Many of our clients, and those in the medical devices industry, are looking to transform their digital presence from one of providing product information and customer service material to one that drives a digital marketing program. A digital marketing presence that drives sales and marketing efforts needs to generate leads and help nurture those leads through the sales process and enable conversions. To effect that change, the digital presence including social, mobile, and websites needs to be oriented to the sales process and the manner in which customers actually purchase your products.
The first step to orienting the digital properties to generate leads is to ensure that customer segments have been identified and the sales process is understood for each segment. For each segment, the needs and concerns of customers should be documented, perhaps in the form of personas, their issues, and the products that meet their needs. For medical devices companies, we are talking about customers within hospitals, clinics, and specialized institutions such as blood centers.
Following that first step, the relevant content and experiences needed by those customer segments should be determined. That includes personalized offers provided at the appropriate steps in the buying process. For example, one buying sign might when a customer visits a product page 3 or more times over a time period such as a month. Once that is detected, an offer such as a free trial can be suggested. An essential ingredient to support customized experiences is strong analytics that help understand how customer segments behave on across all digital properties (e.g., whether customers research product information on tablets vs. PCs) are essential for determining exactly how to drive engagement. Such an effort may include direct customer research such as surveys, focus groups, or in-depth interviews to gather additional detail.
Some of the specific features that we have seen included that are oriented to increase customer engagement and gather leads are listed below:
- eCommerce – for medical devices manufacturers, that could mean putting disposables or replaceable products online; also should include integration with a CRM system to record and manage leads
- Product comparison and configuration tools – to allow customers to look at multiple products simultaneously or to create a custom product configuration, if appropriate
- Setting up and executing integrated campaigns that leverage the website, social media, and offline – that includes timely offers and upsells based on the sales process and customer behavior
- Customer service – information and features that helps prospects and customers quickly resolve their questions and requests
- Extending the website to specific customer bases – for example, creating a customer portal for a specific product line to allow them to get product update bulletins, service manuals, and to ask questions of experts
- Creating a mobile or responsive website that supports all common platforms with relevant information corresponding to PC, tablet, or smartphone
- Localization of internal sites – providing content that is also culturally relevant in addition to the product information that corresponds to the market
Orienting the digital presence to create customer engagement and manage leads is a challenging effort. However, many of our customers are taking that on and starting to reap the rewards. It starts with understanding customer segments and the associated behavior. Once that is established, the goal is to orient the digital program to meet their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.