4 Musts for any Medical Device Manufacturer.
As hospitals reinvent the way that they manage their supply chain, so too must manufacturers change the ways they approach their sales messaging. Unfortunately, too many manufacturers remain entrenched in the “old school” ways to market their products and have not adapted their strategies to address the business needs of the hospital.
A recent Google survey revealed that over half of hospital administrators go online to research potential equipment and vendors. With hospital budgets tightening and trade show attendance on the wane, hospital administrators are finding the web to be a crucial tool in evaluating not only products but the companies that manufacture them. This trend will only strengthen in the coming years.
With online playing a larger role in the decision making process, the website has become the first test of a company’s ability to address the needs of all stakeholders in the hospital supply chain. Below are four critical components that any medical manufacturing website must include to better position the company to a key purchase influencer; the hospital administrator.
1. Dedicate some real estate
A quote from the Google survey also revealed interesting insight on why administrators research online. As one member of a VAC (Value Analysis Committee) put it, “The primary reason we conduct online research is to limit the number of vendors… we cannot deal with all 50 of them and try to pick the top 3 or 4.”
A dedicated web section exclusively targeted to hospital administration telegraphs that your company understands the complexity of their supply chain and can address the more holistic solutions that your organization and products can provide. Product support, clinical education, efficacy rates, readmission data, disposal costs, flexibility, storage costs, failure rates and more-all play a vital role in hospital administrator’s decision making process. The companies that can effectively address these issues stand the best chance to make the cut.
2. The phone is your friend-Go responsive
With the mobile and tablet market continuing to explode, more and more busy administrators are researching on their smart phones and tablets. This trend will continue to grow and the need to present your website in any format will determine whether or not the your site is actually being viewed at all.
Responsive design allows a company to develop one website that intuitively resizes to accommodate any device’s screen size. While still a relatively new technology, many of the major search engines have already begun to give added weight to responsively designed websites in their search results.
3. Talk the talk-The case for cost efficiency
According to Truven health Action IO net operating income for US hospitals is slowly rising. As hospitals have begun to apply long proven manufacturing theory to their own operations, their need to demonstrate cost efficiency has strengthened.
A Think Insights poll found that administrators are balancing clinical outcomes and cost saving, with 3 out of 5 decision makers looking to improve clinical outcomes when deciding to purchase and nearly half seeking to lower costs.
In many cases, Medical Device companies already have a strong case for cost efficiencies but the data and messaging is targeted to the physician and how the product will improve their performance, not the hospital as a whole. By moving the efficiency conversation downstream to the hospital supply chain, Medical Device companies can engage the administrators in a more holistic way.
4. Show them the goods
When researching what car to buy, visuals sell. The same is true for medical devices. Administrators as well as physicians want to see the equipment in action. And while it is important to demonstrate that you product enhances the efficiency of a procedure, it is equally important to demonstrate that the product has a minimal negative impact on an operating room and/or hospital protocol.
Content rich video will show your audience the subtle advantages of using your product(s). Visual information detailing maintenance, space requirements, ease of use, portability, access, and storage will help sell the product even before a rep has even been called.
Putting it all together
The reality of the medical reform era is that value analysis committees are here to stay. The pricing pressures that hospitals now face dictates the need for hospital administration to apply a new set of rules for their purchasing procedures.
The Medical Device companies whose online presence can embrace administration need for efficiencies and provide them with the specific information they require on any device platform will have the best chance of being one of the few companies at the bidding table.