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Should medical devices companies market products to doctors, patients, or both?

By January 7, 2022February 16th, 2022No Comments

The average American spends about $400 on each medical device they use, so the decision to market solely to HCPs, patients/consumers, or both is a common issue medical device marketers face.

While patients are more engaged than ever before, doctors still significantly influence their medical decisions.

Gaining the respect and trust of a doctor can go a long way with patients/consumers, but the relationship goes both ways. When a patient asks their doctor about a device or treatment regimen that the doctor wasn’t aware of, you end up with the reverse effect.

Several factors come into play when deciding on the appropriate target audience; asking yourself these four questions will help you decide which path is right for you.

  1. Is your device niche? If your device is targeted to a specific or rare disease, you will likely have greater success targeting physicians. Finding a small group of specific patients is challenging versus reaching a defined group of doctors. However, reaching a smaller patient cohort can be cost-effective if you want to build brand awareness.
  2. Is your device likely to appeal directly to patients and consumers? Wellness products are a topic for another day. However, if your product has features and benefits that are more important to the patient, such as style, convenience, or ease of use, marketing directly to the patient makes the most sense. A feature or benefit that allows a patient to live a more normal life wins every time.
  3. Can the patient purchase your device at a reasonable cost? When marketing to health systems, clinicians, and payors, it is assumed that most patients will use insurance to cover the purchase of the device. However, patients may be willing to spend their own money on a reasonably priced device that improves their quality of life.
  4. Have you stopped gaining new customers? If growth has slowed, it may be time to rethink your target audience strategy.

Most medical device marketers will find it beneficial to market to both doctors and patients, which makes partnering with a medical device marketing agency that understands both audiences of the utmost importance.

We experienced this first hand when we helped a private medical device company resonate with both patients and clinicians to reach their goals.

Eager to achieve your medical device marketing goals? Let’s talk strategy.

Brian Shilling

Author Brian Shilling

Brian is our Executive Vice President of Client Operations with experience leading diverse teams of marketers and designers in strategic marketing, content creation, and crafting comprehensive messaging and positioning platforms for our healthcare and tech clients. To learn more about Brian's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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