Apart: Posters from a Social Distance

The Pointward creative team recently participated in the “Apart: Posters from a Social Distance” open-invitation poster series. The goal of the contest was to create something meaningful that reflected the designers’ experiences and expressions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The posters were then sold to raise funds for pandemic relief efforts. Our team was excited to contribute and grateful for the opportunity to put our skills to use and give back in a creative way.

Posters and postcards can be purchased through June 15th and 100% of the proceeds go to the COVID-19 relief fund. To date, they have raised over $13,000 and have 150+ designs to choose from. A virtual gallery opening is scheduled for June 12th, where participants can view the posters online with others, from the comfort of their own home.

The designs below were created by Dave Lantto, Penny Hammer, Jess Sorenson and Bill Gustafson with content inspiration from Marlene Nelson and Sandy Lien. These posters, along with many others, can be purchased here.

Let’s work together.

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Supporting Healthcare Professionals During the COVID‑19 Pandemic

While most of us are staying home to help flatten the curve, healthcare professionals are risking their physical and mental health on the frontlines. As companies navigate this new reality and determine the best way to support healthcare professionals during this extraordinary time, we wanted to give a shout out to the work being done by the behavioral health consulting practice VITAL WorkLife. Their continued passion and support for health care professionals is truly inspiring and could not be more needed during this crisis.

In an effort to share information and give insight into what healthcare professionals are experiencing, we are reposting these great tips for coping from VITAL WorkLife and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS). Perhaps you know someone who could benefit from them – please use and share where you can.

10 valuable tactics for healthcare workers to help sustain well-being during this difficult time:

  • Meet basic needs: make sure to maintain regular eating, drinking and sleeping habits.
  • Take breaks: allow yourself time to rest from caring for patients. Whenever you can, give yourself something fun or calming to do that is unrelated to work. Whether it’s going for a walk, listening to music or an uplifting podcast, reading a book or calling a friend, it’s important to take breaks to rest, as it leads to better care of your patients.
  • Talk with your colleagues: connecting with your colleagues provides support for one another as outbreaks like this can cause people to isolate themselves due to fear and anxiety.
  • Communication is key: when you are communicating with your colleagues, make sure it’s in a clear and optimistic manner. Compliment one another, share your frustrations as well as solutions. These types of conversations can be motivating!
  • Connect with family: be in touch with your loved ones, people outside of healthcare that are your support system.
  • Respect differences: recognize that your colleges, patients, friends and family cope with stressful situations differently. Some may prefer to talk about it while others prefer to be alone.
  • Stay updated: tune in to reliable sources, stay informed of the situation and any current or future plans.
  • Limit media exposure: while it is important to stay updated, it’s also important to take breaks from media coverage and focus on yourself and what you can control.
  • Self check-ins: make sure to monitor yourself, be aware of symptoms of depression or stress disorder—prolonged sadness, issues sleeping, intrusive memories, hopelessness. In any case, talk to a peer, supervisor or seek professional help.
  • Honor your service: remember you are working a noble profession, caring for patients in a highly stressful time. Honor yourself and your colleagues for their service.

See the full post on the VITAL WorkLife website.

Let’s work together.

Need fast, experienced communications help during this extraordinary time? We can help.

A Message from the Pointward Team

 

At Pointward, we put people first.

Therefore, Pointward will be working remotely until further notice, as we do our part in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

What this means moving forward
We are working as hard as ever, just remotely:

  • All internal and external meetings will now be done through phone/video calls.
  • Pointward staff will work remotely from their homes and limit travel where possible.

Getting through this together
We care deeply about the clients and the community we serve. Based on the information we are seeing from healthcare officials, we have decided to put safety first. We are taking this preventive approach in an effort to protect our team, our partners, our clients and the most vulnerable in our community. In these unprecedented times, one thing we do know is that coming together to help where we can is crucial.

Keeping the momentum going in uncertain times
We all know that business doesn’t just happen face-to-face. Your ability to continue to build momentum and move your market forward is essential. We are here to assist, as needed.

Next steps
We plan to reassess the situation at the end of March and will provide an update once we’ve determined next steps.

Wishing everyone safety and a speedy return to normal!

The Pointward team

Let’s work together.

Need to go‑to‑market, get‑to‑approval, move the market, or create a new one? We can help.

Welcoming a New Year

A message from our CEO

“To our customers and partners, we appreciate each and every one of you, and are thankful that you give us the opportunity to support and share in the impact you make in healthcare.

We talk about patient impact a lot at Pointward. It is our primary drive. We reflect on the privilege of serving the healthcare industry for the past 44 years and positively affecting so many. We are honored, excited and fortunate to be able to work every day, because we get to work with you—the best and brightest in Medtech—making a meaningful difference in the world.

Thank you for entrusting your business to us. And thank you for remaining focused on the life-saving and life-improving solutions impacting the world in such a positive way! From the entire Pointward team, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2020 filled with success, happiness and good health.”

Peter Hager, CEO
Pointward

Let’s work together.

Need to go‑to‑market, get‑to‑approval, move the market, or create a new one? We can help.

The Six Types of KOLs

How to Match the Right KOL to the Right Opportunity

The value of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in your market strategy cannot be overstated. You need them to launch a product, to tell your story, to train others on your procedure, to sell your device, to expand your market reach. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to engaging KOLs in the medtech space. Your company’s needs will vary, and you’ll need different types of KOLs based on potential opportunities.

When managed effectively, working with a well-balanced group of KOLs can have a major impact in product adoption and moving the market in your favor. With that in mind, here are six types of KOLs and how to engage with them to drive your business.

ACADEMIC

TRAINER

MARKETER

INNOVATOR

INFLUENCER

LEADER

Established & Emerging

In addition to identifying your KOLs, assessing their strengths and creating an engagement plan that fits their skills, you should also keep experience in mind. Keeping a balanced mix of well-established experts and up-and-comers is crucial to the sustainability of your program.

There will undoubtedly be overlap with these categories. Maybe you’ve found that rare KOL that does all of these things for you or performs several of these roles well. But these are some important categories to think about when building out a successful KOL strategy that helps you make a big impact in the market.

Let’s work together.

Ready to prioritize KOL identification and mapping? Need to incorporate KOLs into your engagement strategy? Want to move your market by harnessing KOL share of voice? We can help.

Pointward Welcomes Brad Clift

Director of Medtech Business Development

Brad joins Pointward with nearly 20 years of medical device experience in the areas of marketing, training, education, communication, and events management – along with a strong understanding of national and global markets. He served as the Global Account Director at Star, a company that creates branded corporate environments and spaces, leading business development in the healthcare/medtech space and managing business and strategic account planning. Earlier roles at Tornier and American Medical Systems contributed to his deep knowledge of the complexities of the medtech world.

“We are thrilled to have Brad on board. He’s a seasoned pro when it comes to understanding the challenges experienced by healthcare organizations and has demonstrated an ability to connect with executive leaders.”

Peter Hager, CEO of Pointward

Brad is keenly aware of the struggles faced by medtech organizations as they work to move their particular markets forward. “For years, I have been an advocate for Pointward because of their dedication to being 100% focused on medtech and their long history of creating one-of-a-kind outcomes for their customers’ most important initiatives. I am enjoying connecting the expertise of Pointward to the companies I know we can help.”

When he’s not moving medtech markets for his clients, Brad likes to keep the momentum going as an endurance athlete. After deciding that six marathons was enough, Brad now focuses on triathlons and running personal bests at distances of up to half-marathons. Welcome to the team, Brad!

Let’s work together.

Need to go‑to‑market, get‑to‑approval, move the market, or create a new one? We can help.

Going Beyond Safe and Effective

Aligning Marketing and Clinical to Tell a Powerful, Data-Driven Story

Teams, Aligned

There is no denying that the work being done by your marketing and clinical teams is interdependent. Both are integral to the new product development process and to successfully bringing your product from concept to commercialization. But getting these teams to truly collaborate is not always an easy task, especially at larger medtech companies where work is often siloed, and goals can be misaligned.

Clinical may say,

Clinical may say

“Marketing doesn’t need to be involved yet.  We’re not designing a campaign; we’re designing a clinical trial.”

This is true, of course, and your clinical team is hard at work developing protocols and gathering the data needed to get to approval. Their job is complex and vital to launch — and getting that “safe and effective” stamp is the underlying objective.

Marketing may say,

Marketing may say

“We want superior and differentiating claims for this product, but clinical won’t work with us to elevate clinical endpoints that will get us something more beyond “safe and effective.”

There can often be a large divide between these teams, resulting in miscommunication and misunderstandings that prevent them from working as the integrated, collaborative, and informed team needed to move a market.

Beyond Safe and Effective

The Triple Aim guidelines set out by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement are pushing companies to aim for more than just “safe and effective” when getting a product to market. So how can a well-rounded, cross-functional team that includes marketing bring varying perspectives together to take your clinical claims even further? You want to go for the aspirational claims that will differentiate your product in the market and develop data-driven messaging that hits home with your target audiences.

So, what can be done? We’ve worked with medtech companies across a multitude of specialties and have seen some common threads that help determine success. But the key to success from our perspective? Alignment.

Car repair

Just like a vehicle’s suspension, your mechanic will say that the key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires which affects how they make contact with the road. If your road is the path to approval, your wheels are the teams it takes to get you there. Getting them angled together towards that common goal is the secret — it gets you there faster and builds a foundation for a seamless transition when you go to market, so you can start improving patient care and delivering significant return to investors.

Road

Compelling Stories Drive Business

In our work, we’ve found that compelling stories drive business and move markets, no matter where you are in the world. Aligning your clinical and marketing teams early, using guideposts like the IHI’s Triple Aim framework to develop messaging and taking advantage of outside perspectives and processes, can help you move beyond “safe and effective” claims. When you develop a powerful, data-driven story that is unique and relevant to your customers, you can position your product to move the medtech market in your favor.

Let’s work together.

Ready to align your teams and move forward with your strategy? Develop a roadmap or a messaging matrix for your next clinical trial? Ready to remove some roadblocks so you can launch a new product or therapy? We can help.

Finding Physicians in the Digital Jungle

The Best Platforms for Engaging with Medical Professionals

Engagement, Activated Through PPC

No one is immune to advertising, but when you’re trying to increase awareness or educate around a medical device, it can seem like physicians are in fact that — borderline elusive. Often, they’re extraordinarily busy, receive direct contact from a wide variety of sales reps at regular intervals and can sometime be overwhelmed when it comes to learning about medtech innovations.

So how do you reach these time-strapped prospects when the competition is fierce and their attention is limited? One of the answers is PPC: pay-per-click search and paid advertising on different social media and search platforms.

Is PPC Still Relevant?

PPC has been around a long time. But with the rise of Google search and social advertising, it has evolved more than enough to remain a staple in your marketing efforts. A 2019 stat from Disruptive Advertising says Google Ads and Facebook PPC Ads are the two largest advertisers on the Internet. To be exact, Google currently holds 37.2% of the digital advertising market, whereas Facebook holds 19.6%.

No other type of digital marketing has the direct targeting capabilities PPC has to offer. Reaching your audience where they already are makes it much easier to analyze what content is relevant to them, and prioritize your marketing endeavors accordingly. Add in the re-marketing capabilitiy, and there is no denying the value it can add to your strategy.

How Can PPC Help Me Move a Market?

A recent study by the Journal of Medical Research states that 61% of physicians are on social media and use it to research new information.

This makes PPC a critical piece of your integrated digital marketing strategy. Being there to guide the conversations happening online about your product when you can’t be face-to-face will support your revenue-driving efforts anywhere along the funnel. From awareness ads that introduce a new technology or procedure to lead generating ads that require prospects to submit their contact information to access a case study or offer, PPC advertising offers a direct line of access to relevant customers as quickly as you can get your ads approved and uploaded.

Which Platforms Should I Use?

Once you’ve decided to launch a PPC campaign, the next step is figuring out which platform is going to offer you the best return on your ad spend. While there are many PPC networks available — Bing, Yahoo and Twitter to name a few — this is where we choose to focus our paid online advertising efforts when targeting physicians.

Physician-focused Social Media Networks

While physician-focused social media networks like Sermo and Doximity do exist, they’re not open for digital advertising at this time. And with the advanced targeting options offered by platforms like Google Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn, that’s not a problem.

Let’s work together.

Ready to connect with you physician audience using a PPC campaign? Need to develop your content strategy? Build the necessary creative? Manage and optimize your campaign? We can help.