Large differences in marketing budgets for medical devices

8 August 2006

Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The average marketing investment for a new medical device is $1.8 million, according to a new report from research firm Cutting Edge Information.

The report, Medical Device Product Management: Benchmarking Development, Marketing and Promotion, shows that companies consider a device's commercial potential when determining marketing investment levels. An adequate marketing investment prepares new medical devices for commercial success, but disparities among technologies, companies and markets drive differences in marketing budgets. Also, limited margins often restrict marketing investments. The average of $1.8m excludes two products with significantly higher budgets — $75 million and $41 million, which would have taken the average to over $12m.

Devices also need adequate staffing. Throughout device approval, manufacturing and the first year on the market the average staff headcount is 22.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs). Medical device marketing teams appear to be well staffed, but that figure includes staff from several other functions such as research and development, commercialization, manufacturing, legal, executive and accounting. The function with the most staffing support is manufacturing.

"Given the short shelf life of most medical devices, product launch is a critical period," says Research Team Leader Eric Bolesh. "It is critical for companies to have a solid marketing strategy in place, as well as enough staffing to execute the strategy and maximize product potential in a limited timeframe."

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