Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic Marketplace
Waddell Group CEO Tom Waddell had an interview last November with the President of Introworks, Bob Freytag, about opportunities in the marketplace to take advantage of as the market continues to open up after COVID-19. A year later, we’re revisiting their conversation to gain a new perspective on their insights and measure their applicability in a marketplace that is still transitioning as we approach 2022.
Waddell and Freytag’s conversation covered topics such as the effectiveness of fractional teams during the pandemic, how to take advantage of people’s less-restrictive schedules resulting from remote work and a closed economy, and how to leverage a growth mentality so you can leave the pandemic ahead of your competition and ready to take market share. Although the market has changed since their interview, the insights that Waddell and Freytag discussed are still relevant and impactful today.
Leverage Fractional Launch Teams
Waddell and Freytag also discussed the role of a Fractional Launch Director, and how fractional roles are changing the project management and medical device technology landscape. When people think of fractional team members, they most likely think of fractional CFOs or CMOs. In today’s world, however, there is significant potential for entire teams of fractional employees to flourish, especially at the Product Manager or Product Marketing Manager level. People are stretched thin in every department and role, not just executives and officers. Companies are realizing that having the proper in-house expertise or resources to successfully launch a product requires up to 25% of a team member’s capacity. This can be an unrealistic figure in today’s economy, so Freytag recommends utilizing fractional help with facilitation and launch to ensure the job is done right without bogging down your team. The Fractional Launch Director, as Freytag calls it, acts as a key facilitator that can accomplish tasks on time, pull in the right people when they need them, get the proper approval, align the team, and many other functions that are critical for a successful launch.
Freytag mentioned that in the current environment, companies can also hire entire fractional launch teams if necessary. Although it may seem disruptive, a fractional senior team can hit the ground running and execute a project to drive the results you’re chasing in a highly competitive market. This advice continues to be relevant in 2021, and we are seeing success at every level of organizations due to contributions by fractional team members. Even with an opening economy, we predict this trend to stay for a while as teams continue to be busy.
Take Advantage of Availability
The COVID-19 pandemic placed us in unique times that presented us with an equally unique opportunity to access people that were difficult to reach before the outbreak. Working from home, fewer business trips, and a slower economy had opened up schedules that were previously booked solid. Because of this, people jumped at the opportunity, including researchers who got feedback from individuals in the medical field who were traditionally too busy to talk. This especially applied to specialized physicians or surgeons who saw a decrease in procedures and appointments during the most severe periods of lockdown.
Freytag had an interesting anecdote that supports the insight that doctors are more responsive and receptive during the closed market. Freytag’s company, Introworks, conducts market research for internal use, primarily in the form of survey-based studies. The traditional response rate that his research team has grown accustomed to seeing during the fourteen years of conducting research is 20-25%. During the pandemic, however, Introworks saw response rates of 40% or higher when conducting survey-based studies. Freytag ties the success of the Introworks study to participants simply having more time on their hands, and with it, an increased willingness to spend spare time on activities like completing surveys—tasks that many would have snubbed during pre-pandemic times when their schedule was much busier.
Eventually, the market started opening up again as vaccines and prolonged exposure to life during a pandemic alleviated patient fears of going in to see their doctors. We saw signs of this window of opportunity shrinking back in 2020, and doctors are quickly becoming just as busy as before. Thankfully, the responsiveness of Introworks’ participants shows how willing they are to help. Although doctors offices are back to being busy and schedules are filling up again, you can still find success in outreach. 2020 has proven that the medical field is receptive to communication, even if life is getting busier.
Leaving the Pandemic With a Growth Mentality
When asked about strategies to best take advantage of the current market environment and its trends, Freytag believes speed and decisiveness are key. If you can get organized and leave the pandemic with a growth mentality, you will find yourself in a great position to take market share. Although Freytag mentioned this insight in the fourth quarter of 2020, having a growth mentality in Q4 2021 is just as relevant. The market has opened and relaxed since then, but there is still time for action and room for growth. If you are interested in taking advantage of the changing market, reach out to us and tell us about your situation. Our experienced project managers and consultants are decisive and results-oriented. We will set your organization up for long-term success through process improvements and by ensuring your projects are a success, regardless of their scope.