1) Make a splash. Design a strong message and strategy for your new medical device, and then develop creative messaging that will stick in the minds of your prospects. Try to do something new or unexpected that your competitors haven't used yet. We've fielded street teams peacocks, projected products on landmarks, and cooked up entertaining promotions. For maximum impact time, everything to hit during a narrow launch window and set aside enough budget to support the product at a lower level in the coming weeks and months.

2) Tease the launch. Let everyone know that something big is coming from your company starting two to four weeks before launch day. And, yes, do select a launch date to encourage the excitement to build. Use teasers on social media, email, or any other platform you choose. If possible, reuse the creative you've developed for the rest of the campaign. It could be as simple as "On June 14, the Acme company will unleash the first artificial intelligence for the brain." After all, they will be waiting with bated breath on launch day.

3) Plan ahead. Once a launch date, back time all your marketing production timelines. Start with a plan with clear objectives and measurable goals followed by tactical scheduling. Consider that the production time for publications, video, animation, and tradeshow fabrication may create a longer timeline than you expect.

4) Know the competition intimately. Do some sleuthing to discover what your competitors are communicating to the market and what media and creative approach they're taking. Define the weaknesses and strengths of their product that you can exploit in your messaging.

5) Leverage your brand. How does the new medical device relate to your overall brand? Is it a brand extension, or is it in a different category? How can you use your existing brand reputation to foster faster awareness or message consistency?

5) Find the emotion in your product. How does your product solve the crying need or desires of your customer? Does it help patients live longer, avoid pain with ergonomic design, or boost office throughput? To get the engagement you want, lead with emotion and the product's main benefit. For example, the feature might be ergonomics, but the message should focus on relieving the doctors' pain in the

7) Don't leave your distribution network flat-footed. Train dealers to use your product and arm them with the promotional materials and collateral that they need to sell your medical device. And for consistent communication about the product, use animation and video to break down and explain the product's technical features. Also, make these available for distributor websites and salespeople during presentations.

8) Inventory. Make sure the medical device is available to your dealers on launch day. There's nothing worse than a significant demand for a product. We've been in this situation where the marketing has worked well – maybe too well – and the product is still in R&D, or the stock is low. It's plain disheartening to us marketing animals.

Sources: Launch Team Inc., InfuseMed

Comments: Bill Abramovitz