The Silicon Review
Disruptive medical technologies are invented all the time – to the tune of about 2,500 annually in the U.S. But just because you can build an ingenious device, biologic or diagnostic, may not mean you have the skills or resources to make it known to the market it’s intended to serve. What you need are medical marketers who understand the regulatory environment, the increasing authority of a Value Analysis Committee, the mindset of the clinicians involved in the care pathway, how to navigate a hospital purchasing process, and so many other facets that comprise the world of MedTech marketing.
Globally, there are various marketing firms providing excellent services to the healthcare segment, but Bichsel Medical Marketing Group (BMMG) stands out from the rest. BMMG is a company dedicated to helping med device and biotech start-ups commercialize their innovations. BMMG is a fully staffed medical marketing department at the service of early-stage MedTech companies, offering core services including Marketing Strategy, Event Management, Sales Tools/Programs, Digital Marketing, and Public Relations. BMMG offers its clients a full complement of services to encompass all of their marketing needs. To that end, the company also provides its clients with services like Branding, Community Outreach, Product Management, Market Research, Investment Services, and Market Access. BMMG’s ability to remain flexible and agile enables it to constantly listen to customer needs and expand its services to meet those articulated needs. BMMG wants its clients to make one phone call and be able to access anything in the upstream/downstream realm they may need.
In conversation with Lisa Bichsel, Owner and Founder of BMMG
Q. Do you think that there is a need for accelerated commercialization for new innovations?
Absolutely! We have clients who come to us late in the game, hoping for miracles in sales revenue the moment they flip the commercialization switch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You have to get out in front of your commercial launch and build market interest and demand. We express this in three communications phases:
Q. Specialized services often come with an expensive price tag. How do you maintain your affordability and profitability?
BMMG’s service offerings range from traditional to specialized. We like to run the spectrum and be as adaptive and comprehensive as clients warrant. We are constantly told that our “product” is exceptional. We pride ourselves on being available and responsive to client needs, all within an operational framework of high morals and ethics. We meet our customers wherever they are in terms of marketing budget. We charge by the project, by the month, by the hour, etc. We aim to be as flexible at adhering to budgetary constraints as we are about the types of services for which we are engaged. We keep our overhead low by being a virtual organization. That also helps us maintain a low carbon footprint and be good stewards of the planet.
Q. Expertise is the first and biggest advantage of being a top marketing firm. How do you source the right talent to maintain the quality of your services?
I love this question! You’re right. We tell our clients that we aren’t a vendor, we are your colleagues. While we have a faction of our team that are the developers, writers, designers, and planners, the other side of the house are former MedTech CEOs, CCOs, and VPs of Sales & Marketing. We can tell our clients, “I get what you need. I have done that before and walked in your shoes. Here’s how that went and the lessons I learned.”
So, part of our organization – our strategy and account executive teams – must be able to live up to that promise. We are constantly looking for former colleagues who prefer the start-up environment and want to apply their knowledge to help other disruptive technologies get to market. We are always recruiting and building a bench of this type of talent so that we have expertise in-house not only with MedTech marketing but ideally within a specific disease state, procedure, or type of technology. With our not having a bricks-and-mortar facility, we are not limited to our recruitment’s geographic boundaries. We seek top talent from all over the U.S. (and beyond).
Q. How do you help clients develop a marketing plan/roadmap?
BMMG works closely with each of our clients to evaluate their commercial efforts to date. We then do a gap analysis to highlight what could be done differently/better going forward. Oftentimes, we facilitate a working session to document all the opportunities and ideas that the founders and leadership team have in their heads so everyone feels heard. Opportunities are then evaluated and prioritized, ultimately yielding a detailed commercial plan for the next 12-18 months. This type of cathartic activity is essential and a best practice for change management. We want to ensure leadership are all on the same page and feeling like they had a voice in shaping the commercial action plans for the foreseeable future. Of course, all the action plans are validated by market data, payer claims, voice-of-customer, personal experience, and the like. We determine what needs to be done and will yield the best results as we pursue market opportunities the collective team has identified.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Actually, yes. Our clients are challenged with driving adoption and utilization. No one wants their innovation to be acquired yet grow dusty in the corner from lack of use. BMMG helps with three key areas post-sale: Technology Deployment, Clinician Adoption/Utilization, and Performance Improvement. On staff, we have a Six Sigma Master Black Belt who facilitates quick and proficient use by clinical champions. We then build awareness within the facility among colleagues who might also have interest in the technology. Finally, BMMG drives clinical, economic and operational success that yield case studies and proof points for our clients’ further market expansion.
Meet the leader behind the success of BMMG
The Owner and Founder of BMMG, Lisa Bichsel brings 40 years’ experience in commercialization activities for medical device, biotech, and healthcare financial services companies. An accomplished and inventive executive, she possesses extensive knowledge in healthcare product and service marketing. Lisa is a creative, out-of-the-box marketer who has a proven record of finding the formula for success for companies and their technologies. Under Lisa’s direction, BMMG donates time, money and services to healthcare advocacy organizations and helps amplify various disease awareness months as part of BMMG’s mission each year.