Understanding the value drivers for microwave ablation procedures

The question

Our client was developing a new microwave ablation procedure, which would be deployed into several oncology treatments. Whilst still in R&D, the client decided to put the new procedure up for market research in product testing. The question: what do the product’s elements (such as: visualisation, console, upgrades) have to look like in this market? 

The end goal

The goal of this research was to enable the client to evaluate which systems are valued by the customer and which systems they would easily adopt. The client will be able to understand the tradeoff of different features and understand whether the new product will bring additional advantages when compared to their current system. We wanted to give our client specific information and insights concerning the key microwave ablation features and capabilities. 

Our approach 

Our research was based on qualitative in-depth phone interviews in phase one – and quantitative web-based (MaxDiff) interviews in phase two. Both phases focused on interventional radiologists all over France, Germany, the UK and the USA. 

During these interviews, we showed the product concept by means of pictures and text and created insights around the key questions:

  • Which technologies and treatments are being used today? Are you satisfied with them?
  • What are the (dis)advantages of the current treatments?
  • Do you think our new product will help solve the disadvantages?
  • Will this product be an improvement?

Next to this, we looked at all the different features the product could have by setting up a MaxDiff exercise. This online trade-off methodology allows to generate unbiased insights in the attribute importance and optimal product configuration. This way, we came to three different optimal configurations, which are based on budget and customer segmentation.

Product value drivers

Our outcomes

Our research gave us a lot to work with, but everything comes back to these three key takeaways:

  • An overview of the importance of potential features and benefits for new ablation systems.
  • Understanding of the different customer segments.
  • Optimal configuration of the new product to optimally connect with customer needs.

How they will help the customer

The client now knows everything about the (dis)advantages of the current treatments. With this valuable data, they now have a solid idea of the problems that need to be solved, or questions that are still to be answered. With these insights, they can generate the ‘ideal’ product – and get that back to the customer. 

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