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7 Freaky Marketing Mistakes Digital Health Companies Make

spooky marketing mistakes

Halloween is just around the corner with all the creative costumes and spooky stuff. For months now I’ve been planning my kids’ character outfits and can’t wait to take them trick-or-treating. Suffice it to say, Elsa and Olaf never looked cuter (I know, Frozen is so cliche, but how do you explain that to a 3-year-old superfan?).

While freaky and silly ideas are fun for the Halloween season, freaky marketing mistakes aren’t fun for anyone – not for you or your customer. So let’s take a look at the most common health tech marketing mistakes that hinder brand awareness and customer loyalty.

1. You don’t consider your customer

Customer experience is driving practically everything these days. Don’t believe me? Nearly 90 percent of businesses set themselves apart from competitors by customizing better buyer experiences. And since marketing is often the front door into the customer experience, digital health marketing needs to put buyers’ needs centerstage.

It’s time to evaluate. How well are you doing putting your customer first in your marketing? Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Is your content based on assumptions rather than real-life customer input?

  • Does your content focus more on your tech product than your customer’s needs?

  • Who’s the hero in the content narrative you’re creating?

  • Does your marketing portray that you want to add value to buyers’ lives rather than simply take money from them?

If, as you evaluate, you realize that you could be more focused on your customer, it’s probably time to invest in some strategically targeted marketing. The good news is that I’ve written several articles covering this very topic, including marketing best practices and how-tos. I’ve listed them below.

Why Targeted Marketing Gets Better Results

How To Map Content Into Buyer Journey

The World’s Greatest Example Of Content Marketing

2. You don’t talk in terms of revenue/money

I have no clue who your ideal customer is, and yet I already know one thing most buyers really care about… their bottom line. If your marketing doesn’t connect the dots between your product and better revenue, you can kiss buyers goodbye.

Needless to say, before you ever start writing content or creating digital visuals, your marketing and sales teams need to be able to explain to themselves how your health tech solution saves money and increases profits. If you can’t do this, you’re not ready to drive brand awareness.

So are you spelling out how your health tech product or service really improves ROI? Or are you expecting your customers to fill in the blanks and come to that conclusion on their own?

3. You’re trying to make the problem fit your product

Companies sometimes design a really creative product and then, for all practical purposes, use their marketing to engineer the problem. Here’s a little human psychology for you: people don’t buy because of unrealistic problems. Consumers (myself included) make purchases because they’re overcome with an immense need for a solution.

That being said, most digital health startups have at least a vague sense of a problem they’re trying to solve. Otherwise they never would have gone through all the clinical trials and beta testing. Health tech marketing, however, needs to hone in on this problem – to verbalize it in a way that buyers are compelled to seek answers.

For this to happen, you need to be really honest with yourself. Despite all the amazing features about your product, does it REALLY solve the problem you think it does?

How will you know for sure? You absolutely must talk with potential customers and industry experts. If they confirm your hypothesis, then your health tech marketing will have the right foundation to drive leads into your funnel.

4. You don’t truly understand the problem and its implications

Buyers’ problems are multi-faceted. If you’re only approaching their pain-points from one angle, then chances are your messaging won’t resonate with them very well.

Consider these questions to assess if you’re really in sync with their true problem:

  • Do you understand what their day-to-day workflow looks like?

  • What frustrations do they face in their daily tasks?

  • Does their CEO, department head, or board recognize these pain points?

  • What social pressures and expectations are they facing?

  • Do you understand the pressures caused by government regulations?

  • What values, both company and personal, complicate their pain points?

All this to say, while companies may have one major problem they’re facing, they’re often under siege in many other areas. The more you understand and relate to these pain points, the more they’ll trust you to guide them to their promised land.

This kind of marketing will drive potential buyers closer and closer to you. Then when they’re ready to buy, you’re their first call.

5. You put out content that no one cares about

The natural result of distance between you and your customer is that you’ll create content that’s of no value to them. While it may be important to you, they couldn’t care less. And with all the voices competing for their attention, they’re ears will gravitate to the content that they resonate with the best.

When digital health startups speak in a way that customers can hear, it won’t be long before they’re getting more subscribers, driving more qualified leads into their sales funnel, and converting more sales.

6. You don’t know what your competitors are doing

Knowing what your competitors are doing isn’t about copy/pasting what they do. Instead it gives you a gauge to see if you’re on the right track or not. Plus, you’ll know if there are any content areas you shouldn’t waste your time on. But even better than that, when you know the weaknesses of competitors’ messaging, you can then develop a strategy that leverages these weaknesses to become your strengths.

On the other hand, by knowing their strong points, you can bolster those aspects in your own content. Consequently, your audience will be able to hear your voice through all the noise created by digital health companies competing for market share.

7. They don’t gather the right metrics OR they focus on metrics too much

Let me say upfront that content marketing shouldn’t be all about metrics. (Don’t believe me? Go check out this podcast episode with worldwide expert Robert Rose). Marketing for digital health startups isn’t a short-term game so metrics can only give you part of the picture.

For instance, if your content is driven by SEO rather than creating value for ideal customers, you’ll probably end up with a large database of junk emails.

That being said, the right metrics do matter. If you’re doing content marketing right, you should see an uptick in subscribers or leads over the long run. Plus, you should be getting more visitors to pillar pages while increasing viewers’ length of stay.

However, if you focus on analytics too much, you run another risk. Vanity metrics, for example, can make you think that your content is really working when, in reality, you’re simply padding your database with unloyal subscribers.

All this to say, metrics matter to a point in content marketing. But your content marketing analytics should take into account the value you’re creating as well as the improvements you’re making to your messaging.

Ready to create your full digital health content marketing strategy? Download our training series here:


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Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.