Physicians have traditionally been the key decision makers for any new device purchase. And though the physician was identified as the key customer by 57% of respondents, almost a third identified the patient, the payor or hospital administration as the key customer.
This fact is worth considering when developing your value proposition. The economics of your solution may need to take a more prominent role in your messaging, and the movement toward Direct to Patient (DTP) communications means marketing messages can’t get so wrapped up in the technology that they forget the diagnostic and therapeutic benefits that patients need to hear.