May 21, 2021
Ungarble Your MedTech Writing
Writing about medical technology and healthcare can be tricky. Med Tech is… well… technical. Explaining how a new piece of medical equipment works or the latest procedures in cataract surgery, while certainly scintillating to a few of us, might have many readers checking out after a sentence or two. Many times (especially with a brand-spanking-new piece of medical device), the urge is to list all the fantastic technical details and specifications.
What the customer wants to know is what the device or procedure can do for them. Try these tips for pumping up your healthcare marketing writing.
Showcase the benefits . What impact will the medical device or healthcare service have? Is it going to save time or money? Does it provide for a quicker recovery? Is it more accurate, easier to operate, or multifunctional?
Cite examples and testimonials . People want to hear about other people’s experiences. There’s a reason we all jump down to the reviews before we purchase a product on Amazon.
Avoid jargon . When we’re in our MedTech bubble, it’s easy to forget that many people don’t speak the same language. When describing a new device or a new procedure, use language anyone can understand. However, here’s an important caveat: Remember to think how the consumer thinks. Sure, you may call it optical coherence tomography, but most people refer to it as OCT. Think about what your potential customer is going to type into a Google search.
Add these rules to your medical marketing writing, and with some practice, you'll be reaching customers on a whole new level. If you need an assist, we’re here to help . We’ve been writing healthcare marketing materials for decades! Send us an email, and we'll help you take your marketing to the next level!
But how exactly do you craft an impactful strategic narrative? Here are a few guidelines to help write a compelling story.
- Start with your audience in mind. Consider their perspective and what they care about. By knowing your audience and engaging them within their framework, you can reach them on an emotional level.
- Keep it concise and straightforward. Avoid jargon, be selective with content, and pare complex ideas down to their essence.
- Take the audience on a journey. Use headlines, subheads, and sidebars as road signs along the way to help keep everyone on the path.
- Use examples. Show how concepts work in the real world and apply to the reader.
- Learn from the Bard. Most plays come in three acts: the setup, the confrontation, and the resolution. You can use that structure to convey your story as well. Set the scene, introduce the challenge, and resolve the problem.
Returning to the Office, Post-Covid
So, you’re all vaxed up and ready to head back into the office.
In most offices, pants are not just encouraged but required. And not those comfy ones with the elastic waistband. It's not too early to see if you can squeeze back into your workwear.
You may have to reign in your out-of-control snacking urge. Instead of tackling a particularly onerous (or mundane) task, do you get up and go to the pantry or refrigerator despite having visited the kitchen just a scant 30 minutes ago? While a trip to the kitchen is an excellent procrastination tool while working at home, you might not have that luxury when back in the office. Plan accordingly.
While at home, your dog lies contentedly at your feet while you stare into your laptop screen. Your cat photobombs your Zoom calls and tries to walk on your keyboard while you type. These little guys have grown used to you being around all day. How will they deal with your absence? Better stock up now on the chew toys and scratching posts.
Practice your small talk. It's been a while since we've talked sports/TV/kids in an office setting. It's time to master the art of inoffensive chit-chat around the water cooler again.
The commute is going to be a drag, so gird your loins now. We're not used to sitting in traffic, and all that time in the car is going to seem like such a waste. On the other hand, you will get to spend more quality time with NPR.
Other things to dread: The laundry will stack up because you can't put in a load of towels on your coffee break. You'll have less time for meal prep—no more running to the stove and stirring the bouillabaisse between calls. You'll have to comb your hair regularly. And no more wearing slippers all day.
But it's not all bad; there is a brighter side. You get to socialize with other humans. There'll be donuts in the break room. And family relations might return to normal since you're not grinding on each other's nerves by being together 24/7.
It’s fun. Okay, maybe it’s a little fun, especially the bonhomie of the conga line around the conference table. Just don’t think too hard about all the jobs, including yours, that depend on the results.
But it’s actually a pretty serious undertaking. The product launch could sputter and considering how much money you’ve spent, jobs could be on the line, including yours. Did I mention that you’re presenting at nine on Monday morning? Cue, flop sweat.
Everybody is creative . Human beings are creative creatures by design, but not professionally creative, which means they can take an oddball product and use a strategy to give it a twist that people will remember forever. Sorry, but the fakers and wannabes need to get out of my office.
Everything is Woodstock hunky-dory. No, everything is not copacetic all the time. Put seven or eight highly creative, opinionated, and sometimes unshowered peeps together, there will be squabbles, jealousies, and worse.
The Four Martini Lunch Solution . Based on all the bull we’re served up from Mad Men, you would think that all marketing problems are solved posthaste over a five-martini lunch. I wish!
Just because you call it brainstorming doesn’t mean it is. Brainstorming is a process that generates focus on the problem that needs to be solved. It’s not the five minutes at the end of the meeting where the boss wants to come up with a new theme for an event.
Everybody should participate in brainstorming . Like sales, marketing, ex-officios, significant others, or the guy delivering from the sandwich shop, Brainstorming is about building great ideas, not consensus.
The QR Code Hits Prime Time — Again.
During the early aughts, marketers and supply chain engineers slapped QR Codes (Quick Response Code) on anything that would hold still from a minute. It was exciting stuff because the QR code gave marketers, including us, a magic link from their print advertising and outdoor ads to the mothership website.
Masahiro Hara developed the technology in the early nineties. It quickly found a lasting place in the toolkit of supply chain engineers. The QR codes proved invaluable because error correction allowed machines to read them even if the rectangles were stained or partially torn.
As popular as QR Codes became in manufacturing, they faded out of favor with consumers, who were slow to adopt the technology. And to be honest, the tech was a pain. On many devices, the user needed to download an app to make their phone camera compatible with the QR codes. But they’re back now with a vengeance. And, you can thank your nearest deadly virus.
In our no-touch society, QR Codes offer a way to make payments, read menus, and pay highway tolls. Consumer adoption followed suit. It also helped that the new character capacity has jumped from 20 to 7,000. QR mania has caught on nationally, too. In 2020, the industry clocked 11 million scans, up from 9.76 million in 2018. At Biotica, we’re not quite ready to go full-QR yet, but we will be testing them on print advertising, outdoor, and web design.
Sara Manone, Executive VP at Trekk, suggests testing the adoption of QR Codes as a prelude to trying immersive technologies like VR. Any questions on how you can put QR Codes to work, call us anytime . For more information, download the “ HubSpot Guide to QR Codes .”
Prepare to Lose Your Web Cookies
Web cookies are tiny doodads of code that drop into your browser that advertisers use to track what websites you visit, your favorite brand of toothpaste, and where you get your news.
Lou Monetelli, working at Netscape, invented them in 1994. Since then, they've enabled a market that will soon eclipse $500 billion in online advertising. On the ways, brands have amassed a massive amount of personal information, which advertising programs us to target individuals. The algorithms can predict your purchases and life events by monitoring what you buy. They further refine profiles by merging cookie data with third-party information. But consumers like to have a voice in what information is collected and by whom. That's why we'll continue to see big tech getting grilled by Congressional committees.
The GDPR ( The European Data Protection Regulation ) in the EU has led the privacy battle by mandating that advertisers need to provide ways for users to opt-out of cookies. Thus, the permission banners you see when you visit a website for the first time. Apple and Google have since implemented their versions of GDPR.
The Cookie Monster DiesGoogle plans to eliminate cookies in the next two years. The impact will be enormous. Publishers could lose up to 54% of revenue, and brands dependent on personalized marketing and analytics will need to look elsewhere.
The scheme that Google is testing is called the Privacy Sandbox. Instead of hauling in and tracking private information, the PS will infer your profile from your browser based on settings, fonts, and IP addresses.
How will this affect brand budgets?
As we mentioned previously, healthcare publishers will take a big hit on the demise of cookies. And marketing executives will likely steer more budget toward content, organic search, and social media.
You have two years to wrap your brain around all these changes. In the interim, keep baking cookies!
How to Use Storytelling to Market Your Products
Storytelling is having a moment. In marketing circles, it's the latest de rigueur tool. But storytelling has existed since humans sat around the fire at night and told stories to share their wisdom. Early adopters like the Brothers Grimm captured many of those stories and wrote them down so people could freak out their kids with stories of witches, trolls, and acts of derring-do, all the while passing along life tips like don’t trust an old lady in a gingerbread house.
We've been using storytelling techniques in medical marketing for years simply because it's a great way to get the point across in a way that's engaging and memorable. And storytelling can transform complex data sets into information that people can easily digest. All those specifications on your newly minted medical device might make your engineers go gaga but transform that data into a story that tells a customer how the device will impact their practice, and you win.But how exactly do you craft an impactful strategic narrative? Here are a few guidelines to help write a compelling story.
- Start with your audience in mind . Consider their perspective and what they care about. By knowing your audience and engaging them within their framework, you can reach them on an emotional level.
- Keep it concise and straightforward. Avoid jargon, be selective with content, and pare complex ideas down to their essence.
- Take the audience on a journey . Use headlines, subheads, and sidebars as road signs along the way to help keep everyone on the path.
- Use examples . Show how concepts work in the real world and apply to the reader.
- Learn from the Bard . Most plays come in three acts: the setup, the confrontation, and the resolution. You can use that structure to convey your story as well. Set the scene, introduce the challenge, and resolve the problem.
Here’s a quick example of using storytelling in marketing that almost everyone is familiar with. Enter our heroes, the scrappy owners of a start-up, The Dollar Shave Club. Tired of shelling out big bucks to Big Razor (conflict!) they started their own company to manufacture comparable razors but at a better price that they’ll ship right to your mailbox (we’re saved!) Boom, marketing gold! The company took off like gangbusters and sold lots and lots of razors. (Eventually, they sold out to multinational conglomerate, Unilever, and so lived happily ever after, but that’s not part of the story.)
Mark Your Calendar for These July Healthcare Events
- Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month with the Alzheimer’s Association
- Cataract Awareness Month with Prevent Blindness
- Men’s Health Month with multiple organizations
- Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America
- National Aphasia Awareness Month with the National Aphasiea Association
- National Congenital Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month with
- the CDCTrusted Source
- National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month with the Coalition For Headache And Migraine Patients ( CHAMP )
- National Scleroderma Awareness Month with the Scleroderma Foundation
- PTSD Awareness Month with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Scoliosis Awareness Month with the Scoliosis Research Society
- National Cancer Survivors Day (June 6) with the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation
- Family Health and Fitness Day (June 12) with the National Recreation and Park Association
- World Blood Donor Day (June 14) with the WHOTrusted Source
- Autistic Pride Day (June 18)
- World Sickle Cell Day (June 19) with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America
- Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (June 21–27) with the Helen Keller National Center
- National HIV Testing Day (June 27)