September 26, 2012 -- “I see the marketing leader as the captain of the portfolio ship”, says Bryan J. Stewart, Vice President - International Sales at Biomet Microfixation. The Chairman of the marcus evans Medical Device CMO Summit 2010 taking place in Nevada, June 20-22, 2010, Stewart advises Chief Marketing Officers to identify the challenges and needs facing their business and the market, and to drive innovation towards meeting true, and even unmet, market needs.
What challenges are medical device marketing executives facing at the moment and what solutions would you recommend?
Bryan J. Stewart: There are a number of challenges – the impact of healthcare reform on the industry, both short-term and long-term, challenges around customer access, pricing pressures from multiple fronts, scrutiny of the relationships and collaboration between industry and health care providers and the need for relationship and reporting transparency.
Last but not least, the regulatory and reimbursement environments are constantly changing. There is a continuing sea of evolution and healthcare device executives must remain well informed and focused on the most critical issues in their organization to achieve the results they desire. They need to identify the business needs and challenges that they could be facing in the future, and make sure the appropriate leadership and teams are in place to face those challenges head on.
How can medical device marketing executives drive innovation?
Bryan J. Stewart: Medical device marketing executives can be the champions of an innovative culture in the organization. Innovation starts with having the right focus and structure complimented by an overarching mindset or attitude toward innovation; the organization requires good systems that help drive innovation, which include the way ideas are received and managed and the entire product development and commercialization process.
All medical device marketing executives should ask themselves this question: ‘Am I focused on providing the most innovative cutting-edge products, that meet true market needs or even unmet market needs, at a price and a reimbursement strategy that allow my organization to be successful in the marketplace?’
How can product life cycle be extended?
Bryan J. Stewart: Product lifecycle management can potentially be a big problem for medical device marketing executives. For many companies, sustainable revenue growth and market share gains are made through incremental product innovation – which has generally slowed down for various reasons. It is especially challenging for smaller medical device companies, who may potentially lack the resources, talent pool and experience to optimize processes. It has become increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the curve with a continuous flow of products and a well balanced product portfolio.
What long-term strategies would you recommend?
Bryan J. Stewart: I see the marketing leader as the key leader in ensuring that the organization has a well balanced portfolio. There may be other staff members who are responsible for the day-to-day management, but in my opinion, the chief marketing executive needs to have his or her finger on the pulse of the portfolio at all times.
The life blood of many companies is product innovation and the ability to get new products to the market rapidly. It is about truly understanding needs and wants, both known and unknown, and designing products that respond to those. There must be a culture of innovation supported by good systems, organizational disciple and solid leadership all aimed at meeting those needs and building a well balanced portfolio. The goal is to consistently deliver products and services that the market needs and that will ultimately help the company grow. The focus should always be on the customer, the current needs that exist, and creatively identifying or unearthing unmet user needs.
Many US companies take products that are more or less produced from a US centric point of view and attempt to launch them globally with little to no consideration for regional practical and cultural differences. They rarely hit the center of the bull’s eye with regards to user needs, pricing, packaging, and any number of other complex issues that need to be considered when launching a product globally.
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About the Medical Device CMO Summit 2010
This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 20-22, 2010. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on innovative solutions on meeting customer needs, maximizing ROI, effective marketing strategies and marketing internationally.
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Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.
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