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,
“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.
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.
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.
Align Teams, Early
We’ve seen this happen time and time again in our work. When teams are aligned at the start of the product cycle, before study protocols are even written, great things happen. When a trial is designed with health care claims, product positioning and customer messaging in mind, everyone wins. Marketing may not know how to write a study protocol, but they can provide valuable insight and act as the voice of the customer in the development process. They work closely with the Sales team in the field, and know the clinical evidence required to move customers along the marketing funnel. Having a discussion around what your prospective customers care about before designing a clinical study, will ensure that your organization will be able to go to market with differentiated messages once the product is approved.
Align Messaging with the Triple Aim
How do you go for those aspirational claims that will differentiate your product in the market? One way could be to consider the Triple Aim framework, as laid out by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, which says a new design should improve three things: the health of populations, the patient experience, and the per capita cost1. Applying these aims to your clinical claims matrix and then designing your clinical studies to support them with compelling data, will have significant impact when your product is introduced in the market. In essence, prove the device will help healthcare providers, has a valuable economic story and will enable patients to have a higher quality of life. When your go-to-market team uses this as a compass for their clinical study design and launch strategy, you can be sure you’re hitting your key audiences and, hopefully, making an impact.
1. The IHI Triple Aim Initiative, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
An Outside Perspective Can Align your Inside Strategy
Sometimes progress is best pursued on neutral ground. Pulling your teams from their day-to-day lives in order to delve into a meaningful discussion, free from distraction, can sometimes best be done offsite. Working with an outside team of experts who can offer a fresh perspective, while remaining impartial, can help facilitate critical change and progress in an organization that may be weighed down by process or politics. We’ve seen it many times and have witnessed the almost therapeutic experience that teams can have when they come together, really listen to each other and agree to collaborate. Goals may be different, but the ultimate goal of getting a product to market that will change the lives of healthcare providers and their patients should not be lost.