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Segmenting markets and accounts for your medical device


Launching a new medical device is no small feat. The process is often long, expensive, and fiercely competitive, so that means you need a clear plan to find, evaluate, and reach the right customers.

This blog, adapted from our comprehensive e-book, explores the critical importance of developing a robust market segmentation strategy, whether you’re launching a medical device or expanding into a new market with an existing one. We’ll also discuss important considerations when segmenting the market for various types of customers. For a deeper dive into these concepts and a roadmap to successful medtech sales, download the e-book.

The importance of market segmentation for medtech sales success

Arguably, one of the most important building blocks of a successful medtech product launch is an effective segmentation strategy. Whether you are starting a new business or trying to grow an established one, having a deep understanding of your target market is critical to the success of your medical device.

Let’s dig into some more benefits you can reap by segmenting the market:

  1. Stronger customer knowledge. Segmentation fosters a deeper understanding of the various audiences within your market. This knowledge can guide product development, marketing strategies, and customer service approaches, ensuring they are all aligned with the specific needs and preferences of each segment.
  2. Account prioritization. Knowing the ins and outs of your customer base can help you identify the types of facilities and providers that are most valuable or align most closely with your strategic goals.
  3. Discover unmet needs. Using medical and prescription claims data, market research, and competitive analyses can illustrate areas of the market that are underserved or untapped.
  4. Targeted messaging. Segmentation empowers your medtech marketing team to craft and deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, personalized by industry, facility size, needs, and more.
  5. Win/loss analysis. The data you can collect by segmenting the market can help you determine why some deals were won or lost, which can help pinpoint effective sales tactics for future engagements.

Combining all the above points, account segmentation helps create more effective and efficient medical device sales and marketing strategies, leading to higher conversion rates, stronger customer loyalty, and, ultimately, increased sales and revenue. By focusing on the most promising segments, you can optimize your efforts for the best return on investment.

What are the top medical device segments?

A clear “most valuable” medical device segment might be harder to identify than you might imagine. After all, there are thousands of facilities and millions of healthcare providers (HCPs) across the U.S. To find success, you need to go deeper, be more granular, and find the specific group of customers most valuable to your strategic goals.

To start, you’ll need to know who the intended users of your medical device are, where they’re located, and how your device solves their problems or makes whatever they’re doing easier. Market segmentation will be unique to every medtech company, so there’s no one silver bullet solution out there. Below, however, we’ll discuss some specific criteria to consider when targeting hospitals, HCPs, and other facilities.

Segmenting for hospitals & health systems

When segmenting hospitals and health systems into distinct categories, consider the following criteria:

  • Type. Hospitals can be categorized into short-term acute care hospitals, VA hospitals, children’s hospitals, and more. Depending on your device, you may find more success in one type of hospital over another.
  • Size. You can gauge the size of a hospital by bed count. A larger facility could translate to a larger sales opportunity.
  • IDN affiliation. Hospitals associated with an integrated delivery network (IDN) may have less autonomy to make decisions independently and may have to work through a central purchasing team.
  • GPO affiliation. While not all devices require agreements with group purchasing organizations (GPOs), it can be important in some situations and impact your ability to sell into a facility. Some hospitals may be members of more than one GPO, so you’ll need to ensure you have the correct membership and primary affiliation when targeting GPOs.

There are plenty of other data points your team can use to further segment the medical device market, including the number of specific procedures or surgeries performed, quality metrics, and more.

You can use any criteria that is quantifiable, can be tied to specific facilities, and that is important for your products. The key consideration is understanding your customers and what matters to them and then finding more prospective customers with similar features.

Segmenting for providers

With more than 2.6 million HCPs in the U.S., you can’t feasibly go after everyone. Even if you could, it would be a waste of resources. Segmenting the market by healthcare professionals helps you focus on the people best suited to make or influence a buying decision.

Consider the following criteria when segmenting the market for providers:

  • Specialty. This is an easy decision. If you have an orthopedic device, your best targets are probably orthopedic surgeons. The use case your device addresses can guide you to the relevant HCPs.
  • Affiliation. An individual physician may not have sole purchasing power over your device. If your target HCP is affiliated with a physician group, those decisions are often made collectively. A value analysis committee may be responsible for making buying decisions within a hospital.
  • Diagnosis or procedure volume. Knowing the number of diagnoses or procedures can be important because it can directly equate to total opportunity value, justify marketing investment, or uncover untapped potential.
  • Referral volume. Referrals can help you deepen your understanding of the patient journey and find areas where your device can intervene earlier.

Segmenting for alternate sites

Depending on your product, you may be interested in targeting facilities like ambulatory surgery centers, long-term care facilities, imaging centers, and other sites.

Your segmentation can be broken out by each facility type, or you may have a blanket strategy across those markets. There’s no “right” way, however, you can consider the following criteria as a guide when segmenting the market:

  • Facility type. As mentioned, you can segment by each facility type if it makes sense for your medical device and organization. You can also segment more precisely by looking at use cases, such as dialysis clinics, cancer treatment centers, etc.
  • Network affiliation. Many networks also have alternate site facilities underneath their umbrella, so purchasing decisions may be made through a central committee.
  • Procedure volume. Similarly, with HCPs, procedure volumes at a facility are a good way to gauge opportunity value and unmet needs.

Learn more

Remember, market segmentation is an ongoing process. As your understanding of the market evolves, so should your segmentation strategy. By continuously refining your targeting, you'll ensure your medical device reaches the facilities and providers who can benefit from it the most.

For a more comprehensive look into segmenting the market for medical devices, download our e-book. Want to put these insights into action even faster? Book a demo of our newest medtech solution Carevoyance and gain access to the intelligence you need to streamline your sales process and maximize your impact.

Ethan Popowitz

About the Author

Ethan Popowitz

Ethan Popowitz is a Senior Content Writer at Definitive Healthcare. He writes data-driven articles about telehealth, AI, the healthcare staffing shortage, and everything in…

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