Branding for a Procedure
March 16, 2017
Branding can be very important for a medical device or pharma company, especially as it relates to medical procedures and treatments. However, sometimes the branding isn’t about your company—it’s about the procedure itself.
There are some procedures and treatments that people may need to stay healthy, such as joint replacements or diabetes medications. Patients know they need those types of procedures and treatments if they want to maintain a certain quality of life. Your company’s brand may factor into those decisions if they’ve been using your treatment long-term because they’ve developed a relationship with your company.
On the other hand, there are preventative procedures and screenings. These are things that people should do, but often don’t because they see an immediate need. A good example of this type of procedure is a mammogram to detect breast cancer. In the case of a mammogram, your company’s brand isn’t the most important thing. You first need to convince patients of the value of breast cancer screenings. In a sense, you are “branding” the procedure.
Mammograms are a good example of a success story in branding a procedure. There is Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, and pink ribbon campaigns to raise awareness. All of these efforts are dedicated to educating people on the benefits of breast cancer screening. It’s not about the companies that provide the medical equipment needed for mammograms—it’s about motivating women to get screened for breast cancer.
When you are branding a procedure, you have to raise awareness and help people understand why it is helpful. To do that, you need to learn more about your target audience—the people who should have the preventative procedure—and then take steps to educate those people based on your research.
Researching Your Target Audience
If you want to reach your target audience and have them pay attention to your message, you have to learn more about them. For most preventative procedures, there is a particular demographic that would benefit from it. For example, the target demographic for mammograms is women in their 40s or 50s and above, especially those that have a family history or high risk of breast cancer.
If you want to reach as many people in that demographic as possible, you have to find out what motivates them—their concerns, their goals, and their interests. You also need to figure out what prevents them from getting the procedure. In the case of mammograms, fear, costs, time, and discomfort could all be reasons that women avoid the procedure.
Getting data on your target demographics may require some extensive research, but it’s very important if you want to reach the right people. Your message has to motivate this group of people to get the procedure done. Your marketing efforts need to combat the reasons they have to avoid the procedure. Only then can you craft a marketing plan that will grab their attention and make them consider the procedure.
Marketing the Procedure
Once you know exactly who your demographic is, then you can start creating a marketing plan to reach out to those people. There are a number of different ways to market a preventative procedure.
Print and digital advertising typically work well for this type of marketing outreach. Going back to our mammogram example, you probably see a lot of advertising surrounding this procedure, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. Based on your research, you can target your advertising to the places where your target audience is most likely to see it. However, large-scale advertising will require a fairly large budget, and you’ll need to maintain that budget to continue to see the same results.
Another way to spread awareness about a preventative procedure is to work with doctors, medical practices, and hospitals to provide them with good educational materials for their patients. In many cases, patients have already built up trust with their doctors and will listen to their suggestions. For example, you’ll often see educational materials on mammograms and breast cancer screening in OB-GYN offices and women’s health centers because many of their patients will need to have regular mammograms after reaching a certain age.
In your research, you may find other opportunities to reach your target demographic. Direct-to-patient websites, social media campaigns, and direct mail campaigns may also be effective in spreading awareness about your procedure. The key is finding the messaging and channels that best catch the attention of your target audience and motivate them to take action.
Your company will ultimately benefit from educating patients about the procedure and motivating them to take action. In this case, it isn’t about pushing your company’s brand—it’s about helping patients maintain good health. In the long run, this helps your brand because patients will see that you are trying to help them, rather than push your products.
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