Marketing is a fast-moving business, and digital marketing is even faster because it is changing all the time. “Just keeping up” can be hard especially when your own industry is changing rapidly, independently of what is happening online.
Medical device marketing shares some key strategies with healthcare marketing in general, however, it also presents a number of challenges that are best tackled with certain tools. TBA Digital’s Blackboard is a great starting point for any medical device marketing professional looking for resources, but let’s take a deeper dive into some of the digital tools that are best suited for medical device marketing.
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So now that we've got a pretty good
idea of what a customer journey is,
let's take a look at some
customer journey maps.
Customer journey maps come
in a variety of formats.
The first thing you'll notice is that
most of them don't really look like maps.
Generally, they're more
like graphs or timelines.
And I say it's more like a
timeline because while the
elements going up and down
the Y axis here vary wildly,
the X axis going across?
It's almost always time.
The timeline may be divided
into different stages or phases,
but they're usually arranged in
chronological order. Regardless,
we'll stick with "map" because
that's the industry term.
So let's start with a fairly simple
map following someone selecting a blood
glucose monitoring system.
Our persona is Heather,
a type two diabetic in her
thirties who is choosing buying,
and then using, such a system.
On the Y axis of this map,
we have customer satisfaction or
happiness. On the X axis, time.
So the thing that looks like a mountain
range here is a representation of
Heather's satisfaction levels over time.
These circles across the bottom of the
map are the thoughts and questions that
occur to her along the way. There
are things like, "It's convenient,
but I wonder,
is it as accurate as my old system?"
or "Is this sensor really waterproof?"
The great strength of this design is
that it illuminates the mindset of our
customer so well. At
every step of her journey,
we have a pretty good idea of what
Heather is thinking and feeling.
So this is an effective design for a
high-involvement purchase where strong
emotions are at play,
which is often the case with
customers who are also patients.
Okay. Here's another more complex map.
It follows several dermatologists,
all of whom are trying to decide which
type of laser to buy for their medical
practices. Along the top here, they've
divided the timeline into stages.
It's a very common arrangement.
The particular stages they've
chosen are awareness, consideration,
purchase, experience and advocacy.
Just below the stages or steps are
what are called Customer Touchpoints.
A touchpoint is any place along the
journey where a customer has some sort of
contact with your brand.
this could be in anything from reading
a blog, to talking to a store associate,
to observing someone in the wild
using one of your products. Obviously,
few of those are going to appear
in this particular example,
but you get the idea.
The Y axis on this map has been divided
into various marketing or communication
channels, like a TV
commercial, a billboard,
email from a colleague
or social media. Again,
not all of these are relevant
to this special case.
The colored lines are customer
each line represents the path taken
by a different persona, or physician,
in this map. These blips or dots
represent customer touchpoints.
One of the reasons this map is so complex
is that it follows four personas at
once. But if we follow just
one persona's customer journey,
it might look like this.
In the awareness phase,
our doctor is familiar
with her patient's needs,
knows several brand names of lasers
through manufacturer's reps who have
contacted her over the years,
and is also bothered by the
shortcomings of her existing laser.
In the research phase,
she visits the websites and online
catalogs of competing brands.
She also queries a colleague who uses
one of the brands she's considering with
She also attends an industry trade
show where she can actually compare the
models in real life.
This is where she makes a final decision
and places her order with her rep.
Later, after using her new
laser on a number of patients,
she enters the advocacy
phase of her journey.
She does discover some limitations
with the new device, but overall,
she is pleased with her choice. So
that's an example of a pretty
complex and specialized journey map.
The real question is,
is the design of the map well suited
to a costly and specialized purchase
like this? The biggest problem with
this map is that it follows too
many customers. Visually,
it's a bit overwhelming.
We recommend just one customer per map.
Now let's go to a simpler example.
This one follows a customer looking
to purchase a new pair of glasses.
We'll call him Elton. This one is more
like a grid or matrix. As you can see,
the timeline has been divided into
just three broad stages, awareness,
consideration, and decision.
In this column down the left-hand side
are a number of parameters. On the top,
we have "what is the customer
feeling or thinking?" Below that,
"what is the customer doing?" Below that
is "what is the customer researching or
asking?" And the last one in
the column is "how can we move
this customer towards choosing us?"
This customer journey map doesn't
really have specific touchpoints.
But it does offer insights
into what Elton is thinking,
feeling and considering at
different stages of his journey.
So how suited is this format to
buying a pair of eye glasses?
I would say it's pretty good.
With a purchase like eye glasses,
so many of the decisions to be
made are personal and internalized.
And many of them will also be made in
a single visit to a store or website.
You could say that there is one
dominant, very concentrated touchpoint.
A simple matrix format like this
also allows for expansion on that
touchpoint through plenty of
text wherever it is required.
So those are just three random styles
of customer journey maps out of the
plethora available to you. Try
Googling "customer journey map",
and you'll see what I mean.
They're all over the place.
So what format do we recommend as a
template for your customer journey map?
In the resource section below,
you'll find a link for a
template that we like to use.
The exact format you decide on depends
largely on the question you're trying to
answer or the problem
you're trying to solve.
Looking to improve retention
of website visitors?
Then a customer journey map that graphs
satisfaction and highlights plenty of
pain points it's probably your best bet.
Is your goal to raise awareness of
your brand and recruit new customers?
Then a matrix-style map,
concentrating on the early stages of the
customer journey with lots of different
channels or media on the vertical
axis might be a better format for you.
By the way,
while it's fine to have an area of
concentration in your customer journey,
don't omit any phase entirely.
Sometimes an observation made at one
stage of the journey can offer surprising
insights into another.
now that you have some idea of the
range of map styles available to you,
let's take a closer look at one legendary
customer journey and what the map for
it might look like.
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