Bringing a healthcare innovation to market may seem easy, but achieving commercial success, or generating an ROI on the innovation, can prove challenging. We're discussing the 8 Dimensions of Commercial Success to help innovators break through the healthcare haze. What can you do to make sure your healthcare innovation doesn't flop?
For starters, in order to effectively commercialize your innovation, we need to know who needs it. More importantly, we need to know who actually wants it. (Surprisingly, these may not be the same!) Before taking aggressive steps to launch a new product, innovators should step back and be sure they know what they’re up against. Assess the characteristics, demographics, psycho-graphics, demands, and wishes of the individuals and groups who benefit from your innovation. Lean away from concrete ideas about what you think customers want or need. Once you understand your stakeholders, from their point of view, you can target your messaging to ensure that your marketing and communications are effective enough to break through the healthcare haze.
Stage One: It’s all about the Early Adopters
Don’t get me wrong – there’s an expansive and intricate web of factors that work to determine whether an innovation flourishes or flops. But when it comes to systemic or radical technological advancements, early adopters have a much heavier hand in the commercialization process. These are the open-minded individuals who think outside the box. They more readily accept the concept of change. They have the expertise and know-how to critically evaluate your innovation. More importantly: these are the individuals who have the biggest influence on the rest of the market. Early adopters know their stuff, and the rest of the market is well aware. A thumbs-up from this audience has a huge influence on its traction in the marketplace.
Early Adoption Network
Even in cases where the innovation isn’t systemic or radical, early adopters are the key stakeholders who will explore your innovation and evaluate its value to the healthcare industry. As such, it’s mandatory for innovators to gain the support of key early adopters and build a strong network of followers to diffuse their innovation into the market. But this is only half the battle – it’s critical to make sure these early adopters keep a positive post-purchase attitude after the sale is made. Positive word-of-mouth isn’t just a benefit, it’s a requirement. It’s going to play a major role in reaching The Tipping Point towards your mainstream market.
Stage Two: Floating Down the Mainstream
If an innovation is met with acclaim and esteem from early adopters, the stage is set for a smooth integration into the mainstream market. These individuals and entities make up the remainder of stakeholders whose team you’ve been on since your innovation was a seedling. Depending on your innovation, the mainstream market may be:
- healthcare practitioners
- diabetes patients
- or global health IT conglomerates
For these groups, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to adopting technological innovations. Successful innovators take the time to thoroughly define and examine the needs and perceptions of those who will truly benefit from their innovation. They view their customers as the experts in consumer demand, not themselves. Understanding who you aim to help and exactly how you can help them is a key determinant in commercial success.
In the third installment of our 8 Dimensions of Commercial Success series, we’ll discuss positioning your innovation for optimal exposure and communication. Stick around. In case you missed the first post on timing, click here.