There are plenty of brilliant approaches that medical industry behemoths are taking in the marketing department. What gold can we mine from their recent campaigns?

Show that innovation is a core value.

This industry moves at the speed of light, and we can all take a page from the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center playbook in demonstrating innovation to stakeholders, customers, and the market. Gone are the days that we can be innovative behind closed doors and imagine that our audiences are going to believe it. While smaller medical device companies may not have the resources to launch innovation centers around the globe like J&J does, they do have the power to demonstrate their innovative approaches on the web, in videos, and across apps. As much as possible under the constraints of proprietary and regulatory compliance, showcase innovation by sharing the company approach, focus areas, and team as J&J has. No need for specifics; this is storytelling marketing at its finest. And man does it sell medical.

Set shareable content to turbo speed.

Content is king and this is especially true in medical marketing, which is largely driven by word of mouth. Content marketing is the digital-age version of word-of-mouth marketing, acting to demonstrate expertise and remotely build relationships and trust more efficiently than feet on the street. Baxter Healthcare Corporation’s app, BPS Mobile Content Zone, allows internal and external communications professionals to quickly and easily access the company’s arsenal of content and share it. With this investment (a good app can cost less than $10,000 to build right), Baxter’s news, case studies, and thought leadership can now reach more people than ever before. That’s building trust on turbo speed.

Say what you mean.

In medical, there is a tendency to overcomplicate or over-explain. In 2016, AdAge reported that for the first time in 25 years, 3M began a global brand campaign to unify the company under the tagline “3M Science. Applied to Life.” The tagline is at once simple, explanatory, and representative of the brand. The path to it was straightforward, too. The tagline was created by BBDO, and likely after months of target market and shareholder research, stakeholder meetings and approval forms – but rest assured that there was a method to the madness. Any size medical company has the power to survey buyers and investors, uncover current perceptions, and clarify messaging based upon findings. It’s not complicated; it’s only difficult because it seems daunting. Once it’s done, the world can finally see a company’s truth and can articulate it to others. And that’s where market share and competitive edge begin.

Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is CEO of Viv Marketing, serving the medical industry for 10 years. The agency offers more than 50 different marketing tactics, all backed by research. Wendy has been honored by the American Marketing Association for excellence in her field, and she has been hired by the American Dental Association as an expert consultant in marketing.