by Bojan Vuksanovic
Recently I watched movie Puncture. In brief, it is about small loyer office fights out with corporate healthcare giants. Based on true story. Every year more then 300 000!!! paramedic workers had been accidentally infected with needles trying to help out emergency cases. Mostly by AIDS, Hepatitis B, and things like that. Deadly stuff. Now, smart people invented new kind of needle, needle with injection mechanism that can prevent such events. I guess you wonder why I am writing about this? Because new product like safety needle needs to be marketed like any other new product right? Right. And they decided to advertise it to the medical people. You know, presentations, brochures, Fairs, hospital to hospital..etc. Result?. Everybody love it. From paramedic stuff and nurses to chief doctors and top surgeons. How shouldn’t they. It can save lives. It can save billions of tax dollars. Sale? None. Zero. Is it because of price? Price can not determine needle market position at all. It is not that kind of product. It brings us to the Miscea Case in UAE.
It is very easy to become aware of product’s benefits. Doctors, nurses, they were eager to start using the product. Sale? Not worth of mentioning it. Then I decided to improve sales strategy. To give the products for free (and it is expensive one, peace is like 3000-4000 AED-1000 US $). Under one condition. Costumers must buy liquid from us, after all we needed to make some money as well. Result? The same. The same like in case described in movie Puncture. Why? Magic word is procurement. We set strategy that relies on medical stuff, because they suppose to use the product. But they are not in charge of money. It is procurement. It is the world of corporate network people placed in procurement departments. Bonded by mutual interests and huge profits. New product that can improve healthcare and saves lives? It has no chance at all..Marketing and advertising strategy and efforts that put focus on costumers can’t help. So what to do?
Well, I know most of us would say go with rise awareness campaign. Let the public and patients make pressure towards healthcare institution to improve hygienic level. But such a campaign could cost a fortune, usually beyond possible and the outcome in terms of sale is completely unpredictable. No one would finance such a campaign and jeopardize its business.
So what to do? Guys in movie Puncture (BTW Chris Evans great performance) started a court case against Group of procurement company. They managed to involved high politics and to get national media coverage. They won the case worth 150 million US $, and more important majority of hospitals started to use safety needles. Marketing strategy? Yes, unconventional, but I would call it Marketing strategy.