It’s a Match! Why Your Health-Tech Company Needs a Health-Tech Marketing Agency

From Distill Health

Brand strategy & communication solutions for healthtech, medical device, and life science companies

July 5, 2022

Searching for Your Perfect Health-Tech Marketing Partner

Finding the right marketing partner for your health-tech company is a lot like looking for love on a dating app. There are so many options to choose from, all flaunting their many accomplishments, impressive rosters of satisfied clients, and “positive-vibes-only” energy. They’ll tell you about all the things they can do — B2B! D2C! CPG! AI! And other acronyms! Do you really want to limit yourself to specialized health-tech marketing agencies? TL;DR — the answer is YES.

Because while it’s true all branding and marketing share some core fundamentals, health tech is a whole different animal. Here at the intersection of industry, data, and SaaS expertise, it’s all about knowing your industry inside and out, not to mention keeping up with the unprecedented pace of innovation. That’s why you should swipe left on any agency that doesn’t specialize exclusively in what you do.

These smooth-talkin’ swooners come in all different shapes and sizes, but we’ve identified the most common candidates you may encounter. So without further ado, here’s our guide to the red flags (and must-haves) to watch for when seeking the perfect marketing partner for your health-tech product.

Beware Basic Chads

Chad agencies think of themselves as “mavericks” because they don’t believe in specializing at all. They often have no previous healthcare clients, yet are confident they can “learn on the fly,” using flash and pizzaz to distract you from their lack of substance. Here’s how to tell if you’ve got a Chad: 

  • You mention HIPAA and they proceed to tell you about the time they went to the zoo in Pittsburg and got to feed one a whole squash! 
  • You ask if they’re familiar with the challenges of EHR integration and they start Googling terms under the table and quoting the Wikipedia entry for “Education and Human Resources.”

Listen, we get it. Chads can be appealing. Maybe they have some big-name (albeit entirely unrelated to healthcare) clients. Maybe you think, “He’s adaptable! He can learn! He’ll change for me! “ But the truth is, you’ll likely end up with a brand story identical to one of your competitors and content full of un-reimbursable claims, created for patient or end-user audiences instead of your actual customers. At the end of the day, Chad is a risky investment, with little to no experience in satisfying your needs.

Sidestep Stodgy Franks 

Frank is that well-established, seemingly safe and secure choice. You know, those generic, gigantic corporate agencies that “do it all” — translation: do it all the same for every client? (Frank always takes his dates to the same steakhouse.) Here’s how you can tell you’ve snagged a Frank agency:

  • They’ll say they have a “healthcare arm” — but it doesn’t differ in philosophy from their “financial services foot”, “consumer goods earlobe”, or any other inordinately hairy agency body part.
  • They have an “exclusive and proven methodology that works every time.” So you can just forget about trying that new Italian spot down the road because “sirloin is the flavor of success.”
  • They’ll claim, in a pedantic monotone, that marketing is all about speaking to your customer in a way that shows you really “get them.”

But health-tech companies don’t just have one customer making an emotional decision. You have a wide range of stakeholders, influencers, and decision makers who need to be included in the process of adopting your solution. 

Ranging from patient-facing clinical staff, to compliance-obsessed administrators, to C-suite execs, each bracket comes with different pain points and responsibilities. And effective marketing should map your solution to those pain points, at the right moments along your audiences’ respective buying journeys. But with Frank agencies, all you’ll get is a grand presentation deck (and a hefty price tag to match!) with little likelihood of actually moving the needle.

Fend Off Pharma-Peddling Richards

Finally, we’ve got Richard: the self-proclaimed “healthcare agency” that does 99% pharma and 1% “other.” Richard drives an Audi with a “My child is on the honor roll” bumper sticker, wears pastels exclusively, and asks waiters where they source the grapes for the house red blend. You’ve got a Richard if:

  • They tell you about all the money they make for their (pharma) clients and how well they understand their (pharma) clients’ regulatory and therapeutic landscapes. 
  • There will be one — count it ONE — medical device or digital health client in their pitch deck. And they will spend all of their time talking to you about that one possibly quasi-relevant example. 

Richards may sound convincing. But they lack any understanding of the nuance involved in health tech. This isn’t about convincing doctors to try a new medication or getting patients to demand a prescription for the latest molecule on the market. It’s often about fundamentally changing how healthcare works. The last thing you need is a brand that looks like and sounds like pharma — but with Richards, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Get Health-Tech Marketing with Heart  

You deserve an agency that lives and breathes your industry. One that keeps up with the shifts in data accessibility and market trends that are changing your competitive landscape at lightspeed rates. You deserve a marketing partner that gives you butterflies, thoughtful insights, and genuine support.

(That’s us.)

Distill Health is a boutique health-tech marketing agency with decades of expertise in three key areas — healthcare, technology, and branding & marketing — and a nuanced understanding of the interplay between them. At Distill, we listen first. We immerse ourselves in your needs and marry that understanding with our health-tech know-how to provide unique strategic solutions.

So whether you have a knockout idea that needs a brand to match, or a thriving portfolio that needs a scalable communication strategy, we know how to get the results you want.

Let’s See if We’re a Match.

Looking for a health-tech marketing agency who’ll show you and your product the love they deserve? Let’s connect, virtually or IRL. No red flags. No regrets. And we promise we’ll look like our profile.

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