How to Market a New Solution to an Old Problem

Posted by Brian Lee in Marketing |


mouse trapDisruption, according to Wikipedia, is innovation that creates a new market and value network that eventually disrupts an existing market and displaces established market-leading firms and products. It seems these days that tech startups, especially in healthcare IT, have to be the next Uber or AirBNB of their world to experience success, when in fact, they don’t.

In the slow-moving industry of healthcare, often times building a builder mousetrap–in other words, developing a new solution to an old problem–is the key to seeing your product or service get adopted. Let’s take a look at how you can market them.


One of your primary objectives should be to identify healthcare systems that have purchased a product or service to satisfy their problem, but that product or service has been insufficient. These prospective customers are likely to re-enter the marketplace for a new product or service since their problem remains unsolved.

When contacting these healthcare systems, use a “beacon” approach to describe your product or service. This means you compare your product or service to a competitor’s, but then explain why yours is better. For example, “We’re like (a competing product) but easier to integrate into your EHR and maintain.” This approach gives your prospective customers a frame of reference (beacon) along with the value proposition.

Also, don’t feel like you have to undercut your competitors. A Forbes magazine article cited a study that consumers will spend more when switching to a new solution that solves their (healthcare) problems.


It comes down to two general marketing principles: you need to build brand awareness, and you need to stay top of mind. To accomplish these tasks, you will need a sustained effort of PR, marketing and/or advertising. This means don’t just pitch one publication or run online ads for two weeks.

Why? In marketing, there’s the “Rule of Seven,” which says that someone needs to see your marketing message at least seven times before they take action. Even then, the hospital CIO, for example, may not be in the buying mode or cycle. So you have to maintain your brand’s presence in front of them so when they are ready to buy, you’re the first company they think of.


Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers healthcare IT companies and startups services related to media relations, email marketing, investor relations, tradeshow marketing, content marketing and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] or 608-622-7767.


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