Trends and Challenges in Medical Device Marketing and Sales

Posted by Katie Steelman on Mon, Oct 26, 2015

Michele Nichols, President of Launch Team, Inc., and Amy Castronova, President of Novatek Communications, Inc., are teaming up again this fall to bring you the latest in product launch, technical documentation, training, and marketing trends in medical device and manufacturing. In a series of blog posts, we’ll share industry and economic trends, emerging regulatory and business challenges, and best practices for overcoming those barriers to new product launch and adoption.

amy-michele-medtech-trends.v01Industry conferences are in full swing this fall, and with MedTech2015 wrapping up last week we decided to take a deeper look at the trends and challenges discussed at this year's shows.

As the health care industry changes, medical device companies are adjusting and transforming. The changes we are seeing are forcing companies to think outside conventional industry boundaries. The MedTech2015 workshop "Tapping into Creativity to Drive Growth" pushed participants to create real-time solutions to current industry challenges, demonstrating that eliminating outdated boundaries opens companies up to opportunities.

Non-traditional partnerships have also become increasingly popular. Convergence and collaboration allow medical device companies to develop breakthrough results in partnerships that used to be unlikely. A tour of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus provided us with a first-hand look at the benefits of convergence as the campus integrates academics, entrepreneurs, healthcare disciplines, and culture.

In addition to the non-traditional routes, three common themes have been present at this year's medical device industry shows:

3 Common Themes

Big Data

  • Largely available in medical device
  • Companies are unsure how to use it consistently and with data quality
  • Presents opportunities and problems

Launch Team's Take: Big data is currently a missed opportunity. There is an abundance of data, but translating that to actionable intelligence is critical. No matter how simple or complex your toolset is, we can help to identify the critical metrics and make marketing decisions based on market and customer data. Creating customer personas is one example of how to turn available data into a picture to create more effective marketing outreach. 

Telemedicine

  • Continues to increase in popularity and requires new technologies and services
  • Companies must ensure engagement and purpose are forefront
  • Deliberate shift in strategy and service delivery

Launch Team's Take: Health care costs are a top concern for both employers and families. Tech advances can make affordable, quality health care achievable, but telemedicine must be recognized as a change in paradigm. One client, who operates in Europe and the UAE on a clinic-based model, has seen success in their web-based model after setting new sales and service practices and metrics. Rapid response, social media strategy, and storytelling have all been critical parts of creating real engagement virtually. Embrace changewhat works in person works differently in telemedicine. 

Commoditization

  • Cost-cutting remains high
  • Shifting customer perception in differentiation between two products
  • Timeline to market is shortening, causing more product competition

Launch Team's Take: Commoditization is a common problem for the clients we meet. The price pressures, abundant options and discreet features and benefits of one technology over another can cause market confusion and decisions based on cost. Market and product positioning are critical. They can help you make the 'why' clear and compelling to your customer.

To learn more about how these trends and challenges are impacting medical device marketing and training, listen to our podcast.

Watch for next week’s post in this series to learn about medical device product launch and differentiating through usability.

Or check out the resources from last year's blog series, which include PR tips for medical device launch and documentation planning tips.

Topics: Product Launch, Medical Device