External Communications: Is Your Healthcare SME Compliant?
A top-level view of what healthcare SMEs need to do in relation to contacting key stakeholders for marketing purposes under GDPR and other regulatory standards.
23rd April 2018
Attending a healthcare event is a typical feature in the diary for many healthcare SMEs. These come in all shapes and sizes, from local meetings, workshops to large international symposiums and congresses. To make the most of the time, money and effort spent on attending these events, as an exhibitor or delegate, it is important that you make sure you are adequately prepared beforehand.
Below are some brief tips on what you need to consider, ensuring you are event ready this conference season:
Know the event
Start with the basics. Do you know what you want to achieve?
Should you be exhibiting or speaking? Will your key stakeholders be attending? This all sounds simple but understanding the purpose of the event and what you want to achieve will help you see the bigger picture.
Pre-event targeted marketing campaign
Tell people you’re at the event and where they might find you. Are you speaking, do you have a stand or are you presenting a poster? Both traditional and digital platforms can be equally effective, but this should be tailored to your target audiences.
Make yourself memorable – and know your messages
Gimmicks rarely work. Instead, provide visitors with insightful and valuable information. Engage with delegates and ensure you familiarise yourself with your key messages so you know exactly what you going to say about your product or service.
If you have an exhibition stand, capture what your visitors are interested in, so you can send them targeted post-event information. However, ensure you follow new GDPR rules around consent. Make sure you know how data should be collected, stored and managed so you can explain this to visitors should they have any questions and seek their permission to use it.
Get code compliant
Are you familiar with the ABHI (Association of the British Healthcare Industries) and ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) codes of practice? They might be voluntary but make sure you are up-to-date with all relevant codes and guidelines – as well as regulatory standards – so not to damage your reputation.
Remember, regulatory promotional guidelines for product claims and materials apply at events too – this is relevant to your stand, branding and any takeaway items shared at the meeting. Also, guidelines can vary from country to country, so don’t get caught out.
With a new list of contacts and potential leads, it is important these don’t go cold. Firstly, reintroduce yourself and recap who you are and what you discussed at the event to remind them of your interaction. A personalised email is easy to identify from a sea of mail merges. This can take time, but it is an essential step in establishing a relationship with a potential customer.
It is easy to attend an event because you’ve always gone – or it’s what everyone else does. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and question what it is you really want to get out of it. Once you have decided to go, a successful event just involves a bit of planning.
At Onyx Health, we are experts in healthcare marketing communications and we know what it takes to sell a product in this highly competitive and complex market. For more information on how we can specifically help your healthcare business with your marketing needs, email us at email@example.com or call us on 0191 640 3638.