Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Mark Duffy, digital marketing manager for the EMEA region at Lumenis, on how to target niche markets:

Shaheen Samavati 0:13
Hi everyone, I’m Shaheen from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with UK based Mark Duffy, who is digital marketing manager for the EMEA region at Lumenis, a global leader in medical devices. Thanks so much for joining us, Mark.

Mark Duffy 0:25
Hi Shaheen, thank you so much for having me, really glad to be here.

Shaheen Samavati 0:28
Yeah, we’re super happy to have you. So could you just start off by introducing yourself and telling us a bit more about your background?

Mark Duffy 0:35
Sure. So thanks everyone for listening. So my name is Mark Duffy. I’m a digital marketing manager at Lumenis, as Shaheen said. My background is a bit more of a technical IT one. So I left University in 2011 as a web developer, I had a placement at a company called MY WARDROBE, who were at the time, a leader in online fashion. Recently, they were actually bought out by Net-A-Porter who are very big in online fashion. So after graduation, I went to a company called 3M, as a web developer.

Shaheen Samavati 1:14
I’ve heard of them.

Mark Duffy 1:14
They’re quite big, I had a number of roles there, primarily around web development. The role changed and I very much became marketing implementation in the web. So I was fortunate to work with a lot of marketers and content creators of all different levels from placement and graduate right up to 20-30 year veterans of the marketing industry. So I really got a great introduction to marketing and the content side of the web through that role. As I progressed at 3M, I moved from various different regional roles in IT and in project management, but always with a focus back towards implementing the marketing that we were doing. I transitioned then, maybe six years ago now, into a digital specialist, where I was working within one of the businesses at 3M leading digital strategy for the UK. Before progressing to where I am now with Lumenis as EMEA digital manager, where I look after three very diverse businesses. So within Lumenis we have lasers for aesthetics, for surgical and for vision. So we have a really broad spectrum of different products, all of which we market in very unique, slightly different ways. We have very niche audiences of course, so there’s lots of different ways that we go to market. So I think my experience coming up perhaps the more technical side of digital, shall we say, I think has really helped me. I’m a big fan of data, I always think that the devil is in the detail and I think that’s really helped me to do a good job in what I do now.

Shaheen Samavati 1:17
So digital marketing has become a kind of broad term. So what does it mean in the context of your role?

Mark Duffy 3:21
It’s a really interesting question because I think that the term digital marketing is a dying term. So I think gone are the days where people separate digital marketing and marketing. I think that all marketing now is digital. If you think of even some of the most typical guerilla marketing type experiences, you know, if there’s a billboard outside Waterloo station in central London, as soon as somebody takes a picture of that, puts it onto their Instagram story, it becomes digital. I think that the whole world is now led from a digital perspective. So I really do think that concept of what is digital, what is traditional marketing, the lines have been blurred for a few years, but I think that they’re non existent now in this COVID era especially. But back to your question, in my particular role it really aligns to me owning the digital channels that we do use. So I look after social media accounts, I look after our email marketing strategy. I’m very hands-on with our website development. I do a lot with our partners to help their digital presence, to make sure that they are representing themselves and our company. How we would like them to represent us in the digital space. So fingers in many pies, I joke a lot. But yeah so primarily working within the digital channels that we have to make sure that we are driving our content and our representation in the way that we want it to be driven.

Shaheen Samavati 5:07
Very cool. So can you explain how content marketing plays into it? Are you still working with a lot of content creators, you’re not creating the content, but you’re collaborating with people who are I imagine?

Mark Duffy 5:18
Absolutely. So again, a huge mix. So we do a lot of content development through industry leaders. So KOL’s, key opinion leaders, as we call them in the medical industry. The content sometimes may be something as simple as a doctor writing a review for us, sometimes it could be a patient who happens to be a high-profile person themselves who wants to do a story or a feature or something. Sometimes it could be something more general, whether it’s representing our product information in a different way to a different market. My role is an EMEA role, so we have customers in the Middle East. A distributor in Saudi Arabia, perhaps would write their product information and the information about how the products can help their patients in a very different way to how we do in the UK or in Spain or France or somewhere. So we are constantly looking to develop our content in a way which is relevant to the people that we want to see it. Defining exactly who those people are is something I have a lot of fun with, segmenting different areas, be it patients, potential patients, doctors themselves, clinic owners, and then coming back to like I said at the start, we have different divisions. So our surgical division, we may talk in a far more technical language to really target content towards a doctor or somebody who is educated on a procedure that they are looking to have or need to have. Whereas in the aesthetics industry, we may be far more mass market, targeting people interested in beauty devices or a healthy lifestyle, which is obviously a far bigger scope. So we do tailor our content very much to each of those different areas and really think about who we want to see our content as we’re producing.

Shaheen Samavati 7:23
So you’re working across all of the business lines basically and across a lot of different markets in EMEA it sounds like?

Mark Duffy 7:31
Absolutely, yes.


Shaheen Samavati 7:34
Well, maybe I can ask you how do you make sure that your content resonates in the different markets if they’re so diverse? Which markets are you dealing with?

Mark Duffy 7:44
Sure. So it’s a constant headache, shall we say. If I had any hair it would make me perhaps lose it some of the time. But you’re entirely right, the example I just used, the way that we would position something in Saudi Arabia, compared to mainland Europe is very different. So I think that the setup comes from the channels that we’re active in and making sure that the perspective that we are saying certain things is, again, relevant to how it should be digested by the user, which is a very, I guess, long winded way of saying make sure it’s right for the people reading it. I think when we produce something, a more specific example, let’s say a laser for hair removal, perhaps in the UK, or mainland Europe. We would typically use a channel such as Instagram, where before and after imagery is something that’s very prominent, but again in Saudi Arabia, in Oman, in the UAE, places where people typically cover themselves up more, need to not see that content. So we position ourselves when we publish this content from the perspective of the audience that we want to see it. So whether it comes from a UK channel, whether we talk in a way that is specific to a European type person, even the people in the photos, making sure that if we’re targeting something that could be construed in a different way, in a different place, we’ll use people that are very recognizable to the area that we would want them to be targeted. Of course, if we’re using different languages, particularly in paid media, we will always be very specific with our targeting and making sure that we adjust the content for areas to make it always relevant to the user, the person that it’s going to or the person that we want to see it, to read it and to digest it. We always try to be very specific with how we’re targeting those people.

Shaheen Samavati 10:00
Do you have local people in each of the markets? How do you inform yourself of what’s the right approach in each place?

Mark Duffy 10:07
So we have partners, so we don’t have local people in every single country that we work in, but we have people that look after different regions. We have some fantastic partners all across the region as well. So whether they be our distributors, whether they be some of our regional sales managers, we have lots of people who are always keeping up to date on the trends within these countries and within these industries. Myself as well, I like to keep personally in touch through different podcasts, different publications and things to really try to keep myself up to date with what’s happening in other areas. It seems like just about every influencer is in Dubai or somewhere at the moment. So there’s lots going on, on my social feed. But it’s very important, like you say, to make sure that we’re listening to people in the field, people who are living it every single day, as well as just things that we read in different publications ourselves.

Shaheen Samavati 11:12
Absolutely. So I wanted to ask you about the kind of content you produce, maybe you can share an example of the campaign or a piece of content that’s worked really well for you.

Mark Duffy 11:22
Sure, so I find that the content that worked best for us I often think is the content where we restrict and make it really specific to a certain person. So one piece that has worked incredibly well for us quite recently is—it was actually through LinkedIn—within our surgical business, really targeting specifically urologists. Targeting urologists with direct ads, introducing our sales teams, introducing our marketing managers and although the audience gets incredibly niche, that’s where the gold dust really really lies. Making that message that gets sent to somebody really personal. You can be very personal, you can use common terminology and things like this, when you go so specific. I think a lot of people often make a mistake of thinking a bigger audience is better, which is something I disagree with, for the most part. I really want to be specific, I want to know who I’m talking to, I want to know who’s going to interact with our content. One of the things I always find frustrating if you work with agencies, agencies come back and say, “Oh, look at this, you’ve had 2 million impressions!” I couldn’t care less about impressions. I want to know, who is interacting, who is engaging. Don’t show me the potential reach, show me the actual reach. What has my content, what has my ad done? So that’s coming back to the main question. So LinkedIn, I find very good for targeting people and it’s something that we’ve been having a great deal of success in over the past couple of months.

Shaheen Samavati 13:10
Through advertising on LinkedIn?

Mark Duffy 13:12
Through advertising and through the way that the advertising allows us to manipulate the content. So make that content, tailor that content specifically to the type of people that we’re defining. Use language relevant to their job title, the country that they work in. Even a lot of times, specifically, the hospital that they’re in. We can say things like, “We know that the Costa over the road has nicer coffee than the Starbucks in the bottom of the reception area there!” With some of the segmentation, we can really play and really have fun with the content, in terms of making it relevant to that person.

Shaheen Samavati 14:01
Yeah, that’s super interesting, getting creative with how to target the specific person not the category of person, necessarily.

Mark Duffy 14:09
Exactly and I think the person then reviewing or reading that content feels more like it’s for them as well. It loses some of that mass market thought perhaps. I think it makes it easier for somebody to engage with.

Shaheen Samavati 14:27
Yeah, it reminds me of back in the day, I remember reading about cases of people who targeted specific employers names in Google ads so that when they search their own name, they would see this ad from someone looking for a job.

Mark Duffy 14:42
Yeah exactly. I think relevancy in that type of thing is just so important. I always used to use the example actually, I don’t see this so much anymore, but a couple of years back, I used to always think it was hilarious with Amazon. So let’s say if I’m looking to buy a new suitcase on Amazon and let’s say I buy a new suitcase on Amazon. Suddenly, the information that Amazon gives to all of their retailers, their independent retailers that use Amazon, they give them the information that this is somebody who wants to buy a suitcase. So I start getting all of these emails, Amazon marketing or “Buy this suitcase! Buy this suitcase!” when in reality, a suitcase is actually the last thing that I need now because I have it. I think that’s one example of how dipping your toes into data, and trying to build content just does not work. I think you need to really use all of the data available to you to make sure that you build tailored content correctly, because it’s so easy to get wrong.

Shaheen Samavati 15:46
Yeah, that happens to me a lot, getting targeted for things that I’ve already bought and then feeling bad. Like, ah, there was this better deal but I already bought it. Anyways, so we’ve already talked a little bit about the target audience for Lumenis. So could you tell us a little bit about the tone of voice and approach in reaching your audiences? It sounds like they might be different depending on a lot of different things, all the different diverse segments you have?

Mark Duffy 16:16
Absolutely. A general sense is that we always try to be educational in our content, I think particularly the technology in laser, you’d be surprised how many people still think, “Oh, laser, that’s something scary, that’s something that’s really a high risk of injury!”… This kind of thing, which just isn’t necessarily the case. A lot of the content, we always put an educational spin on that and that rolls across all of our different audience segments as well. Whether it be for a patient, you know this is why a laser is used for this type of procedure, or for these types of operations, these cases, educating them to understand why they would use these products. Then the same for doctors or clinicians, why you should use this laser, why we can benefit your practice, why you can get a better ROI on the treatments that you sell. So I’d say we always put an educational spin on the content that we use, however we’re tailoring that content to our different audiences and to our different segments.

Shaheen Samavati 17:29
Maybe you could share an example of a product that people might be familiar with, just to put into context the kinds of devices that you guys create?

Mark Duffy 17:39
Sure. So one device that we have is called the NuEra. We recently have a new version of our NuEra, which is called the NuEra Tight. It’s something that beauty clinics use an awful lot for skin tightening, for treating cellulite, that kind of thing, wrinkle reduction, products like this. Ah, sorry…

Shaheen Samavati 18:03
Applications like this?

Mark Duffy 18:04
Applications like that. So that’s one of our very well more used products. A lot of times people think, “Why would I need to use something like this to get the results that I want?” Or “Can these results really be achieved by something like this kind of treatment?” And the answer is absolutely yes. A lot of people see the word laser or radiofrequency or something and they just think, “Oh, goodness, surely a cream or something is more what I would need.” But I do think that’s changing, you know we have a lot of clinicians who are educating people, using our content to help educate their customers as well, or their patients as well, which is fantastic. I think that the whole industry, the industry as a whole, is really becoming more engaged with the technology that does this treatment. I think in particular across the COVID time, when a lot of these clinics have been closed throughout Europe, it’s given the people who work in these clinics time to better educate themselves. Social media use for these clinics has just skyrocketed. I’ve read in Forbes that social media use has gone up by 60% on average in Europe, but I think in our industry, it’s probably higher than that still. So many people who have so much more time to spend on these social channels which may have been a channel that they use when they can to try and give themselves a bit of a boost when they get time, but suddenly they have nothing but time. So the content that’s being produced has gone up in volume but also in quality, which is fantastic for the industry. It really gives us an opportunity to help all of our partners to do better as well and really help promote our products, our brand, but just better educate the industry as a whole, I think.

Shaheen Samavati 20:15
Yeah, I suppose COVID has accelerated the trend you were talking about before about all marketing becoming digital marketing?

Mark Duffy 20:21
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I really don’t think it’s going to slow down either. I don’t think it will come down at all, is my personal view. I think people have seen how engaging digital channels can be. The ROI that can be achieved in paid campaigns, in digital channels can be so high and I really don’t see it coming back down. I think a few people do think it will start to decrease and maybe slightly, but I certainly don’t see us going back to the levels of digital engagement that we had, let’s say a year ago today. It’s actually a year ago today since I last traveled. I was in Lisbon a year ago today and thinking across the last year, I would never have imagined. But I honestly don’t think that we’ll go back to the status of a year ago for the next, well…ever, really.

Shaheen Samavati 21:14
Yeah, totally agree. What do you think that some companies get wrong when it comes to content marketing?

Mark Duffy 21:21
I think that some companies sometimes try to look for that viral piece of content, they try to think bigger than their existing reach. I really think that you should be acceptant of your existing audience and trying to build on that, not try to shoot for the stars when you’re not quite getting it right for your existing audience. I’d really make that my recommendation, anybody who’s building content should always keep in mind that the content they produce should be relevant for the people that they want to read it. It sounds so obvious, but the amount of times that you see people with a following for something, talking about something entirely different. I think it really is people really shooting for that viral piece when really you need to build a consistency through all of your content and then the viral pieces will come.

Shaheen Samavati 22:27
Absolutely, yeah. It’s all about building the following, not only having that one out of the park example, which will be short lived with the results from it, even if you do manage to do it. I remember what I wanted to ask you before, it was if your approach to digital marketing has shifted much over the past year? I imagine it’s become more important, but has that had an impact on what you do specifically?

Mark Duffy 22:55
I think it definitely has, the potential scrutiny for anything slightly incorrect has skyrocketed with the additional eyes. I’m actually a real stickler for doing things correctly anyway. Everyone that I work with is, I’m sure, sick of hearing me say things like “brilliant basics,” which is a concept that I really believe in. But I see a lot of content, just minor little things that are slightly incorrect or something that’s different to how they would normally do something and I think the level of scrutiny from the industry, not just the medical industry, but I just mean the digital space altogether, has really increased. Digital channels have always had the trolls and that kind of thing but I think there’s so many people out there now who are more educated, who are more engaged with digital platforms, that when they see content that isn’t correct, people are more and more likely to challenge that now.

Shaheen Samavati 24:03
So do you have a favorite channel? A favorite content or social media channel?

Mark Duffy 24:08
I do. I’m a huge fan, as you can probably tell from my answers, I’m a big fan of Instagram and I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. Instagram I believe is the most used social platform, particularly in the space in which I work. I think that it’s continuing to grow and I think that so many people are becoming incredibly visual in the way that they learn and the way that they like to interact. So I think Instagram is a really cool platform. It’s definitely my favorite. LinkedIn is a close second. In terms of a B2B social platform, it’s head and shoulders above any of the others. I think LinkedIn gets a lot of stick for just being a place that people go if they’re looking for a new job or if they’re wanting to update their CV, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I think it’s a really great platform to start business conversations and to connect yourself with the correct people. If you’re a salesperson, if you’re a marketing person looking to build your network, a lot of this can start in LinkedIn. It may come away from LinkedIn, LinkedIn may just be the area that you introduce yourself and take a phone number or take e-business card or something. But I think it’s underrated as a place to go to engage with new people.

Shaheen Samavati 25:35
Yeah it’s definitely evolved a lot over the past few years. Well, switching gears a little bit, what do you think are the most important skills for marketers these days?

Mark Duffy 25:48
I think to always keep an open mind, don’t try to just think about what you want to do. A lot of people assume that just because somebody is maybe following your page, or has subscribed to your blog, or has liked your Instagram post in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to think that everything that you do is what they want to see. I think there’s a statistic around social platforms, just to come back to social, where something like 10% of your following will ever see your organic posts, which is not something that’s always recognized by companies and by people who are using these channels to promote things. So I think a really important skill is to always think with an open mind about how your content should be utilized and to not try to do too much with everything that you do. Every channel, every post, every web page should be looking to answer a key question, not trying to do 5, 6 or 7 different things with one piece of content.

Shaheen Samavati 27:03
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry now?

Mark Duffy 27:10
I’s say be bold. Make mistakes. I’ve learned some of my biggest lessons through the mistakes that I’ve made. I always say that there aren’t mistakes in the digital space, unless you repeat things that don’t work. If you do something and it completely bombs and it doesn’t return at all, you’ve actually learnt a very valuable piece of information there which is not to do this specific thing again. So absolutely, be bold, really go for it, throw yourself into your mistakes and embrace the mistakes, don’t hide behind them. Really just educate yourself and pick yourself up and build from them.

Shaheen Samavati 27:49
Great advice. So do you have a productivity tip or hack you could share?

Mark Duffy 27:56
I have a couple if I’m honest. So I’ve been remote working for three years or so now. People often say or at the start of the lockdown, a lot of my friends who were new to it, used to the office environment would say, “How did you do this?” I always just say, don’t think of your home as being your workplace or something. You have space, but make sure that you set time for when you’re going to be working, or a certain setup that you have. I sit in a home office, I have specific clothes that I wear when I’m working, they may just be a specific pair of shorts or a specific couple of T-shirts, but I know that they’re the things that I wear for work and then when I finish work, I get changed and I come home so to speak and relax. I don’t work in the areas of my home that I use for relaxing and I set times to take breaks. I think it’s imperative to disconnect sometimes and take a walk to the shop to grab a coffee or something. Don’t just sit at the desk and constantly be thinking, work, work work. It’s really important to disconnect your brain sometimes and that really helps to bring a fresh perspective back into the work that you’re doing.

Shaheen Samavati 29:22
Yeah, that’s so important. Something I think everyone is struggling with figuring out the work life balance when you’re in the same place all the time.

Mark Duffy 29:31
Definitely, definitely.

Shaheen Samavati 29:33
Well all of us working from home, which is a lot of people. So who’s a professional role model or a source of inspiration for you?

Mark Duffy 29:43
I think a source of inspiration, I mean really high. high profile, but Mark Zuckerberg of course, the CEO of Facebook, founder of Facebook is one of the kind of people that I think are really fantastic. It’s easy to say, I want to be a multi-millionaire like he is. But just looking at some of the little things, he writes a great blog. I think looking for inspiration in some of the little things from some of these great people is really valuable. Even the film, you know, I remember when I was at university, The Social Network film had come out, while I was doing my dissertation. For my dissertation, I was writing a website and I think I must have watched that film twice a week for about three months, trying to just think, “Oh, is my website gonna make it as well?” He’s a really cool guy and he publishes some really nice content.

Shaheen Samavati 30:47
He’s actually a controversial figure and actually someone I look up to as well and I sometimes mention him as a role model and get flack for it but I really think he’s someone who has principles and that’s led him to success. I know, some of what’s come of what the company does in terms of privacy and stuff like that, gets a lot of criticism, but he also accomplished a lot—you can’t deny it—and it’s like thanks to his vision so I totally agree with that one. So you had another one or no, we’ll move on?

Mark Duffy 31:21
We’ll stick with Mark for now.

Shaheen Samavati 31:24
Okay, now that I’ve given the endorsement. So I wanted to ask about how you stay up to date on marketing trends?

Mark Duffy 31:36
So, again like I say, I like to listen to lots of podcasts, I like to read different publications. I think “Think with Google” is a great newsletter that I subscribe to and I read weekly when they send that. It’s really good. YouTube as well, I watch a lot of YouTube videos, I follow a few business related channels, which sometimes have some really interesting things. I more look for names, and see people who I like, and I want to hear what they’re doing. I like to listen to things that don’t necessarily relate to my industry and I like to listen for ideas that I think I could bring into the industry or to the work that I do. I think that’s something that I like, outside in learning and bringing new fresh ideas, things that can disrupt typical ways of working or disrupt market trends and that sort of thing. So I think just digesting content in the ways in which you produce content is a really good way to build your understanding of different ways that you can operate yourself.

Shaheen Samavati 32:52
Absolutely any specific publications or podcasts that you’ve been reading lately, or listening to?

Mark Duffy 32:59
Names from the top of my head would be very difficult. So Modern Wisdom is a podcast that I listen to a lot, I think it’s really fantastic, and again, that’s just people talking about the ways in which they achieve in their unique areas. I’m actually reading or listening to an audio book at the moment, it’s called Atomic Habits by an author called James Clear, which I think it’s really good. Again it’s not specifically talking about business, it’s talking about how to implement habits that breed success into your life, whether that be for your personal life, or the way that you work. I find that kind of thing incredibly interesting. I’ve also just finished reading Not a Life Coach by James Smith, another James, which again is not a book that talks to my profession or anything, but he talks a lot about how to live in a better way and focus on the things that are important to you. The way in which I work is something that’s important to me. So I find that a lot of the content there is very relevant and something I’d certainly recommend people to read.

Shaheen Samavati 34:23
Yeah, absolutely and obviously working on yourself impacts everything in your life, including work, so definitely relevant. Well, we’re reaching the end of the interview, so I just wanted to ask if you have any parting advice or final takeaways to share with other marketers?

Mark Duffy 34:43
I think maybe I’ll repeat some of the points I’ve had, you know be brave and make mistakes. Embrace your mistakes, hold yourself accountable by your mistakes and just don’t be scared. Don’t be scared. Really be brave with the content that you produce. Really test the waters of different areas to push that content. Test your segmentation and if you’re using paid channels. Be bold, be brave with the content that you produce and you’ll be amazed with how many people relate to different parts of the content that you will push out.

Shaheen Samavati 35:20
Excellent. Well, that’s a great piece of advice and a great note to end on. So thanks so much, Mark, for sharing your insights with us today. So can you tell us how can people get in touch with you or follow you if they’d like to know more?

Mark Duffy 35:33
Sure. So like I say, I’m on LinkedIn and Instagram. I have a podcast of my own as well called The Laser Surgery podcast, which is available on Soundcloud and very soon to be on Spotify and Apple podcasts too. I also work very closely with another podcast called The Aesthetic Advisor, which are both by my company, Lumenis. If you’re not completely sick of my voice, it would be great if people could head over and check those podcasts out as well, we’re doing a lot of work to really bring some cool content through those.

Shaheen Samavati 36:11
Very cool, what’s the first podcast about?

Mark Duffy 36:15
The Laser Surgery podcast is me talking to some some high flying doctors, some real professionals, leaders in the field, to understand how they got to where they are in their lives, why they specialized in certain surgeries, the tools that they use and how they engage with their patients.

Shaheen Samavati 36:36
Okay, super interesting. Well we’ll definitely put the links to all of those resources in the blog post that will be published with this episode so people can check them out. So thanks so much again, Mark, for joining us today.

Mark Duffy 36:49
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Shaheen Samavati 36:51
Thanks, everybody for listening in. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out and keep tuning into the podcast for more interviews with content experts. See you next time.

Transcribed by