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Brad Brenner

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Medical Marketing Portland Style


Acrymed marketing for successThe medical industry in Portland Oregon is here and growing. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s probably because a large percentage of these companies are much better at conducting research and developing breakthrough technologies than they are at marketing their products and expertise. But nonetheless, they are here and offer a potential bright spot in a state economy that has suffered job growth rates that are consistently ranked among the lowest in the nation.

There are close to 700 bioscience companies and research institutions in Oregon. This includes medical device companies, world-class diagnostic and imaging facilities, pharmaceutical companies, reagents, medical software companies and research services – some of which are doing some pretty cutting edge stuff.

Some of these companies, like Clinicient Inc. are quickly becoming leaders in hot new industries. Clinicient’s EHR software for physical therapy is helping clinics realize growing profits and providing business infrastructure that these clinics will need for future success. While the EHR industry is flush with competition, the company’s constant focus on strategic marketing has been instrumental in driving them to the front of the pack.

When BrenMed first began working with AcryMed Inc. – a medical device and research company in Beaverton, Oregon, the company was doing amazing work in silver antimicrobial technology. Unfortunately, few knew about it.  With help in identifying their positioning and messages, the company set out to spread the word about their wound care and nanotechnology breakthroughs. Several industry cover stories, awards, national business press and radio/TV stories later, the company appeared on the radar of virtually every one of their major target customers…and were recently bought by one of the largest medical supply companies in the world.

But for every AcryMed and Clinicient that understands the importance of smart marketing, there are dozens that haven’t given it much of a thought. It reminds me of the South Bay before it became known as Silicon Valley. There were hundreds of companies started with great ideas from brilliant engineers-come-CEOs. As smart as these new entrepreneurs were about technology, they lacked any idea regarding the value of marketing. Then came the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Dick Hackborns that understood it wasn’t enough to simply have a great product – you also need industry-savvy marketing expertise to ensure that product rose above the noise to establish industry leadership.

Oregon’s medical device and products industry has over 400 traded sector companies, employing 14,000 people and generating more than $4.1 billion in sales. The state’s biotechnology, life sciences and medical research represents a $7.2 billion industry that has created more than 36,000 jobs. Oregon ranks 2nd among all states in industry R&D as a share of its GSP and is among the top 10 states in terms of medical products exports per gross state product (GSP).

So why doesn’t Oregon have the medical industry-leading reputation it deserves? After all, it is recognition of this sort that attracts other industry leaders, drives venture capital and fuels momentum-building growth. Oregon’s medical industry represents a bright spot of hope for economic recovery and long-term growth but its reputation’s pulse is anemic at best and requires professional attention. I prescribe a large dose of medical marketing as the cure.

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More Stories By Brad Brenner

Brad Lee Brenner is a master blogger, radio host and founder of Brenner Associates, a public relations / communications firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Over the past thirty years, Brad has written hundreds of articles that have been published in trade journals, newspapers and online news sources. His focus of expertise includes technology, the medical industry and communications for the digital age.