Digital health startups often struggle to attract an audience that actually needs and wants their product. There could be lots of reasons for this; however one problem I consistently see is a lack of a core message.
A core message is the central theme of your marketing strategy. In Simon Sinek’s terms, it’s your “why” – the belief that drives everything you do – summed up in one overarching statement.
When you don’t have this message clearly thought out, all the market research in the world, all the optimization for search engines, all the distribution channels, all the social media marketing won’t help you reach the people who really need you.
Your core message communicates who you are and what you believe.
This marketing message will be baked into every piece of content you create and live on every marketing channel you use.
It communicates to everyone outside of your C suite and marketing department – both internally and externally – who your organization is, why you exist, and what you believe.
This is so important because it tells potential investors, customers, and even the media that you aren’t in this just to make money. Sure, that’s a nice side benefit, but what you are really doing is solving a problem and providing something valuable that helps your customers be successful.
Here’s an example from a digital health company that focuses on patient self-management. This statement sums up what they believe – that patients should be empowered to manage their own health through human connection, scalable health care to achieve better outcomes. While this statement may not resonate with every healthcare organization on the planet, it will resonate with the ones who have this same belief.
Here are two things your message is not, however:
It is not what you do
If your overarching statement communicates only what you do, you’re falling into the trap of feature/function marketing. You likely don’t need to name what you do in your statement. If you simply state the change you help people achieve, that’s enough.
It’s not how you do it
Again, this is too functional. If you only market on what and how, you’ll fall into price wars with competitors and have to resort to marketing gimmicks to get people to pay attention to you.
Your message communicates who needs you
The why behind your marketing should also make it clear who you help. In the healthcare industry, this can be easier said than done, however, because it can be a struggle to figure out who your buyer is.
I’ve written on this before, but health tech marketing has to start with the customer. That means slowing down and spending a month, maybe two to deep dive into your space, talk to potential buyers, and really get to the core of who really needs you.
This means understanding how your company is different from others, how your products or services help them, and how you can reach them.
Once you know your customer, your marketing should make it incredibly clear who they are so they know. Don’t be afraid to say it point blank. If you don’t say it, how will they know?
Are your marketing strategies failing?
Heal your health tech company’s marketing with this customer avatar and brand messaging guide.
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WHO IS WHITNEY?
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.
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The same digital health company from the example above clearly laid out the four attributes of the healthcare organizations that really need them. Especially in B2B business models, multiple decision makers will be at the buying table. However before you can boil down the marketing personas of the decision makers, you first need to understand the bigger picture of the organization’s ecosystem, the problems they struggle with, and what will make them successful. From there, you can deep dive into understanding individual decision makers, evaluators, and possible brand champions within the organization.
Your message is the litmus test for everything you do.
From here on out, once you have a clear, compelling message, it becomes the litmus test for everything you do.
You won’t pursue partnerships that don’t align. You won’t try marketing gimmicks and tricks that don’t align. You won’t work with influencers that don’t align. You won’t launch new products that don’t align.
Instead of just being a marketing message, this core message becomes a way for you to check every action your startup takes to make sure you are still helping the people you set out to help.
Need help creating your core marketing message? Book a call with me.