MedForce 2018

June 25 - 26, 2018

Omni Parker House, Boston, MA


How Smith & Nephew has Developed the Blueprint for Building Great Marketing Strategies

brought to you by WBR Insights

Bringing new products and services to market can pose many challenges for even the largest companies. However, Smith & Nephew thinks it's found a foolproof marketing blueprint for promoting its new surgical system.

Smith & Nephew was founded in 1856 by Kingston Upon Hull, UK, resident Thomas James Smith. Towards the end of the century, Smith's nephew, Horatio Nelson Smith, came on as a partner, and the company was renamed Smith & Nephew. In 1928 the company acquired the license to market and produce the Elastoplast bandage brand. Smith & Nephew formally entered the medial device market in 1986 with the purchase of orthopedic products brand Richard Medical Company.

Today, Smith & Nephew is one of the largest producers of medical equipment in Europe and employs over 15,000 people. The London-based company has a market cap of $13.4 billion, and is placed at #84 on the Forbes list of Top Multinational Performers.

NAVIO Surgical System

The latest marketing challenge faced by Smith & Nephew came when trying to promote their revolutionary and innovative surgical system.

The NAVIO Surgical System is designed to simplify the surgical process for thousands of patients due to receive knee replacement operations. UK National Health Service (NHS) patients can wait up to 18 weeks for non-urgent consult-led treatments, so anything which makes this process simpler and more streamlined would of course be welcomed.

"The NAVIO system offers game changing improvements in precision and accuracy without sacrificing efficiency. It allows surgeons the control to create a patient-specific plan in the OR and the confidence to execute with robotic precision," said Dr. Joseph Burkhardt from southwest Michigan. "For the knee, it provides surgeons the ability to do more than they have ever been able to do with standard instruments, resulting in improved functional outcomes for the patient."

The main function of the system is to provide robotic assistance to surgeons, which allows for each replacement joint to be more accurately placed according to patients' individual anatomical makeup.

Marketing Blueprint

To augment the adoption of the NAVIO Surgical System, Smith & Nephew has also produced a companion marketing program, which customers can purchase alongside the system itself. Dubbed the BLUEPRINT Marketing Program, this additional product is designed to offer a complete promotional schedule, facilitated by Smith & Nephew themselves, in the form of focused options to drive uptake of the NAVIO Surgical System.

Customers who purchase the BLUEPRINT product will gain assistance from one of Europe's largest medical device companies on everything from event marketing and advertising, to education for both consumers and medical professionals, and a whole load of digital content. Smith & Nephew's marketing team work with adopters of the system to identify their goals, review the trends and conditions of their market, and generate support from their own stakeholders.

From here, the marketing BLUEPRINT team can develop a bespoke strategic marketing plan, and work with medical providers to deploy those strategies in the most effective and efficient manner. The BLUEPRINT team can then analyze resultant data to measure results and fine-tune the strategy as things progress. This allows for a flexible and bespoke marketing approach, which empowers practitioners to ensure that as many people as possible can experience the benefits of the NAVIO Surgical System.

"The BLUEPRINT Marketing Program is a part of that focus and offers focused and marketing options to drive patient utilization of our NAVIO systems," said Smith & Nephew via a press release. "If you choose to add a BLUEPRINT program to your NAVIO system purchase, our Consumer Communications team will take a shared approach with your business and marketing teams. Together, they will work to establish a NAVIO marketing plan for your facility, execute against that plan and report all marketing results."

Final Thoughts

The thing that separates the BLUEPRINT Marketing Program from other promotional endeavors is that its focus is not on selling the product itself. As the BLUEPRINT is sold alongside the NAVIO Surgical System itself, the focus is instead on maximizing the impact the adoption of the system and making sure patients everywhere receive its significant benefits.

The final word goes to Glenn Warner, President of U.S. Commercial for Smith & Nephew.

"The full market release of the [knee surgery] application provides a robotics-assisted solution for one of the largest markets in orthopedics. Smith & Nephew is committed to continued expansion and growth of the NAVIO robotics-assisted platform."

You can hear Smith & Nephew's Area Vice President, Jon Osborne, speak at MedForce 2018 this June in Boston, MA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.