“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” – John D Rockefeller
Getting core messaging right for your product can be a tricky task at the best of times and healthtech entrepreneurs have the added burden of privacy concerns and selling to a conservative industry to contend with. This is why your healthtech marketing messaging must focus on data security.
In the B2B market there are many stakeholders to consider. From doctors, to regulators, to patients, to insurers; all of them have a say as to whether a new technology is adopted. Sales cycles are long and can try the patience of entrepreneurs used to getting a MVP to market fast. Targeting individual consumers is said to be more straightforward, but a report from Rock Health found that 61 percent of digital health companies which start off B2C end up pivoting to B2B.
Whether in the business or consumer market, customers are increasingly sceptical when it comes to trusting companies with their data. It goes without saying that the task of sales and marketing people is to ensure their pitch is unique in a competitive healthcare market, but it’s also important that the privacy concerns of stakeholders are addressed.
Public concern about data security has never been higher
Two years ago, the UK’s Information Commission (ICO) ruled that Google’s DeepMind NHS app test broke UK privacy law after details of 1.6 million patients were provided to the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust during tests of a novel way to detect kidney injuries. In November 2019, Google acquired Fitbit in a 2.1 billion dollar deal, leading many users to claim that they would ditch their smartwatches in favour of Apple due to privacy concerns. And it’s recently emerged that Facebook was the mystery firm bidding with Google for the acquisition, showing that there’s a ruthless battle emerging for control of digital health data.
Google recently hit the headlines again due to a deal with healthcare company Ascension called “Project Nightingale”. The agreement gave the search engine access to patients’ personal data, such as dates of birth, addresses and gender. Google has saidz the data won’t be combined with patient data and will adhere to (HIPAA) legislation. Google is apparently aiming to create a search tool to aggregate patient data into a central location and gain access to data on around 50 million patients – neither of these are exactly small ambitions.
It’s not just tech giants like Google and Facebook that are cause for concern. More than 25 million patient records have potentially been breached in 2019 alone according to some estimates. Companies need to ensure they communicate how they’re keeping data safe and make this a key part of their marketing campaign.
Why core messaging is important
Core messaging communicates what your company believes and why you exist. This message should affect your target market at a visceral level, it should offer a ‘why’ as opposed to a ‘how’ and should spark an emotional reaction. Some choose to go down the controversial route, such as this meth campaign in South Dakota. This type of messaging may work for a public health campaign, but provocative adverts always have the danger of backfiring in the commercial space – especially in a conservative industry.
Marketing messaging tips
- All marketing needs to start with the customer first, so it helps to know your buyer inside out.
- This can be hugely complex when it comes to B2B business models so the bigger picture along with the issues facing each individual decision maker need to be understood in-depth.
- Messaging needs to be clear and not ambiguous, unless it’s a deliberate move to gain attention.
- The good news is that once you have the right message in place, it will become easier to identify the right strategies and partnerships for your business.
Consumer privacy concerns at the heart of brand messaging
However, succinct, transparent messaging explaining how you are keeping your customers’ data safe should be at the heart of brand messaging. Many B2B healthtech companies will do this naturally, as there are more stakeholders to consider and data security can be a key selling point in the business to business market. When it comes to B2C, flashier, sexier messaging often prevails, but change is needed to reassure consumers that their personal information is in safe hands.
How to put Data security at the centre of your messaging
- USP – digital security isn’t just about keeping data safe from hackers, its also about permission management to ensure the right people have access – and only them. Make sure your target customer knows why you go above and beyond when it comes to keeping their data secure.
- Transparency – be straightforward. Directing people straight to a privacy page is all very well, but won’t necessarily inspire them to purchase. If you offer something your competitor doesn’t, make that clear in as few words as possible.
- Compelling copy – messaging needs to be be concise yet eye-catching. Copywriters need to convey your product in the best possible light. Sounds obvious, but the ‘concise’ part can be difficult to achieve and there can be a tendency to overexplain in a complex industry like healthcare.
The full scale of the data security issue is now firmly in the public arena and consumers are making a stand. Data privacy should be at the heart of all healthcare messaging to build trust and to reassure your target customer.