Marketing a new stethoscope company —What did I learn from the experience?

One of my first experiences with a young and emerging brand came when I freelanced several years ago for an electronic stethoscope company. Although the company’s product was superior in terms of design and ease of use, they were competing in a saturated market with a particularly well-established brand: Littmann (here you can know more about its hegemony). When the firm hired me, I was charged with communicating value while staying ahead of trends in the marketplace.

It felt like a monumental task, especially given I was still at the very beginning of my career. The way I saw it, I would be responsible for the fate of the emerging brand. I would either be tied to a successful start-up or failed start-up. Clearly, no one wants to have a failure on their record, so I set out to design a plan of action. I decided to break the big picture task into large chunks or pieces to help manage the workflow. In attempting to disrupt the crowded marketplace, the five tasks that I felt to be of paramount concern were: creating fresh content about medicine and stethoscopes, defining captivating headlines, producing an awesome website, analyzing and sizing up the competition, and creating speeches with meaningful and engaging content to give to the firm’s leadership. Let’s examine each of these pieces.

  1. Creating Fresh Content about medicine and stethoscopes: Sounds simple enough right? Check the world wide web, and you’ll quickly find that most things have been recycled two or three times over. So what exactly does fresh content look like? It means getting inside the head of your target audience and thinking about what types of news and items would appeal to them. Blog posts about how the product fits the consumer’s lifestyle are widely appealing. It is important to consider length, tone, and style for each market segment.
  2. Defining Captivating Headlines: Today we call this “click bait.” However, a captivating headline is more that some provocative title used to get your audience to click your links. It is again about knowing what that audience wants and creating a title that gets to the heart of that matter.
  3. Producing an Awesome Website: Website design is not for the faint of heart. Many start-ups make the mistake of outsourcing this to their cousin who took a class in college and plays a lot of video games. Perhaps that person is good, but what if they are not? What happens to revenue and customer experience when the links don’t work, or the site crashes? A site that is not user-friendly in both aesthetics and design will not create an atmosphere for your audience to spend time checking out your products. Considerable time should be devoted to how the content is organized. When I designed the website for the stethoscope company, I was mindful of the fact that doctors, nurses, hospitals were all different regarding how they approached purchasing items.
  4. Analyzing the Competition: Knowing what is going on with your competition is so important.
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Don’t focus on conversion

You finally have a website – so now what? How do you get consumers to hang around and purchase your products? Enter the art of persuasion. Two levels or channels can be discussed regarding how your target audience interacts with your website. First, you have to get them there, so it is important to consider what type of external links you use and how your page will be found i.e. marketing.

The first of these channels is the external links that you use when attempting to generate traffic to your site. Today you often hear this called “click bait.” Click bait is often easy to spot due to proactive titles leading to shallow or unrelated content. Many companies use this a form of advertising. However, both social media communities and consumers are becoming savvier in this arena. Your link titles must engage the reader and link to something of value. Targeted, meaningful information will result in the consumer spending an increased time cruising your site and higher conversations of desired actions. The consumer also has to be able to find your site. When creating your website, it is important that the content is organized in a clear manner and that your title tags match what you are selling i.e. how users will search for and find your site.

By now that the consumer has finally landed on your site. So how do you get them past the landing page to inquire for more information, to share your site with friends, or to purchase the item they have placed in their cart? Again, we are talking about how to persuade a consumer to take a specific action. Or more specifically, how do you the owner induce the often busy and distracted consumer to buy, register, or share. Especially when there are a plethora of other things calling for consumer attention? There are two ways of doing this, one is a call to action, and two is writing great content.

A call to action means that you are expressly asking your audience to do something. Whether that is to be “social” and share content or to “buy now.” Whatever you requested action is, it should be clearly defined and placed on every page of your website (learn more about call to actions here). Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to perform the action.… Read more