The countdown is on – your healthcare brand is about to launch a new product, and there are only so many months left before it goes on the market. Whether it’s a pharmaceutical drug, a medical device, or an innovative healthcare service, you need to be proactive in marketing any new offering from your company. Your goal is to not just spread the word about your product, but to also build a certain level of buzz that has people wanting to get their hands on it as soon as it’s released.
Wondering how to make that happen? This guide covers the ins and outs of healthcare product marketing to give you a leg up on the competition. Check out these tips for launching a new product in the healthcare industry.
Table of Contents
- Partner with a PR Agency
- Talk to Your Audience
- Plan the Rollout Carefully
- Ensure Support is Ready
Partner with a PR Agency
The first step in your timeline should be to find a healthcare public relations agency to help you effectively launch your product. These professionals already have the connections needed to spread the word about your latest release. In addition, they’ll have previous experience launching products and can steer you away from potential pitfalls.
Working with a local agency can be particularly beneficial. For example, a Los Angeles healthcare startup will have better access to their public relations team and form better local connections when they work with a healthcare PR Los Angeles firm.
Some of the many ways a healthcare public relations team can help you with your product launch include:
- Sending your product to relevant influencers and brand ambassadors to build buzz naturally among their followers.
- Setting up social media accounts for the product and/or using your company’s existing accounts to market the product.
- Getting doctors to provide professional recommendations for your product.
- Planning and hosting a product launch event for healthcare industry professionals and/or potential customers.
Talk to Your Audience
Phase One for your product launch needs to focus on market research. It’s time to connect with your audience to find out not only what they think about your product, but how you can best market it to them.
Once you’ve figured out who’s in your target audience, use focus groups, surveys, and giveaways to test your product and get reactions, comments, and criticisms directly from the people who are candidates for using it. Here are some ideas for structuring your market research so you get the most helpful feedback:
- Have participants try out your product as well as some competitor products. Ask customers who prefer your product to elaborate on what sets it apart from the competition.
- Prepare some possible marketing materials for the product. Record their responses to the images, text, or videos, including whether these materials effectively convey what the product is, potential benefits, how to use it, etc.
- Host a separate focus group for healthcare professionals to record their responses to the product and get suggestions for which types of patients could benefit most from its use.
Plan the Rollout Carefully
Next, it’s time to plan the actual rollout for your product. This is when you’ll be fine-tuning the details of the actual product release. Here are some of the questions you need to consider when you get to this step:
- What date is the official launch? Will there be a soft launch beforehand?
- What is the product price? Will there be any promotional rates or discounts available to encourage early sales?
- Where will the product be available for purchase? How much inventory do you plan to release initially?
- When and where will marketing efforts be made before, during, and after the launch (radio, TV, social media, etc.)?
Healthcare public relations agencies are capable of helping you plan out this part of the process and keeping track of all the details. Their expertise will help you to plan a more effective product rollout.
Ensure Support is Ready
When your product first debuts, you may be so caught up in the excitement that you forget about what to do if something goes wrong. There will always be issues that need to resolved with a product, particularly when it’s brand-new to customers. If people have questions or experience problems with your product, they need to know who to contact to have their issues resolved.
Be sure to set up a skilled customer service team and convey contact info to all new customers. The last thing you want is negative press coverage if something were to go wrong with your new product. The results can be especially devastating when you’re in the healthcare industry; after all, nothing is more personal than someone’s health, so you need to make sure any customers who are not satisfied can ask for help or get a refund. By providing an avenue to have any potential problems addressed, you can minimize risk when launching a new healthcare product.
You only get one chance to launch a new product, so make the most of it by hiring healthcare PR pros to help. The right agency will help you connect with your audience, put together an effective marketing strategy, and plan your rollout schedule down to the very last detail.
Raquel Baldelomar is Founder and President of Quaintise, a marketing and branding agency, based in Santa Monica. For 15 years, Quaintise has produced award-winning creative content for clients in the health and wellness sectors. Raquel has a finance degree from the MBA-modeled Business Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin and began her career managing private equity portfolios as a financial analyst for JP Morgan Private Bank. In 2003, Raquel launched Quaintise, and has served leading national health and wellness organizations by building their brand currencies through compelling storytelling, strong messaging, and visually engaging creative assets.
In 2015, Raquel decided to devote more time to one of her passions — changing the conversation of healthcare from sick care management to disease prevention. She is co-author of the book Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage and Reclaim Good Health. She is also a Forbes columnist where she reports on corporate wellness, executive health, and the creative process. Raquel is also a TV host and producer for CNN focusing on stories related to executive health, wellness and how travel stimulates creativity. Her goal is to share with audiences compelling stories that educate people on how pausing can lead to a more meaningful kind of productivity, creativity, and wellness.