Healthcare Webinar

Provider Insights Shaping MedTech Go-to-Market Strategies

Mike White, Alexander Group principal, and Elizabeth Watson, Alexander Group director, joined AdvaMed on this webinar. Based on recent Alexander Group research, Mike and Elizabeth shared insights on healthcare provider challenges and concerns, as well as how they are planning to reshape go-to-market strategies and increase revenue growth.

Monty Sylvan: Hello, good morning, everyone. I hope you are all well today. My name is Monty Sylvan, and I am the coordinator for the membership department here at Appleman. Today we have a wonderful presentation lined up for you all in partnership with Alexander Group entitled “Provider Insights Shaping MedTech Go-to-Market Strategies.” Today we have our speakers, Mike White, who is a principal in the Chicago office and a leader of Alexander Group’s healthcare practice, as well as Elizabeth Watson, who is a director at the Chicago office as well. Before I hand it over, I just want to let you all know that we are going to have polls that we will be posing throughout the presentation, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. We will also ask that you ask any questions in the Q&A section so that way they’re all compiled in the same place and easier for us to view and properly answer. I’m going to hand this over to Mike. Mike, take it away.

Mike White: All right. Thanks a lot, Monty. And thank you to everybody for joining this morning. We’re going to talk through, as Monty said, provider insights shaping medtech, go to market strategies and more specifically within that, we have research from providers, hospital executives, and physicians that was conducted over the past few months that really kind of gives an update on the MedTech provides it informs an update on the medtech industry. As Monty said, I’m a principal with the Alexander Group (AGI) and based out of our Chicago office. And both Elizabeth and I are leaders in our healthcare practice. The quick two-minute background on who the Alexander Group is. So, we’re a revenue growth management consulting firm. What that means is we work with sales, marketing, service functions, all customer-facing functions on projects and engagements that drive through strategy, structure, management, and operations. Elizabeth and I focus on our healthcare practice that you see here. But we are cross-industry as a firm. So, we have other leaders of the firm who focus on other industries. And then before we get into the last page on the Alexander Group, here is a little bit more detailed view of the typical engagements we work on across strategy, structure, management operations and are usually sponsored by either a president general manager at a medtech company or division or marketing leaders, sales and service leaders, HR leaders, and across those engagements.

Mike White: So, keep us in mind if there’s ever an opportunity that comes up where you’re looking for outside consulting support, we’d be happy to provide an approach. The study is based on a survey that was conducted in June of this year taken by hospital executives, CEOs, CFOs, chief procurement officers, and the titles you see on the left, as well as by physicians and the physicians across the specialties you see on the bottom left. We asked about a number of different factors, and it really came down to what are the core challenges that they’re dealing with today in 2023, as well as what are their interaction preferences in interacting with medtech vendors. So that’s the basis of the survey. And then we’ll provide our data here and our perspective on what this means for go-to-market models for medtech companies. As Monty said, please contribute or ask questions through the chat line. We’re happy to answer those as we go. We also have a couple of polls as we go through this that will ask for your input on. The summary starts here and is broken down into provider challenges and vendor activities on provider challenges. Hospital executives identified staffing shortages as the leading inhibitor to business performance, so certainly not new in 2023. Staffing shortages are something that hospitals have been dealing with, really going back to pre-pandemic nursing shortages. And it’s only been accelerated by everything that’s happened over the past few years.

Mike White: Interesting to know that it still is as of this year, as of a couple of months ago, that’s still the top inhibitor that they see impacting their hospital financial metrics. Also tied into inhibitors is the shift of business shift of procedures outpatient. So, 83% of executives said they’re concerned about losing business to ASCs. Again, this is another evolution that’s been happening for the last five, ten, 15 years, depending on the type of procedure we’re talking about with knee and hip replacement procedures starting to slowly move many years ago to ASC setting from the hospital. But it’s only been accelerated again, as more procedures move outpatient supported by the payer landscape and to some extent, physician desire as many physician diagnoses exist in the US. But I think the interesting takeaway here is that as of this year, as of a few months ago, 83% of executives say they’re still concerned about losing the financial impact of procedures moving outpatient or specifically to ASCs. We also asked about capital budgets as another metric around how the financial health of hospitals in the US and hospital operating expense budgets have increased in 2023 compared to 2022. But on average, capital budgets decreased. 43% of executives said their capital expense budget for 23 decreased, and another 20% said they stayed the same. So, on average, with this participant set, capital budgets decreased in 23 versus 2022.

Mike White: And, we have supporting detailed slides for each one of these that we’ll go through in this session. So, you will see the details behind this. I will touch on the vendor activities component or section here lightly, and then we’ll get into more detail on that with the supporting slides. But the quick overview is there’s a gap in digital capabilities that executives have stated, executives and physicians stated in terms of how they interact with medtech companies, and that relates to self-service product education tools. It relates to email campaigns, social media outreach. These are all areas that the executives said were somewhat important, very, somewhat to very important. And there’s also a gap in terms of what they’re receiving from how they’re being how medtech companies are interacting with them. The second point under vendor activities is around interaction preferences. So, we continue to try to gauge how much providers want to be supported in person versus remotely. The expansion of inside sales in medtech companies has been pretty significant in the last few years. And what we’re trying to gauge is how much will that in-person versus remote those preferences change going forward? The quick overview is our perspective is based on this data and other interactions that we have that we’re about at a steady state of in-person versus remote preferences, but that their preferences are significantly varied by the type of product that we’re talking about.

Mike White: So, certainly low complexity products can be supported remotely by inside sales, whereas implantables require more in-person case coverage, product education in different sports. And so, we have some additional data that supports that idea. The last point on this page is around buying criteria. So, we also asked, you know, how the who the primary influencers are across low, moderate and high complexity clinical complex products and that of course varies depending on the product category you’re talking about. And so, we’ll get into the data there as well. But the quick overview is with low clinically complex products, the executives said that it’s IDNs and procurement are the lead influencers whereas with the implantables or other high complexity, clinically complex products, physicians still carry the highest influence. So, I think that’s an interesting finding or data point that, well, intuitively, we know that with implantables or highly clinical complex products, physicians carry significant influence in the decision. I think it’s interesting to see that executives at this point will still acknowledge that it isn’t the IDN or procurement that’s the lead. It still is the physician carrying the most weight in the vendor selection decision for highly complex products. I’ll go forward through the rest of this. Let me know if there are any questions in the queue.

Elizabeth Watson: And Mike, maybe one thing before we jump into the details. I wanted to maybe add a little color to the first pieces when I’m talking about this study with some of my clients. One thing I think they noted, we’ve seen staffing shortages up there for a while for inhibitors. We’ve been doing this now ongoing for a couple of years. One thing that did fall off of this is supply chain issues. So that’s something that was top of mind for executives that fell much lower on the list this year. So that was something that we saw as a change. Another question that I get often when we get to that second line about capital budget is what are people seeing out there in terms of willingness to accept pricing increases, especially if they’re reducing some of their capital budget. And the one thing that I’ve shared and Mike, I don’t know if you want to add any color here, is I think what we saw and even some of our previous surveys is hospitals were willing to accept pricing increases as of last year. I think the average is about 7%. That is less so this year. I think the what we’re seeing is we’ll accept this price increase this one time, but then there’s a little less wiggle room as we’re in 2023 and going into 2024.

Mike White: Yeah, that’s right. That’s I’m hearing the same thing. Similarly related to price increases, it’s, you know, I’ve had comments, you know, medtech commercial leaders would say that, yeah, we talk to, you know, a large health system who said, you know, yeah, that’s great. There was a 6% price increase last year, but that was a one-time that was a one-time thing. Right. So, there’s certainly more pressure from what we’re hearing on from hospitals to kind of manage or maintain pricing that you may not have been able to get away with as a medtech company more so last year.

Elizabeth Watson: Great. Okay. Thanks Mike.

Mike White: So, this page discusses staffing shortages and how they are the leading indicator impacting business performance. The light blue represents hospital executives, while the dark blue represents responses from physicians. Hospital executives focus on running hospital operations, while physicians are more concerned with patient outcomes within their specific specialty or area of the hospital. 87% of executives identified staffing shortages as a top market dynamic impacting business performance, while physicians identified cost increases and patient insurance payments tied into cost increases or inflation as leading factors. The details behind the 83% of hospital executives who are concerned about losing business to ASCs is also discussed. The shift to ASCs is having a financial impact, and hospital executives are prioritizing expanding outpatient capabilities within the hospital. However, there is still pressure as they make that shift or investment, which takes time.

Mike White: There is an appetite based on product to shift procedures to ASCs based on product innovation, payer incentives, and in some cases, physician incentives. Patient comfort with ASCs versus something that’s been done historically in the acute setting is also a consideration. The majority of hospital executives are moderately or very concerned about losing business to ASCs. This shift towards outpatient settings to non-acute settings means that it’s critical to have a non-acute strategy in place that starts with sizing the market. The outpatient market is a very fragmented space, so it’s about determining the right coverage approach to support the fragmented market. This includes thinking about roles, such as inside sales, junior reps, and specialist sales forces, as well as the role of marketing in expanding beyond lead generation.

Elizabeth Watson: Staffing shortages specifically relate to the hospital, primarily nurses and staff within the hospital.

Mike White: Yes, that’s correct. Nurses and staff within the hospital are most impacted, but certain physician specialties are also experiencing shortages. This page also provides estimates on how procedures will shift outpatient or to ASCs, with a substantial change in where procedures take place. The next few pages discuss capital and operating budget details, with 43% of executives reporting a decrease in their capital budget in 2023 compared to 2022.

Mike White: Operating budget increases increased more so at a higher rate than capital budgets. And that we attribute that just too there’s a certain cost that you have when running the hospital and wages have increased and inflations have driven other costs higher. And so therefore operating budgets are, you know, increase or need to be needed to be increased. Whereas capital budgets you some hospitals that sometimes have more of a decision if they can delay those purchases or upgrades of either large capital equipment or even wings, you know, more infrastructure type projects. But it’s really just this is intended to be a metric, another metric to inform what’s the financial state of the hospital of hospitals in the US? I will caveat this with this is while this was taken in the middle in the summer of this year, they were setting budgets for the most part in January of this year or even December of last year. So, at that time they were trying to project or predict how the what the procedure volumes would be going forward.

Mike White: And in 2023. And I think they’re a little bit, I think, cautious there. We have seen on the positive side, Kaufman Hall presents creates a flash report every month that gives the financial health of hospitals in the US. And we see some positive indicators there. For the first time in over 12 months, the margin index that they create that they capture, and track turned positive in March of this year. So that’s turned positive in March of this year, and it’s remained positive for the rest of, you know, the rest of this year, whereas that operating margin index was negative for most of 2022. Additionally, if you look at year over year metrics on revenue or volume, net patient revenue in 2023 is up about 7% versus 2022 and that’s through July. It’s a little bit more outpatient than inpatient. Outpatient revenue is up nine was up 9%, whereas inpatient revenue was up 5%. But still, you know, if you use those as metrics to say what is the how is the top line of the hospital doing, they’re in the neighborhood of 7% better off than they were in 2022.

Elizabeth Watson: One question, Mike. I’ve gotten from some clients as well who, let’s say, have a bit more of, like a capital intensive product that could be impacted more by this than, let’s say, our clients that have a more consumable based product. Are people making any changes in the way that they structure pricing or how they take the product to market if the capital budgets are a little bit lower? And one of the things that we have seen are people experimenting with things like leasing programs, for example, or kind of subscription services. I don’t know if there’s any other comments folks have or things folks have seen, but that’s one avenue we’ve seen folks exploring for those hospitals that do have some of those restraints on the capital budgets.

Mike White: Yeah, that’s right. And one I’d add is placements. So, placement contracts where you’re there’s the hospital isn’t bearing any cost for the capital in their budget and there’s an assumption whether it’s explicitly in contractual or it’s based on an agreement that there is a certain volume of consumables that come through with that. So that’s another avenue as opposed to just pure cash deals for capital. You’re right. I think medtech companies are trying to be more creative or I mean, certainly the there’s those mechanisms, those contracting mechanisms have been in place for many years, but they’re more willing to accept and go down that path of placements or leases or other non-cash capital deals because of they know they’ll still get the consumable flow through and because of what’s on this page around how capital budgets are restricted. Um, I’ll go through the next two pages relatively quickly here, and then we’ll ask a polling question around what your growth expectations are for the for all of 2023 are projected to be for 2023. So, we can get a kind of a sense from the audience here on what that looks like. Um, but this gives a little bit more detail behind the change in capital expense budget. So, you know, not only not only the 43% say they decreased it of that group, about a quarter said they decreased it more than 20%. That’s a pretty substantial decline in capital budget. And then in this gave the this gives the view of operating budget so the operating expenses you know more of course increased and decreased. But you see even in some cases there’s a substantial decrease in operating budget. So, we’ll go ahead and launch the poll. Question But we just want to get a gauge from the participants here on how you’re projecting revenue for the for all of 2023 at this at this point.

Mike White: So please respond to this. If your fiscal year is off the calendar year, use your best judgment based off of the current fiscal year that you’re in. This certainly has an impact. Know as you think about the health of the financial health of hospitals, it certainly has an impact on as you’re thinking about how you’re staffing or investing in resources, sales, marketing, you know, other resources in the commercial side as well as beyond that. But I think that medtech companies largely are trying to determine what this is going to look like in 2024 and understanding that we’ve seen an increase in, you know, patient volumes, procedure volumes. And will that continue? And what sort of maybe tailwinds do we have heading into 2024 versus what we had in 2023? I think the payer landscape will also have a strong impact on that, whereas CMS coming into this year, increased reimbursements in the US on average by about 5%. I think that will be that’s certainly going to be up for a topic of interest here in the next couple of months as those are set, you know, more substantially for 2024. Okay. And then based on the results here, it looks like the majority here are at 5% or higher. So, either flat or 5% higher growth that compared to last year. So good to see that the participants here are kind of seeing the growth return that maybe was a little bit softer in 2022. All right, Elizabeth, I’ll turn it over to you to take these next few slides.

Elizabeth Watson: Great. So, part of this survey as well is we asked our executives and physicians, what’s the most important thing to their needs and then what are vendors most effective at executing? So, the gaps that you see here are really that difference between importance and effectiveness. So high on the list for executives, especially were two things. One is the self-service portal for product education, and then two is social media outreach, which is something that we found really interesting. And we’ll talk about that here in a minute. But for both of those items, especially on the self-service side, when asked about effectiveness of our vendors, the rating was quite low. So, regarding the self-service portals, what we’re hearing from folks is executives especially likely appreciate the efficiency it creates for their staff, as well as limiting probably the amount of people that are stepping into the facility on a daily basis. What was interesting is physicians felt it was less important to have that self-service portal and that may do it. The fact that you’ll see here in some later slides, they do appreciate when it comes to any sort of in-person interaction. They appreciate that most when it comes to anything kind of like clinically related to education or product support. But perfecting that self-service portal and that remote learning is really top of mind for the healthcare executives and something that we’re seeing our clients really think about investing in, in terms of how can we stand apart from some of our peers and provide that as kind of a, we’ll call it value-added service to the organization outside of the core component of their product, which is how can we help you be more efficient as an executive of a hospital to be able to provide that education for your team? The second. Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

Mike White: Yeah. I was just going to say that the product education and clinical support is a theme you’ll see out of these remaining slides when we’re asking about interaction preferences and priorities. So just know that the, you know, I don’t think it’s a surprise, but it’s interesting to see how much product education and clinical support kind of rose to the top when asking about what they need from medtech vendors.

Elizabeth Watson: Yeah, absolutely. The second piece was really interesting was executives expressing an interest in receiving outreach through online or social media. I think sometimes what trips people up with this is we think of social media, we think of like Instagram or Facebook, but there are other parts of social media too, where our executives are spending time in different forums. LinkedIn doctors are on Doximity, and I think we’ve really recognized that the traditional interaction with reps isn’t the only way they’re getting their information. They’re going online to spend some of their time to get the content that they’re looking for, and they do see that as an important need for the organization to be able to find that information online, not just when they’re interacting with their reps. And then the other piece of this that was interesting in terms of how they felt the vendors were at the execution, which again had a bit of a gap there. And where we’re seeing in a lot of our conversations with our clients and some of our surveys conducted with our clients is more of an investment in marketing. And so really transitioning away from our traditional outbound email campaigns and really investing in a foundation and a structure to really drive more of that inbound marketing motion and then pairing that team with their sales reps to say, okay, you’re going to be having meetings with certain executives. Here’s the messages that they’re receiving online, here’s the information that we’re giving them, and try to really pair that with the sales reps so that they’re receiving consistent messaging on the marketing side as well as the sales reps. Still, you know, that’s it’s pretty important for executives, still a little bit lower for physicians. I think there’s still some traditional relationship building that they like to see there. But more and more we’re seeing that effectiveness or the importance of meeting them with information outside of the hospital really increased. And the more important the role of marketing really plays in the process for connecting with our buyers.

Mike White: Yeah, I think the social media one is interesting. I jokingly tell my kids that social media is taking over our lives and it turns out that even hospital executives, it’s important. I think it’s a reflection that, you know, hospital executives, physicians, they’re human beings, just like all the rest of us. We’re social media is becoming an important part of our lives or how we communicate. I don’t think, as you pointed out, I don’t necessarily think that this means they want Instagram ads. But there are there’s different mechanisms, social media outreach, that is. Is it surprising to see how important it is to them? And then the other is on email campaigns. I think the, you know, this is also interesting or surprising to see how much they say that it’s, you know, it’s somewhat important. And by the way, we’re not, you know, medtech vendors aren’t very good at it, you know, providing an effective way. I don’t think that they’re saying they want more emails. That would be my interpretation. But they are suggesting that the what the information they’re getting and maybe the frequency and how it’s delivered or whatever else isn’t quite on par with what they, you know, with what they would like. And it’s something to be evaluated as you think about your overall kind of marketing strategy, investment campaigns, channel mix.

Elizabeth Watson: Yeah. And I think one of the things we really hear from the marketing leaders that we speak to from a lot of our MedTech clients is any sort of campaigns we’re doing through email is very targeted. So, there’s been a lot of investment in what are the messages that they want to see here. I think you’ll notice that there’s a little bit more importance on the email campaigns around promoting discounts or promotions. And so just understanding what it is that the executives and physicians want to see in their inbox and making sure it’s tailored to that. And part of me based on this conversation is just picturing the CEO of Kaiser just doomscrolling on social media before they go to bed to buy all of their products like I do. The other. Yeah. The other piece we asked about is around what is the importance or where do you see the be the most important to have that in-person support. And the primary value driver by a significant margin was clinical support. So still find it to be incredibly important. 77% had that as their primary value driver around clinical support. And one of the things that we think we saw that’s really interesting when we were doing this survey over time is I think there was this expectation where clients were thinking about, okay, do we really invest in remote case coverage? And is this all going virtually? And we certainly see that pre-pandemic the amount of virtual support for things like case coverage or clinical support is certainly higher, but it hasn’t been all the way to, let’s say, virtual or remote than we would have anticipated.

Elizabeth Watson: So, we saw that bounce back a little bit as access to the hospital increased, where physicians still wanted that in-person support. But just let’s say for very targeted reasons. So less so we’re kind of walking the halls to shake hands, but we’re going there for a very targeted purpose. The next piece, kind of the secondary value driver was this product education piece. So still in line with the product support or clinical support. And then of course, towards the very end is around product delivery ordering or any sort of business reviews. One of the things that we’re seeing with clients as we think about product delivery, we’ve seen a lot of folks have their very valuable field resources spending time unboxing products or trying to find the delivered product within the halls of the hospital.

Elizabeth Watson: And so, how do we think about that’s less valuable time spent? How do we think about shifting that to a different resource or finding more efficient ways to do that so that our valuable field team members are really spending time here on one and two? The other question that we asked when we came to the preference for virtual interactions is around the complexity of products. So really trying to understand when is it important to have in-person meetings for certain types of products or what type of complexity is important to have that in-person versus remote interactions? And so, 83% of those hospital executives ranked in-person meetings as the preferred communication when discussing the more complex implantable products. But when you saw the kind of lower complex or products used outside of the OR, that in-person meeting fell quite low. So that’s where you’re seeing that increase in video conferencing or remote interactions. And then as you get more to using products in surgery and highly complex products that are implanted, that’s where you see that significant preference where we do need that in-person support, and that’s what we find to be the most valuable.

Mike White: Elizabeth, I just wanted to add in the implications for your go-to-market model. It certainly has many implications related to how you deploy your sales and service resources. Some medtech companies have products that fall in all three or two or three of these categories. And so, it’s maybe not as simple as, “Well, we need predominantly field” or “We need to shift more inside.” It depends on the product that you’re talking about and who the specific buyer is that you’re working with. And so that’s all about right-sizing the inside versus field sales and service roles. Don’t lose sight of the customer success roles that we’re seeing starting to become a little bit more prevalent in the last couple of years than it was five years ago in MedTech. Having a customer success role whose job is primarily remote is ongoing service and support of existing accounts. And it’s really even less about selling more. It’s just the support. And oftentimes it ties into software. Any sort of recurring or subscription model is where it fits the best. But that’s something else to keep in mind as you’re thinking about how you’re deploying resources inside remote sales service across these areas. These are a few data points that help inform that.

Elizabeth Watson: Yeah. And this is a part where we’re curious for your feedback as well. So, we have a poll for this slide, and the question is really around how much time do your sales reps spend in-person with customers compared to pre-pandemic? So trying to understand if you’re seeing a similar trend for folks on this call as we saw pre-pandemic that we were talking about before. So, while you answer that, too, I want to add something to what Mike was saying. As we think about the go-to-market implications of this, some organizations are also thinking about some of the points we’ve been talking about throughout. Right? We still have these staffing shortages. They really value our in-person interactions when it comes to product support, clinical support. And so, some organizations are really thinking through some value-added services around. There’s probably a layer above and beyond for clinical support or almost helping to take over some of the training for the hospitals and charging for some of those services. So that’s something that people are also taking a look at above and beyond kind of that implementation. Is there a way that we can help support hospitals and almost take on some of the training that they might not get because of some of the staffing shortages? That’s another thing folks are considering.

Elizabeth Watson: So, I’ll give a few more seconds for the poll response and see where folks are spending their time.

Elizabeth Watson: So, it looks like about a 50/50 split, so similar to pre-pandemic and actually significantly less than pre-pandemic. So, nothing that’s majorly more, but kind of split between back to pre-pandemic standards or a little bit less, which is again, what we’re seeing. The other piece that we asked when it came to the clinical complexity of our products is who is the person or who’s the group that’s most significantly influencing the purchasing decisions. So, when we think about those lower complex products, product use products used outside the OR, your physician influence falls a little bit lower. So, you’re primarily looking at that IDN or procurement level purchaser. When you’re at the lower end of the spectrum, certainly as you get a little bit higher into products that are implanted, that physician influence gets much larger. An anecdote from somebody that runs the women’s hospital at the University of Michigan, they were talking about recruiting physicians and they’re putting in contracts around the products that they prefer to use. As you try to recruit some of the top talent and in these more complex or implantable areas of products where physicians are going to have more of that influence, certainly then you see as you get more moderate, it’s tied almost for physician and IBM.

Mike White: Yeah. So, this also has, you know, of course, an impact in terms of how you deploy resources and what level, but also messaging. So, it’s deploying how you’re deploying resources, but ensuring that you’re investing in the right messaging and strategy around who you’re targeting. Knowing that on the low complexity side, we have to face reality, that IDNs are the main influencer and many more lower complexity products. So how we structure our resources from a key account standpoint, how we structure contracts, the type of messaging that we go to those buyers with varies right or is significantly different than, then of course what you have in the high complexity area. So, it’s really about fine-tuning not only resource deployment, but messaging aligned with the influencers that you see here. But so, Elizabeth, that we have since we have about ten minutes left, let’s kind of I think we can get to the we have this slide and maybe another wrap-up slide. I think that we should be good to go.

Elizabeth Watson: Yeah, perfect. So, then the other if we talk about messaging to continue Mike’s point, we asked, you know, what’s the most important factor when selecting a new vendor? Number one. And number two, probably no major surprise here, but that clinical evidence and the pricing. Um, one thing that’s really interesting is that expertise of the sales team falling a little bit below. But I think that’s especially as we think about the role of the sales reps certainly is going to be helping to deliver the message of the clinical evidence, the price, the value and then the expertise certainly supports, but probably not something that’s going to be top of mind for the executives that we’re influencing here today or we’re asking about here today. Um, so I think that leads us into what’s really important, which is on this kind of last slide, which is what does this mean for your go-to-market? Mike and I have been talking about this throughout the presentation, but it’s good to see these stats, but it certainly has implications on how we think about making adjustments to our strategy. So first and foremost, defining that non-acute strategy. So, what’s the size of the market? As Mike mentioned before, it can vary depending on your products. And then what does the composition of your sales force look like? So, as we think about that really fragmented space, it’s not always the field rep that’s best to deploy towards those non-acute spaces, just given how fragmented it is. So do we think about things like inside sales associate reps and as Mike mentioned, it becomes really important.

Elizabeth Watson: This is the role where marketing really steps up to be able to even cover certain segments of accounts for, you know, there’s some very kind of advanced, we’ll call them, modern marketing organizations, and it only works for particular products where marketing truly covers a sub-segment of accounts because they’re able to place orders online. So, let’s say they’re replenishing or they’re ordering existing kinds of consumables online. There can be, for example, a nurture campaign driven by marketing to send them to the right channel to order their products, all without really having to interact with our field sales team. That’s one extreme. But there are other options as you know, depending on your product type that can be defined for those non-acute spaces. That leads us into the second piece, which is around the digital capabilities and our advanced marketing capabilities. So, they indicated social media outreach and, you know, email campaigns being important ways to get in touch. And the other thing is we think about to that slide that talks about certain product types where the influencers are more procurement and IDNs. There’s a different marketing strategy and different channels required to reach what your side or your physician side. And so medtech companies are really evaluating that investment in marketing. And in some of the other research I mentioned, we’re actually seeing an increase in that investment. So, they can do one of two things. One, of course, is make sure they’re investing in those channels and those capabilities we talked about before, but also making sure that they’re investing in the data to really understand if I’m going to reach out to procurement team that’s driving the purchasing decisions for those lower complex products, where do they get their information? How do they like to get their information? It really helps define that channel and campaign strategy that folks should be using for the non-acute strategy, but also just in general, the spectrum of buyers.

Elizabeth Watson: This third piece here is thinking about those vendor interaction preferences. As we know, half of us is even more virtual or about the same pre-pandemic. What does that look like in terms of remote sales or even on the service side as we think about clinical support and product education? So, how do we align those investments to match those virtual versus in-person preferences and also get the technological capabilities to do that? Last but not least, it’s really important to equip our sales team with the right value proposition so we can see what’s important to them in terms of clinical evidence and pricing. As we think about that marketing investment and providing those messages online, it’s also important to equip the sales team with similar messages of impactful value propositions and ensure that we’re getting to the right depth that the sales team needs. We should also partner with marketing so that we’re consistent with the messaging and it’s coming front and center for our buyers. Before we talk about kind of in closing, you know, kind of follow up slides, Mike, is there anything else I missed here or, you know, this would be a great time if there are any additional questions, happy to answer them?

Mike White: No, I do think that we’ll take any additional questions that come up from participants. But given we only have a couple of minutes left, I think that we can wrap up here with some next steps.

Elizabeth Watson: Right. So, you’ll see our contact information at the bottom of the slide. If you have any questions, we do ongoing research on a regular basis. Please feel free to reach out to us. Industry research is free and complimentary. We’re happy to share that with you. We also have an annual subscription for an executive access program that can provide more in-depth custom benchmarks to your peer set if that’s something that you’d like to see. Things like productivity cost, headcount, pay metrics. It also gives you access to our events and research. That’s an annual subscription. And then of course, all the way to the right are our consulting engagements anywhere from go-to-market transformation to sales comp design. We’re always happy to help with those engagements as needed.

Mike White: So please keep us in mind if you ever have a need for outside consulting support. We’d love to provide our approach. And then also, you’ll see here on this page some of the specific actual research that we have available currently or upcoming on the bottom couple there. But please reach out if you’re interested in any of these, and we’d be happy to schedule a 30-minute research briefing with you.

Monty Sylvan: Fantastic. And Mike and Elizabeth, we do have a few questions, or at least a couple of you would like to answer them.

Mike White: Yeah, yeah, of course.

Monty Sylvan: Fantastic. For the first one, we have, are you seeing shifts in marketing priorities in MedTech?

Mike White: Yeah, certainly. Elizabeth, it’s more your area.

Elizabeth Watson: Yeah, I think that’s a great question. I covered some of that up front. But in some of the shifts we’re seeing, one is we’re seeing certainly an investment in the marketing side. And the biggest shift that we’re seeing is that shift from outbound to inbound. So, we’re seeing less investment in things like general email campaigns. Um, I will say this, I will say this cautiously less investment, but much more targeted investment in things like trade shows, which I think were a more traditional marketing spend before and really being much more thoughtful about which of those they attend and shifting some of that investment to more of the targeted inbound approach that we were talking about before. I would say that’s kind of the top trend that we’re seeing in healthcare marketing today.

Monty Sylvan: Fantastic. Thank you. And then the follow-up question. What trends are you seeing in compensation design for 2024?

Mike White: Yeah, I think there are a few. You know, obviously budgets are a little bit more constrained in the market than they were in prior years. And also, there’s an emphasis on profitability. So, I certainly have seen more questions in the compensation design projects that we’ve worked on or conversations I’ve had, more questions about profitability and how to incorporate profitability in the compensation plans. And is that done at the rep level or at the manager level or and how prescriptive or can you track it? So, there are a number of things there. I think that budgets are continuing to increase, compensation policies are becoming more employee-friendly. And then also, there’s a renewed focus on profitability in compensation plans.

Monty Sylvan: And then our final question, are AI-based product advancements impacting medtech models?

Mike White: Uh, yes, they are. I think the slowly so certainly they impact it. So, AI-based advancements are taking shape in a number of different forms across different specialties. I think that it impacts go-to-market strategies when you have, you know, we’re thinking about how to launch that product. That’s very different than what we had previously. That was a non-AI-based product or device or software. And what that requires is making sure that your kind of tied into the right buyers’ audience, have the right use cases, have the right roles deployed that are able to communicate those messages. That’s very different. So I think that any AI-based product or and or software-based product that was put in the bag of a rep who is primarily capital consumable, more traditional, maybe med tech, it’s, you know, be careful not to just, you know, launch it and with, you know, and put a little bit more incentive dollars against it and expect it to yield the results that you that you hope or that that are kind of in the business case for it. It requires more than that from a go-to-market more focused than that in a go-to-market in your go-to-market models.

Monty Sylvan: Wonderful. That would be the end of our questions. I do appreciate your very thorough responses, and I’m sure they do as well. I just wanted to thank you, Mike and Elizabeth, for your wonderful presentation and to thank Alexander Group as well for your partnership and participation. And I would also like to thank the audience for involving themselves and helping us get this to move forward. I would like to encourage everyone to reach out to our speakers today, and we will have this webinar recording available for you if you would like to have it upon request. Any closing remarks?

Mike White: Yeah. Thank you, Monty and AdvaMed, and appreciate everybody’s time here who participated. We appreciate your time today and hope you enjoyed the presentation.

Monty Sylvan: Fantastic. Well, thank you all again. And I hope you all have a beautiful day. Thank you.

Mike White: You too. Take care.

Elizabeth Watson: Take care.

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