Using storytelling to position and market your medical startup

One of the most important marketing skills that will support your medical startup is writing. Specifically, storytelling.

When I say ‘storytelling’, I don’t mean inventing pieces of fiction around your startup. What I mean is taking information that might be complex and making it easy to understand by way of a narrative that makes sense to a layperson.

Like childhood fairytales, a good story is often a journey. These journeys are universal and deeply held. There is conflict or difficulty, and a resolution of sorts.

Your medical tech startup has the ability to take a person on a journey through to a resolution.

Introduce your main character

Your main character might be a person who suffers from the problem that your startup is about to solve. Describe them. Where do they live? What do they have to do each day? Why is it more difficult because of the X problem they have?

For example: “John Citizen was rising at 4 a.m. three times a week for the 2-hour long train ride to the nearest treatment centre. It was a gruelling schedule that has affected his work, his health, and his family.

“When you get told you have something like this, you just have to do whatever you can.”

From this very personal perspective, we build an emotional connection with the human side of the problem.

Set the stage

Here you can broaden the lens and reveal how widespread an issue your startup is about to solve. How many other people are affected by this?

“John is not the only one making this regular journey to the closest X treatment. There are XXX adults living with X in Australia and XXXXX around the world.”

Bring in your statistics. Use powerful quotes from authority figures.

What is the landscape? What are the health outcomes if nothing is done?  How are current solutions lacking?

A promising new approach: The Hero

Now we can share evidence that is exciting and provides some optimism. Have you completed a clinical trial? Is there one underway?

Perhaps a small case study has shown remarkable results.

This is where your startup can insert the hero quotes. Make sure they’re in plain English and cut through to the heart, even if you start with a statement that is very clinical. For example, you might say: “The recent trial found that people with X could receive benefit A because of B without the need to travel away from home.”

“Our goal is to make people less reliant of major hospitals for their own treatment of X and to feel more in control.”

Cut back to our main character

John Citizen has been using the hero startup device for the last seven weeks. He has only had to make the arduous trip twice during that time.

“I feel like I’ve got my life back. I can be here with my wife and the dog. I can sleep until 7 in the morning. It’s luxury.”

Next steps

What are the next steps for the MedTech startup?

What does your startup need to help more people? This is where you can state the ambitions and plant a call to action

Are you after an investor? Perhaps you are attempting to get the social license you need; creating general public awareness of the technology and developing a sense of urgency in the mind of the public.

This basic formula can be used for all different kinds of new medical and scientific products. Your main character could be John Citizen or it could be a city, suburb, plant, bird, species of tree, anything where the problem you solve is acutely felt.

Storytelling, journalism and publicity

Short news pieces will still follow the standard Who, What, When, Where, and Why. But they lack interest.

In terms of publicity, your MedTech startup probably wants exposure through feature articles and visual pictures that will educate an audience and move them.

Storytelling is something we see across all networks and all platforms (television, newspapers, radio, Internet) across Australia. They help with ratings and circulations, as well as help educate readers and viewers through content that is both informative and emotional.

Feature articles will take an angle we take is personal or granular, and then expand to include all the salient information we need to make our case.

How to apply storytelling

Telling your story can be done through a short video that you host on your YouTube or Vimeo account and link to your website.

You could also incorporate a story into your company brochure or website, a podcast or audio recording, or a blog article from your founder.

Thinking about feature articles and how you can tell a story will go a long way to getting media exposure without advertising dollars.

It can also help your message resonate with recipients.

After all, people may agree with you based on logic and facts. But they won’t embrace you if they don’t feel it in their heart or gut.

The Growth Blueprint
The Growth Blueprint
Danielle Spinks

Danielle Spinks

Writes about business & marketing strategy, psychology, and communication. | M. Marketing | BA Comms & Media

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