Scientific instrument and medical device markets are advancing at light speed. As new and improved instruments and devices replace obsolete ones, so too must marketing strategies and sales tactics evolve. Faced with uncertain funding and ever-increasing expenses, laboratories and hospitals are more prudent than ever regarding the products they purchase. As such, marketing and sales professionals in the scientific instrument and medical device markets must clearly communicate their product differentiation and functionality at every touch point.
Tablets and mobile devices have provided a hot new deployment platform for this sales enablement content, and consequently, mobile marketing is on the rise. A recent study shows 70% of marketers expect to increase their mobile marketing budget in 2013, and with good reason, as a whopping 32.5% of ALL total media content consumption in the United States takes place on mobile devices. In addition to developing mobile content, medical device providers are also purchasing iPads and mobile devices for their internal sales and marketing teams.
This shift to mobile is changing the way vendors sell and the way prospects are buying medical devices. All of the constituents in the purchasing life-cycle of medical devices need to know what is unique about each product, so that they can determine which is best for their situation. In the past, this required sales meetings that very often included having access to the physical products. The prospect either had to make a significant time investment to visit existing on-site installations, or the sales team had to ship the product to a sales meeting or other venue. This is particularly expensive and time consuming for complex medical devices, with the variety of stakeholders in the buying cycle – each with their own value drivers.
Complicating the sales process, individuals now demand an engaging and interactive sales process that addresses the interests and needs of a variety of purchasing audiences, rather than the traditional one-size-fits-all sales “pitch.” In order to meet these needs, new virtual 3D product models have been developed to demonstrate product behavior exactly as if it were sitting in front of you. These photo-realistic virtual products are available on laptops, large touch screen appliances, and mobile devices (iPads and iPhones, as well as Android tablets and phones.) The interactive 3D models provide the ability for the user (the prospect) to interact directly with the virtual medical device. Users can engage by moving the product around in any orientation, zooming in, and running animations to show processes and internal components; all at his or her own pace and degree of interest. The 3D product application delivers a concise, articulate message about each feature and resulting benefit.
The primary benefit of this approach is that the customer is directly involved and engaged, thus, more likely to be informed and persuaded. Further, this approach delivers specific, targeted messaging for each unique audience and provides a consistent articulation of the benefits of the device or solution no matter what audience you are addressing or where the customer touch point may be. Mobile apps have the potential to radically improve the effectiveness of medical device sales, as long as marketers can create and maintain the relevancy of their apps to the value propositions they deliver, leveraging the interactivity of these devices to convert medical device sales opportunities into closed business.