Medical Device Company Executives Tom McCall (Chief Marketing Officer, ICU Medical), Jim Buck (President & CEO, Mardil Medical), Steve Ogilvie (VP of Corporate Development, NuVasive), and Michael Dale (President & CEO, Helical Solutions) share some of their past strategic challenges
Focusing on solutions and not products —
Decreasing dependence on major companies, like Hospira (formerly Abbott), by communicating consistently their value proposition. Getting back to basics with active sales and marketing campaigning, thinking like a “big” company by pushing any and all available channels, to be present and in front of potential clientele when they’re looking for solutions. Tim McCall went on, “We have to be as nimble as the small companies being able to sell the technology, but we have to appear to be much bigger than we actually are.”
The panel really emphasized the importance of branding: To have a solid, defined idea of your value proposition, and using that value to develop your brand, communicating that brand value, and, perhaps most importantly, focusing on solutions rather than products. The end result of this focus was a diversification of clientele. “We were able to decrease our dependence on Hopsira to now about 40% of our revenue, rather than 70%.. [and] in the last 3 years.. add about $3M to the top line.” McCall acknowledged that this takes a great deal of effort.
Michael Dale reinforced point by stressing distinguishing [one’s company] from competitors. He went on to say that having an active sales and marketing strategy, “bringing your product or service to the marketplace… You’ll spend more money more quickly [here] than anything you’ll ever do in the history of your business; including your R&D and your clinical development process.” How well companies do that, especially in their early stages, will forecast how well your company will do in the future.