Launching Success: Optimizing Your Go-to-Market Strategy

A medical device marketing team in a meeting discussing strategy

For many, the path from development to commercialization is rife with hidden roadblocks and pitfalls at every turn. No matter how game-changing your solution is, it will never make it into the hands of clinicians without a robust go-to-market (GTM) strategy. Set your launch up for success by leveraging these five steps:

Step 1 | Get Early Feedback

This commonly overlooked step can mean the difference between rapid market penetration and a failed launch. Many companies undervalue this step, jumping to downstream commercialization processes without properly understanding their market landscape. The very first step you should take on the road to market should be seeking feedback from two or three key opinion leaders (KOLs) — recognized industry leaders who advocate for the new technology — and trust their opinions as market validation. But don’t stop there.

At the same time, initiate conversations with a much larger pool of potential users to understand what they care about and why, as it relates to your new solution. KOLs often have one perspective and other providers value other things. Aim to proactively map out the buyer’s journey, considering each decision-maker, their pain points, and what tactics would most effectively motivate them to close the deal. While this level of market research can take time and money, doing so early can protect you from spending substantial resources later on, at which point your high-dollar sales reps will have to conduct this research while on the clock. Initiating the process early and getting feedback will allow your reps to hit the ground running and only focus on closing sales, not defining the market.

Step 2 | Seed the Market

While you can’t market your device before FDA approval, what you can do is build awareness of the shortcomings of the status quo. In other words, prime your market enough to where, after receiving the regulatory stamp of approval and launching your campaigns, your audience can immediately recognize your device as the ideal solution to their challenges. Organize webinars and create content to educate the audience about the problem, identifying the blind spots and pain points in the current standard of care. Segment your audience based on those who are already unhappy with their current solution and are looking for better options, and those who haven’t yet recognized that the status quo is insufficient — the former should be the first audience you target post-approval. Additionally, keep track of conference registrations to gauge which prospects are truly engaged in finding new solutions and want to stay in the know on new innovations. By generating high-level awareness around the challenge, you can get ahead of the game and set the stage for rapid commercial growth.

Step 3 | Identify the Innovators

The next step is to “find the hungry people”, or those who will be the first to adopt your solution. In many cases, these innovators may not be the people you expect. While getting a foot in the door with industry titans may be the ultimate goal, commercializing nowadays requires a more ground-up approach. Instead of targeting the marquee health systems and providers we all know, start small and democratize your outreach. Leveraging digital means, it’s possible to engage all of the target providers at once. Small, private practices are often the first to implement new technologies, as they are eager to enhance their clinical and financial outcomes and the buying process is often much less complex. Selling to health systems requires proving your value to countless decision-makers, each with different goals, before you receive a collective “yes” — and this process can take months if not years. Starting small helps build credibility and awareness, piquing the interest of those heavy hitters and, hopefully, sparking sales conversations with higher-value leads.

Step 4 | Build Proof Points

At this point, you’ve launched your device and are hopefully generating some revenue. The next phase of your GTM strategy involves building your case to convert more, harder-to-reach prospects. The truth is that most of your decision-makers are not trying to change the world or reinvent the industry — all they want is a solution that effectively solves a specific problem and delivers improvements in patient care, financial performance, or operational efficiency. That’s why it’s crucial to gather customer success stories and testimonials starting from your first sales. Measure the impact of your device from the beginning to provide real-life examples of why your prospects need your device. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to say “yes”, leveraging your pre-FDA education content with tangible customer results to make your prospects feel like buying your device is the obvious best choice. By reframing current customer successes as your successes, you can get a large number of prospective users to adopt your technology at a faster rate than is common.

Step 5 | Scale Your Marketing

Your journey to market doesn’t end as soon as you hit “launch”. As your device moves through its life cycle, your marketing and sales strategies will also need to adapt. Scale your efforts on both a corporate level and a personal level to fuel a sustainable commercial engine.

Despite the core focus on technology and innovation, healthcare is a uniquely relationship-driven industry — individuals who know each other, like each other, and want to do business together. Continue penetrating existing accounts, networking with other innovators, and leveraging personal connections to open new doors to sales opportunities. Oftentimes a personal recommendation is far more powerful than a corporate endorsement. Keep a finger on the pulse of new audience pain points and potential decision-makers, refining your marketing tactics to clearly demonstrate your device’s ability to meet the evolving needs of your end-users. As your brand awareness grows, corporate investments will increase, creating a natural cycle of engagement, conversions, and sales.

Whether your company is in the product development or pre-launch phase, Jairus Marketing can help you optimize your marketing efforts to achieve a successful launch. Jairus leverages decades of industry experience and analytics-driven insights to craft high-impact life science, health tech, and medical device marketing solutions for innovators looking to grow quickly.

Want to learn more about how Jairus can optimize your GTM strategy? Book a strategy session to learn more about how our tailored solutions can help you achieve commercial success.