The durable medical equipment market is one of the most competitive in today’s healthcare space. In fact, an August 2018 study from Grand View Research reported that the DME market is expected to reach 70.8 billion USD by the year 2025. The study cites an ageing population and an increase in long-term at-home care as the primary drivers for this growth.
Marketers of DME products have some very specific challenges to address – including product communication, audience growth, and legislative barriers. Today, we’re going to review 5 important areas for DME marketers to focus on when developing marketing programs that will help grow their sales.
Education Is Key
As you know, DME products meet a very specific need for your patients and customers. For those who are recently diagnosed, or requiring a DME product for the first time – it can be difficult to understand exactly what they are looking for.
That’s why education is such an important part of marketing your DME product. You have to be able to effectively communicate what your product does, how it will make a difference in their quality of life, and – most importantly – what sets it apart from other products like it on the market.
Providing quality education will not only help customers through a difficult process, but it will also build confidence that your product is the best one to help them meet their needs.
Segment Your Market
The education process described above is two-fold. While it is crucially important to educate your prospective and current customers, there is another audience that you should be focused on educating as well: doctors and physicians.
Segmenting your market will allow you to develop a separate strategy for medical professionals. Educating them on the benefits your product provides to their patients is a fantastic way to build relationships in the medical community and encourage organic recommendations. If a doctor can say that he has received materials and education about your specific product, it absolutely inspires confidence that your DME product is the one to consider.
Narrow Your Focus
After you‘ve segmented your market, the next step is to narrow. Consider a DME marketer for a diabetes product – rather than market your product to all patients, it is much more cost effective to only reach those individuals with diabetes. But how?
Ask yourself where you are investing your marketing dollars. Are there communities – either digital or in-person – that exist to support your patient base? If so, these groups would serve as a great starting point for your DME marketing efforts.
Know Your Customers
In a similar vein, it is so important to know who your patients and customers are from a demographic perspective before making any marketing decisions. For example, if your patient base tends to be senior citizens, an online-only campaign may not be the best approach.
Like any marketing effort, really understanding this demographic information is so important when making strategic decisions about how to best reach your target audience.
Follow The Rules
Last – but perhaps most important – is to know and follow the rules. There are so many regulations and legislation in the healthcare space, specifically where DME products, Medicare coverage, and HIPAA compliance are concerned.
It is so important to know who you are legally allowed to contact with your marketing materials, what you are able to say to them, and how you are able to store their information. Please take the time to do the necessary research and work with your legal team before launching any marketing programs that involve direct contact with prospective customers.
The DME market is only getting bigger, and marketing in this space is going to become increasingly competitive. Keeping some of these ideas in mind when developing your DME marketing program will help to ensure that you are able to deliver the right message to the right audience in the right way.