5.7 Marketing & Stakeholder Strategy

Chapter 5.7
Additional Resources

As described in Chapter 5.7, the development of a marketing strategy and the systematic involvement of key stakeholders becomes increasingly important as the innovator moves toward device commercialization.   The steps below have been excerpted from the chapter and are presented with active web links to assist innovators in getting started.

Revisit Preliminary Stakeholder Analysis
  1. What to Cover – The company must be sure that it understands the attitudes and opinions of key stakeholders towards the clinical need and the solution, particularly in light of new information that became available about the technology after the preliminary stakeholder analysis was performed.
  2. Where to Look – Review 2.3 Stakeholder Analysis and the preliminary stakeholder assessment completed as part of needs screening. Revisit the resources listed in that chapter, including:

Develop Value Propositions and Collect Required Evidence
  1. What to Cover – Create a stakeholder value proposition matrix (as shown in the book). Approach key stakeholders to obtain their input regarding which value propositions will resonate best with their affiliated target audience. Once the top value propositions are defined, review clinical trial designs to confirm that studies will support them. Seek input from experts on the proposed studies and what data will be required to make value propositions compelling to the target audience. Propose additional studies, as needed. Identify and approach potential study authors (e.g., community and academic clinicians, statisticians, economists). Monitor studies, performing ongoing data analysis to assess how trial results are progressing.
  2. Where to Look – Conduct primary research with stakeholders to collect the needed information. Perform detailed interviews with KOLs. Revisit 5.3 Clinical Development Strategy and 5.6 Reimbursement Strategy, as needed.

Define Product/Service Mix
  1. What to Cover – Consider pure product versus product and service mix. Explore service offerings that can enhance the appeal of the underlying product (e.g., service agreements, business development activities, product bundles).
  2. Where to Look – Revisit the 4.4 Business Models chapter. Evaluate the offerings of competitors and substitutes. Perform additional interviews with key stakeholders, as required.

Make a Channel Decision
  1. What to Cover – Revisit customer segments and confirm their purchasing characteristics. Identify the appropriate channels to reach each segment. Consider a direct internal sales force, distribution agreement, and/or delegated sales force, based on what will be most effective in reaching the company’s targets. Be sure to consider channels within and outside the U.S., as appropriate.
  2. Where to Look – Refer back to 2.4 Market Analysis for segmentation data and 5.8 Sales & Distribution Plan for more information about channels.

Develop an Approach to Promotion
  1. What to Cover – Create a marketing communication strategy that outlines vehicles, key messages, and timing for communications targeted at each key stakeholder group. This should include strategies for peer reviewed publications, conferences, CME, reimbursement dossiers, and DTC advertising (as needed). Remember to sequence communications appropriately so that no stakeholder group is taken by surprise regarding inquiries about the device. Determine whether or not strong resistance is to be expected within or between any key stakeholder groups. If so, develop a PR strategy that engages appropriate professional societies, physician groups, hospital groups, etc. that can help resolve the anticipated conflict and/or mitigate it so it does not negatively affect device adoption upon launch.
  2. Where to Look – Gather as much competitive intelligence as possible as inputs to developing these strategies, including:
    • Interviews with KOLs.
    • Competitive Intelligence – Marketing communication and/or PR strategies of competitors.
    • Press Releases from Competitors
    • Advertising Campaigns in Medical Journals, Newspapers, and Business Journals for Competitors and/or Proxy Devices
    • Competitor Presence at Professional Society Meetings and Conferences
    • Competitor Presence at Patient Advocacy and Support Group Meetings
    • Competitor Presence on Online Patient Blogs

Develop a Pricing Strategy
  1. What to Cover – Be sure that the company’s costs are well understood relative to the value the offering provides. Perform comparables analysis and supporting market research (include the status of reimbursement and price sensitivity in the data collection effort). Set a baseline price, and then consider the different pricing strategy options available to the company (e.g., differentiated pricing, bundled pricing, gainsharing, pay-for-performance).
  2. Where to Look – See 5.6 Reimbursement Strategy for details on justifying the value of a device. Survey purchasers and perform secondary research to assess comparables.

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