Why you should understand groups outside of your target market

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Ryan Amin

It is common for startups to focus on a specific group for the target market for their product, but developing an innovation that benefits the direct user as well as the indirect users can go a long way during an entrepreneur's journey.

Co-founder of Cureatr, Joseph Mayer, M.D., has learned that convenience is not always enough for a product to have great selling success. Cureatr is a HIPAA secure group messaging system to enhance provider-to-provider communication. Mayer understands that communication is vital in healthcare, and not only does innovation need to benefit the patient, but it needs to make financial sense for other players.

"When you are building a product, you want to engage the particular user on an on-going basis," said Dr. Mayer. "With healthcare particularly, we're building products that need to get adopted by physicians and nurses to improve their workflow. In the process it needs to improve financial and clinical outcomes as well."

Dr. Mayer developed an app to decrease communication errors, but also used the clinical trial data to market towards payers and investors specifically. Having a product that makes communication stronger and HIPPA secure allows Mayer to show providers that they can benefit and not worry about the risk of medical errors caused by poor communication. Financial losses are common due to poor communication, so showing related data is a major marketing point towards investors and payers if it can be proven to have positive outcomes.

"Proving financial and clinical outcomes is key and challenging," said Dr. Mayer. "You have to build a product for two users basically – the people dealing with reimbursement changes and financial pressures in healthcare, as well as building a product with a good user experience. For example, EMRs don't always benefit the patient side as much as it benefits the corporate side of healthcare."

Other insights from Dr. Mayer:

Talk to your users - Communicating with the target market is important to Mayer and one of the biggest ways he receives feedback for Cureatr. When talking with providers, Mayer said it is important to schedule times because of their busy schedules and entrepreneurs should be ready to make decisions even with little feedback.

Find a balance with a co-founder - Mayer's co-founder is Alex Khomenko, and he is the CTO for Cureatr. "It's much like a marriage in a lot of ways," Dr. Mayer said. You want to make sure you share the same core values around the core values and company values. I knew what I didn't know when I started Cureatr, so I had a strong sense of what I wanted in a co-founder." It was easy for the co-founders to split roles and responsibility because their skill sets did not overlap according to Mayer.

[Photo by - Lullary]

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