What marketing can bring to photonic technologies (English version)

« Facts exist outside the building,
Opinion reside within,
So, get the hell outside the building! »
Steve Blank

Imagine you are appointed for leading the design of the next Ariane Rocket. How are you going to do?

Undoubtedly, with common sense, you will think: « before choosing the diameter of the rocket, the power of its engine, its carrying capacity and so, I need to know what the rocket will have to carry in space. » You will want to estimate how many satellites are to be launched in the coming years, what will be their size, their weight, their functions (scientific, weather, imaging, positioning, defense …). Will it be necessary to launch them one by one, or should the rocket be able to launch several satellites at the same time, like for Galileo ? How much customers are they willing to pay for a launch service ? And of course, what are the strengths and weaknesses of competing rockets?

How are you going to answer all these questions? This is obvious: ask the future customers, those who control and operate satellites. Nobody else can provide this valuable and critical information for designing the future rocket.

Seek to understand the end-users needs in order to define a product, this is the core value of marketing.  Strangely, what seems obvious for the Ariane rocket, is sometimes seen as superfluous when it comes to photonic products.

The added value of marketing

The 3 main missions of Marketing are the following:

  1. Listen future users to define the features of a product; 
  2. Understand the targeted market, its players, its drivers, the trends and the competition in order to build a market access strategy; how to enter the market, be part of the value chain and capture rapid and sustainable margins and revenues.
  3. Develop the strategy and tools for the promotion of the new product and the development of the reputation of the company.

Very often, marketing is reduced into its the 3rd mission. It is true that it is more critical for BtoC products, as in the luxury market, in retail, or automotive.
But for
BtoB technological products, it is completly different. The first two missions are the one that matter most. And this sometimes leads to a misunderstanding about the usefulness of Marketing for Photonics markets.

Marketing for boosting Photonic businesses

In Photonics, the first task is to question the future users to outline the features of the future product, so that it responds more closely to the customer needs. The objective is to produce a functional specifications or a market requirement document.

The second mission of marketing applied to Photonics is to develop an access strategy to become not only a competitive supplier, but also to be regarded by integrators as a reference for designing the components and photonic subsystems of the future.

What marketing can bring to photonic technologies (French version)

« Facts exist outside the building,
Opinion reside within,
So, get the hell outside the building! »
Steve Blank

Imaginez que l’on vous charge de définir la prochaine fusée Ariane. Comment vous-y prendrez-vous ?

Sans aucun doute, vous commencerez par ce constat de bon sens : « avant de choisir le diamètre de la fusée, la puissance de ses moteurs, sa capacité d’emport etc. je dois connaître, ou au moins estimer ce que la fusée devra emporter dans l’espace ». Naturellement, vous chercherez à savoir combien de satellites il faudra lancer dans les prochaines années, quelle sera leur taille, leur poids, leurs fonctions (scientifique, météo, imagerie, positionnement, défense…). Faudra-t-il les lancer en grappes, comme pour Galileo, ou un par un ? Combien les clients, seront-ils prêts à payer pour un service de lancement ? Et bien sûr, quelles sont les forces et faiblesses des lanceurs concurrents ?

Mais comment répondre à toutes ces questions ? Cela coule de source : chez les clients, ceux qui commandent et exploitent des satellites. Personne d’autre ne peut fournir cette précieuse information sans laquelle définir la future fusée est impossible.

Chercher à comprendre les besoins pour définir un produit, c’est l’essence du marketing. Et curieusement, ce qui est une évidence pour la fusée Ariane, est parfois perçu comme superflu lorsqu’il s’agit de produits photoniques.

Les missions du marketing

Quelles sont les missions du marketing ? Il y en a 3 :

  1. Écouter les futurs utilisateurs pour définir les fonctionnalités d’un produit ;
  2. Comprendre le marché visé, ses acteurs, ses tendances, la concurrence pour construire une stratégie d’accès au marché ; savoir comment pénétrer le marché et s’insérer dans la chaîne de valeur et capter rapidement et durablement des marges et des revenus.
  3. Élaborer la stratégie et les outils de promotion des nouveaux produits et de développement de la notoriété de l’entreprise.

Très souvent, le marketing est assimilé à la 3ème mission. Il est vrai que cette dernière est primordiale pour les produits vendus au grand public, comme dans le luxe, l’agroalimentaire, ou l’automobile.
Or, pour les produits technologiques BtoB, c’est le contraire. Ce sont les deux premières missions qui comptent le plus. Et cela induit parfois des malentendus sur l’utilité du marketing au service des marchés photoniques.

Le marketing au service de la photonique

En photonique, la première mission consiste interroger les futurs utilisateurs pour ébaucher les fonctionnalités du futur produit, afin qu’il réponde a plus près aux besoins des clients. L’action  marketing vise à produire des spécifications fonctionnelles ou, en anglais, « market requirement document ».

La deuxième mission du marketing appliqué à la photonique, c’est élaborer un positionnement produit et une stratégie d’accès, pour devenir, non seulement un fournisseur compétitif, mais aussi un interlocuteur reconnu pour co-construire avec les donneurs d’ordres, les composants et sous-systèmes photoniques du futur.

Optical Coherence Tomography for Healthcare and Life Science: Technology and Market Trends – Release announcement

TEMATYS is pleased to announce the release of its new market and technology report « Optical Coherence Tomography for Healthcare and Life Science: Technology and Market Trends ».

Sale price: 3.990,00 € – Sales will begin on September 30 – Pre-orders are open now with a discount of 500 € – Online sales: http://tematys.fr/Publications – Corporate: www.tematys.com

Abstract. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a mature technology well-established on the ophthalmology market. Currently, the ophthalmology OCT market has been slowing down for the last years. However, despite the saturation of the OCT ophthalmology market in developed countries, the OCT market for healthcare and life science is still expected to grow from around € 500M in 2013 to around € 1b in 2019. Strong demand from new biomedical applications, continuous development of innovative technologies, strong demand from developing countries will drive the OCT market growth.

 

According to our study, as OCT addresses global public health issues such as non-melanoma skin cancer, diabetic retinopathy, Age-related Macular Disease, cardiovascular disease, barett’s esophagus, prostate cancer, etc. it is expected to reach medical applications outside ophthalmology. There is a huge need for label-free, non-invasive, in vivo imaging techniques for the diagnosis and monitoring of these pathologies that OCT can answer. Moreover the demand from developing countries such as China or India for medical equipment is increasingly urgent.
To support the shift towards new applications, our study shows that the development of innovative technologies is necessary. Several functional OCT methods such as polarization sensitive OCT, Doppler OCT or OCT combined with fluorescence are being investigated to provide quantitative information and improve the diagnosis performance. Moreover, R&D efforts seek to develop the performance and compactness of components and sub-systems for OCT. The trend goes towards miniaturization with the use of PIC (Photonic Integrated Circuits). The aim is to enable the manufacturing of compact, low cost and portable OCT systems to reach applications at the dermatologist or the dentist’s office for example.
Online sales: http://tematys.fr/Publications – Corporate: www.tematys.com