Launching a medical device is both challenging and full of opportunity.
Regulatory pathways in the U.S. are often uncertain, and new devices can be undermined by a device tax and a difficult reimbursement environment. But at the same time, demand for novel medical products is steadily on the rise. Generations are living longer thanks to medical technology, and the appeal of life-quality improving devices is here to stay. In 2012 alone, 48 new medical devices became FDA approved while hundreds of other devices were working their way through regulations like Premarket Approval (PMA) and Product Development Protocol. In 2013, worldwide sales of leading medical supply and equipment companies reached 216.9 billion, and that doesn’t even include smaller producers!
How do you break into such a competitive and thriving environment when your product is ready for the marketplace? With a quality product, a focused marketing strategy, and phenomenal sales tools.
Make your product stand out by following this medical product launch checklist:
Know your customers. Who is your product marketed to, and how is it different from what’s already available? Use your B2B sales tools to address specifically who your product is for and why it’s better than what’s on the market now. Knowing your customer base and your competition will allow you to design unique, strategic sales tools to highlight your product.
Determine your marketing strategy by determining market impact. Before you launch, design your PR strategy by first assessing the market impact of your product. Is your device one-of-a-kind or is it improving an existing product? Are you providing a service previously unavailable? Successful launch campaigns reflect careful consideration of current and future market values, company objectives, product distribution, risks and competition. Aligning your PR strategy and sales tools with potential market impact means you will run a more accurate campaign that doesn’t undersell your product or waste PR resources.
Condition the Market. Get the word out there by using PR to help prepare the market for your device. Whether you’re commissioning a panel discussion or using media outreach, you need to be prepared with the best sales tools available. Medical products offer a unique potential for interesting visual or tactical displays. Don’t let that potential go to waste! When done well, people are drawn towards interactive physical displays. Prepare your PR team with a sales kit that clearly demonstrates your brand and product value. It is essential to have quality sales tools that show off and differentiate your product from the pack to give it the initial boost it needs towards success.
Create validation in professional networks. In the medical field, nothing validates the worth of a new product like having those in the medical field advocate for it. Third party validators can be physicians, clinics, researchers, or patients. These are the people who need to understand your product, and be trained how to use it. Having well constructed sales kits and interactive media is crucial to explaining your product, building these relationships, and making a valuable first impression.
Are you ready to launch? Do you have the systems, software, and hardware in place to handle a flux in sales? Has your staff been trained on the benefits and features of your new item and do they have the sales tools available to inform customers? Make sure your website and sales personnel are prepared for additional traffic. The beginning of a launch is the perfect time to plan for long term progress by aligning sales strategies with business goals.