Dozens of medical devices and products are launched each year, and the medical device market is expected to grow from its size of $447.6 billion in 2019 to a staggering $671.5 billion by 2027.* If your business is one of the many medical device manufacturers in the Detroit area trying to break into this lucrative market—or if you’re already on the cusp of launching a breakthrough product in search of its ideal end-user—Great Lakes Imaging has advice on getting that product in front of the practitioners who’ll use it, based on our years’ worth of experience in medical imaging equipment, chiropractic equipment, and a variety of other medical equipment and supplies in Southeast Michigan and beyond.
Medical Product Launch 101
How do you go about launching a new medical device or product? Given the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in getting to this point, guesswork isn’t your friend. Instead, research and planning will help to ensure better execution.
Build a Framework
The FDA approval process for a new medical device like VitalStim Plus is notoriously unpredictable. Your product may sit in limbo for months or even years as it wends through Premarket Approval and Product Development Protocols, so when you finally get the green light, you won’t want to waste a single instant recouping the significant research, development, and legal costs associated with your design. Therefore, we suggest using this enforced downtime to begin devising a framework for your marketing campaign, putting as many of the initial pieces in place early so that it’s ready for launch with only minor changes.
Research the Major Players
Here, you’re researching two different cohorts. On one hand, you’ll want to research your competition, the better to understand their offerings within your segment and differentiate your new product from them. On the other hand, you’ll also need to research your target market, identifying their needs and pain points. This can apply in several ways; patient benefits are important, but if your product brings benefits to practitioners, especially in a way that can be tied to improved patient outcomes, that cannot be overlooked or given short shrift. The buyer personas that come out of this research will improve your campaign.
Determine Your Market Position
Product positioning is twofold. On the one hand, you’re asking yourself what your product does, who it’s for, and how they benefit from using your product as opposed to one of the others that already exists on the market. On the other hand, you can’t simply assume that the answers to these questions are self-apparent. You’ll need to validate your product to ensure that it has “legs” when it launches. One of the easiest ways we’ve seen to do this is to either take signups for product updates or to take pre-orders on that product through a medical equipment company or other trusted sales channels.
Set Your Launch Goals, and Train to Meet Them
If you don’t have concrete goals to meet, you may not know that you’ve lost the plot until it’s too late. Set and communicate tangible goals and communicate them to all relevant departments, soliciting feedback to ensure there’s nothing you’ve inadvertently missed.
Strategize Your Content
Up to this point, you’ve been working a lot on research, theory, and other intangibles. Now it’s time for that theory to find its practical application. Begin to assemble the components of your sales funnel–branding, marketing collateral, manuals, explainers, handouts, and training materials–using all that you’ve learned. Each piece of the puzzle will once be assembled, create the big picture that reinforces and advances the goals you’ve set.
Train Your Team
Once your materials are in place, train your team on the product’s USP (unique selling proposition), and anticipate the questions that are likely to arise throughout the sales process. Remember that the “team” in question isn’t just sales; it’s marketing, product development, customer support, legal, and several other stakeholders, whose buy-in and effort you’ll need to ensure success. You should also remember that this is not a one-and-done proposition; training needs to be ongoing, retooled to respond to the new questions and challenges that arise.
Measure, Revisit, and Retool
Training isn’t the only thing that needs constant revision and revisitation; you’ll want to measure your results by reliable performance indicators and make changes to your approach based on the data you’re receiving. If you’re willing to be flexible, you’ll be able to craft a strategy that is agile and effective.
Great Lakes Imaging: a Trusted Medical Device Partner
For decades, medical practices in the Midwest have turned to Great Lakes Imaging for imaging, diagnostics, and treatment equipment that improve patient outcomes and lives. For help meeting your challenges as a medical practice or manufacturer, we invite you to get in touch today.