ARLEN MEYERS, MD, MBA
Sick care clinicians need a digital health strategy combining brick and mortar with online touch points that build brand loyalty before, during and after the service or product interaction. Biomedical (medtech, techmed and biopharma) and digital health companies need the same thing to engage customers and drive sales. But, how and what are the ways to do it?
The authors propose four basic digital marketing strategies.
- Digital Branders are most often consumer products companies or other marketers that focus on building and renewing brand equity and deeper consumer engagement. These companies are shifting their investment from traditional linear advertising toward more immersive digital multimedia experiences that can connect consumers to the brand in new ways. They are reimagining how they engage consumers, with the primary goal of recruiting new consumers to the brand and driving loyalty through multiple experiences with the brand.
- Customer Experience Designers use customer data and insights to create a superior end-to-end brand experience for their customers. Typically, these companies (such as financial-services companies, airlines, hotels, and retailers) build their business models around customer service. By reinventing how they interact with customers, and wowing them at multiple touch points, these companies hope to create an ongoing dialogue and build a loyal customer base.
- Demand Generators (typically retailers) focus on driving online traffic and converting as many sales as possible across channels to maximize marketing efficiency and grow their share of wallet. All elements of the digital marketing strategy--website design, search engine optimization, mobile connected apps, and engagement in social communities--are tailored to boost sales and increase loyalty. Although Demand Generators also need to leverage content to drive engagement, they're more focused on driving volume and efficiency than on curating the deep, emotional branded experiences that Digital Branders pursue.
- Product Innovators use digital marketing to identify, develop, and roll out new digital products and services. These companies employ digital interactions with consumers primarily to rapidly gather insights that can shape the innovation pipeline. By helping nurture new sources of revenue, the marketing group increases the value of the company.
There are 8 basic marketing capabilities, which are more or less relevant depending on which of the four digital marketing models a company applies. Here is what it looks like when you put them all together:
You should use one of these strategies to build your brand, create dissemination and implementation and convert prospects to leads to customers. Most independent clinicians do not have the resources or skills to do this nor are they willing to allocate the necessary time to do it because of the high opportunity costs when they are not seeing patients. Consequently, they ignore digital marketing or outsource it.
Employed physicians rely on their employer to do it. Some employers do it effectively and most don't.
On the other hand, bio-entrepreneurs and digi-preneurs need to do it as soon as possible and their dissemination and implementation efforts should be as pressing as validating the value proposition and business model and generating revenue.
In the end, as Drucker noted:
I can recall, as if it was just yesterday, exactly where I was when I first read these profound words: "Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two-and only two-basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."
Source: Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management, 1954
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.
Learn more about the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org and on Twitter @SoPEOfficial