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Health Tech Portfolio Companies: Revenue, Growth and Marketing in the Initial Lifecycle Stages.

Startup Marketing for Health Tech Founders/CEOs

Marketing is usually the last thing on the mind of health tech start-up founders and CEOs who put technology, funding and sales first. Marketing is an overlooked and undervalued asset in the start-up mentality.  But entrepreneurs looking to close deals and get the next round of funding or innovation cannot engineer their way to success without it.


For the health tech startup CEO, the key is to understand when, where and how to deploy specific marketing activities because traditional marketing approaches do not fit in a start-up strategy.  Of startups – half get it and the other half don’t. Those that don’t, find out the hard way that securing customers takes more than having an innovative platform and attractive website, as opposed to those startups that place high value on marketing and finding customers.


The list below has been designed as a guide for the health tech CEO to associate marketing strategies with specific stages of their companies’ growth.


Have you satisfied these marketing requirements on your path to building a market and attracting funding? If not, let's talk.


Series A Funding: Early Marketing and Communications Activities
  • Clarifying the market

  • Differentiating from competitors

  • Branding: do’s and don’ts

  • Differentiating from competitors by point solution

  • Getting investors on board

  • Preparing messaging for BDR and sales


Series B Funding: Next-Stage Marketing and Communications Activities
  • Establishing the narrative that will sustain the company

  • Showcasing execution abilities and resilience of the founding team

  • Identifying and engaging the industry stakeholders that will drive adoption of your solution

  • Gaining needed trust and credibility of your management and solutions

  • Securing your product and/or brand in the value chain of the industry

  • Disrupting well-known competitors to capture market share


Series C Funding: Final-Stage Marketing and Communications
  • Scaling sales to a larger market

  • Positioning company to be acquired, go public or significantly expand, possibly through acquisition.

  • Driving up valuation

  • Attracting acquisitions and/or partners

  • Growing market share against more/better-funded competitors



Investors in health tech start-ups are no longer rewarding unprofitable growth. In fact, 2023 is on pace for the lowest level of annual funding since 2019, according to Rock Health. Investors look for portfolio companies that can scale up as quickly as possible and provide a fast return on their investment. 


Health Tech Start-up Marketing and Investors

As startup health techs manage their growth against current investors’ expectations, they have to consider that surviving in a small market at their earliest stages does not insure expanding and growing in a larger market that will get them to provable scale. A benchmark marketing and communications investment for start-ups is 10-20% of revenue throughout the three investment stages. Companies should avoid the frequent trap of under-hiring during this time (director level or below), which will only delay progress. Instead, they should seek a strategic partner they can rely on to lead a go-to-market strategy and stand up a marketing communications function to accelerate their growth. Think of this start-up period as requiring a burst of qualified energy and a change agent that can later be transitioned when the marketing strategy is firmly implanted, allowing for clear roles, responsibilities and delegation. A strong partner can help determine and hire for needed positions and remain an advisor and resource.


Don’t learn the hard way that you could have, early on, created a marketing plan to help build a brand, growth, and the next stage of funding.

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