Most HealthTech Startups Fail; Make Sure Marketing Isn’t Why

by Dan Greenfield

Successful content marketing begins with a market assessment grounded in an understanding of health tech

First the good news for health tech companies, The business climate has never been stronger and the market never hotter.

Funding broke another record in 2020 as healthcare technology companies raised $15.3 billion, according to a report from Silicon Valley Bank.

Now the sobering news. Most health technology companies fail. 

There are plenty of reasons from misjudging the need for your solution to mistiming your market entry.

Value of Content Marketing

From a marketing perspective, it’s particularly challenging for any new startup to build awareness, establish credibility and trust, and differentiate its device, application, platform or data solution from the competition.

This is where timely, relevant high-quality, and consistent content is so important.

Plenty of stats make the case for content marketing but it requires a deft touch balancing promotion with education and information to spark customer interest that drives traffic to your website. 

And for health tech startups, the power of content marketing is really put to the test. 

Target audiences are hard to reach, and marketers must contend with multiple stakeholders (healthcare providers, hospital systems payers, patients). 

Established players with entrenched market positions are difficult to unseat.

Marketing messages promoting innovation are often less effective with decision makers who are often risk averse and skeptical of the marketing adage that newer is better. Innovation is viewed as disruptive to existing workflows and seen as creating more work for physicians and staff. 

So how do you translate your product’s value with written copy, infographics, webinars and increasingly video into web content that generates leads and accelerates the growth of your health tech company? 

It starts with stepping back and conducting market analysis that takes into account the unique challenges of the health tech industry.

A health tech focused assessment gives you the necessary understanding of your market and the value of your product in it – to the user, the buyer, and the beneficiary – all different people in this complex environment.  Who is your customer’s customer?  Who pays?  Who uses?  On which platforms?

In short, an assessment performed by someone with the expertise in the healthcare market grounds your content marketing and readies you with the right positioning to connect with your target audience. 

Product-market assessment and accompanying market research surface the insights you need to determine strategic partners, perform proof of concept demonstrations, and identify the most likely target market for entry and growth.

True Market Readiness

In the end, the only true definition of market readiness that matters is that someone sees enough value in your product or service to give you money for it.

The goal is to move fast and to establish leadership in your market niche. 

The market readiness process is deliberate and demanding, but the rewards will justify the effort and prepare you for challenges that sink most early stage health tech companies. It will also make your content marketing more effective, more targeted and ultimately more successful.

Before uploading your next video or publishing a new blog post, make sure you’ve conducted a business viability assessment to ensure a firm grasp of your market readiness.

If you have questions about your market readiness, please contact us for your assessment.

It prepares your startup to face bigger obstacles that tech companies in other industries have an easier time overcoming including:  

  • Multiple, Hard to Reach Stakeholders
  • Long Buying Cycles
  • Resistance to Workflow Changes
  • High Reliance on Demonstrable Profit and Revenue over Cost Savings
  • Evidence-based Data and Practices Requirements to Measure, Validate or Interpret Value

Before you go move ahead with marketing, you must meet these criteria: 

  • Is your product ready for market?
  • Do your data sources and uses contribute to business viability?
  • Is your business model (how you make money) validated?

Part of our focus at Green Room Technologies is to help identify areas where additional work is needed to enhance the probability of market success and to create a plan that addresses these uncovered gaps. We can help:

  • Define the path to demonstrate market readiness
  • Map and achieve the proof points
  • Tie market readiness milestones to funding and capitalization

The path to market readiness begins by identifying your course from concept to scale. Steps include:

  • Defining the Market
  • Identifying the Most Viable Point of Entry
  • Gaining Acceptance
  • Sustaining Growth

Important components that may not be obvious to early stage technology innovators include the 3-part value proposition to identify gaps that often exist between product validation and market acceptance.

As Green Room Technologies Chief Science Officer Kristin Norton stresses, “You have to meet the market where it lives before you can create meaningful innovation. You have to be aware that the user, buyer, and beneficiary are generally three different entities in healthcare. And you have to create content that appeals to each.”

Part of this awareness involves avoiding (or more rightly, preparing reasonable responses) to the Killer C’s of market acceptance: Cost, Complexity, and Change.

  • Is it priced at a point that your customer can justify?
  • Does it avoid overly complex implementation and use?
  • Do required changes justify the resources and time necessary to replace current workflows and existing solutions?

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