By Sam McCue

In the midst of the longest bull run in history, the life sciences industries have shown the greatest stability in growth. In 2018, Inc. magazine published that 15 of the top 5,0o0 fastest-growing private companies in America were in the healthcare, biopharma, or medical device industries. The outlook for these companies is bright, emphasized by the fact that both Amazon and Google have made their entrances into the healthcare market.

If you’re building out a strategy to compete in this space, the first question you have to ask yourself is: Should you market to the doctors or the end users? Depending on your offering, your strategy may involve a little bit of both. In this post, we provide some key insights to help you identify the suitable approach for your life sciences company.

How Would You Optimize for Doctors?

Having specific landing pages for the doctors—or even a “for doctors” section on your website—can help you communicate more effectively. The keywords you use should match what a doctor would search for. Conducting buyer persona interviews with at least three different physicians or experts in the field will help you. Writing down direct quotes from each interview will help you decide on the exact phrases you’ll use to get the right results.  

The terminology and content you use should be more technical in nature. A doctor doesn’t need the same education that an end user might, so focus on providing content that speaks to their level of expertise. Technical white papers, case studies, and scholarly articles are a perfect fit for this scenario and will help you communicate the value of your product at a level that will resonate with them. Supplement your landing pages with a paid retargeting approach and a LinkedIn ads campaign to target your exact audience, and you will have a well built out strategy.

Are you placing the right content in front of the right people? Check out this  free guide "Mapping Content for Different Buyer Personas."  

How Would You Optimize for Patients

Start with your standard approach. Google Search console and SEMrush are the quickest ways to find out how people are getting to your site. WebMD or other medical encyclopedia-type sites can provide veritable “cheat sheets” for what your ideal customers are looking for.

Of course, nothing can replace a buyer persona interview when it comes to qualitative research. Get inside the mind of how someone searches for these terms, and figure out how to spin their questions into blog titles and premium content. Ideally, the phrases and terms you’ll be optimizing for will be high-level enough that you can show the patients value without getting into the weeds with medical details.

In this area, there is a large opportunity for emotional appeals. Depending on your product or service, the end user likely has emotions tied up in their search for a solution. Pharmaceutical companies do a fantastic job of using emotional messaging to carry their value, with snippets of people living fulfilling lives while managing their condition. Their ideal customer can relate to these, and deep down, longs for the same form of freedom that the product brings. Bionics companies also do a fantastic job of showing end users how fulfilled their lives can be.

Premium content for patients should be highly visual and engaging. E-books, case studies, and other consideration stage pieces of content should convey the information in concise terms and communicate the value clearly on every page. The keyword here is “engaging.” Open Bionics has a series of videos showing people from different backgrounds living up to their full potential with prosthetics.

If you can create a blend of these two styles, you’re sure to have a foolproof strategy you can build on. Whichever path you head down, the right mix of catering to your champion end users and decision-making doctors will position you for brand success.

The-Psychology-of-Inbound-Marketing-cover

What really makes your customers tick? Find out with:

The Psychology of Inbound Marketing

Check It Out
Sam McCue

About the author

Sam McCue Sam is a Marketing Consultant at SmartBug, and has a comprehensive background in branding, sales acceleration, and sales engagement. From large organizations to small startups, Sam's main focus is aligning progress with business goals. Sam is a lifelong fly fisherman and lives in Hayden, ID with his wife Amanda, and blue heeler Sadie. Read more articles by Sam McCue.

Subscribe to get our new blogs delivered right to your inbox