Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 3 years ago

The Difference Between Launch & Commercialization

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

People often use the terms “launch”, “go-to-market”, and “commercialization” interchangeably, but it’s important to separate them. What are the core differences between a launch strategy and a commercialization strategy? What are some of the considerations made in commercialization that aren’t included in a launch strategy? On this episode, we talk about the key factors that make a difference in commercialization and launch.

3 Things You'll Learn

  • The key differences between launching and commercializing a healthcare innovation lie within the company's goals and when to engage your strategy team.
  • The goal of a launch is to maximize awareness, while the goal of commercialization is to maximize profit.
  • There’s a lot of strategic decisions that are part of the commercialization process that are not typically considered in a launch strategy. For example, timing strategies.

 

The distinction between launching and commercializing an innovation in healthcare is very important. Commercialization is the most critical stage of the innovation process. The strategic and tactical decisions involved in the commercialization process are deeply connected in ways that often go unnoticed and the effects of these decisions heavily shape and influence market success.

For example, timing strategies are often not included in a launch plan. Many health innovators just launch their new product when it's complete without any strategic consideration about the advantages and disadvantage of being first to market, a fast follower, or late follower.  

A commercialization strategy defines a clear path to maximizing ROI of the innovation and the strategy development process starts a lot earlier than launch.

Many healthcare innovations will launch, few will commercialize.

Welcome to Coiq, at first of its kind video program about health innovators, early adoptors and influencers and their stories about writing the roller coaster of healthcare innovation. I'm your host, Dr Roxy, founder of Legacy DNA marketing group, and it's time to raise our COIQ. Welcome back. On today's show. We don't have any guests with us, but we have our producer, Matt Johnson, with us and we're just going to jump right into this show. This episode we're going to be talking about what's the difference between launching and commercializing a healthcare innovation? That's right and super excited to talk about this because it's something that a lot of your clients they understand once they work with you. A lot of the folks out there that are working to launch an innovation into healthcare probably don't understand this, and so we're going to be talking about some things that are going to be super helpful and useful to anyone that has an innovation that they want to get out there and commercialize it. But let's talk about the the difference in terms. So what you find is a lot of...

...people kind of use these terms interchangeably and throw them around as if they're the same thing. But to you, why are they two different things to begin with? Yeah, Matt, that's right. So when people reach out to us, a lot of times they use the terms launch, our go to market and commercialization interchangeably, and so we start off having a conversation on what's the difference, and I would define that in two different ways. I say that there's two factors. One of those differences is the timing of that process and the other one is the goal of that process. So when you are launching a product, it's usually the last step in the innovation process. So you would have gone through the idea, conceptualization, maybe even the pilot phase, and now you're ready to launch. So you're usually looking for a marketing partner, go to market partners help me launch this product into the market place, and the goal of that is usually to maximize awareness of the innovation or...

...maximize interest in the innovation, whereas with the commercialization process, this is something that starts much earlier than launch. Of this is way before product is ever developed, so it's mostly starting during the ideation or conceptualization part of the process, and really that commercialization is going well beyond launch. So the timing of that is very different and in the distinction they are is really important, because there's a lot of decisions that are being made in the commercialization process that are either overlooked or not considered during the launch process. And then the second piece of that is the goal. So the goal for commercialization is to maximize Roi from that innovation. So when we say commercialization, we're thinking of what is the strategy and plan for maximizing profit from that innovation? Yeah, which makes sense. You've got you've got to launch, which the goal is to maximize awareness, right, versus a commercialization strategy which is actually set out to maximize...

Ury, right, to get actual, real results and get it people buying and investing in the product, getting them investing in the idea of what you've created. So it just doesn't go out there and people are aware of it but then nothing happens, which is a distinct possibility. You're definitely fighting and up build battle anytime you're launching something new kind of into the market. So let's talk about being like, where does launch kind of fit in in your world, like when you do a launch properly, where does launch actually kind of fit into what you think of is commercialization. Why kind of go a little bit deeper into why? They're two very different things. Yeah, so when we start off developing the commercialization strategy or plan, we start off with looking at the product and we look at things like what's the minimum viable product, and not just the minimum features and functionality that a product would need, but specifically through the Lens of the early adopters, what's the minimum value that this product or innovation needs to deliver specifically to the early market, which will...

...be very different than the mainstream market. If someone is coming to us to launch an innovation, we might be looking at more of the broader market and looking at the mainstream markets needs and the value that that innovation is delivering, which would be very different than just the early market. Yeah, that's so that's so true and as such a hard concept, I think, for people to wrap their brains around, which is we don't go to market with the thing that we think is going to appeal to the mainstream right away. We go to a different market right usually more sophisticated market, I'm assuming, if we're talking about early adopters, and so you have to create a different type of value, but then there has to be a very clear path from okay, if we're going to follow that strategy, there has to be a very clear path from here's the minimum value that we start creating, but here's how we build it into our ultimate vision, because I think if people are going to accept that idea that we need to start with an early adoption or kind...

...of a minimum value first. That has to be a path to their their greater vision, and that, from from what I understand, that's kind of part of the process that you helped walk them through. Yeah, because a big challenge that happens is when clients will come to us or healthcare brands will come to us if they're looking for just a launch partner, they've already made a lot of those product decisions and so then we are finding that majority of the time that they've really over developed the product. They're adding a lot of features and functionality that either the early market doesn't want or they're investing so many resources in the product making sure that it is not just perfect but it just has every bell and whistle. That the that sometimes they have very limited resources to actually take the innovation to market because they've spent so much into the product. And you can imagine how successful that's going to be if you're investing millions of dollars in the product and then you've got fiftyzero dollars to actually commercialize it.

Yeah, that's not a fun position to be it now. No, not at all. And so the commercialization, you know, we start off talking about the product and what that minimal viable product. We have conversations about timing and what's really interesting to a lot of time people think that the timing for their commercialization strategy is when the product is ready and they really don't give it any type of consideration around should we be first to market? What's the risk exposure for being first to market versus being second? A lot of people assume that being first to market is kind of like the sure thing winning strategy, and if you look at research, you actually see a lot of times that that's the opposite of the case. There are a lot of advantages of being first to market, but there are a lot of disadvantages too. And if you can imagine being a fast follower, you get a chance to look at those companies that have come before you, see what mistakes they've made, see what's resonating and not resonating. Where are those gaps and then you can...

...tweak and modify your innovation to fill in those gaps. So there's there's a whole lot of strategic consideration around timing strategies that are part of the commercialization process that, again, are not typically considered if you're just thinking about launch, because or go to market, because it's predominantly looking at communications, you know, messaging and chant communication channels. Yeah, exactly, because all you mentioned that a lot of those decisions are already made. So I wanted to throw out some things that you would ideally, if they were working with you from the from the right stage and setting it up and kind of getting them on the right path, you'd be helping with things like product identity, logos, visuals, developing the advertising and things like that, to where you're not taking something that, hey, this is the way it is and now let's figure out how do we market this thing, but instead taking more holistic approach and starting with the market and really looking at what do they want, and then...

...what does that subset of them want that's most likely to jump on this thing right out of the gate, and then figuring out okay, how do we deliver exactly that to them? So they'll be super excited about it and then they're going to help the mainstream adopt it. and to me that's it's just it's super unique. I don't see anybody else taking that kind of a strategic approach because most people would rather try to go for the mainstream right away. They they're impatient. They'll spend all the time behind the scenes, like you said, overbuilding the product and so little time on the marketing. But there it's really they're not they're not taking the market into consideration and what they want absolutely and and what I see, especially in any industry, but especially in healthcare, is that the health innovators will have a tendency to become very discouraged because they are taking their innovation. That something that would be very interesting and appealing to the two point five percent innovator market or the thirteen and a half percent early adoptor market, right so that first sixteen percent. But instead they...

...go out to the mainstream market and try to convince them that they have a problem that needs to be solved and to put to buy this innovation. And there's a misalignment between the messaging and the market. So they're kind of maybe using that sophisticated, highly technical messaging which resonates with early adopters, but they're using that messaging towards the mainstream market, and the mainstream market don't want innovative, new, no one's tried it before. They want the ones that's time tested, proven. Give me the twelve case studies, you know, let give me confidence and assurance that this is effective before I'll even consider anything. And I also want to know that the people in my network have used it successfully as well and think really highly of it. So that post purchase attitude or perspective is really important for engaging the mainstream market. But that misalignment can...

...make a world of difference between market success and failure. Yeah, it's interesting to think about when you when you put something in front of the mainstream market, what what are they going to do? How are they going to react? And you pointed it out exactly they're they're going to look for the proof, they're going to look for who else do I know that's already doing this, already engaging this, already interacting with this? What's their experience like? And then, beyond that, they're also going to look for. Okay, are other people as close to me as possible, like the purt of like what are other people who look exactly like me and have exactly my circumstances? What's their experience? Because, yeah, the mainstream has a very different outlook, in a much more risk averse outlook than you're early adopters. Those are the ones that are most likely to try something new. Right, you're doctors and and so it has to be a very specific strategy, which will we'll get into that another episode, because you have a whole strategy for really how to go to that segment of the market. But I think if anybody pulls something out of this episode, just that that idea that the mainstream dream has...

...a certain way of thinking and a lot of the ways that healthcare innovations are launched into the market place just doesn't match how the mainstream behaves and how they make decisions. Yeah, and if you're launching a healthcare innovation or commercializing a healthcare innovation, you're going to be really discouraged and think that they're just isn't a fit for your innovation. If you are continuously trying to get the mainstream market to buy it first. Yeah, exactly, a little bit of like how what are some of the other symptoms? So well, let's say somebody has done that. They've just they've got a great product, a great innovation. Their messaging just it's not quite right. It's not resonating, they can't seem to find their footing, they're not getting traction. What are some of the other symptoms? Like how does that show up in the business and how does that show up and what they what they hear from the market? Yeah, so one of the the common pitfalls that I see and hear about is unclear positioning. So I have this revolutionary innovation and I'm trying to get my...

...get the target market to understand what I have to offer, because it's so revolutionary that I have a tendency to start comparing it to something else so that they can relate to it. But then when I do that, I'm taking that revolutionary, sophisticated nature out of it and I use apples, you know, a common example that most of us can relate to, but you know the the ipod with a thousand songs in your pocket. So this was an innovation that we had never experienced before, and apple didn't come out and say, well, it's kind of like a Sony Walkman, but you know that would have just completely devalued the innovation and and so that that positioning strategy is really important, that you want that the early market is going to be most interested in those things that no one else has. That's extremely revolutionary and the positioning, the messaging need to be aligned with that. Yeah, hundred percent. Yeah. And then there's then there's over time, you see a shift take place as the more you get to the edges and most of the early...

...adopters have jumped on. Great, then your messaging has to shift and you start to appeal to the mainstream and you have your case studies, you have your success, you have all your proof, and then that's you. There's a major shift, and so I love that kind of that progression. So for people that are that are interested in they're saying, okay, I've got all the pain points right, or I can see this happen. Like I can see that I'm already starting to kind of fall into some of those pitfalls that you talk about. I would totally go out and talk to the mainstream as if they were early a doctors. Now would use all the inside lingo and I use all the jargon and all this stuff. How does somebody reach out connect with you learn a little bit more about what you guys do so they can prevent falling into those pitfalls? Sure, so you can visit our show website at Dr Roxycom, or you can visit our agency website, leg see llegacy Dnacom, and you can reach us at both of those places and get a better understanding of the commercialization services that we have to offer. Perfect. All Right, Dr Roxy, this is fantastic. I love this conversation.

So in future episodes we're going to be diving deep into certain topics, but for those of you that are listening, definitely check out the next one that we're going to do. It like a really deep dive into on the early adoption strategy. Could I think that's going to be fantastic. Thanks, lent thanks Matt. Appreciate it. What's the difference between launching and commercializing a healthcare in avation? Many people will launch a new product, few will commercialize it. To learn the difference between latch and commercialization and to watch past episodes of the show, head to our video show page at Dr Roxycom thanks so much for watching and listening to the show. You can subscribe to the latest episodes on your favorite podcast APP like apple podcasts and spotify, or subscribe to the video episodes on our youtube channel. No matter the platform, just search coiq with Dr Roxy. Until next time, LET'S RAISE OUR COIQ.

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