A marketing professional...
If you've ever stepped into a doctor's office, you've undoubtedly seen the various medical products, devices, and instruments spread throughout the room. Have you ever considered that each of those devices is only one brand chosen from an entire market of medical devices? Why did the doctor pick that brand over the others?
When medical device development companies need help selling a product, they turn to medical marketing communications experts like Bob Griff of Griff/SMC Medical Marketing Communications. Griff provides companies with branding and advertising strategies that allow their products to stand out in a crowded field.
Griff and his company work to create distinctive business-to-business marketing campaigns for medical device developers, whether that be through print advertising, branding, logos, websites, or patient education.
Over the years, Griff/SMC has undergone multiple changes that have allowed Bob Griff to efficiently engage in marketing practices for medical companies. Some of the types of marketing strategies Griff offers include:
“You want the common thread of your messaging, your look, and your brand to be consistent through all communications channels,” Griff said.
Griff first discovered his love of marketing in college, while he was earning his bachelor's of science in business administration. To graduate, Griff had to take several marketing classes, where his professor pushed him to succeed.
“I really found the subject matter to be interesting, and I found his teaching was inspiring,” Griff said. “He kind of took me under his wing early on, giving me the sense that I was well-positioned to pursue a career in marketing, particularly advertising.”
Griff's classes exposed him to various marketing case studies that introduced him to marketing fundamentals, such as organizational behaviors, customer attitudes, and how different organizations develop their brands. These fundamentals of marketing are ingrained in Griff's approach to advertising, even today.
What approach is that exactly? Three words: objectives, strategies, and results.
When establishing objectives, Griff typically meets with a new client or account and performs initial market research. This includes who they are, what they do, what the competition does, and where they want to be.
“We work via a plan where a situation analysis begins the process. Where we spell out who they are and how they see themselves in the field and what the competition is saying about them, and then we come forward with specific marketing communication strategies to achieve objectives,” Griff said.
With a solid understanding of a company's objectives and products, Griff works with his team to introduce messaging methods that will help sell that product. They examine past marketing campaigns and look at what's worked, what hasn't worked, and why it didn't work.
Griff/SMC employs various marketing professionals and freelancers to complete market research, design projects, and implement campaigns. Some other careers and fields in this area include:
Depending on the particular client, Griff may work on displaying their products through advertisements, brochures, or convention exhibits. He says during this process, his company usually comes up with three distinctive advertising or marketing styles that allow the client to choose between a “conservative” approach and an “out-there” approach. By giving the client multiple choices, Griff ensures he and his company present at least one style that pleases the client.
From there, Griff and the client wait for the results – which are, much of the time, positive.
“I get great satisfaction in coming up with a big idea,” Griff said. “I get great satisfaction with having an account say, 'Dynamite, I never thought about it that way.' I had one account just the other day say, 'You guys really understand us.' That's big.”
Griff spent years building up a solid reputation in the medical marketing communications field, and that reputation, he says, drives his business forward. When a company enters a contract with a marketing business, they need to know that their money will be well-spent.
“It's definitely a relationship business,” Griff said. “They have to feel good about you because you're going to be representing them. They want to know who you are, what you've done, and who you've done it for.”
Usually, these strong relationships last through multiple projects, allowing Griff to handle all marketing initiatives for a company over time. This allows a company to develop a strong, central message that doesn't stray from the initial communications plan Griff submits.
“I take pride in long-term relationships,” He said. “This business is so fickle, and competition is so strong that if we build a relationship with a client who really respects what we're doing, then it usually translates into relationships that go for five or 10 years. That for me is a success worthy of satisfaction.”
When Bob Griff created his first marketing company, it was simply called Griffiti, and focused mainly on providing advertising and marketing solutions for local businesses. Over time, Griff evolved his company to market specifically to the medical devices niche, creating Griff/SMC.
Griff bills his company as a “medical marketing communications” firm, indicating some key differences between his business and a typical marketing department. Griff says the two terms go hand in hand, and the major differences stem from delivery of the service.
Marketing departments are focused solely on the customer, working with internal sales teams to ensure they are meeting the needs of that customer.
Griff/SMC caters to the company alone, reflecting their “business-to-business” platform.
“We bring a third party perspective which typically is invaluable to the company to get where they need to be,” Griff said. “We too are providing the tools, the ads, the collateral, and the websites to help communicate the brand on behalf of the client. We're both after the same thing, but we have two different masters to cater to.”
This third party perspective has proven critical for many companies who rely on Griff to design effective marketing campaigns for them.