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,
“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.
Beyond Safe and Effective
Safe and effective is no longer enough with the Triple Aim Guidelines set out by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. So how can a well-rounded, cross-functional team that includes marketing bring varying perspectives together to take your trial results 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.
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.
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.