How to research the market for your healthcare technology
Looking to better understand and size up a market opportunity for your healthcare technology?
Whether you are a healthcare entrepreneur formulating a business for a new product or a research scientist justifying a funding request or a marketer at an established medical device company recommending which market to target, the process for researching and sizing the opportunity is typically multi-dimensional. In this blog post we'll review a data-driven process for better understanding the dynamics within a market for a healthcare technology or product.
When sizing up a market, you'll want to look at the opportunity through multiple different perspectives to understand the following:
The most surprising thing about selling to physicians
Selling to doctors used to be more straightforward than it is today.
Reps could drop by the practice office with lunch or snacks in hand, and catch the doctor in between appointments to chat about the latest products or technologies. Not surprisedly, the MedTech and Pharma industries historically relied on interpersonal networks with individual physicians to execute transactions and drive growth of their technologies.
It's surprising how rapidly and drastically processes for purchasing medical technologies have changed over the past 10 years. Access to physicians is way down as more practices, clinics and hospitals control the flow of sales reps through their halls.
In addition, rather than simply placing orders for products based solely on a physician’s preference, hospitals and other facilities are assessing value across all purchase categories, looking for reductions in costs or an improvements in outcomes.
The changing dynamics is especially true for more expensive products like imaging equipment, surgical robots, surgery assistance tools, complex medical devices and health information technologies or services.
Let's start with a short quiz.
In which of the following scenarios should you incorporate email as part of your marketing strategy?
Congratulations for landing the meeting with the hospital c-suite, physician leadership or perhaps an influential purchasing agent. The bad news? The hard work of selling your medical product or service has just begun!
Not to worry, we've put together a guide of how to up your game during the sales pitch using data to help you tell your story.
Planning great content for each sales meeting with hospital execs and physician leaders is equally, if not more, important than the actual meeting. Without a focused agenda, the right content, and a maniacal focus on progressing the relationship to the next step, you'll be wasting everyone's time.
We have all been there ... you finally landed a meeting with a hospital executive after months of trying. Success!!!
But then reality sets in and you are literally pulling our hair out trying to come up with engaging content, while staying on point with focused messaging relevant to your product and service.
Like many MedTech Commercial leaders, you are probably pulling your hair out to get your field based team to fully adopt your CRM. You spent months implementing and training on it, not to mention the big check of your budget that gets allocated to it. Get your sales reps excited to use your CRM with this one super simple technique: consider their needs by putting yourself in their shoes.
To understand why this simple change in orientation works, let's dive into the root cause of the problem of lackluster support for your CRM workflows.
It's hard to hear and painful to digest... but most issues teams face can be traced back to the top levels of management.
The more a marketer knows about a specific healthcare provider, the greater that marketer’s ability to deliver relevant and meaningful content
Like many well-seasoned healthcare marketers, planning and executing outreach campaigns to target physicians may conjures up memories of poring over countless spreadsheets, with a feeling of dread that you'll be faced with a sparsely-filled hotel conference room on the day of the event. The lesson learned is that the success of any given physician marketing campaign relies on your ability to identify, understand and meaningfully engage the right physicians.
One common thread between the various organizations we work with at Carevoyance, is that they all have to maintain their own directories of physician and facility partners, opportunities and contacts in order to stay competitive. Losing track of physicians as they move jobs, cities or even careers is a huge competitive and revenue exposure. Thus, accuracy of these directories is not only vital for patient outcomes (device service alerts, recalls), but also for marketing (new product launches, updates), and sales.
Inaccurate provider directories are not simply an inconvenience
It's well into Q1 and you likely staring down an intimidating quota. Selling to hospitals and physicians is tough given the historical dependence on relationships. To meet and exceed your quota this year you need to find new ways to engage busy providers.
Maybe you are approaching a brand new lead. Perhaps you are trying to resurrect old prospect. How are you going to get through to them to book that next meeting?
Stop talking about yourself—Make it about them.
Improving healthcare in our world today means having our cake and eating it too. It means simultaneously improving outcomes and reducing cost. The bedrock of actualizing this new paradigm is a reduction in the opacity of our healthcare system.
Despite our tremendous clinical advancements, the operational machinations of our industry are woefully obsolete. The biggest challenges are the most basic: operations, logistics, resource allocation, customers, and management. Information and technology are the undeniable salvation and solution.
Healthcare claims data are an excellent resource to deeply understand how facilities and physicians deliver care. Healthcare codes allow you to better understand your market, target new opportunities, and segment your campaigns with precision.
To fully leverage this invaluable resource, it’s helpful to know how the underlying mechanics of healthcare billing and reimbursement work.
Many medical technology companies purchase data annually, only to use it in some perfunctory way, and then dismiss the data before the next purchasing cycle. Historical claims data can have a profound impact on your sales, marketing, operations and reimbursement - so long as this data contains the right level of detail and is licensed to be used across your entire organization. Beyond change-over-time metrics, there are myriad of ways to leverage your data purchase to extract business value.
Part of an ongoing series of practical tips for evolving beyond the "milkman" commercial model in medtech*
Medical device companies face significant headwinds with increased competition resulting in heightened scrutiny over price, preference and availability.
One way medical device commercial teams stand out from the competition is to prove to your healthcare providers that you are a valued business partner who understands and cares about their business… you aren't just there to drop off more inventory and provide a free lunch!
While healthcare data is becoming more available by the day, the challenges inherent in working with these data are increasing in number and complexity.
Since most available healthcare data is derived from financial reporting and accounting systems (EHRs, by design, are billing systems, and most third-party healthcare data comes from the 'switches' that connect providers with payers to facilitate payment), the data structure, field availability and ease of analysis are all skewed toward financial reporting purposes not so much toward extracting other business value.
Healthcare data structure, field availability, and ease of analysis are skewed towards financial reporting purposes.
We've all seen the billboards, lining the highways in our cities, advertising the wait times in the ER. A not so subtle reminder that (potentially) expedient service is available during your next medical emergency.
Hospitals and health system often try to extend the success they have had with driving a message to consumers to advertise their other specialty service lines... robotic surgery, colonoscopies, cardiovascular care, join replacement. While hospitals may be targeting to potential patients, they are equally trying to reinforce a message to community doctors who may refer patients to their facilities and specialists for advanced care.