Implementing a Compliant Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing Strategy for CMR Surgical, a UK Medical Device Company


LD helped CMR Surgical achieve strong pay-per-click marketing results thanks to a systematic approach to ad research, creative, testing, and data.

CMR Surgical is the leading surgical robotics company in the UK. Their mission is to expand access to laparoscopic surgery for millions of additional people annually. Their flagship medical robotics system, Versius, has been designed to significantly increase the number and type of non-invasive supported procedures, enabling the benefits of minimal access robotic surgery to be universally accessible and affordable.

The Versius platform, with its highly customisable and easily transportable nature, has the potential to prolong the careers of highly experienced surgeons by enhancing their dexterity and range of motion while enabling full system operation in an ergonomically favourable manner.


CMR Surgical partnered with LD for an online marketing strategy with two parts:

  • First, we created a PPC Paid Media Campaign to generate high-quality prospects, of which a percentage would eventually convert (system purchase).
  • Second, we developed a Strategic SEO Campaign to increase the current website’s ability to drive highly targeted visitor traffic by reaching and connecting with CMR’s target audience online – particularly through Google Organic Search.

The secondary objective for both campaigns was to unite all current marketing efforts into a cohesive end-to-end strategy. This approach would build on CMR’s audience reach and global brand awareness while increasing interest at the top of the marketing funnel.

Our Challenge

Running successful PPC campaigns requires plenty of variations in ad creative, along with systematic testing to see what works. Image and copy choice was critical for CMR as the ads showcased medical devices in the highly regulated healthcare industry where compliance is everything.

Additionally, the client aimed to increase reach and brand awareness for an international audience across diverse geographies. This distribution meant that creative assets, such as image ads, videos, and landing pages, would need to be created in English first and then translated into multiple languages, including:

  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Polish
  • Arabic
  • South American Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
Local culture and language were taken into account when translating ads and landing pages to fit each region. Lastly, a large amount of campaign management and data analysis would be necessary to identify and remove the lowest ad performers, while optimizing for the highest converting.

Our Process

Our substantial experience with PPC has shown us that extensive research and testing are the foundation of successful campaigns. Specifically, the highest performing combinations of imagery and text needed to be determined quickly to put the strongest creative in front of the target audience in each geographic area. This creates many moving parts that require a highly organised and systematic approach to campaign creation, testing, management and optimisation.

We used multivariate testing with a 3 x 3 x 3 strategy for LinkedIn. This approach meant that we deployed three variations each of copy, imagery, and targeting, resulting in 618 ads.
The strongest performers become the controls that each challenger must beat in terms of performance as measured by click-through rates (CTR) and leads generated. This strategy creates a competitive, survival-of-the-fittest approach to advertising where the best performers reveal themselves and rise to the top.

The Results and Client Feedback

Pay-per-click marketing is a system with many parts. Over time, it creates an engine of growth with predictable performance and return on investment (ROI).

As a team is greater than the sum of its parts, so is PPC. Ads generate exposure and brand awareness while delivering qualified prospects to targeted landing pages. Each visitor is then pixeled to build remarketing and video watch lists that enable repeat exposure. Seeing targeted messaging over time persuades a portion of prospects to take action, which drives business growth.

An important measure of PPC performance is Cost Per Lead (CPL). This metric can vary across time and platforms. For CMR Surgical, the overall CPL for all PPC platforms in 2022 was £405.47.

That number includes a qualified prospect and the reach, exposure, and brand awareness generated by the ad campaign for the target audience. Lifts to branded search where prospects search for CMR Surgical by name on Google are another byproduct of effective PPC campaigns.

Branded organic searches can help lower the overall Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and offset PPC spending by delivering prospects and customers at no cost through organic search. In combination, PPC and branded search multiply the effectiveness of one another.

Our Top Ads:

The Marketing Results

LD’s PPC campaigns generated the following results across all platforms and geographies for CMR Surgical:

  • 2.2M impressions within the target market
  • 33K unique visitors to landing pages
  • 215 qualified leads

In terms of strategic marketing goals, the campaigns produced the following outcomes:

  • Increased reach and brand awareness
  • Repeat exposure
  • Lead generation
  • Possible lift to branded search (“CMR Surgical” searches on Google)
  • The brand is at the forefront of the industry
LD looks forward to deploying new imagery, video and copy in 2023 to gain additional insights from testing that we can use to create messaging that resonates, persuades and ultimately converts.
Campaign Data Totals:
On LinkedIn, the average click-through-rate (CTR) for Sponsored Content is 0.44%. With our average campaign CTR number sitting at a steady 0.7% or higher, the quality of our strategy and execution has proven itself thus far.

PPC — Our Verdict

Running PPC campaigns with high numbers of ad variants across multiple geographies requires in-depth research, a sound strategy, and an organised campaign creation, management, and optimisation process.

PPC can be a key driver of leads when done well. However, healthcare has strict compliance requirements that can limit campaign concepts, angles, ad creative, and the expression of value propositions. Being strong creatively within these limitations is the key to producing marketing results with PPC for a medical device company such as CMR Surgical.

Why Work With LD?

LD has extensive knowledge and experience with executing PPC campaigns in healthcare. We have a proven track record in devising campaign messaging and strategies that resonate with the target audience and drive them to action. Doing this requires analytical and creative thinking with a healthy dose of organisation, testing, and a love of data.

Digging into the data reveals the most valuable campaign insights about what’s performing. This information, along with a variety of campaign management tactics, are used in combination to improve performance. Over time, it’s an emergent process of discovering the winning variations to reveal the most powerful messaging. Once you know the top performers, you double down on those while continually testing new ideas and concepts against the controls.

After a while, the foundation for a PPC system is complete, and performance becomes predictable. The optimisation is continual, and the PPC program becomes a valuable part of the overall marketing machine – as illustrated by the PPC campaigns we ran for CMR Surgical.


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