How a Patient Marketing Platform Developed in 1998 STILL Brings in New Business
December 8, 2016
18 years ago, I started Mudbug Media based primarily on the concept of patient marketing. Today, our patient marketing platform continues to bring in new business for both the medical practices that use it and, ultimately, the medical device and pharma companies that referred them.
How has this nearly 20-year-old platform continued to be successful all these years later?
We’ve continually adapted our offerings over time to meet the needs of our clients. We created this platform to help practices market themselves, helping them get more of the right patients.
In the long run, this strategy helps your company because we’re helping practices connect with more of the patients who need your device or medication to get healthy. It’s not about pushing devices and medications on more patients, but about helping as many patients as possible to get the help they need.
How did we do it? I’ll give you some insights into what worked for us, and how it can work for your company, too.
1. Focus on the Patient
While the goal of patient marketing is to sell more of your devices or medications, the real end goal here is to help as many patients as possible. To do this, you need to focus on the patients and what they need to be able to make a decision.
When I first started Mudbug Media back in 1998, we partnered with Stryker Orthopaedics, a leading provider of orthopaedic devices, with the goal of helping them continue to get new business. However, our strategy wasn’t to market Stryker directly to patients—patients don’t tend to be brand-loyal when it comes to surgical implants.
Rather, the goal of our partnership was to help Stryker Orthopaedics’ clients, the surgeons, improve their online visibility for orthopaedic procedures.
When patients need an orthopaedic procedure like a hip replacement, they aren’t typically looking up a company like Stryker to learn about the latest developments in hip implants. They’re looking for a surgeon who can help perform the procedure and hopefully allow them to be more active again. This is why it makes sense to market the surgeon, rather than marketing the device or medication.
If your physicians and surgeons can give the patients what they need, they’ll see more patients, and you’ll sell more devices or medications without having to directly “sell” patients on your products. Patients don’t want to be sold to; they just want to get better.
2. Get Your Clients What They Need
Stryker Orthopaedics and the other companies we’ve worked with over the years didn’t pay us for patient marketing services for their clients, nor did their clients get a special rate. Everything is done at fair market value. Our partnerships with these companies are simply for the purpose of referring physicians and surgeons who need online marketing services.
The partnership with us was successful for Stryker because we were able to provide Stryker clients with a patient marketing platform that meets their needs. Stryker sales reps were able to connect their clients with a platform that helped them improve their practices.
Our partnership also worked because we were able to scale to grow with the needs of Stryker clients. Over the years, we have continued to update, improve, and add to our platform to ensure that physicians and surgeons always have what they need to market their practices effectively.
Online marketing best practices are constantly evolving and changing, as are the needs of medical practices. If you want to create a successful partnership with an online marketing company, you need a company that you can trust to get your clients what they need.
3. Improve Your Physicians’ Visibility Online
Since Mudbug Media began, a growing number of patients have turned to search engines like Google when looking for a physician or surgeon. That number only continues to grow.
By creating a patient marketing platform that helps physicians and surgeons improve their online visibility for particular procedures, we were able to help many Stryker Orthopaedics clients get more of the right patients for their procedures.
It wasn’t about marketing Stryker—it was about marketing the surgeons. Ultimately, Stryker Orthopaedics sold more devices and kept their clients happy because they were able to point their clients to a resource that got them more of the right patients, pathologies, and procedures. Our platform helped their clients increase their visibility in search results for many of the procedures they wanted to be known for. It’s a win for the surgeons, and a win for Stryker.
The best part is, even if your company decides to discontinue the partnership for any reason, there’s really nothing for anyone to lose. The partnership is simply about referrals—there is no money being exchanged. When our partnership with Stryker ended, many of their clients continued to use our platform. So, Stryker continued to indirectly benefit from the platform even when they weren’t actively referring clients.
This is why it is so important to choose carefully when your company decides to partner with a patient marketing platform. A well-designed patient marketing platform will continue to bring in new business for years to come.
That is what you want for your clients, your company, and the patients who can benefit from your medications and devices.
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