Siemens Ultrasound Case Study

The Situation

Siemens Ultrasound markets to hospitals, clinics and larger practices in a variety of medical areas. Siemens wished to increase its market share for ultrasound systems in North and South America, Europe. It had a particular problem in the United States, where it was a newcomer in a crowded field of competitors. Despite the technological superiority of its product, sales staff complained that they often “won the demonstration but lost the sale” to more familiar brands in the U.S. 

The Process

Becky Quarles, then CEO of Q-Catalytics, conducted two major studies among hospital administrators and physicians (including luminaries) who made or influenced decisions about the purchase of ultrasound systems. The first study was carried out by telephone in the U.S. The second study involved a complex conjoint analysis, and, consequently, was carried out in-person in the respondents’ offices in four countries. 

 

Becky Quarles used conjoint analysis to determine the value (utility) that purchasers and influencers placed on different ultrasound-system features. Using internal data, as well as survey data, Becky Quarles analyzed the results to show the return on investment of each of a number of possible new features that could be added to a new generation of ultrasound systems that was currently being developed. Then, predictive modeling was used to identify the most powerful attributes driving purchase intent in each country and professional specialty. This information was used to design communication platforms in each country and specialty. Becky Quarles then consulted with internal staff, as well as Siemens advertising and public relations firms, to help them put the results into action. 

 

Becky Quarles then prepared detailed reports and presentations for both studies and made oral presentations, with recommendations, to the highest levels of management at both Siemens Ultrasound and Siemens.

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Results

The results provided guidance on both (1) the ultrasound system configuration that would generate both the greatest demand and profit and (2) the best approach to pricing and marketing these systems in each of the four countries. Recommendations concerning system configuration were based on the return on Investment (ROI) calculated for each feature under consideration in U.S. dollar values. Recommendations on communication messages were based on predictive modeling that revealed the potential messages that had the strongest impact on intended behavior.

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