How to Successfully Launch a New Medical Device
You took the plunge and purchased that shiny new medical device. Now the first bill hit your credit card, the machine is in route to your office, and you’re eager to capitalize on the investment. But let’s face it – there’s no marketing plan in place, staff aren’t trained, and you don’t have a single patient scheduled. Read on for our foolproof plan to successfully launch a new device. And don’t worry, if you already have one collecting dust at the office, it’s not too late to dust it off and try these tips.
Assign a Captain
Delegate someone in your practice to “own” the launch of the new device from start to finish. Empower this person to take full responsibility for learning everything there is to know about the technology, act as the main point of contact with the device representative, schedule staff trainings, gather all necessary marketing collateral, coordinate a launch event, and track/report progress. Importantly, incentive this person with a small percentage of each dollar sold so they truly participate in the success of the machine.
Schedule Your Staff Training
As soon as you sign the contract, ask your rep to reach out to the Captain to schedule the first staff training. All staff – from your front desk to clinical teams – should participate in this training to learn the basics of the new technology (you never know when a patient will ask your OR Nurse about treatments in your MedSpa). Further, nobody will promote the machine if they are not sold themselves on the benefits it offers. In addition to the first training, schedule a follow-up training at 3 months and 6 months to sustain the momentum post-launch.
Book Demo Models
Capturing your own before & after photos in lieu of stock photography provided by the company builds authority with your patients. Only appoint demo models for your staff training who are willing to sign a web consent form. Before the training starts, ensure every model has actually signed the consent and scheduled a follow-up appointment for post-treatment photos. There’s nothing worse than offering up a free treatment only to find out your model doesn’t want their photos on social media or won’t make time to return for a follow-up visit. It’s your employees’, friends’, and family’s lucky day – take a photo and get complimentary or heavily reduced pricing.
Create a Buzz on Social Media and in Your Practice
Build excitement around the launch of the new device by creating teaser posts on social media:
- Ask fans to guess which new technology is coming to your practice
- Do a daily countdown on Instagram Stories leading up to the launch day
- Run a “tag your friend” contest to win a free treatment as a demo model
- Work with a superb professional team (may we recommend our sister company, iScreamSocialMedia!?) to run highly targeted, geo-fenced, demographically specific paid social media ads on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn where appropriate, plus “boost” your posts to get a higher percentage of existing follower to see your new service. That’s right, teams like ours can select exact zip codes, age groups, genders, income levels, and interests so your target market will see your ads! Social ads can be used to promote a launch event or drive patients seeking your new service to fill out a contact form on your website.
In addition to social media, keep the focus on marketing the new device within the walls of your building. Cover every space – from reception to bathroom doors – with flyers announcing the new technology. Create a team goal for your staff to sell X number of treatments and tie in a monetary reward. Make your device launch the most exciting thing happening at your practice for 1-2 months.
Promote, Promote, Promote
Prepare to spend the same amount on marketing that you spent on the device to see a real return on your investment – that’s right – if you can afford to purchase a machine for $200,000 you need to be planning to spend at least that much to get the word out. Don’t feel you can afford that? Then you can’t afford the machine you are about to buy and hold off:
- Contact your website company to add a new procedure page on your site as soon as you make the purchase.
- Schedule a launch event with treatment demos, your device rep on hand to answer questions, an enticing event-day-only offer, and schedule consultations at the event to guarantee attendees.
- Offer reduced pricing for several months until you have at least 15 sets of before/after photos and maybe even 25-50 in return for photo and video consents so you can become authoritative in your area on the new device or service.
- Plan an e-mail campaign to announce the new technology, share before and after photos, promote your event, and announce your launch specials. Again, iScreamSocialMedia and YellowTelescope can create all of your social media posts, email blasts and newsletters, and marketing pieces so reach out as our work is superb and fairly priced.
- As noted above, invest in paid digital advertising like pay-per-click on Google Adwords (PPC) and Facebook/Instagram/TikTok advertising to capture new patients online or retarget to those who have visited your website.
Measure Your Success
Don’t let your new device fall off the radar. The Captain should have it on their calendar to report back on the number of treatments scheduled and revenue generated within the first six weeks after the device has launched. Evaluate your progress and make changes as needed. Do you need to tweak your pricing structure? Plan another event? Ramp up your e-mail marketing?
Launching, marketing, and capitalizing on a new or existing technology is an area we see practices struggle with rather often. For expert advice from our YellowTelescope Management Team, reach out here or ring us at (305) 455-0720.