Why you should understand groups outside of your target market
While it is common for startups to focus on a specific group for the target market for their product, developing an innovation that benefits both direct users and indirect users can go a long way toward the product's success.
Joseph Mayer, M.D., co-founder of Cureatr, a HIPAA-secure group messaging system to enhance provider-to-provider communication, has learned that convenience is not always enough for a product to sell well. He understands that innovation needs to benefit the patient, and it needs to make financial sense for the payer.
"When you are building a product, you want to engage the particular user on an ongoing basis," said Dr. Mayer. "With healthcare particularly, we're building products that need to get adopted by physicians and nurses to improve their workflow. In the process, it needs to improve financial and clinical outcomes as well."
Dr. Mayer developed an app that can help providers decrease communication errors that can lead to medical errors. But he also used the clinical trial data to market to payers and investors. Since financial losses due to poor communication are common, showing related data is a major marketing point for investors and payers if the data shows positive outcomes.
"Proving financial and clinical outcomes is key and challenging," said Dr. Mayer. "You have to build a product for two users basically – the people dealing with reimbursement changes and financial pressures in healthcare, as well as building a product with a good user experience. For example, EMRs don't always benefit the patient side as much as it benefits the corporate side of healthcare."
Other insights from Dr. Mayer:
Talk to your users - Communicating with the target market is important to Dr. Mayer and is one of the biggest ways he receives feedback for Cureatr. When talking with providers, Dr. Mayer said it is important to schedule times because of their busy schedules.
Find a balance with a co-founder – Dr. Mayer's co-founder is Alex Khomenko, and he is the CTO for Cureatr. "It's much like a marriage in a lot of ways," Dr. Mayer said. "You want to make sure you share the same core values around the company. I knew what I didn't know when I started Cureatr, so I had a strong sense of what I wanted in a co-founder." It was easy for the co-founders to split roles and responsibilities because their skill sets did not overlap, according to Dr. Mayer.
[Photo by - Lullary]