As pharmaceutical companies pour increasing amounts of money into direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising across digital and traditional media platforms in the United States — and have seen generally positive results — medical technology company leaders may be considering following suit.
The U.S. medical device market is the largest in the world, representing 40 percent of global sales, and is expected to grow to $208 billion by 2023. With so much money up for grabs, medtechs could view a DTC campaign as a smart strategy to help sway patients to use their devices — whether they’re combatting an existing therapeutic’ s sluggish or stalling sales, or hoping to jump start the launch of a new technology.
Unfortunately, in sharp contrast to the pharmaceutical industry’s success, medtech consumer campaigns do not help spur sales for most devices. The disparity is even more evident with devices that require training to use and/or surgery to implant/implement. In fact, based on our collective experience working with thousands of medtechs over three decades, DTC promotions for medical devices are usually an indefensible waste of precious resources for the following five reasons.