Content Platforms for Medical Device Marketing

Medical devices and technologies can have very long sales cycles. While prospects are in extended periods of consideration, it’s important for brands to stay top of mind. Content marketing can be a very effective strategy in this effort. We’ve rounded up a few examples that show how some leading brands are planning and executing content marketing tactics. Within these, we can identify at least five common traits, specifically:

  • Reader-focused messaging: Talking about patient and hospital outcomes before promoting products and services
  • Precise brand expression: Adept use of corporate typography, colors, and other visual elements to ensure that content feels branded, not generic
  • Video content: Well-produced motion graphics and footage, offering viewers a richer experience to complement words and pictures
  • Mobile-friendliness: Layouts and interactions that work well even on small, handheld screens
  • Article-style content: Stories told and presented in such a way that they feel more like journalism than marketing collateral

Abbott “Life to the Fullest”

Abbott’s “Life to the Fullest” transcends the traditional campaign and becomes a great example of a modern content platform. Abbott invites conversations by asking “what does a full life mean to you?” directly through quizzes and social media. And the brand poses many answers through thoroughly produced video content, and more immediate social posts, and through many other techniques in between. It’s easy enough to dig into the Abbott website to learn about its products and technologies. But it’s easy to see that Abbott is in touch not only with what it’s doing, but also with the reasons why their work is important.

Abbott Life to the Fullest

Medtronic “Together”

Medtronic does a great job of inspiring trust by leading with messages that focus not on the commerce of modern medicine, but rather how the brand is helping to improve and trasform healthcare in general. This demonstrates not only that Medtronic has an understanding of what challenges healthcare providers face, but that Medtronic is also taking an active role in addressing them. Medtronic’s homepage leads with several stories that make it feel more like a trade periodical than a sales piece.

Medtronic Together Pages


The Philips Healthcare website is primarily organized by solutions, products, services, and technologies, but also has article-style content woven throughout. Philips also offers a resource library and an articles section organized by clinical specialty. Content is presented with consistent brand elements, and includes rich elements such as video and infographics.

Philips Healthcare Content Marketing

Boston Scientific, “Lives Transformed”

We really appreciate the “Lives Transformed” stories that are peppered throughout the Boston Scientific website. These case studies may seem deceptively direct, but they’re well-produced in a documentary style, and they prove that Boston Scientific’s products are creating tangible, meaningful results for patients.

Boston Scientific Lives Transformed

Platforms Give Content Something to Stand on

Platforms make content easier to create. They provide structure and a guiding principle to ensure that your content pieces are all in alignment, working together to support the same message. Platforms make content easier to digest, too. Supporting the same message from several angles, with different stories and different media techniques, gives your messages the best chance of standing out, and of being recognized and remembered.

Back In Time: The Importance Of Brand Relevancy

October 21, 2015, marked a special day for geeks like myself. That Wednesday, of course, was the day in which the protagonists of the Back to the Future franchise traveled into the future, finding a world filled with flying cars and hoverboards. It saddens me to report that hoverboards have not been developed for public use, but 1989’s Back to the Future Part II has made such an impact that lovers of the franchise are still celebrating its legacy 30 years after its initial release.

With such a large fan base celebrating the films, brands have taken notice and found the opportunity to appropriately chime in on the conversation. Some of the strongest contributions have come from brands featured in the films, but this certainly doesn’t mean other brands didn’t participate. Take a look at some of the contributors that stood out, for better or worse:

  • Toyota: The automobile brand, which had its Hilux 4X4 model featured in the franchise, teamed up Doc Brown and Marty McFly (Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, respectively) for a five-minute video that unveiled its new Mirai model. What makes this connection so strong is the model’s use of the hydrogen fuel cell technology, similar to the “Mr. Fusion” reactor used to fuel the time machine. By including the films’ leading actors, a direct connection is made between the brand and the franchise, supporting Toyota’s “Fueled by Everything” campaign and positioning Toyota as a leader in energy-efficient automobiles.
  • Pepsi: Numerous references of the cola brand are made throughout the franchise, most notably in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II. Early in the film, we see Marty enter a café in 2015 and order a “Pepsi Perfect,” which comes out in a futuristic bottle. To celebrate Back to the Future Day, Pepsi announced it would be releasing 6,500 limited-edition bottles resembling the one featured in the film. However, a glitch in the system caused the bottles to be sold earlier than anticipated, leaving fans disappointed as they tried to purchase the bottle on October 21. The brand has since attempted to make amends in the form of another 6,500 bottles going on sale in early November, giving fans another opportunity to purchase the collector’s item.
  • USA Today: Although it may have seemed as though USA Today chimed in a day late, the newspaper was actually timelier than ever. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc Brown brings Marty into the future in order to save Marty’s son from a certain fate. To prove that these events take place, Doc Brown gives Marty a copy of the USA Today showing Marty’s son being arrested. The date on the paper: October 22, 2015. To celebrate, the newspaper included a cover wrap on its daily edition that featured the same images and articles from the film. Fans went wild, with big names such as The Today Show, Entertainment Weekly, and Mashable highlighting the move. What works so well about it is the fact that it didn’t cost anything extra for consumers; it came with every copy of the USA Today.

On the whole, brands received tremendous exposure through their ability to connect with Back to the Future Day, driving home the importance of appropriately connecting your brand with relevant conversations. If a certain event or pop culture topic, such as Back to the Future Day, offers your brand the chance to make its voice heard, take the open door and leverage that opportunity. Remember: it must resonate with your audience. If your brand doesn’t connect well, if it’s too self-promotional, or it’s not genuine, the opportunity will likely be lost. And that’s something you can’t travel back in time to fix.

If you’re interested in learning about your current brand position and what PR opportunities are available, contact Megan Connor Murphy, our Director of Public Relations and Social Media, today.

How to Make Your Blog Attractive to Brands: The Basics

At Martino Flynn, we often work with bloggers on behalf of the various brands we support. And when we launch a blogger outreach program, we vigorously vet each and every blogger. The way in which your blog is presented can have an impact on whether or not a brand wants to work with you. Partnering with brands has many benefits to a blogger, be it financial, additional exposure, or simply being able to try new products for free.

In this three-part series, we will look at 12 tips to ensure that your blog is well-poised to catch the eyes of brands on the lookout for their next blogger partner.

On our blogger scorecard, here are four items that we consider to be blogger best-practice basics.

Spelling and Grammar:

What seems to be the most basic of items is often what trips bloggers up—and depending on what blog platform you are using, spell check may or may not be an option. Make sure you always check your spelling, and consider grammar when posting. Even though blogs are generally considered conversational, few brands want to associate themselves with a blogger who has frequent spelling mistakes and/or makes obvious grammatical errors. Even worse, misspellings can make a brand think you are not careful, organized, or detail-oriented, thus making it appear that you will be difficult to work with.

Frequency of Posts:

Do you post regularly, and what does “regularly” mean to you? Any blog we vet that has not had a new post in the last six months is considered to be “dead” for all intents and brand purposes. Additionally, a blog that only posts once a month does not offer many opportunities for us to insert branded content. For bloggers that are hoping to partner with brands, we recommend posting at least once a week.

Contact Page:

Does your contact page have a way to reach a real person—be it via email or a form? Even if your blog is “written” by Sniffles the Cat, a brand does not want to be sending outreach to “” While you may think having a character email or contact form keeps the blog authentic, brands want to be able to reach the real person who is doing the writing­—and making the content decisions.

About Page:

Just like the contact page, the “About” page should contain information about the real you. If you feel comfortable, this is where you can share a photo, your first name, and a bit about what you like and are interested in. It’s also a good idea to include what you write about on your blog, if it’s not clear from the title. The “About” page is also a great place to include a link to your contact info, as well as whether or not you are open to branded partnerships.

Stay tuned for the next installation of “How to Make Your Blog Attractive to Brands,” which will focus on blog design tips.

To learn more about Martino Flynn’s blogger outreach capabilities, please call 585.421.0100.

Developing A Compelling Value Proposition

If I am your ideal prospect, why should I buy from you rather than your competitors? Can you easily answer that question in a clear, concise way? Recently, a well-known marketing research company conducted a survey to see how many business professionals could write truly effective value propositions for their companies. Of the 275 value propositions submitted, only 2% had a strong, unique, ownable value. This doesn’t mean that the other 98% of business professionals surveyed don’t have products with compelling values; it just means that they are not conveying the unique values to potential customers. A powerful value proposition should be appealing, show exclusivity, be clear, and sound credible.

When developing a value proposition for your company or one of your products, the first thing to take into account is the appeal of your offering. What is it about your product that makes a customer want or need to own it? Keep in mind that at the center of appeal is want. The solution that you are offering must be relevant to and wanted by your prospects.

Now, ask yourself, what about your product is exclusive? Appeal and exclusivity often go hand in hand. Many of your competitors may have appealing offerings that are similar to yours, but what makes your product different? Compare your product to your competitors’ products and then include that exclusive difference that only your product offers in your value proposition. If your product is very similar to others, it may be challenging to find a feature that your competitors’ products don’t already have. Exclusivity does not have to be a specific feature built into your product; it could be that your product is the most accurate, you have the largest network of service providers, or that you offer a money-back guarantee.

The next step in developing your value proposition is to make sure that the message you are trying to get across is clear. Would your average prospect know and understand why he or she should buy your product over others in the market? Make sure to include active verbs and concrete nouns when describing your offering. Speak your average prospect’s language, making sure not to use internal or irrelevant terms that he or she might not understand.

The last step in developing the initial value proposition is ensuring that the statements you are making about your product sound credible. Are you using specific, believable, and quantifiable facts to describe your product? Many companies claim that their products are the best or that they are the most reliable. Customers are generally leery of claims that sound too good to be true. Including specific, believable, and quantifiable facts and/or a trusted third party reference can be the push that your product needs to stand out from competitors.

Once you have established your value proposition, use the following checklist to ensure that it is appealing, exclusive, clear, and credible.

  • Appealing
    • Do your claims focus on and connect with the needs and/or wants of your prospects?
  • Exclusive
    • Is there a claim that only your company/product can make?
    • Is the claim compared to a known competitor or the industry?
  • Clear
    • Did you use concrete descriptors?
    • Did you use your average prospect’s vocabulary?
    • Are your claims listed in a logical sequence?
  • Credible
    • Did you use specific facts?
    • Are your facts quantifiable?
    • Did you back up your facts with third-party references?

Once your initial value proposition is developed, it will need to be applied to your creative and continuously tested. For more information on developing strong value propositions and next steps, please contact Heather Riexinger at

Influencer Marketing: Why It’s Important and How It Works

When making a decision—especially a purchasing decision—often times we look to our peers for their opinion on the matter. Without even realizing it, we are depending largely on those individuals to influence us in our everyday lives … and it’s no surprise that marketers are catching on. Today, marketers are using “influencers” as part of their marketing strategies in both B2C and B2B markets. Before we discuss the power of influencer marketing, let’s first explain what is at its core, and the basics of why it works.

Here are some quick definitions to get us started:

  • Influencer: an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship.
  • Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Robert Cialdini, renowned expert of influencer psychology, explained in his research that there are six principles of persuasion that relate to influence: liking, social proof, authority, scarcity, consistency/commitment, and reciprocity—with the two core principles being social proof and authority. Think of social proof as the “everyone else is doing it” mentality, and authority as the “who’s the boss” mentality. If you can identify the right influencers for your target market and they can demonstrate any one of these six principles, you’re on your way to success.

So, how exactly are influencers discovered? In order to find the right influencer for a particular target audience, marketers must rate the potential influencer’s industry relevance, personality, and, in most cases, content generation (and quality) higher than popularity—although popularity still plays a large role.

We must also remember that influence is based on trust, so attempting to utilize a figure that claims to have a vast range of “specialties” with millions of followers may not be perceived as trustworthy or knowledgeable as a more specialized influencer with a large reach and focused agenda. A well-thought-out influencer marketing strategy must start with the industry. Ask yourself: Who are the industry experts who carry great weight in the community? Who do people go to for insight and advice? Research has found that amplifying your content through industry-specific influencers increases conversion by at least a 3x-10x higher rate, so this step is well worth your investment.

Brand authority is about expertise and recognition. Think of it this way: “People know who we are and what we do, and they know we do it well.” Not only are we looking to situate our company at the top of the food chain, but we are also looking to associate ourselves with the best experts and, in turn, the best customers. This is especially true in the B2B segment, where authority is the key to growing followers.

What can be gained from influencer marketing? The brands and companies that are already leveraging the power of word-of-mouth through personalities that are followed and respected are, in turn, finding that the right people are talking about and engaging with their brands. With influencer marketing, your content is being shared, your message is being heard, and your products are being used. Forrester reported that in 80% of all B2C and B2B purchases, there is some form of word-of-mouth recommendation involved during the purchasing cycle. And, even more so, McKinsey found that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth”—aka influencer marketing—generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. Influencer marketing takes a brand out of the business realm, and directly inserts it into the everyday lives of consumers. Brands are no longer talking at consumers, they are talking with them.

If you’re ready to amplify your brand awareness and authority through influencer marketing, reach out to our PR and social media team to learn more about best practices and execution.

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