How to Pitch a Medical Device Company #5: Be Amazed
We had just hired a new advertising agency to help rejuvenate the brand of our chronic back pain therapy. I had been sitting in a meeting with several team members of the agency. After a couple hours where I and a few others described how the therapy worked and talked about the outcomes, the science behind it, the competition and the main messages and positioning, we broke for questions.
“Wow,” said the creative director. “That is cool. You guys are doing amazing stuff!” And between the lines that team communicated to me a kind of respect for the work our corporation had been doing.
Was this enthusiasm real or feigned? Yes. The agency had already been hired, so there was no need to pretend. And since advertising agencies typically run on enthusiasm, the comment was not unexpected.
But neither was it expected. Whether real or fake, their enthusiasm hit home. It was a refreshing meeting in a sea of corporate meetings ranging from dull to throat-slitting painful. Life in a medical device company—like most any company—can seem like slow-motion meetings followed by mad rushing to fulfill promises before the next slow-motion meeting. During that rush you forget your company does something exceptional.
I’ve sat on the other side too, where the product manager is telling details and showing outcomes. Even if they start subdued with facts and charts, their excitement grows as they talk through the story. A good creative team picks up on this excitement because it is contagious. New and possibly extraordinary things happen when every member of the team gets the contagion. But it cannot be an act: because feigned excitement is hard translate to the customer.
An amazed creative team can become a set of cheerleaders. This makes the internal champions of the product feel surrounded by allies—especially when the cheers are in the language their customers speak. But the amazement has to be real. The key is to find the amazing thing.