Fast Company magazine cover: April 2010 © by karen horton
Sam Stern

Sam is the Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic. Modallic specializes in brand development and marketing for Mobile Healthcare Technology (mHealth) firms. As a life-long entrepreneur, Sam directs the mHealth storytelling and mHealth agile marketing process unique to the Modallic approach.

It seems that every day I read about  new mHealth start ups. At last count, there were over 10,000 medical apps available for consumers to download on their iPhones and Android devices, and that doesn’t include the B2B apps.   Incubators such as Health BoxRock Health, Blueprint Health and Startup Health are funding and mentoring mHealth entrepreneurs at a rapid pace. Added to this dynamic are the established medical device and health technology companies that are entering the mHealth arena. These companies understand the mantra – “Go Mobile or Die.”

I’ve spent my entire professional marketing career helping entrepreneurial companies brand and market their products. One thing is certain:  Standing out in the crowded mHealth marketplace is no small task. Over the past four years I’ve been working with an mHealth startup and I’ve developed the following four tips to help mHealth companies achieve “Marketing Euphoria” … a state of complete marketing bliss.

1-Know yourself - This seems like a simple enough concept, but often times marketers get sidetracked with sales speak and with drinking their own Kool-Aid. Knowing yourself means recognizing what your value proposition is; understanding what it is that separates you from your competition.

2-Know your customer - What makes them tick? What are they really looking for? I can assure you it’s not your product. It’s what your product will do for them.  Use this information to create an emotional bond between your product and your customer.

3-Know who owns the brand - Don’t kid yourself. In today’s world, your brand is owned by your customers and manifested in the attitudes they hold and the stories they tell. They are in control, not you.  Engage with them, embrace brand enthusiasts, listen to what they are saying and you’ll have a chance to shape the conversation surrounding your brand.

4-Know how to communicate - All too many brands think their marketing goals can be achieved by gaining followers or “likers;” as though a combination of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ is the panacea for marketing bliss. Social Media is not a strategy. Social media is by definition, media. It’s a communication vehicle (albeit two-way) just like web banner ads, print and broadcast media.  It’s one of many channels you will need to use and understand if you are to be successful in making your brand stand out.

I have fine-tuned these tips for achieving “Marketing Euphoria” for mHealth start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses over many years.  And, as a serial entrepreneur, marketing professional and admitted technology junkie, I can identify with clients like Voalté, one of the most innovative mHealth companies I’ve seen. While it’s true that standing out in the mHealth field can seem daunting, it is possible to carve out your own niche, as this business has done. If you find my post helpful, I hope you’ll share my blog or add your comments below.

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