The First Rule of Market Research: Do It!

Nick Talamantes
January 08, 2021
Market research is critical in launching medtech products.

Conducting proprietary market research and analysis is the most cost-effective and efficient way to test your MedTech concept and understand your market.

When MedTech entrepreneurs and executives bring a new product to market, they have a vision. They can clearly see how their innovation will revolutionize a market or even change lives. And one of their most important jobs is convincing others, whether that be investors, cofounders, or customers, that their idea is not only groundbreaking, but viable in the marketplace. And, as many of these individuals know, this is why market research is essential. 

Akin to the scientific method, high-quality market research follows a systematic methodology of observation, inquiry, research, and testing to come to well-informed conclusions. It is through this approach that MedTech entrepreneurs develop winning strategies and tell a compelling and realistic story related to the opportunity they are presenting.

A Proven Market Research Method is Essential

The truth is that not all market research is equal. In order to truly validate any data point or assumption, data not only needs to come from well-vetted sources, but it must be reinforced through subsequent data points and analysis. It’s also critical that market research begins with very specific questions in order to be valuable. MedTech products are often highly specialized and in many cases novel. To truly understand the opportunity and convince others, the data presented must be laser-focused. In most cases, general research doesn’t answer enough of the many questions related to commercializing a specific product. 

At Jaunt, we employ a proprietary methodology when conducting market research to obtain information and generate insights that help each unique client excel in developing and commercializing their medical products.

The Jaunt Market Research Methodology

Our 5 point methodology effectively gathers the right information, reinforces it through data triangulation, and then is interpreted through meaningful, expert analysis. It is from there that we can formulate a specific and meaningful strategy that allows each of our clients to move forward with confidence.

Ask Questions

Before research begins, we ask questions – a lot of questions – that are specific to the market and stakeholders associated with the emerging product. It is through this inquiry that we formulate the strategy and blueprint for the type of research that needs to be conducted. This is the best way to uncover the most relevant and useful answers. 

Common questions might include:

  • Who is this product for?
  • Who is the primary competitor?
  • What other solutions are competing in the market?
  • Why is your product better than these other solutions?
  • How much does your competitor’s device sell for?
  • How many devices did your competitors sell last month? Last year?
  • How many procedures were performed last year that could have used your device?
  • How many procedures actually need your device?
  • What is the motivation for a physician to switch to your device from what they are using now?
  • Why would a patient care about your solution?

Once the right questions are established, we have a framework to build the foundation of our research approach. The next step is to start collecting intelligence.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is the exhaustive search of that information which is readily accessible. This generally entails information from online sources such as company financials, government agencies (e.g. the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Health Service), clinical trial registries, and academic publications. Secondary research is utilized to perform high-level analysis of product markets and helps us identify:

  • Competitors and their position in the market
  • Market volume and size
  • Commercial opportunity and market value

Below is a grid that demonstrates how some questions are often solved with secondary research.

Question Solution Potential Sources
Who are my competitors? Create a competitive landscape Competitor websites and financial documents
How are my competitors speaking to their customers? Value proposition analysis Competitor websites, brochures, white papers, podium presentations and peer review articles
How many patients are there? Create an epidemiological forecast Government and nonprofit databases; epidemiological databases; patient registries
What is the commercial opportunity for this market? Determine the total addressable market and immediately addressable market Product pricing databases; estimated procedure volumes; incidence rates

Secondary research is where good competitive intelligence starts, however it doesn’t always paint the clearest picture. In fact, it often leads to even more questions. That is where primary research comes into play.

Primary Research

Primary research is key.

Primary research means getting out of the office (literally or figuratively) and gathering first-hand information about the market and customers. Surveys, questionnaires, and interviews are all tools used in conducting primary research. Primary research is best conducted after secondary research has overturned as many stones as possible and questions still remain. MedTech companies utilize primary research to gain in-depth insights into their market, which includes the voice of customer, user needs, and purchasing behaviors. Primary research involves interacting with patients, physicians, product distributors, and payers, as well as other individuals who can provide insight into the current and future market.

Primary research can capture customer insights on the following elements:

  • Barriers to adoption
  • Pricing optimization
  • Evaluation of value proposition
  • Product features
  • Clinical needs
  • Customer behaviors

Primary research is essential for new and emerging markets. It is the most concrete method to positively influence product design, marketing, and commercialization strategies. It often provides MedTech organizations tremendous cost savings when testing value propositions and adoption assumptions for new and emerging markets.

Analysis

Once all the necessary research has been conducted, the raw data needs to be processed. Analysts use a variety of analytical techniques to identify trends and draw conclusions. A summary of findings (i.e. a report or presentation) is then assembled so the information can be easily communicated to others. The final report digests the raw data and answers the initial questions that served as the genesis of the research. It may include the opinions or recommendations of the analyst based on their interpretation of the information and past experience.

Strategy

Market research generally influences product strategy. The findings are used by leadership to make decisions that directly affect the success of the product. With good market intelligence in-hand, MedTech entrepreneurs are better equipped to create a product that customers actually want – and are willing to pay for. 

When MedTech starts with the buyer and understands the market dynamics and mentality first, it strengthens their strategies and chances of success.

But You’re Not Finished Yet

Market research is never really complete. Until a product is launched and has fully saturated the addressable market, market research is the best way to constantly bring in new information that shapes the direction of the product. With each experience or insight, new questions are formulated. More secondary research is conducted and additional primary research is performed. Analysis continues and strategies dynamically take shape, are broken down, and take new directions.

Doing market research is the first rule of market research. Specific needs vary between MedTech companies and their projects, however the need for data-driven strategies is constant across them all. Knowing how to find the answers to specific market questions can be a challenge. But, a dedicated approach to gathering and using market intelligence to mold your value proposition will make all the difference in increasing your chance for success.

Jaunt provides our clients with more than market research. We apply a data-driven intelligence gathering methodology with our decades of experience in commercializing MedTech products and successfully bringing them to market. Do you have questions about your own market research needs? Contact us.

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