In the nimble, fast-paced lifecycle of a medical device, claims are a crucial player.
Especially valuable to sales and marketing teams, claims are the driving force behind product positioning. They inform healthcare providers and patients about the effective use and benefits of the product and make appearances across diverse touchpoints, including labeling, sell sheets, catalogs, social posts, websites, and more.
While ultimately communicated in commercial channels, these are not just stand-alone feature bullets written after a product release. Claims are interconnected threads woven into the very fabric of the medtech product development process. They are formed and validated by teams spanning marketing, engineering, and quality.
Unfortunately, siloed systems and manual processes often unravel claim creation and leave loose ends on where they are used and how they were substantiated. As products rapidly evolve and channels multiply, disconnected teams fail to keep pace in patching the holes in their claims process.
Instead, fast-paced manufacturers need to connect people and processes in a single platform for collaboration across the whole product lifecycle that incorporates the claim journey. Product value management (PVM) is the only way to create this continuous product thread with complete claims traceability.
PVM combines the traditionally separate functions of product lifecycle management (PLM), quality management (QMS), and product information management (PIM). By bringing teams and product data together, PVM streamlines the path to market and ensures accuracy across every customer touchpoint.
What difference does PVM really make in the intricate path a claim takes, from its inception to reaching the hands of end users? This article will map the journey and uncover the interplay between sales, marketing, product management, and quality at medtech companies, and how they converge to shape the destiny of a claim.
I’m Just a Claim, I’m Only a Claim…
With a bit of nostalgia, most U.S. students remember Bill from Schoolhouse Rock—the animated piece of legislation who sang about the road to becoming a law. He simplified the winding path that crisscrosses branches of government and stressed how they work together.
Joining Bill in this grand tradition as a process tour guide is now Clarence the Claim, a standard medical device claim.
With Clarence at the helm, we’ll navigate the complex web of marketing collateral, internal documents, and external channels that make up a claim's ecosystem.
At each crossroad along the way, we’ll consider two drastically different paths Clarence could take:
- His journey within a robust, connected product value management (PVM) platform
- His more difficult journey without one
1. Creation and Input
Clarence the Claim is born at the start of product development with upstream marketers defining performance and safety requirements. Marketing and product teams collaborate to craft his character and determine how he will be supported in the product features. Critical attributes and intended use are captured early on with visibility to both engineers in PLM and marketers in PIM, which keeps Clarence associated with the specific product he represents.
Without a centralized platform for claims management, the creation process lacks cross-functional visibility and collaboration. Claims get created in various formats by different teams, lost in shared drives, and ultimately fail to drive product innovation. This can result in confusion and risk product viability in the market.
2. Data Governance and Approval
Clarence undergoes a rigorous approval process backed by clinical evidence and documentation that is controlled in the connected QMS within the PVM platform. Marketing and medical, legal, and regulatory (MLR) review teams collaborate in one unified system to ensure complete compliance with industry regulations and company policies. Once approved, Clarence becomes an authorized claim ready for distribution.
Without a dedicated system for managing claim approvals, the process becomes manual and time-consuming. Clarence may face delays as his content moves through different departments for review and approval. This can hinder product launches and impede timely updates to customers on critical changes.
3. Centralized Repository
Clarence finds his new home among a library of claims in the cloud-native solution, ensuring consistent and accurate information management. The PIM system acts as a hub where all approved claims are stored, making them easily accessible to marketing and sales teams for use in different channels.
In the absence of a trusted central source, claims and related data may be scattered across various systems, documents, or even individuals' computers. This fragmentation makes it challenging to locate and access the most up-to-date versions of claims. It can lead to errors, outdated information, and difficulties in maintaining consistency across different marketing channels.
4. Localization and Personalization
Clarence adapts to different markets and regions through the PIM's localization capabilities. Translations and localized versions of his content are managed within the PIM system, allowing marketing teams to tailor his message to specific audiences. For each new market, Clarence can leverage existing content, make the updates needed to tailor for the new region, and share documentation and assets already created about the product with new regional distributors or regulators. Clarence can therefore fill up his passport faster as he expands into new markets—helping the business grow quickly.
In the absence of built-in localization features, adapting Clarence's claims to different markets and regions becomes arduous. Marketing teams would need to manage translations, currency and metrics conversations, and other localizations separately, potentially leading to delays, inconsistencies, and difficulties in maintaining regionally relevant messaging.
5. Multichannel Publishing
As the product reaches commercialization, Clarence's role becomes even more significant. Marketing teams leverage the distribution capabilities of PIM to reach a broad range of channels and platforms. Clarence's key selling points and digital assets are published across multiple marketing channels, such as websites, social media platforms, and online marketplaces—while always remaining traceable should adjustments be needed.
Clarence's journey extends beyond the company's owned channels. Through the PIM solution, his content is also delivered to external sales channels, including authorized resellers, ecommerce platforms, and distributors. The PIM system ensures consistent, traceable messaging across all these channels, amplifying Clarence's reach and increasing the medical device's visibility.
Without a PIM solution, publishing Clarence's content becomes a manual and error-prone process. Marketing teams have to individually update claims on websites, creative assets, product manuals, quick start guides, brochures, datasheets, whitepapers, case studies, and any other marketing materials. This increases the risk of inconsistencies and inaccuracies, as updates may be overlooked or not implemented consistently across all channels.
6. Performance Tracking and Analysis
Clarence's impact is continuously monitored using the analytics and reporting functionalities provided by the PIM software. Marketing teams analyze his performance, tracking metrics like customer engagement, click-through rates, and conversions. This data helps evaluate his effectiveness and allows for optimization of marketing strategies.
Without a PIM software's analytics capabilities, measuring Clarence's performance becomes challenging. Marketing teams may struggle to gather data on consumer engagement, conversion rates, or the impact of specific claims. This lack of insights hampers their ability to make data-driven decisions and optimize marketing strategies effectively.
7. Lifecycle Updates
As the product evolves over time, Clarence's role may change or expand. Updates and revisions to his content are made in the PLM platform, notifying the marketing team in the PIM in real time to make the adjustments. This connected workflow ensures that his claims remain accurate and aligned with the device's latest features and advancements. This ongoing management allows Clarence to continue supporting the product's sales and marketing efforts.
As the product evolves and updates are made, managing changes to Clarence's claims becomes complex. Without a centralized system, tracking and implementing updates across all marketing channels can be difficult. Inconsistencies and outdated claims may persist, leading to confusion and potential customer dissatisfaction.
An Easy Claim to Make
With the help of the PIM solution—and the connection to the single trusted product thread in the PVM platform, Clarence the Claim excels in his role within the product lifecycle by being created, governed, published, tracked, and distributed effectively. His journey through the PIM system ensures that his character and message remain consistent, resonant, and impactful across various marketing channels, ultimately helping drive the success of the product.
Moreover, modern solutions such as Propel PIM can help manage any number of standard medtech commercialization materials such as:
- Instructions for Use
- Web pages
- Product manuals and quick start guides
- Datasheets, whitepapers, and case studies
- Device trainings and surgical videos
- Competitive guides
With the ever-growing landscape of medical technology, embracing robust PIM solutions is not just a necessity, but a strategic imperative for success in the dynamic medtech industry.
Learn more on this topic in our article “The Overlooked Potential of Marketing for MedTech.”