Upstream Marketing Medical Device

When planning to market your medical device, a question you may ask yourself is should I choose an upstream marketing device strategy? Or, should I go for a downstream marketing device plan?

The answer is neither a "Yes" nor a "No." You can only have an excellent short-term plan with a reliable long-term plan.

What Is Upstream and Downstream Marketing?

Upstream vs downstream marketing are two essential marketing concepts. In comparison, they're distinct, but vital. 

  • Upstream marketing is about strategy and long-term market circumstances
  • In contrast, downstream marketing relates to short-term campaigns and assisting the sales force

Upstream marketing targets specific market segments and determines their unique needs. The concept is ideal if you need to focus on future results. Knowing your marketing results requires patience, as it takes time. With upstream marketing, you can make what your clients want.

A thorough upstream marketing strategy concentrates on the market. It also covers the following elements:

  • A cost and a competitive advantage for campaign resources
  • Determination of a subset of your audience's issues
  • A service or product which will address such issues

Upstream marketing begins earlier, creating a solid map for segmenting markets.  Identification and exact definition of which client categories to target follow next. 

The strategy examines how the end-user interacts with the service or product. Additionally, it looks at what competitive edge is necessary to attract the consumer. And at which price? The process happens at the onset of the service or product development cycle, which is one of many companies' missing pieces for producing sales growth.

Downstream marketing comes in handy when solidifying your marketing plan and strategies. Here are some of its features:

  • Downstream marketing is less time-consuming than upstream marketing
  • It entails determining the resources your company can use to increase the appealing nature of your goods. And also entice individuals to buy and desire them
  • Downstream marketing rhymes with creating actions and procedures to communicate a service's worth

Sales and downstream choices are in sync. Marketing executives may concentrate on research and short-lived selling initiatives. All these are also downstream activities. For instance, market research may establish whether a consumer accepts to pay higher for functionality. Or if the client prioritizes affordability.

Upstream vs downstream marketing medical devices are efficient and operate well together. However, it is often better to concentrate on one idea. Here are some of their differences:

  • Upstream marketing is all about lengthy aspirations and planning. But, downstream marketing recognizes your time requirements and establishes short-term objectives
  • Upstream marketing considers the best action to meet a particular futuristic goal. It brings the amount of openness required to keep a firm relevant. On the other hand, downstream marketing examines your company step by step. It concentrates on the current status of the product

The critical distinctions between the two influence the objectives you establish. And also how and when you make adjustments.

Upstream Marketing & Medical Device Examples

Upstream marketing in business means analyzing market segments and meeting their needs. In the healthcare industry, it entails getting to the source of the sickness or ailment.

Companies manufacturing and selling medical devices use upstream marketing to enable customer uptake. The right way to start is by identifying clients' challenges. 

One problem might be that business clients desire advanced, scalable technology that streamlines campaign asset screening and analyzes engagement analytics. Or that patients need a medical device such as dentures to make their lives manageable.

For instance, ParkerWhite and Zest partnered and used a direct-to-patient marketing strategy for dentists to grow their profession. They used the downsides of traditional dentures to promote Zest’s new product. Patients received marketing information on dentures in order to make them act and improve their quality of life. 

They focused on empowering patients to be responsible for their health and, in the process, bridging the gap between medical practitioners and patients. 

And the efforts were worth it. The strategy increased patient numbers in dental clinics and created room for Zest’s customer base growth.

Incorporating rival data in your study can be helpful when designing your device's market position. The method is comparable to calculating a price. Consider your price approach, consumer segmentation, and rival pricing. Use this data to determine whether your device will be an addition to your current legacy. The marketing benefit is that the solution is a free upgrade.

When products are upstream, companies can make long-term plans and have a more straightforward downstream marketing process.

Downstream Marketing & Medical Device Examples

Downstream marketing defines your branding, ads, communication, and promotion tactics.

Vertiflex recognition resulted from its less invasive procedure with lumbar spinal stenosis. The new Vertiflex approach received approval from the Food and Drug Administration agency. Thus, ParkerWhite assisted Vertiflex in developing a new brand positioning strategy. A plan for the firm and its products.

The innovative Vertiflex technique provided a new therapeutic alternative for pain management specialists. The method allows a non-opioid pain control approach that can improve the lives of the rising number of individuals who suffer from severe pain.

Following the achievement of the clinical study, they developed a brand messaging framework. The result was a simple and trustworthy set of core principles that emphasized their goal and commitment to helping most people with acute back pain.

They created a new site with patient education to engage with spinal specialists, patients, and the funding community. The website included a doctor directory and sales tools. And they reflected a firm centered on innovative products and patient sensitivity.

Vertiflex has seen remarkable development in the last several years. Especially since the brand's debut. There have been tremendous patient triumph tales of how the operation altered their lives. The performance attracted the eye of Boston Scientific, which bought the firm in June 2019. They bought it for more than $465 million.


Comparing upstream vs downstream marketing doesn’t mean you can use one and leave the other. The two marketing strategies are essential. For them to work, you must analyze what your target customers need. 

Give patients solutions to their problems, and you’ll have room for more medical device innovations. We are here to help you throughout the process with insights and digital marketing best practices.

Upstream & Downstream Marketing for Medical Devices - PW