Why Your Healthcare Innovation Needs More Than Just a Go-to-Market Strategy or Strategic Marketing Plan

It’s Business 101 to have a strategy for marketing your product or service, especially when a company is launching a new one. These often manifest as a go-to-market (GTM) strategy and a strategic marketing plan. But when you’re developing and launching a disruptive technology – a true innovation that’s breaking through the status quo – it takes deeper, more holistic strategy to ensure that you maximize adoption, diffusion, and marketplace acceptance.

That’s why these innovations need a special plan: a commercialization of innovation (CoI) strategy.

In this article, I’ll discuss some key differences between the three marketing strategies, and why your innovation simply can’t afford a standardized, “cookie-cutter” approach that may be delivered through a typical GTM strategy or strategic marketing plan.

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The 8 Strategic & Tactical Concepts of Marketing

To explain the difference between these three strategies, it’s important to cover the eight key strategic and tactical concepts that take place across the three phases of commercialization: the product development, pre-launch, and post-launch phase. Then, we’ll go over which of the eight are covered by each of the three types of marketing strategy. (Spoiler alert: a CoI strategy covers all eight, while the other two don’t!)

In no particular order of importance in your strategy, these are the eight commercialization concepts that complement each other to influence market success:

  1. When will your product launch? This includes considerations like fluctuating market conditions, competition level, and any upcoming launches from competitors.
  2. Have you developed buyer personas for your ideal customers and segmented your audience based on the diffusion of innovation curve? Can you align your innovation with the needs, characteristics, and buying intentions of early adopters in your niche?
  3. Is your innovation radical or incremental? Clearly define the whats, whys, and hows of your innovation, including how its purpose and functionality might relate to other products on the market.
  4. Partnerships and alliances. Working with key names in your niche can offer legitimacy and credibility while helping to create and shape markets, assist with commercialization tasks throughout all stages of development and launch, and supplement resources.
  5. Is your product concept clearly defined and based on market needs and behaviors? Have you explored releasing a minimum viable product (MVP) to generate early market feedback as the product is perfected?
  6. Which channels best target early adopters and mainstream consumers? Does your distribution strategy facilitate the education of consumers about how your innovation is useful?
  7. Does your marketing and advertising strategy use thought leadership and scientific storytelling to create a meaningful, relatable, and credible brand story?
  8. Will you opt for a value-based, cost-based, or competition-based strategy? Skimming or penetrating pricing? Can you sustain a revenue loss up-front if it will help facilitate diffusion faster?

Defining a GTM, Strategic Marketing, and CoI Strategy

This chart illustrates which of the above eight concepts are typically addressed by each strategic approach:

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Key Differences

Generally speaking, a key difference between these three plans lies in when a marketing team begins to develop the strategy and what lens the team is looking through. A GTM strategy is most often developed after the product has already been developed, when it’s ready to hit the market. A strategic marketing plan is a more general type of strategy that doesn’t speak to the unique needs of a new product launch – this type of plan takes place after development and launch, and can be developed and executed years after the product has already hit the market.

Many marketing firms will develop a strategic marketing plan, some may have the expertise to create a GTM strategy for a product launch, but few understand all the strategies involved in commercializing an innovation.

A CoI strategy essentially includes a GTM strategy and a strategic marketing plan wrapped into its overarching strategy, for a more holistic, comprehensive approach—plus so much more. This type of strategy reflects the unique complexities of bringing an innovation to market, and acknowledges the need for all eight concepts to be addressed before the product is even developed.

Especially for radical innovations, research shows that success is more closely correlated with marketing and product development strategies that are proactively molded to address the needs and behaviors of the existing market, as opposed to trying to make an innovation reactively fit into the market after the fact.

Not Your Average Marketing Firm

Legacy DNA specializes in the successful commercialization of healthcare innovations, comprehensively diving into each of the eight strategic and tactical concepts of a strong CoI strategy. We know what it takes for an innovation to succeed and how to break through the noise in an oversaturated market.

To learn more about the intricacies of an ideal CoI strategy, click here to download our whitepaper, “10 Steps to Healthcare Technology Innovation Success: Commercialization Strategies to Reach Adoption, Diffusion, and Market Acceptance.”