Five Critical Elements to Include in all Medical Device Marketing Campaigns

The Set Up

I was invited to give a talk to a group of local marketing professionals in the Medical Device Sector and after sorting through all the things I could share with them, from pricing to promotions to channel development and everything in between, here is the essence of that talk. Look for your golden nugget.

At the Core

“Vision without action is merely a dream.

Action without vision just passes the time.

Vision with action can change the World.”

                                          Joel Barker

The above quote from Joel Barker made a significant impact on my life thinking. I first heard it in the 1990’s. It has become my mantra as a marketer. With every campaign, new product launch, strategy and tactic I have created my goal has been to change the World, well maybe just a small part of it. As time marched on I combined the essence of this quote with the Dow Chemical Model of Organizational Transformation and you will see the results in the model below.

So the first declaration to the group after introducing the Barker quote was my beliefs surrounding the neccessity of integrating marketing activities throughout the department and the organization as a whole.

Over Arching Philosophy

I believe that an integrated commercialization strategy is necessary to create and sustain success for all effective medical devices over both the short-term and long-term.  That integrated strategy is as equally important as the actual invention and development of the new product itself.

The creation and execution of an integrated commercialization strategy is more complex now than ever before. When faced with complexity I find it best to return to the basics. There are six key elements to creating successful marketing programs in the medical device space. If any of the six elements are missing then an undesired result occurs.

Vision, Knowledge, Experience, Method, and Action are all required to create effective programs. See the chart titled Five Critical Element Model for the elements and what happens when one is missing.

Core beliefs…

1.    Safety comes first and always.

2.    The clinician customer is your most important guide, not King.

3.     Constant customer engagement in its many forms is the source of the product manager’s influence and is critical to success.

4.     Minimal regulatory strategies never serve the good of the patient nor the product.

5.     There should always be structure to the input that you are receiving from the field.

6.    Tension is natural and valuable between all stakeholders in the commercialization process.

7.    Going slow to go fast is the right approach, most of the time.

8.    Starting with the end in mind is the best way to ensure success.

9.   You can’t bring positive change to a process without being able to measure that process, never skipping a step or cheapening the ingredients.

10. Practicing unethical behaviors will never lead to success.

11. Authenticity of purpose and action – to truly serve, is the best way to build important relationships.

12. Multifunctional teams are required in the absence of true genius.

13. There are no limits to what is possible, only practical limitations that we choose to put on ourselves.

14. Hands on experiences for customer input are superior to any mental exercise.

15. Competitive analysis is often over done, it can dilute your differentiation strategies, know they self.

What are your core beliefs? Take a few minutes and write them down. Knowing your self and what you believe can go a long way to bringing peace and contentment in your work.

Five Critical Element Model

The two critical elements that are most often forgotten or discounted are Experience and Method (process can be interchanged with method). Many believe that intellect can replace experience and method. Is just isn’t true. “The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein

So, if something is not going well with your campaign review the Model and see what is missing. Better yet, review the model before you create the campaign and get it right the first time.


  1. When faced with complexity make it simple by re-visiting your core beliefs
  2. Don’t be afraid to try and change the World.
  3. Use the model for both planning and diagnosis

“Experience is what you get, right after you need it most.”

Make it a great day,

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is the Principal consultant for The Experia Group. A small consulting firm that specializes in providing experience and expertise during critical device commercialization phases to increase the probability of success. Contact The Experia Group for a free 30-minute consultation to determine if 30-years of experience can contribute to your success.

© 2018, The Experia Group, LLC