When a medical device is invented or created there are certain steps in order to market the product successfully. The steps to medical device marketing includes device positioning, price, promotion and distribution, strategy of sales, forecasting of sales.
All the steps are detailed below :
- Positioning of the device
The device needs to be safe, has ease of use, properly tested, evaluated and should match the other products which are competitors in terms of the pricing as well as the availability.
The price should be competitive or should be slightly higher incase it has an edge over the other competitive products in terms of efficacy, efficiency or advanced technology. The user should be able to get a proper cost benefit for the price of the device.
- Distribution and promotion
There are different methods of penetration into the market. These can be :
- Selling directly to the end customer – this is possible if there is a large sale force and this requires considerable promotional expense. With this kind of sale, the sales increase but slowly.
- Selling to small distributors – The promoter sells it to distributors who in turn mark it up by 10% and then sell it forward.
- Selling to group purchasing organizations – This method is by negotiating with hospitals for exclusive contracts. This means that there is around a 3% markup of Sales Fee to the GPO Group Purchasing Organization and around a 10% markup for the distributors.
- Sales Strategy
There are different ways for sales strategy. The first is the license method. Where the selling is done to end users and strategic partners. The rest is used for development of prototypes, pilot production and field testing which is carried out. The second is the manufacture method where selling is to the end users as well as marketing partners. Again in this too the rest goes towards the development of prototype, pilot production as well as carrying out of field tests. Then based on the end user response as well as trade promotion marketing partnerships are forged. There is a 20% markup for the distributor.
There are also now products which are marketed online and this shows the customers the benefits, the applications as well as the costing of the device.
The forecasting is done by penetrating the market and then expanding the market to hospitals as well as family practices.
In all these stages the only challenges are in terms of investments, technology licensing, building credibility, reducing objections and capturing the market.