Sensing the Right Message. Covidien, now a part of Medtronic, knew that speaking the right language to the right audience was key to meeting sales targets for its Sensing Systems products – continuous blood-oxygen monitoring sensors and integrated alarms. Each audience, or area of care, had different day-to-day needs when it came to ensuring the health and well-being of patients. Areas of care included the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); the adult intensive care unit (ICU); the intermediate care floor (ICF); the operating room (OR); and the general care floor (GCF).

Building on preliminary research the company had already completed, we proposed a comprehensive positioning and messaging engagement that included:

  • Interviews with five representative health professionals from each area of care,
  • An online survey targeting 10 representative health professionals from each area of care,
  • An online competitive audit of four similar companies, as well as of Covidien itself,
  • Five messaging workshops with key Covidien stakeholders, one for each area of care,
  • Five key messaging documents, one for each area of care, and
  • One interactive messaging guide encompassing all areas of care.

In the course of conducting the phone interviews and the online survey, we discovered what was truly important in each area of care. For example, in the OR, space was a primary concern for stakeholders – operating rooms are often at capacity when it comes to equipment, so surgeons, doctors and nurses needed to feel confident that an additional alarm system wouldn’t lead to overcrowding. In the NICU, having a complete picture of the tiniest patients’ health, a sensor that wouldn’t harm fragile skin, and alarm system that could indicate the slightest change were most important.

This vital information, along with an honest assessment of where Covidien was currently positioned within its category, informed strawman messages that were presented and refined during a series of intensive workshops. The structured, collaborative process resulted in messaging guides that field sales could use to speak to the needs of the people who care for even our sickest and most vulnerable family and friends at the most critical of times.