Medical Device Marketing Product Management

August 05, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

The Dividing Line that Unites Us

Medical Device Marketing Product Management Role

A typical Product Manager is viewed like a General Manager for the product. 
This tends to be a key pivotal role within an organization intended to drive:

  • Business results & product sales - gross revenues
  • Competitive advantage - market share gain
  • Customer satisfaction (long term) - market share retention

Competencies associated with effective and successful Product Managers: 

  1. Drive business results

  2. Deliver results through people

  3. Ensure market driven direction

  4. Guide product ‘fit’ and function

  5. Manage multiple priorities

1.Drive business resultsProduct managers need strong business skills to manage a piece of business. Setting a clear vision and strategy, converting this strategy into a plan with measurable objectives in terms of revenue and growth and having solid financial knowledge and decision making are some key skill that will enable product managers to drive business results

2.Deliver results through people – Product managers usually don’t have direct authority over people but requires product managers to deliver results through people. This means product manager needs to be able to lead upward, downward and sideways. They need to be effective communicators, both oral and written. And they also require perseverance and fortitude.

3.Ensure market driven direction – A key aspect of a product manager’s role is ensuring long term customer satisfaction. This can be achieved by ensuring product is guided by the market’s and customer’s needs. The product manager must not only have an ‘intimate’ understanding of customers, but must be the champion for the customers and advocate for the market within the organization.

4.Guide product ‘fit’ and function – To deliver for the customer’s needs, and drive competitive advantage for the organization, product managers must create a superior product and offering. This requires solid technical and operational knowledge and skills. Product managers must drive technical product specifications with a view of ‘what’ the product has to do and not necessarily the ‘how’.

5.Manage multiple priorities – Finally, product managers must be able to see the big picture while managing details and schedules. To manage multiple priorities, time management and project management are essential skills.


Multiple Stages - New Product Introduction

  1st - Assess Market Opportunities

  • Analyze customer problems/drivers
  • Analyze Competitive Marketplace
  • Analyze Product Opportunities
  • Quantify Opportunities and Revenue Potential

 2nd - Prepare Product Line Strategy

  • Road-map Creation
  • Align Operational Initiatives
  • Communicate Strategy

          3rd - Plan Product & Variations

  • Define Product Requirements
  • Prioritize Scope
  • Build and Communicate Plan

   4th - Develop the Product

  • Negotiate / Develop Technical Product and Software Requirements
  • Create Measures of Product Success – Product (Design & Market) Validation
  • Design and Validate Product & Market (market messaging) / Customer Interface Experience

   5th - Launch and Roll-Out

  • Validate Quality and Release
  • Communicate to the Organization
  • Measure and Communicate Impact


Product Manager - Key Responsibilities

  • Product Life-cycle activities

  • Product/Business strategies

  • Product Mix Road-map planning

  • Pricing

  • Forecasting

  • Performance Tracking

  • Sales/Marketing Programs Development

  • Market Research / Market Intelligence

  • Market Positioning, Messaging, Imaging, Quality

  • Business Planning

  • Branding, Names, Trademarks, Warranty

  • Labeling, Packaging, Training

Cross Functional Key Interactions

  • Project Management

  • Engineering

  • Regulatory

  • Quality Assurance

  • Document Control

  • Finance

  • Planner/Purchasing

  • Production

  • Sales

  • Technical Services

  • Customer Service

  • Clinical Research

  • Marketing Communications

  • Senior Staff Leadership

  • Global Market Channels


PM’s Role and Required Skills

  • Analyzing

  • Prioritizing

  • Tracking

  • Communicating

  • Innovating

    • Product

    • Messaging

    • Positioning

  • Responsible for Key Program Documents
  • Product Opportunity Proposal (POP)

  • Market Requirement Specifications (MRS)

  • Product Marketing Plan (PMP)

  • Product (Related) Business Plan (PBP)



The Four 'P's' of Product Marketing

1. Product (what)

  • Full bundle of goods and services offered to customer


  • Appearance
  • Functionality
  • Support or non-tangibles
  • Physical product itself
  • Packaging

2. Promotion (how, who)

  • Advertising and selling, message and timing

3. Place (where, when, how)

  • Where, when and how the product is distributed and sold

4. Price (why)

  • How much we charge for products or service, value thru premium tiers

- Product

  • PM is the Product Guru (subject matter expert)

  • Market plan

  • Contingency planning

  • Inventory/ Forecast

  • Strategic Design

    • Innovation

    • Quality

    • Integration

  • Competitive Assessment

  • Clinical Positioning

  • External & Internal Customer Relationships

  • Packaging

- Promotion

  • Brochures

  • Collateral

  • Trade shows

  • Videos

  • Surgical Techniques

  • Web Casts

  • Field Communications

  • Technical Bulletins

  • Giveaways

  • Newsletters

- Place

  • Launch Planning

    • Theme, Locations & Agenda

    • Launch Kits

    • Samples

    • Studies

    • Technique

    • Package insert/manual

    • Brochures

    • Multimedia Collateral

    • Promotion

    • Giveaways

    • Roll-out schedule

    • Guest speakers

  • Evaluations

  • Clinical Trials

  • Limited Market Release Availability

  • Transitions/ Back-Orders / Upgrades

  • Crisis Management

- Price

  • Price Sensitivity analysis

  • Competitive Pricing assessment

  • Value through Premium Tiered Pricing Schedule

  • Revenue and Unit Forecasting

  • Customer Cost-Benefit Analysis


“Upstream Strategic” Product Marketing

  • Communicating throughout organization

  • R&D thru Customer Interface

    • Strategic planning – Product Road-Map

    • Product Improvement, Prioritization

    • Competitive Positioning

    • Design - Domestic vs. International

    • Clinical Assessment

  • Cost/pricing

    • Units/dollars/ASP

  • Forecasting, Purchase Planning, Obsolescence and Manufacturing

  • Crisis Assessment and Management

  • Meetings and Documentsevery project in product area

  • Quality, Legal, Regulatory


“Downstream Tactical” Product Marketing

  • Launch manuals

  • Brochures

  • Videos

  • Web casts

  • Competitive assessment

  • Clinician and Field Staff relationships

  • Communications and meetings

  • Patient interfacing

  • Public relations

  • Medical education

  • Co-calling, field work

  • Sales training

  • Medical conferences

  • Trade shows

  • Field communications

  • Advertising

  • Newsletters

  • Web site maintenance

  • Sponsorships

  • Sales tools/ promotional giveaways

  • Product Samples or Appearance Mock-ups

  • Product Demonstrations



Product Marketing

  • Identify Problems Worth Solving
  • Define Situational scenarios
  • Determine Voice of the Customer
  • Conduct Workflow Analysis
  • Develop and Illustrate Solution Options Matrix
  • Create Market Research Questionnaire
  • Conduct Competitive Analyses
  • Conduct Existing Products Analyses
  • Determine Existing Clinical Trials
  • Identify Possible Future Competitive Products
  • Conduct Physician Product Strategy Review Board
  • Define Existing Product Shortfalls
  • Develop Feature Trade-off Testing
  • Determine Customer Expectations
  • Assess Level of Customer Satisfaction
  • Produce Market Research Analyses Report
  • Identify / Recommend Potential Market Opportunities
  • Define / Recommend Product Strategy
  • Illustrate Potential Customer Applications
  • Define New Product Required Features
  • Define New Product Customer Benefits
  • Identify Possible New Technology Required
  • Communicate Potential Marketing Claims
  • Define New Product(s) Clinical Data Requirements
  • Define New Product(s) Clinical Claims Matrix
  • Illustrate Product(s) Road-map evolution over time
  • Illustrate Product Timelines Market Launch in each Geographic region(s)
  • Product Launch Planning
  • Regulatory Planning
  • Product Claims for “Instructions for Use” (IFUs) Product Manuals
  • Write / Review Product Manual for Accuracy and Ease of Use
  • Product Manual Translations for foreign markets with Validation by local reps
  • Product Indications for Use
  • Define Product Intended Use Statements (work with Regulatory)
  • Product Names (formal & informal)
  • Model Numbers Applicable assignments
  • Communicate with Countries regarding Regulatory Approval planning
  • Trademarks – Product Feature Designs
  • Trademarks - Product Names Globally
  • Product Name Local Translations reviews
  • Work with Legal for Help and Approval of proposed Trademark names
  • Work with Legal to submit Patents associated w/product and review of "Prior Art" Globally
  • Company Branding
  • Product Branding
  • Product Family Branding
  • Product Features Branding
  • Market Positioning
  • Product Positioning
  • Notes, Cautions, Warnings (Regulatory Statements) for Product Manual
  • Software Error Handling messages, what to do, recommended workarounds, best options
  • Product Pricing
  • Product Line Value to Premium Offerings Strategy
  • Competitive Products Assessment
  • Product Release Letter for Customer Upgrades
  • Sales Reps Product Release Letter with Features and Benefits
  • Software Screen Shots and Menu Sequences
  • List of Nominal Settings and What's Changed (in straight forward terms)
  • List of Bugs Fixed and still existing
  • Marketing Sales Collateral
  • Sales Educational Materials and FAQs
  • Sales Rep and Customer Focus Groups to Validate Market Messaging
  • Business Plan with Product Marketing Plan
  • List of customer messaging and marketing collateral necessary
  • Internal marketing docs and support slides
  • Sales and Clinical Support plan
  • Marketing Product Technical Specifications
  • Competitive Intelligence Tracking
  • Products and Clinical Studies Tracking
  • Method for handling Product Complaints
  • Validate Contact Info. for all written materials
  • Review, revise, enhance Product Collateral prior to launch
  • Sales Training Materials
  • Field Engineer Training Materials
  • Product Road-map Timeline Updates
  • Strategic Investment Planning
  • Review Potential Outside Opportunities
  • Product Sales Forecasting and Production Plan Forecasting
  • Plan to Launch New Products at Major Conventions and Company Gatherings
  • Messaging for all Convention Activities, Customers
  • Travel for Sales and Internal Customer Training – US, International
  • Travel for Customer Training – US, International


Places I’ve Traveled for Work:  Domestically

Orlando, New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Long Island, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Monterey, Palm Springs, San Diego, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Anaheim, St. Louis, Rochester MN, Ontario Canada, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Reno, Louisville, Nashville, Newark, Seattle, Des Moines Iowa, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boulder, Tampa Bay, Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, Fairfax Virginia, Connecticut.


Places I’ve Traveled for Work:  Internationally

Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, Ismir Turkey, Istanbul Turkey, Budapest Hungry, Barcelona Spain, Copenhagen Denmark, Paris France, Nice France, Frankfurt Germany, Rome Italy, Kyoto Japan, Tokyo Japan, Melbourne Australia, Sydney Australia, Gold Coast Australia, Vienna Austria, Geneva Switzerland.



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